The only way in or out of Magika is through several portals around the world, and they open only once a year at twilight. Witches in books and movies on Earth are nothing like witches in the witch world. On this planet, witches fly without broomsticks and heal quickly. They are given a gift from an angel on the day of their birth, but they also receive a curse by a demon on the same day. The only way to get rid of the curse is to kill the demon who gave it. However, if you do get rid of the curse, you will gain another. Witches senses are heightened. Their eyes and hair can grow any colour. They will never age and can never die, unless they are given the curse of mortality. Child witches usually grow faster than do mortal children. You can never tell how old a witch may be, and it would be better not to guess, if you know what we mean.

And so our story begins one night on the shores of Casa Palace.”

–From Lydia and Santina Casablanca’s The Dawsons

Lydia and Santina Casablanca are twin sisters who were born in Brisbane, Queensland Australia. They grew up mostly in New South Wales, moving around all the time and never staying in one place for more than three years. Growing up, Lydia and Santina were left at home a lot with nothing to do while their mother worked to provide for them. The twins had wild imaginations and would often play make believe where they lived in this world where only the supernatural inhabited it. They made up all kinds of characters and story lines, and in doing so they did not realize that they were creating magic.

When Lydia and Santina were 14 years old they noticed they were starting to forget the stories, the characters and the families they had made up and they didn’t want to forget, they wanted to always remember the adventures they went on when they played, pretending they were witches who lived in a magical place. The twins decided to put down all their adventures they had had, all the characters and the families they had made up on paper so they would always remember them.

While writing their book they were suddenly aware that they had a passion for it, and realized they didn’t want their stories to be hidden, to just be shared between themselves. They wanted to share the families they had created, the adventures, the characters with the world. The twins wanted to share their love of writing, their magic and write for a living.

Lydia and Santina worked on their first novel (The Dawsons) for ten years, adding to the story, maturing and professionalizing it, editing it and trying their best to make it as perfect as a manuscript can be before they approached the self-publishing company Xlibris in October 2016. The twins knew that self-publishing a book is not cheap so they saved up for years, working at Gloss Cosmetics, Coles, etc. to earn the money that would help them to publish their first novel.

Lydia and Santina’s book The Dawsons was finally self-published with Xlibris Publishing in April 2017. The twins went through a crazy, exhilarating ride making their book a reality, and haven’t regretted taking all the nerve-racking risks in the hopes of being successful. They have been trying to get as many people as possible to know about their book, contacting radio and television stations, bookstores, newspapers and social media in the hopes that their dreams will come true.

The twins are now 24 years old and are living on the Central Coast, New South Wales. Lydia is currently working on the second installment to The Dawsons. She is also working on the first novel by contacting anyone she can to popularize their book. Santina helps Lydia with the marketing of The Dawsons whenever she can.

Book Description:

Witnessing the horrific demise of everyone he knew and loved has made Derrick Dawson strong, but it has also made him cold and broken. Tormented by his past and fears for the future, Derrick drowns himself in alcohol and drugs to dull the pain he can’t seem to escape. When Rose, the granddaughter of his sworn enemy, suddenly appears in his life, his world turns upside down. The wall he has built to protect his heart is crumbling. Will Derrick ignore what he feels or will he let the wall fall?

Francesco has felt alone and miserable all his life. The loss of his family and the harshness he receives from his constantly intoxicated older brother has left a void inside him that he thought he would never fill. Until a young princess named Rosa stumbles into him and changes his life forever. There’s only one thing that stands in his way—King Antonio has forbidden Rosa to have anything to do with a Dawson.

Interview:

Welcome to Blogger News Net! Can we begin by having you tell us how the both of you got the writing bug?

Lydia: By being inspired to remember our childhood fantasies. By writing down the stories we’d come up with as children we realized we loved writing.

Santina: Once we started we couldn’t stop.

Why did you choose fantasy/romance?

Lydia: I love reading romance and fantasy novels. It’s amazing being able to write about it myself.

Santina: Fantasy and romance is my passion. I love reading about those genres and therefore love writing about them.

I am loving the premise of The Dawsons. Can you tell us a little about each of the main characters?

Lydia: Derrick is a misunderstood man. He has built a wall around him so that he doesn’t risk the chance of going through the agonizing pain he experienced when losing his parents, hence why he is cold and ruthless towards others. Deep down inside he feels everything, and he cares so much. And though he doesn’t show that he’s afraid of anything, inside he is terrified. A lot of people seem to take Derrick as a bad witch, but really he isn’t. He’s just broken. As for Rose, she is the sweetest, kindest most loyal witch you’ll ever meet. She loves with all her heart and always tries to see the good in others, even if there is no good there. She is a strong character who will fight to do what is right with all the strength in her, even though her heart yearns to do the opposite.

Santina: Francesco is a fearful but brave character who doesn’t know when to give up. He is determined and driven but also lost and damaged. He wears his heart on his sleeve and would do anything for the witches he loves, no matter how afraid he may be.

Rosa is a beautiful, head strong and sometimes reckless character. She is confident, courageous, kind and loyal. She’s the kind of witch who speaks her mind no matter who she may be speaking with. Rosa is a character who feels very much trapped in her status, in her castle, in her royal life; and would do just about anything for her freedom.

They say that all books of fiction have at least one pivotal point when the reader can’t put the book down. Can you give us one of the pivotal points in your book?

Lydia: I would definitely have to say the end of the book. I am not going to say anything else though because I would ruin the ending, that is not an ending. But I will say that you will be dying to know what happens next, or so I’ve been told.

Santina: I’d probably have to say chapter 12, The Truth Hurts, and the ending.

Can you give us a short excerpt?

Derrick took hold of Rose’s smooth chin with his thumb and forefinger and brought his impatient lips softly down on her mouth. Rose groaned, throwing her arms around his waist. She pulled him roughly against her before crying out in pain. She then pushed him. Rose turned away from Derrick as she tried her hardest to stop the tears from falling. Derrick panted, overwhelmed with emotions. He stared at the graveled ground for what felt like a long time, trying to compose himself before he looked up. Rose’s back faced him, and she seemed to be trembling, her fingers tightly around her upper arms. “Why are you doing this?” Derrick asked her, still out of breath. “I can’t handle another rejection from you, Rose. I won’t,” he continued, his voice strained, his fists tightening with fear.

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Lydia: When I’m working on new material it’s lots of fun and I get excited. It’s when I have to go back and edit and fix my work, that it can be exhausting and frustrating. Having to work on it over and over again is the hard part and not a lot of fun.

Santina: Both. When I’m excited about something I’m writing I come to life. But when I’m having writer’s block and just can’t come up with anything, I grow very tired and frustrated.

When writing books, do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

Lydia: I do both. I love coming up with ideas that I think have never been done before. It’s great too though to give the readers what they want. They’re both lots of fun to do.

Santina: I try to do both too. I want every sentence written to capture peoples attention but to also be unique.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Lydia: Don’t decide to self-publish first! It is so much hard work. Try to get an agent first.

Santina: Be patient and read more so you can become a better writer earlier on in life.

What’s next for you ladies?

Lydia: I am currently working on the second installment to The Dawsons while studying for a Certificate 3 in Health Administration. The publication of No Turning Back is hopefully to be complete within the next couple years.

Santina: Continue to write of course. In our not to distant future we hope to publish book 2 of The Dawsons, No Turning Back and hopefully become world famous, successful authors.

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