Thank you for taking the time to visit with us today, Dawné.
Thank you so much, Ivy, and thank you to Manic Readers for having me.
Can you tell us a bit about each of the titles in your The First series?
The series is based on biblical facts with paranormal fiction crashing headlong.
EDEN’S HELL is a little twist of the story of Adam and Lillith. I wanted to create a series that would be completely different from all others. More importantly, logical in the sense that readers could easily relate to it. Addison Eden and Eva Carr are the two main characters. With Addison’s ex-wife Satrina thrown into the mix, readers discover that some bad divorces can last an eternity. There’s a unique twist to this novel.
Manic Readers EDEN’S HELL Review
DARK DIARY centers on Daniella Rolfe, a First Vampire. Born a blood drinker, she is strongest and most elusive of the vampire race. She holds herself to one vow: to never interlace her blood with another. She lives a solitary life until…
Aiden Blackmore is a foul-mouthed Winnipeg detective trying to solve some bizarre murders—all of them men—and all Daniella’s previous monthly appetizers. It’s a murder mystery / paranormal thriller. The bad guy in this one is really bad.
Manic Readers DARK DIARY Review
In KINDRED BLOOD, Daniella and Aiden soon learn that the horror they thought they’d left behind was just the beginning. When Aiden is kidnapped, Daniella hires Spencer Dalton, an American P.I. living in England, to help her. Asking for assistance of any kind isn’t her forte, but to bring Aiden safely back to her, she’d make a bargain with Asmodeus himself if need be. Broken vows are the least of her problems.
Manic Readers KINDRED BLOOD REVIEW
CRIMSON CRIES introduces a couple of key characters, like Paladin Sandalino, prince of the vilkacis race (wolves). The Nusair Nine are hunting again, and not since the thirteenth century has the vampire race every been frightened of anything. The two strongest elementals living outside the veils, vampire and wolf, must unit to fight a common enemy. And for the first time in all her seven centuries, Daniella has become the prey.
SURRENDER is the final novel, and it may be subject to a title change. I’m still kind of undecided about it as it’s only halfway written. It ties all my vampire characters into a catalytic finale. In blending various religions and myths into fiction, I hoped to create a series that would bring a balance of the two in a believable, entertaining way.
The main characters from Return to Me and Forever and a Day, two previous vampire ebooks I released, make appearances. And yes, folks, Addison and Eva will be there. They aren’t forgotten, I promise. ☺
Is this all the books you intend for the series?
At this point, I would like to say yes, but I can’t. I started this series so many years ago and letting them go completely…it would be like losing dear friends.
For your anxious readers, when might we expect IV and V?
Crimson Cries (Book IV) is being edited now. I’m hoping for an early December release. Book V may be six to ten months later, depending on my schedule.
Did you create the covers for your FIRST series? Why change EDEN’S HELL’s cover?
The cover art is mine, yes. *blushes* The two covers for Eden’s Hell was a little experiment. My publisher and I wanted to see whether readers preferred a half-naked man adorning the front or whether eye-catching artwork sells. The jury is still out on that one.
Do you decide on your own titles or does the publisher?
I have the world’s most fantastic publisher. She is not only a wonderful, talented author herself, but also a dear friend. She allows me creative rein on everything I do.
You’ve been associated with several different publishers. What decided you on Purple Sword Publications?
Several years ago I suffered through a horrid publisher experience. Traci, the owner of Purple Sword, was there every step of the way with me. When she started her own publishing house and asked if I’d write for her, there was no other place I’d feel safer or more welcome. It’s an exclusive publisher, yes, but Traci wanted to give us personal treatment, top notch editing and beautiful covers. In order to do so, she wanted her publishing house kept small.
Do you have a favorite genre to write?
Speculative Fiction, as it encompasses many genres with one important facet: magic. Classic fantasy is my other love, like Lord of the Rings, but with a kick-ass heroine.
Who’s in control, you or the characters? Has a story or character ever taken an unexpected twist you didn’t anticipate?
Funny you should ask. When I began writing Daniella’s character, I discovered she was the pushiest character I’d ever dealt with. It’s the reason why Dark Diary and Kindred Blood were written in under three months, record time IMHO, but back then I was home 24/7 and could write whenever I wanted to.
Does your muse require anything specific? Music or silence? Chocolate or chips? Quirks?
I’m pretty plain-Jane; however, I must have a neat writing space. I do have one idiosyncrasy. When I’m writing, I have to have a candle burning beside me—morning, noon or night, preferably “fruit” scented.
Reading about Mrs. Ramsden and how she inspired you made me wonder. Were you ever able to locate her and let her know what her encouragement meant to you?
*sob* Unfortunately, no. I had asked at my school reunion several years ago. In fact, she was the only reason why I went. I was told she’d retired from teaching a couple of years after I’d graduated and moved to British Columbia. She was in her late 50’s when she’d taught me. I still think about her and hope she’s happy and safe. I would love to tell her how much of an influence she had on me, how she pushed me in such a good way and made me never stop writing from the heart.
Speaking as an Anne Rice fan also, I was wondering if you’d ever read Chelsea Quinn Yarbros’ St. Germaine series?
No I haven’t, but they’re on my TBR list. There never seems to be enough hours in a day to do everything. Once this series is done, I have a lot of catching up to do.
Your covers have quite an impact. Do you read the books prior to designing the cover to get the essence/feel needed to come across so strongly?
Thank you, but unfortunately, I don’t read the novels. If I did, I wouldn’t have time to go to go the bathroom. I do a lot of cover art. It’s a passion. If the information an author gives me is enough for me picture it in my head, then we’re off and sailing. It’s usually when authors give me “I don’t have a clue what I want” is when I have the most fun.
Do you still edit?
I resigned from my managing editor post over a year ago because I was neglecting my own writing. I had to make a decision to continue to edit or concentrate on my publishing career. It was one of the most difficult decisions I’ve had to make. The authors I worked with were WONDERFUL! I miss them all.
Do you find that the editing, cover design, and writing all answer different creative urges?
Absolutely! I’ve always been a “creative” person, whether doing cover art or writing—they’re all distinct creativeness. If I get stuck when writing a scene, I’ll work on a cover. After my resignation, I actually struggled for a few months to find my voice again.
Between all of the above, your day job, and family life, how do you manage it all? Forgo sleep?
Sleep? Is that when you close your eyes and rest? LoL I confess it’s a precarious balancing act. I work three days a week as a contracted paralegal, with one of those days being a ten hour day; however the balance of the weekday is reserved for cover art assignments. The night is mine for writing. Poor hubby is getting used to going to bed alone. It’s not unusual for me to crawl in beside him at 4:30 a.m. because I lost track of time.
What’s your favorite way to relax and unwind?
A bottle of Merlot, a vampire movie, and my pajamas.
As a reader do you prefer print, ebook, or a combination?
If you would have asked me about eight years ago, I would have said print. There’s something so comforting in holding a book. Within those eight years, technology and the publishing world have changed dramatically. I really don’t have a preference now. They all work.
As an author?
Definitely paperback. There’s such a sense of pride holding your own novel. Plus, book signings are a lot of fun, once I get over the initial “OMG! I have to put myself out there!” moment. It takes me a few days to gear up for a signing.
Did you have a favorite book as a child?
Yes. It was called Pippi Longstocking in the South Seas. It was a very old book and I couldn’t tell you where I’d found it, but it was one of my favorites. I always wanted to be adventurous like her, like my twin sister. Surprise! Yep, I’m a twin, and she’s 45 minutes older than I am. That’s why mom likes her best. *snickers*
I loved Pippi Longstocking, too. She was independent and hilarious. I wanted to be just like her.
You’re full of surprises, aren’t you?
Stephen King’s The Stand. I’ve read the novel a number of times, and I still marvel at its complexity and realism.
Are you currently reading anything?
I’m in the middle of edits for Crimson Cries, so there’s no reading for me. ; (
Do you have a current WIP? Can you share any of the details with us?
I’m currently working on a novella called Hellhound Bound. Rhune’s a Hellhound who’s been living on earth for centuries doing the worst job ever: he delivers souls to hell; Hanna is a paralegal who gets caught in a conspiracy of lies and murder within her law firm. When their paths meet, all hell breaks loose—literally. So far, that’s the gist. My characters tell me their stories. I’m merely the conduit to their voices.
Anything special you might like to let us in on?
I find talking about myself extremely difficult. *blushes*
Thanks so much for taking the time to join us today Dawné. I’ve really enjoyed talking with you.
Again, thank you so much for having me, Ivy and Manic Readers. And thank you again for the wonderful review of Dark Diary. I hope you enjoy Kindred Blood just as much.
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