Thursday, August 9, 2012

Interview with Dina Rae, Author of The Last Degree

Everyone, allow me to introduce Dina Rae.

Dina Rae is a new author here to stay.  As a former teacher, she brings an academic element to her work.  Her two novels, Halo of the Damned and The Last Degree, weave research and suspense throughout the plots.  Her short story, Be Paranoid Be Prepared, is a prequel of sorts to The Last Degree, focusing on the James Martin character.  Dina also freelances for various entertainment blogs.

Dina lives with her husband, two daughters, and two dogs outside of Chicago.  She is a Christian, an avid tennis player, movie buff, and self-proclaimed expert on several conspiracy theories.  When she is not writing, she is reading novels from her favorite authors Dan Brown, Anne Rice, Stephen King, Brad Thor, George R.R. Martin, and Preston & Childs.

And now, onto the interview! What inspired you to write The Last Degree? 

I was a teacher and then got laid off.  I used my extra time to pursue my dreams of writing a novel.

That's great. Whenever you can turn a negative into a positive, that's always a good thing. Do you have a specific writing style? 

So far, I like to write in 3rd person, lmtd. POV with verbs in the past tense.  I also like to have 3-5 subplots that eventually merge towards the end.

How did you come up with the title? 

The Last Degree in the Scottish Freemasonry is the 33rd degree.  My novel is about this inner circle along with other secret societies who plan for New World Order.

Oh, that's interesting! Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?  

The book is fiction but based on mainstream conspiracy theories that have been discussed for decades.  I hope readers will be entertained, learn something new, and somewhat reflect on a possible upcoming Apocalypse.

Nice. Since most authors are also readers, what books have most influenced your life most?  

So many books, hard to choose, but Stephen King’s The Stand and Jerry Jenkins’/Tim LaHaye’s Left Behind Series always comes to mind.

Oh, good ones. What book are you reading now? 

I am reading four books right now-Angelology in my car on CD, The White Queen on my ipod, Soul Sisters on my computer, and The 12th Imam on my Nook, all are very enjoyable.

Are there any new authors who have grasped your interest? 

I read 50 Shades of Gray and was disappointed.  James is a wonderful story teller, but I’m just not interested in that kind of story.  Thought the ending was perfect-she dumped the weirdo and moved on, but I guess there are two more books.  I loved Justin Cronin’s The Passage, but was too long.

I haven't read either of those. What are your current projects? 

I am writing a sequel to my other novel, Halo of the Damned.  It’s about a fallen angel who forms his own religion and tries to sever all ties with Hell.

I love sequels. Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?  

Everything is challenging-the manuscript, getting published, promoting the book-it doesn’t end.  I find the biz fascinating and am learning something new each day.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work? 

Very tough question-so many, but Dan Brown is one of my favorites.  I love how he weaves research into the story and how he gets me to go onto Google and check some of his plot lines.

I actually haven't read anything by him yet either. I have so many books to read! How long does it take you to write a book? 

Three to six months.

Wow! What would you say is your interesting writing quirk? 

I like to write each chapter longhand, then again longhand in a different journal, and then type it into the computer.  Four handwritten pages will magically turn into 8 typed by the third draft.

Now that's impressive! Time for some fun questions. What paranormal creature would you be and why? 

I would love to be witch and fly on a broom.

LOL! What makes you laugh? 

Myself, my family, and almost anyone who is really trying to be funny.

Aw. My family makes me laugh all the time too, sometimes even when they aren't trying to be funny! If aliens landed in front of you and, in exchange for anything you desire, offered you any position on their planet, what would you want.  

Wow!  Sounds like an episode of Ancient Aliens-one of my favorite shows!  I would want to be a judge so that justice would be fair and not in the alien race’s favor.

Oh, good one! If you could be any character in fiction, who would you be? 

Danarys of Game of Thrones-She’s gorgeous, fierce, immune to fire, and a leader.

Nice. If you had six months with no obligations or financial constraints, what would you do with the time? 

Travel the world.

You'd let me go with you, right? :) If you could have dinner with anyone from history, who would it be, and why? 

Jesus Christ and I hope that someday He invites me to eat with Him.

Great choice! If you won $20 million in the lottery, what would you do with the money? 

Easy Breezy.  I would build myself a dream-bunker in the Rocky Mountains.

Thanks so much for dropping by!

Thanks so much for having me as your guest!

The Last Degree is a fictionalized account of how Freemasons and other secret societies set up the world for takeover. Ancient writings foretell a ‘Shining One’ who emerges as the world’s prophet. A murder of a Most Worshipful mason resembles a secret oath. A cop gets too close to solving the crime. Paranoid preppers go underground, preparing for war.

Headlines such as the Norway massacre, meltdown of the European Union, unscrupulous media, animal die-offs, Middle Eastern unrest, and U.S. shrinking power make the plot relevant to present day. This book is an ode to Christians, Birthers, 2012ers, Truthers, preppers, and/or other conspiracy junkies who enjoy Dan Brown, Jesse Ventura, Brad Meltzer, Alex Jones, Jerry Jenkins and Tim LaHaye.

Purchase for only $1.99:

The Last Degree will be FREE Sept. 27th – 28th!


Dwight took off his crown, signifying he was no longer playing King Solomon.

“Sacrifice is expected for ones that you love.  Do you love me?” Dwight shouted.  “Then bow down before me and offer praise!”

Everyone knelt and laid their head down to the floor, chanting 'Most Worshipful,

Most Worshipful' several times before Dwight commanded them to get up.

In a manic energetic state, Dwight vociferated, “Et vitam impendere vero!”  All repeated, with the three new pledges joining in.  Minutes later, he began to calm down.  “To sacrifice life for truth - that is what we must always do!  You must trust me as your Most Worshipful and sacrifice at my command!  Are you prepared to do this?”  All three pledges nodded.

Dwight pulled the content baby out of Arthur's arms and threw it high into the air.  As the baby began to descend, Dwight took his sword and hacked through its neck, decapitating it before it hit the floor.  Only the three pledges shrieked in horror.  He sinisterly smiled as he picked up the head and body, revealing it was only a doll.

“Don't believe with your eyes, but believe with your knowledge.  We are his chosen and will soon be exalted.”

The three men looked down at their hands and tried not to scream.  They were covered in blood.

“Sacrifice, my brothers, sacrifice.  I will teach you well.  You are all Chiefs of the Tabernacle!  Let us go and celebrate!” Dwight gleamed.

Check out The Last Degree Prequel as well—Be Paranoid Be Prepared!


blcsdina said...

Thanks so much for having me. Great interview. Dina

Kelley Lynn said...

Great interview! The book sounds fantastic!

Unknown said...

Pulling for Dina! Am an educator myself (at times :), and it saddens me every single time when I hear about a teacher losing their position. (Happening like crazy, btw.) Glad to know she is bouncing back in a big way!

Great interview, ladies. :)

Ink in the Book said...

I loved this interview. Very entertaining! Thank you so much for sharing:)

blcsdina said...

Thanks all of you for your kind and encouraging words. Mean a lot! Dina