Haven of Dante by Leonardo Ramirez

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I know Lenny is very passionate about the subject and his book. So I wanted not only to reveal the cover of his new release Haven of Dante but also give him the chance to tell us a bit more about it.

Haven of Dante Book Cover FINAL

AMAZON

Paperback available from November 15th

I know you are very involved in the fight against abuse, but what made you want to write this book in this style?

I grew up reading comics with heroes that leap tall buildings in a single bound. That’s something I’ve never grown out of. Now, I share the love for capes and cowls with my daughter. I wanted to bring a sense of that into this story and add the twist that Haven can only use powers when she experiences emotions she doesn’t want to face. She’s deathly afraid of heights but because of that she can fly. She’s afraid of anyone touching her due to the violation so she can phase through solid objects. Everything in the book has a reason behind it. Still, I wanted to make it fun and adventurous while remaining thoughtful. Hopefully, readers will agree.

Are there more coming? And if so how many?

The history of the Dante family is vast. At some point in history there has always been a member of the Dante family line who has stood against the self-proclaimed “Aristocracy” so there is plenty of story to tell if there is a demand for it.

Here’s the history of the Dante family line:

1265-1321

Dante Alighieri travels through the nine circles of hell

1321-1366

UNCIVIL WAR

Members of the nine circles of hell fight for leadership and form the Aristocracy.

1366

The Witness initiates contact with the Line to combat the Aristocracy. Clues of periodic contact are left in clues throughout history. Members of the Line are given varying degrees of power. First contact with the line fails to produce a worthy heir until another is chosen at a later time.

1760-1848

Benjamin Esteban Dante sought amnesty in the New World from England and fought bravely on the side of this Colonial United States.

1922-1945

Kristen Cameron Dante worked as an archivist for the German military during World War II. Under this guise, she used underground tunnels to free prisoners of the Nazis with the help of her friend David whom she later married. Together they returned to the United States

1943-1994

Amado Ayende Dante worked as a liaison officer in the United States Embassy in what was once the Soviet Union. After living there for 10 years he returned to these United States.

1977

Wanting to be a hero in his own right, Roberto forms a technology research company. Roberto’ s heart is not right for the mantle so the responsibility skips him which causes resentment.

1980

Roberto and Beatrice Dante are wed.

1985

Haven Irena Dante is born.

2002

Roberto Dante transforms his company into Dante Tech which supplies military technology to the government.

2002-2004

Haven is missing for two years.

2004

Haven assumes the mantle.

So all of that to say, it can go on forever as long as people want to know more.

Was it an easy ‘write’ or did you struggle at times?

I struggle, at times, with being a writer. It’s not like learning a profession and then reporting to work every day. There has to be an audience in order for me to make a living. I’m sure the day will come when I can focus on it full time. It’s very emotionally draining at times. Not just on me but on my family as well. They know I love them more than anything in this world (including writing) but we can’t run away from our dreams no matter how hard we try or how difficult the journey.

Is there any passage in the book you are particularly proud of?

There’s a line that I used as part of the signature in my email. It reads, “Pride is the veil that blinds the eyes of the soul.” I believe that because we tend to forget that we are intended to grow as human beings. Saying, “I’m sorry,” is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of strength. Realizing that we have faults doesn’t take away from who we are. It’s our decision to turn away from any wrong that we’ve done is what helps us to grow and it is our pride that gets in the way of that.

Did you do much research for this book?

Tons! One of my favorite quotes is from John Lasseter which is, “you can never do enough research” which I firmly agree with. So yes, from reading through the cantos and studying in particular “Purgatorio” not just from the work but from the Catholic references. Because of one of the plot points I also had to study tectonic plate shifting and fault lines. How would the nine circles of hell physically rise to replace the surface world?

Were there any facts you stumbled upon while researching that had you scratching your head?

I think the concept of a “purgatorio” is a little confounding to me only because we have our entire lives to make decisions about where our heart lies and where it’s going that adding “one more step” to fix something doesn’t feel just right. Now is the time to fix a wrong step. Not after you’ve died.

Have you never thought about using graphics in the book? I mean like drawings of the circles of Hell, or the world Haven lives in?

This property was first published as a graphic novel by Markosia Enterprises and has gone through some changes. It started out as a prose novel until Markosia caught wind of it and asked for it as a graphic novel simply titled, Haven. As I mentioned before, I grew up loving comics so I jumped at the chance. The comics medium is a very hard nut to crack . . . harder than prose. I didn’t want the property to die a slow death so I asked for the prose rights back. A year later came Haven of Dante. You have to have an artist (who wants to be paid) to have graphics.

Is there anything else you feel you need to share with the readers that I haven’t asked?

There is a violation on the main character that occurs in the story but this is not done gratuitously. Years ago, my sweet wife was assaulted by three men at gunpoint. Since then she’s made some good choices for her life which isn’t always the case for some who have gone through that horrendous experience. I want the book to be a source of encouragement in its message in stating that you can make some good choices despite the cards that have been dealt to you.

Author photoA bit about the author

Leonardo Ramirez is a husband, a father, a Karate instructor with a 3rd degree black belt, and a writer. His first graphic novel, Haven, (reviewed here) is a supernatural Young Adult story centered on an ancient war between the Dante family and the nine circles of hell. His follow up is a self-published children’s Steampunk book called The Jupiter Chronicles: The Secret of the Great Red Spot. It follows the adventure of two children as they are transported to the steam-powered cities of Jupiter, find their long-lost father, stop an attack from Mars, and witness the birth of Steampunk.

My heart and motive have always been for people who are hurting. These can be kids who have had to suffer through child abuse or neglect or an absent parent which can be equally torturous as was the case in The Jupiter Chronicles. It can also be young girls who have suffered an assault like Haven did in Haven of Dante. Young or old it doesn’t matter. Those are the kids and adults I want to speak to because I’ve been there.

It’s not just Science Fiction.

It’s Science Fiction for the Human Condition.

Haven of Dante

“For centuries members of the nine circles of hell have infiltrated our society at every level. Calling themselves the Aristocracy, they have sought to replace humanity on the surface. The only ones who have stood in their way are members of the Dante family line.

This time, it’s Haven’s turn.”

***

For those who are captivated by this and want to know more about the books, or the author, Lenny can be found online at:

His websiteTwitterFacebookPinterest, and on Goodreads

Review Haven of Dante by Leonardo Ramirez

Haven of Dante Book Cover FINAL

LEONARDOVERSE.COM

AMAZON

After having read this fantasy novel I must say I was pleasantly surprised and annoyed at the same time.
Why? Well, the fantasy elements were very well done by this author which made it a great read, but there are some hiccups in names (mixed up at some scenes. Haven becomes Sol, Soledad becomes another name, which threw me out of the story). And then there are other continuity issues that were solved by ‘miracles’.
I guess that’s where my annoyance comes in play, because the miracles and explanations of certain things lean heavily on biblical references and, as you all might know, I don’t ‘do’ religion, and rarely ever read or enjoy books that are very much based on faith.
So, however great the fantasy elements are in Haven of Dante, because of the prominent religious elements this book isn’t one I’d read again.
(I received no compensation for this review)

Cover Reveal – Haven of Dante by Leonardo Ramirez

Haven of Dante Book Cover FINAL Set to release in November, 2013, the young adult fantasy novel ‘Haven of Dante: The Staff of Moshe’ will set the stage for a modern day battle between the nine circles of hell and the one who would stand against their evil plans. The book will be made available for purchase both online and in bookstores.

For centuries members of the nine circles of hell have infiltrated our society at every level. Calling themselves the Aristocracy, they have sought to replace humanity on the surface. The only ones who have stood in their way are members of the Dante family line.

This time, it’s Haven’s turn.

Seventeen-year-old Haven Irena comes from a dysfunctional family where the absence of her workaholic father is filled by a loving mother with a mysterious past. A past that ties the Dante family to the inherited task of fighting the nine circles of hell. But when her mother is killed the hole that in Haven’s heart is filled with trials that will challenge her soul. But if she emerges, she will be different and all of hell may not be enough to stand against her.

To discover more about the author Leonardo Ramirez, you can communicate with him in person at lenny(at)Leonardoverse.com. For more information regarding the up approaching book release ‘Haven of Dante’ check out his website: www.leonardoverse.com

Haven of Dante: The Staff of Moshe by Leonardo Ramirez

Release Date: November 15, 2013

Genre: Prose Young Adult Fantasy

Available in Paperback November, 2013

Featured Author – Leonardo Ramirez

Leonardo Ramirez

Leonardo Ramirez

Today leonardo joins me on my blog. He will answer a few questions to reveal some things about himself and he will talk about his book. I for one am curious both to the man and the book. So I won’t waste any more time. Let me start by telling you what I know about the man. (No, people it didn’t come to me in a dream, nor did I stalk him to dig up these tid bits. He voluntered and gave up the goods without a fight.) 🙂

So, what do I ‘know’ about Leonardo?

Science Fiction, Steampunk and Fantasy Author Leonardo Ramirez is a writer whose joy comes from spending time with his family and blogs to tell about it. Lenny’s (how his friends call him) work includes a graphic novel titled, Haven as well as the Steampunk Children’s series, The Jupiter Chronicles and the upcoming prose novel, Haven of Dante published through his newly created self-publishing entity, Leonardoverse.

His heart and motive have always been for people who are hurting. These can be kids who have had to suffer through child abuse or neglect or an absent parent which can be equally torturous as was the case in The Jupiter Chronicles. It can also be young girls who have suffered an assault like Haven did in Haven of Dante. It’s not just Science Fiction.

It’s Science Fiction for the Human Condition.

And that is maybe just what makes this guys special, he cares. Now, where can we find Lenny online?

He has a Website: Leonardoverse

Then there are the several Facebook pages:

http://www.facebook.com/leonardoverse

http://www.facebook.com/jupiterchronicles

http://www.facebook.com/armyofhaven

And of course he is on Twitter

Now that we have the regular personal stuff out of the way, let’s get real up-close and personal, Leo, Lenny, or is it Leonardo? Lenny? Okay Lenny it is. It’s too hot for coffee, so I hope you like lemonade. Here have some and make yourself comfortable because there’s more questions to be answered.

Can you tell me how you celebrate finally getting that tricky chapter (or para) right?

As boring as this may sound, I celebrate by continuing on to the next chapter. For me, writing tends to turn into a runaway train that I can’t stop unless I get pulled off the tracks by either a family emergency or a bathroom break. And even then, I’ve been known to develop a kidney stone or two as a result of needing to get that “just right” sentence in. Now if I start to get that sinking feeling like I’m starting to neglect my family, then I quickly write in some notes that will help me to get back into the groove when I come back to the keyboard.

But how do you work around those moments when the muse has gone and done a runner on you?

I hate not being productive. It drives me absolutely nuts! If my muse has gone AWOL then I work on something other than writing such as marketing and/or searching for new ways to market my work. I have to be working on something all of the time!

Right, you might just have a winning formula there. Now, let’s first do a few of the yada yada questions before we move on to the fun. And by yada yada I do not mean boring, or in any other way stupid questions, but just the traditional ones. You know? The ones we secretly all want to know the answer to.

First, what is the title of the book you would like to talk about?

Right now I’m focused on marketing the first in a Children’s Steampunk series called, The Jupiter Chronicles. If you’ve not heard of Steampunk it’s OK. Although it’s been around for a while there are still some who haven’t heard of it. Steampunk is a sub-genre of Science Fiction that is set around the turn of the century in an alternate history where electricity was never invented and everything is run by steam. There is also a mash-up of old and new whereas future technologies are merged into this timeline and you have flying machines, robots and weapons that are all powered by steam.

JC Cover

Synopsis

It is the year 1892 and Ian and Callie Castillo have had to suffer the hardships of a single parent family since their father went missing five years ago. Since then Ian has refused to use the last gift that his father left the wounded boy; a telescope that sits collecting dust in the attic.

When Callie decides to peer through its murky lens it activates the device and sends the Castillos to the steam-powered floating cities of Jupiter to rescue their father and save the Jovians before the Martians launch their attack. What follows is the beginning of an era that will forever be known by its strange name…Steampunk.

I hope that parents can see that there is healing and a hope at the end of adversity which can take the shape of living in a single-parent family or an oppressive living situation. My hope is that parents will feel assured that while my books are filled with Doomslayers, steam-powered sky rockets and coil eruptors (and a farting robot named Stinky Frank) their kids are being engaged by an author who cares. I grew up in a single-parent family myself so I get it. In a fun and engaging way, The Jupiter Chronicles takes Ian and Callie start on an unsuspecting journey to find their father who has been missing for five years and end up freeing a world while giving them a hope for the future.

Did you have difficulty coming up with the title?

Not at all. Unlike other Steampunk books I wanted this one to be set in space and explaining our alternate timeline as one that originated from the Steam-powered planet of Jupiter. Because of this, we needed to have the planet’s name in the title. I love to run titles by my wife and daughter to see which one they like the best. My daughter loved Jupiter Chronicles so that’s what we used.

If you would have to change the genre in order to be able to publish it, what would it be then? i.e. would you conform to the market?

That’s a tough one because it takes place on another planet but I suppose if I had to I’d change it to straight Science Fiction. I’d try to keep the Steam aspect of it in there.

Right with that out of the way and to confuse you we’ll take the alternative route now.

Sounds good to me!

That the spirit! Now, what don’t you like about writing.

I’d have to say the marketing aspect of it.

How come none of the authors I’ve spoken to ever seem to like that?

I’m sure that’s how a lot of writers feel but my reason may be a little bit different. Marketing is all I’ve ever done professionally so you’d think that I’d be more than happy to do it but that’s not always the case. I used to have a job where I was on the phone all day long and now I absolutely abhor talking on the phone. Even my wife falls victim to that because I’d either rather talk to her face-to-face or text. Don’t get me wrong, I know that writing without marketing go hand-in-hand but I wish I could just create all day long and leave that to someone else. Unfortunately, I can’t.

What do you do marketing wise and what do you think generates the most attention to your books?

I’ve got a Facebook page for each book where I interact with fans. One can be found at http://www.facebook.com/jupiterchronicles and the other is http://www.facebook.com/armyofhaven. But while I find that the numbers of each are steadily climbing, I find that the books garner the most attention when I do author interviews and I think that there are a number of reasons for this. One is that I’m at my best one-on-one. I can open up and chat about anything with one person and that’s when I seem the most real. People respond to that a lot more than, “please buy my book” or “look at what happened today with my book”. I also blog quite a bit and it’s all personal stuff. I lost my dad a year ago to Alzheimer’s and laid out my soul to bare on my blog. My friends were there for me. Normally, I develop a friendship with the interviewer. Not because I want something in return but because I’ve shared some personal things during the interview. I like to keep it real.

It sounds to me that you might have something there, because it different and readers love to interact with the author they’ve just read, or are thinking of reading.

Tell me, when you’re on a roll, the muse is in the house and happily guiding your pen, what would seriously drive her/him away?

Well, I hate to look at it as a negative thing because stuff happens and life sometimes takes you away. I love it when my daughter walks in and has something on her mind that she wants to share with me.

Do you ever speak to your characters and do you get along all the time?

I have a set of questions that I ask my characters that can be found on my website. They are very intensive questions and what I find is that while we do get along most of the time there is one character (Haven’s dad) that really hacked me off because of the neglect he imposed on his family. I paid him back in the book but you’ll have to read it to find out how.

Is there any food or beverage that is a constant factor in either your books or life?

Coffee! Black with no cream or sugar. And I like my coffee strong!

Great! Then you will love this espresso. 🙂

Would you be able to come up with a credible excuse why you haven’t written a whole day? Remember, I have to believe it!

Ok well, I have a full time job, I’m a husband and a dad. I teach/study karate 3x a week and perform most of their administrative duties.

So the answer to your question is no. ;o)

But those are all perfectly credible excuses! 🙂 Now, tell me why would you ever want to live life behind a keyboard slaving over a manuscript?

It’s funny that you ask this because this is something that comes up periodically when I’m in a sales slump. As I mentioned, I work full time so my hope is to be able to focus on writing full time but until then I’ve found myself asking if this is what I’m supposed to do. I ask God why he didn’t make me a plumber or an electrician. Why this? Then I’ll decide that for the sake of my sanity I should leave this behind because for now it’s not paying the bills. Problem is that it always pulls me back. I do love writing. It’s where I feel home and safe. It’s where I can make observations about the human condition and provide commentary so that hopefully when someone reads my work they think to themselves, “Hmm, I didn’t know that about myself.” That’s why I do it. So that folks who are kind enough to pick up a copy will be prompted to make themselves better than they were the day before. Once we stop growing, we die.

Okay, now that we have the mandatory questions out of the way, shoot your mouth off. Tell me whatever you want the blab about. But please no cat’s, dogs, or children. Make me laugh, or cry, or even envious. Tell me something none has ever heard before from you. hehehe, love those little dirty secrets, real or make believe. 🙂

A while back I wrote a graphic novel called Haven which picks up where Dante’s Inferno left off and details the Dante family line from then to present day. I also have a prose version of the book which goes into much greater detail. The book will either be called Haven of Dante of Dante’s Legacy. In the story, there’s a violation. It’s not graphic but it is implied. The reason I did this is because my wife was assaulted at gun point many years ago so I also want to speak to the women that have gone through a similar horror and empower them to make good choices for themselves that will make life better. Too many times folks go through horrific things in life and slowly degrade for the rest of their lives. It doesn’t have to be that way. Even though there are a lot of explosions in my books I have absolutely zero interest in portraying women as sex objects but instead as strong, thinking, and real women. In Haven, the main character’s powers are manifested when she experiences emotions she does not want to face.

Convenient.

Hahaha, very much so! I love the idea and you my dear Lenny, must throw me a link to that story. 🙂

Thank you very much for being so open and telling us all sorts about you and your writing. I do hope you enjoyed yourself enough to want to come back when you have a new release.

Leaves me with nothing more than one of the things which are important no matter too. Where can we find your book, because we do want people to be able to buy it if they like what they’ve read about it so far.

Get yours for $5.99 from Amazon by clicking here!