About the author
Tell us your story? What made you start writing?
I’ve always had a love for reading. It blossomed at a very young age, and naturally, reading at a higher level came easy for me. I grasped mature content much faster than my peers, and I believe that is how I managed to create content as such, even at this age. The main reason I started writing was my crazy imagination. And on the other hand, it was because of my grandfather. He was an author and published tons of books over his lifetime. I wanted to be just like him. Finally, on September 11th, I was able to pronounce myself an author after I released my debut novel, Madness. If only Grandpa Parque can see me now. He passed away too soon.
What is the best gift you have been given?
I think the gift of being blessed into a wonderful family and having the resources in my life to develop myself as a person is the best gift I’ve ever been given.
If you could go back in time, what year would you travel to?
I don’t have the exact year, but back when Jesus roamed the earth and visited Jerusalem is when I would go back in time.
If you were ruler of your own country what would be the first law you would introduce?
The first law would be: People who are corrupt, convicted, greedy, or are subject to judgment, will face the consequences by those that they wronged. In a way, anyone who commits a sin against one another will have their fate chosen by those that they wronged. That way, people will learn how to be fair, true to each other and themselves, and be able to have integrity.
Madness (Engine’s Game #1)
I plunged into the book with an open mind, not really knowing what to expect. I’ll tell you: you can expect incredible character growth, great plotline and amazing writing. Paityn Parque has created an unbelievably realistic world within a mindblowing computer game. It’s something that many authors aspire to do, and only some succeed. You do not notice from the vocabulary nor the writing style that this young author is only fifteen years old. This novel is a masterpiece in its own right.
One night Ezra Adkins is brutally murdered in her own home. As she was dying, she expects to wake up in the afterworld.
She was wrong.
She loses consciousness and awakens into a horrific game of kill or be killed. Players can be killed an infinite number of times, but the only permanent way out of the game is their actual death by suicide.
Players in the game ruthlessly hunt each other for points, while others kill for fun. Most players have given up on finding an escape from the game and spiral into insanity, killing without reason.
Ezra soon learns who to trust and who to hunt down. But as she falls deeper into the game, she starts to lose herself as the bodies pile up. The line blurs between what she’s always known to be right and wrong.
Metal will clash. Blood will spill. Minds will break. And before it’s too late, Ezra must find an escape from the game before she becomes the real enemy.
Tell us a little about the book. How did you come up with the idea for Madness?
Well, I never had this entire book plotted out. It’s a bad habit of mine, but I like to go with the flow of writing. Madness follows a young adult named Ezra Adkins, where her life turns upside down when she’s brutally murdered one night. But, that’s only the beginning. She wakes up into a game— sort of like the Hunger Games and Maze runner met a darker, twisted version of science fiction. This game is kill or be killed—but there’s a catch. Anyone that dies comes back to life. And there’s no way out of the game. The only two known ways out of the game is suicide or buying your way out (you buy your way out by killing other players, which yields Blood Points, but the amount to get out is almost impossible to achieve). Suicide leaves players dead for good, so it’s a lose-lose situation. There’s also abilities called Feats, where each player can use supernatural powers to their advantage. Originally, I didn’t have a clue where I was going with the book. My first idea sprouted from the Prologue, and then slowly into the following chapters. A lot of people asked where I had gotten the game idea from, but I honestly can’t say. I wanted to make something original in mind, but also based on something that people can get invested into. Thus, I was able to create a simple game of murder, but add enough twists to tie ends together.
Being thrown into the game yourself, how do you think you’d react and would you be able to survive the madness of it?
I would react just the same as Ezra. Numbed and ready to take on the horrors of everything. I’ve had some reviewers critique Ezra’s character development over the idea that I didn’t make her cry or fight the game enough, but I based Ezra and her personality, mindset, and strength on myself. I think, with the help of Jack and the others, I would be able to survive just fine and be able to escape.
Are any of the characters inspired by someone you know? Who and in what way do they resemble them?
Obviously, Ezra/Shadow is based off of myself. I based Jack off of Fade, from the Razorland Series as well as Gojo from Jujutsu Kaisen. I wanted him to be the perfect imperfect character. With a deep-rooted drive of craziness in his mind but a hot and cold heart, he would make the perfect fit for king of the Battles. I didn’t really have any ideas off of Tiago, so I just went with a quiet and smart vibe to him. And Zag, well, I wanted him to be childish and silly. Half of it was based off myself, but another half was based off of Benjamin Carmine from my favorite video game series, the Gears of War Franchise.
Do you have a favorite scene from the book? Something you enjoyed writing the most or think that came together very well?
I really enjoyed writing Zag’s dialogue and his interactions between the team. When he would push Shadow’s buttons or test Jack’s anger would get me excited to write and pull me out of a funk. I especially loved the scene where he intrudes on Jack and Shadow training, and misinterprets the situation by saying, “Woah, are you guys kissing?”. I favored this scene so much that I created another in the sequel.
What is one of the most interesting things you have researched while writing a book?
I researched a bit about combat styles and techniques on how to wield Ezra’s weapon, the chains. I also researched about throwing knives and the various ways to throw them.
What is your writing process like? Do you plot beforehand or like to see where the story takes itself on the go?
I never plotted ahead for Madness. I love to let the story take me anywhere my imagination desires. Believe it or not, it’s hard for me to plot ahead because I go off-script multiple times.
How do your friends and family regard your writing?
My friends and family, from what I have been told, enjoy my writing style. All of my immediate family haven’t finished the book yet, ha, because for various reasons. I was born into a very busy family, so I give them grace for that. But, my family and friends who choose not to read too much of my book are sensitive to the mature content in the book. I totally understand. My book isn’t made for everyone, and I don’t want to force it upon them.
What’s your favorite and least favorite part of publishing?
My favorite part of publishing is being able to click that button and wait for the email to say that ‘Your book is live’. All that hard work finally paid off, and the feeling of relief and joy suddenly flushes you. It’s exhilarating. I also really enjoyed getting my manuscript back from a professional editor, and it was fun to go through his comments and instructions. My least favorite part of publishing is the editing. I hate it oh my…It is soul-sucking. Going through my manuscript over and over is exhausting, but it’s worth it in the end, trust me.
When can we expect the next book and can you tell us a little about it?
So, I actually finished the sequel to Madness not too long ago. I’m looking for beta-readers right now, and I’m waiting to hear back from my writing mentor and some readers before I start to edit. School and sports are too demanding during this season, so I wanted to give myself a break as well before I crank down on the editing. I’m not sure what I want to call the book, (edging towards Havoc), but it follows the continuation of Shadow and the team.
If you haven’t read Madness yet, I advise you to stop reading here (that is, if you want to read Madness!)
It starts off when Shadow wakes up in Engine, away from her team, and alone with doctors. She manages to find her team throughout the chaos. But, Engine proposes a deal to her that she and Jack have to accept. She faces the problems of other players from different games, as well as the task Engine has dealt her. Stripped of her Feats and infinite lives—Shadow realized that taking down Engine will be much harder than she expected. And with the struggles of the outside world around her, she’s also struggling with herself. The horrors of trauma are slowly catching up to her now that she’s in the real world. Now, I don’t want to spoil too much, because most of this will drastically change in the published copy, but I’m looking forward to continuing the story of this chaotic team.