Sunday, July 7, 2013

Primal by D.A. Serra: Interview and Review: Orangeberry Tour Stop


Tell us a bit about your family. I am a happily married woman and mother of three children: boy/girl twins, and a girl two years younger.  I have an exceptionally close and involved extended family. 

What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why? Never doubt that a small group of committed, thoughtful people can change the world.  It is, indeed, the only thing that ever has. ~Margaret Mead

This is one of my favorite quotes because of the underlying paradox, which doesn’t immediately occur to most readers. How people react to this quote tells me much about their unconscious nature:  do they see this thought as positive?  Or negative?  I do not believe that Dr. Mead meant it negatively – but words, you know, slippery creatures.

What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life? I am an intrepid traveler and I especially like exotic solo travel. I feel most accomplished as a person when I step off of a plane by myself in the middle of China, or Russia, or the Czech Republic, and although I do not speak the language, and everything around me is strange, I push myself into the unknown thinking “I can do this.”

What is your favorite color? Sage green

What’s your favorite place in the entire world? Oh…one place?  Maybe Old Town Square in Prague.

When did you first know you could be a writer? It took me a long time to commit to writing as a way of life and not simply a personality trait.  I tried numerous other jobs while always writing on the side.  Then, I got “down-sized” while working at an advertising agency in New York City.  I was about twenty-five years old.  I decided I needed to figure out how to actually making a living as a writer.  I knew all of the steady work was in Los Angeles and so I moved there and began screenwriting.

What inspires you to write and why? I don’t know where the desire to write originates.  One would think self-preservation would kick-in and guide an intelligent person in a kinder direction, since the rejections are brutal and often from editors/agents who can barely put a sentence together. Recently, I was told by a prestigious agent that my new book had “too many ideas for her”.  Ah…okay.

Of course, those comments never hurt the way a negative comment that suddenly rings true hurts.

What genre are you most comfortable writing? My writing friends have been known to call me a stem cell writer.  Where many of them specialize in particular genres or formats, I have had assignments in nearly every genre: comedy, horror, drama, thriller, docu-drama, children’s, and in all categories:  fiction, non-fiction, adaptation…I am most happy when switching around.

How did you come up with the title? The title Primal refers to that most primitive of emotions:  the bond of attachment between mother and child.  This animal instinct lives in mothers, and if tapped…watch out.

Can you tell us about your main character? Alison is a gentle quiet woman.  She loves her husband, adores her son, and enjoys her job teaching grammar school.  She is most of us:  thoughtful, kind, caring about her family and her neighbors.  She is everything special and nothing special.  She is familiar and easy to love – initially that is.


Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Thriller
Rating – R
 The writer who made you laugh with Punky Brewster, who made you cry with Just Ask My Children, will now make you cringe with PRIMAL. This story was originally purchased by one of America’s most prestigious storytellers James Cameron.

What if the worst happens and you are not a cop, or a spy with weapons training and an iron heart? What if you’re a schoolteacher – a mother? In this gritty crime thriller a family vacation takes a vicious turn when a fishing camp is invaded by four armed men. With nothing except her brains, her will, and the element of surprise on her side, Alison must kill or watch her family die. And then – things get worse.



After a near perfect introduction and set-up, the action intensifies in a blinding second about 26% into the story. I became fully engaged once the anticipated threat became real and Alison began her tooth and nail battle to protect her innocent child.  She had my full support; it was exciting to witness her transformation, and to have been privy to the inner workings of her mind.  The author also did a great job painting the dysfunctional and creepy dynamics of the villainous brothers.  The men certainly had the brawn, but Alison evolved into an unstoppable force of nature and met the challenge without flinching.  I loved cheering for her.   The tension and suspense had me in turns either holding my breath or gasping in surprised exhalation!
I particularly loved Thomas!  His tactless, irreverent, unrepentant black humor added the perfect level of  levity in an otherwise very dark and mentally exhausting period for Alison and her family.  I was quite uncomfortable with Alison’s mental condition during this time.  I wanted her to get the closure she desperately sought before everything in her life spiraled out of control. I raged against the injustice during this portion of the story.  
This could have easily been two separate books; the latter portion delves into the repercussions of Alison’s actions and the toll the ordeal has inflicted on her and her family.  While interesting, I really wanted Alison to exhibit more control over her thoughts and actions. However, the final showdown was exhilarating and cathartic.  This is an outstanding thriller that I thought about for days afterward.    
This book was given to me in exchange for my honest review.
Reviewed by Laurie


Serra has been a screenwriter for twenty years. On assignment, she has written ten TV movies, numerous TV episodes, including two years as a staff writer for NBC. She has sold two original feature films, completed two more on assignment, and optioned two others. One is currently in active development. She has been hired for production polishes on several films.

Serra has now turned her attention to novels. She was a recipient of the 2012 Hawthornden Literary Fellowship where she was invited to spend a month in residence in Scotland writing. Her first novel was a semi-finalist for the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Award given by the Faulkner Society in New Orleans, LA.

Serra has taught writing at the University of California, Wofford College, and continues to teach at writers' workshops and conferences nationwide.

Please check her website:

MEMBER: Writers Guild of America, PEN USA, Judge 2013 PEN USA Screenwriting Award


Next Few Stops

14th July – Guest Post at There Will Be Another Sunrise

21st July – Book Review at Bookworm Babblings

28th July – Guest Post, Author Interview & Book Feature at Jade Kerrion‘s blog 

4th August – Book Review at A Novel Design 



1 comment:

Lizzy said...

Looks like D.A. Serra is a genre-hopper. I really enjoyed the interview. Can't wait to read your review on the book. "Cringe" worthy books are my favorite. :)