If you’re ready to Discover Your Next Favorite Series, then click on This Link and check out nearly one-hundred-and-eighty awesome FREE first books of some great series!
They include Living Like A Vampire, by yours truly, The Werewolf Whisperer, by Bonita Gutierrez and Camilla Ochlan, award-winning Sister Witch, by David W. Thompson, Night’s Gift, but Camilla Ochlan and Carol E. Leever, and did I mention my own Living Like A Vampire (yes, it’s in there twice 😀 ).
I had a great time chatting with DJ JoN via Skype yesterday. As you may have noticed, I did a shout out to book bloggers to join me in my October blog tour. Dr DJ JoN was the first to contact me and asked if I wanted to talk on his show about it. Of course, after the great advice of my fellow author Wendy H. Jones, I said, ‘Yes!’ It’s my second interview this past week, the first with Angelina Kalahari which will air sometime this coming week (but more about this later!), and I was thrilled.
Originally, we planned the interview to happen on Saturday, but as we checked our connection with Skype, I mentioned we could do the interview now if he had the time. I’m afraid I put DJ a bit on the spot, but he grabbed the moment, set up his microphone and everything, and we started chatting. He wasn’t prepared, I wasn’t prepared, and I’m afraid my answers are all over the place, but I hope the listeners can make sense out of my ramblings!
Not only does DJ look like Santa, he also gives new artists a chance to get heard, mainly musical artists, but he, and I quote, “loves to give every artist an opportunity to be heard.” He has a real nice, warm-timbered voice, and it’s very pleasant to listen to. He made me feel at ease (yes, I shiver out of nerves when interviewed), and after the interview ended, we chatted for another hour about all sorts. DJ has great stories to tell as he’s been around and has met many great people. I wished there were more hours in a day so I could hear all of them, but the clock struck twelve and DJ was called for dinner while I was slowly turning into a pumpkin (there’s a five-hour difference between us). We called it a day, and I went to sleep with a smile.
After DJ has edited the track, he’ll send it to me for approval, and hopefully he’ll be able to air in before Halloween. I’ll let you all know when it’s airing on Flobcast Radio (also on Facebook)!
Thanks again for the opportunity, DJ! I hope your dream of fishing naked on a Costa Rica beach comes true!
I finally had some time to update the trailer for Killing A Vampire! Well, I had to as it was in my pre-order form for the Darker Side of Fiction book fair, and I had to hand the form in 😀 . I still haven’t finalized the form as I need to figure out what the price for the Prequel and my Short Shockers books are. For this, I need to upload them on IngramSpark first. So I’m working my ass off to get this done! In the meantime, enjoy the trailer again!
When I was in Ireland last month, attending the Dublin Writers’ Conference, I happened to meet Máire Brophe (I think it’s pronounced Moira, but do correct me if I’m wrong, Máire!). We got chatting about orcs and other fantasy creatures, as you do. She mentioned that she did podcasts and asked if I’d agree to an interview. Of course, I said yes!
It was a bit scary at first, the thought of being recorded. I hate my own voice, for one, and I kept thinking ‘what if I get stuck with words?’ I’ve had it before, many times, that all of a sudden I get insecure and both the English and Dutch language try to get out at the same time. Or I can’t find the English word I want to say. Yet, it was surprisingly easy to talk to Máire. The interview is actually twice as long as I remember 😄.
The first seven-and-a-half minutes are an interview with Ann Richardson, who wrote a non-fiction book on Celebrating Grandmothers, and then it’s my turn. You’ll also get a ‘sneek peek’ about the next novel I’m writing!
Thanks again, Máire, for the opportunity, and I wish you all the best with your own novella, After the World, and the Irish Writers Podcast. I do hope you get to write that full novel one day!
PS: If you buy the Suckers Trilogy books from my book store, you get a 15% discount!
We all know how important reviews are for writers. It boosts our ranks on Amazon, making our books more visible for readers, and hopefully result in more sales which, hopefully one day, makes our writing sustainable.
Leonard Tillerman is one of those wonderful people who writes reviews for pleasure. He buys our books (instead of trying to get a free copy) and writes honest reviews. He really cares about our books! Now, because Leonard writes from the heart, you’re not guaranteed a great review. If your work sucks, he’ll tell you (in a nice way!). Getting a review from Leonard isn’t easy, though. There are so many other writers vying for one. Yet, I worked hard, did my best… and Leonard picked my book!
I must say I’ve been biting my nails while waiting for the verdict. He ramped up the tension as he was really busy at work and had to postpone reading my book. I was relieved and over the moon when he told me he loved my book! Here’s what he wrote:
Have you ever considered what you would do if you saw the world as you know it coming to an end? Your very existence being replaced by the arrival of a new order which has no mercy or place for you. Mere fodder for their impending triumph. Would you attempt to preserve your life by running for the hills and hiding? Perhaps you would choose the opposite approach and make one last desperate stand. Fighting to the bitter end to protect your loved ones and way of life. What would you do? If such a potential scenario intrigues you, then Suckers-Living Like A Vampire by Jacky Dahlhaus, would be an excellent pick for your reading pleasure!
Essentially, the book begins by following a trio of teachers who are forced to flee their town and hide from an ever-increasing horde of vampires who are terrorizing the countryside. A virus has created this vampire menace called suckers who are stronger, faster and superior to the mere humans who they quickly utilize as their food source. In the midst of this bloody terror, our main character, Kate, encounters a handsome and suave sucker by the name of Caleb. Sparks fly and despite everything, our heroine quickly falls in love with the handsome vampire. She is beyond smitten! However, after Caleb disappears, Kate finds herself roaming and searching to find her lost love. Will she ever find the true love she has been missing in the midst of chaos, terror and destruction? Or maybe she will soon discover that it has been there all along?
This novel would certainly fit into the paranormal romance category. However, it is also quite full of non-stop action and plot twists which really make you stop and think. It is a good versus evil theme, but there are plenty of “sub themes” which take place as well. While there is certainly love and romance in this book, there is also fear, suspense, surprise, mystery and foreshadowing of things yet to come. There is warfare, gangs of wandering vampires and plenty of blood and gore. It is truly a book which is hard to put down as it is both engaging and entirely creative!
There are a number of interesting characters in this novel as well. The author’s narration style and quick, snappy chapters make it quite easy to follow the story without getting lost in the plot details or in regards to the various characters. While there may be a number of different characters in the tale, Kate and Charlie are explored and developed in the most detail. Kate makes for a convincing, yet somewhat naïve heroine. Nevertheless, by the end of the story we have seen incredible growth in her and get the sense that big things are yet to come for this brave, young woman. Charlie on the other hand is a very atypical hero who experiences steady growth throughout the book. He is a very easy character to love and relate to. The reader will find themselves cheering for Charlie on more than just one occasion!
Living Like A Vampire has all the elements which are needed for a wonderful story. Descriptive writing which flows, a fascinating plot and some very intriguing characters. The setting also totally matches and supports the storyline and gives a very “dystopian feel” to the time and place. Due to some sexual content and violence, I would recommend this novel to an adult audience. I absolutely look forward to reading more from Jacky Dahlhaus.
5 out of 5 Bloodsucking Stars for this one!
Thanks again, Leonard, for such a wonderful review!
Leonard Tillerman has his own website with lots of great reviews of indie author books. You can find them all here.
Tomorrow, the 8th of March, is International Women’s Day, celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women. As I have just finished writing the Suckers Trilogy and am bloody proud of it, I’d like to dedicate this week’s interview to myself 🙂 Let me bare my soul to you.
Why did I start writing?
It may sound cliché, but I had a dream. I dreamed about a girl bumping into a vampire and instantly falling in love. You can’t think of anything tackier, but I liked it. At the time, I was listening to popular music and one of the songs was ‘When the beat drops out‘ by Marlon Roudette. I guess the lyrics of that song got stuck in my head. I told my children about my dream, and they told me to write it down. I sat behind my computer that morning, and for the next fortnight, I only left it for the basic human needs even forsaking television (which is kind of a big deal for me). I wrote 55K words and completed my first novel draft ever. It gave me an enormous high to write. Never ever had I experienced something like this. I never took any drugs, so I can’t compare, but it is possible to get high without them, apparently 🙂 .
What is my literary education?
I don’t have a literary education as science was my first love. When I was four, I suffered a heavy concussion and skull fracture, and I spent four weeks on my back in the hospital. The nurses in the hospital were nice, so I aspired to become one. From the age of six (for the life of me, I can’t remember why that particular age), my aspirations were set a bar higher, and I set my sights on becoming a veterinarian. Animals can’t talk and tell people what’s wrong with them, so I wanted to help them. Helping others is part of what I am. Fortunately, I’m an eager learner and did well at school. I had a huge setback when I contracted a severe bout of glandular fever, or infectious mononucleosis, in my late teens. Unfortunately, it affected me far longer than the few months they say it lasts on the internet. For decades, I was affected with a bone-felt tiredness, but I moved heaven on earth to become a veterinarian and finally became one in my early thirties. By that time, I was ready to have children and found animals no longer a priority in my life. After I gave birth to our twins and stayed home for one-and-a-half years, I re-schooled and became a high school science teacher. This proved too tiring and too depressing for me (I was trying to keep the students in their seats more than I was teaching). I gladly took the opportunity when an office job presented itself.
When I had brain surgery in 2009, I decided that life was too short to be unhappy. I quit my job, a joint decision with my husband, and pursued many hobbies. I tried painting, drawing, scrapbooking, chainmail-, metal-, and pearl-jewelry making, taxidermy, and photography. Never did it occur to me that I could write a novel. I had a diary in my teens, but after I let my then boyfriend read it which made him cry, I never put a pen to paper to entertain people, thinking I could only hurt people with my writing. During my university years, I wrote in a student magazine, but that was purely information transfer. I was an office manager and secretary for a residents’ association for years, but again, that writing was also pure information transfer. My past-time I spent reading, though. I loved Terry Pratchett’s books and Anne McAffrey’s stories. I read Tolkien, the Eragon books, and many others. I loved being sucked into another world, forgetting my own troubles. That’s what I’m aiming to achieve when I write.
Since writing Books 1 & 2 of the Suckers Trilogy in 2015, I’ve spent most of my time reading up on and learning how to write. I’m still learning but getting better all the time.
Is there a bit of me in my books?
Hell, yes! Many people who know me have mentioned this. They see me as Kate. I have the red hair, make rash decisions, and am a vertically challenged person (for a Dutchie). Not everything Kate does is me, though (nudge, nudge, wink, wink). The two sisters of Kate, Maxine and Julie, also share the same first letters of my own two sisters, Marianne and Judy, but that’s where the similarities end. All characters are purely fictional and do not represent a particular person I know. That said, I based Caleb on the image of Ioan Gruffud and Charlie on the image of Peter Dinklage. They are two actors that I admire and love watching on the screen. I actually sent Peter Dinklage the first draft of my book but never heard anything back from him. I guess it’s not going to be filmed, then 🙂
Why do I write paranormal novels?
I love dressing up! At home, we used to have a large crate in the attic with dress-up clothing. Whenever we could, my sisters and I would dress up and play. My twin sister, Judy, and I used to make up plenty of fantasy stories on weekends when our parents would sleep in. With our dolls and fluffy animal puppets, we created whole new worlds, spanning our entire bedroom, where anything was possible. Our imagination ran rampant.
To be honest, I never had something special with vampires. Anything out of the ordinary would work for me, still does. I was engrossed in the Twilight series, though. The idea of being beautiful, being better at everything, and living forever attracts me. As a teenager, I suffered the usual teenager-amount of pimples. My sisters didn’t, and I felt like the ugly duckling. The only thing I had was being good at everything I did–what am I saying; I was excelling–until I contracted glandular fever. The disease made my grades plummet, and I had to sit my final high school year twice because of it. It caused an abyss in my self-confidence with a fear of failing which made me a terrible procrastinator up until today. As mentioned, I suffered a life-threatening head trauma twice, which makes one contemplate life a bit more than usual. Immortality is hence a very attractive alternative to this unpredictable and painfully short lifespan.
But your books all are based on romance, so why not write romance novels?
True, all my novels (this means not the novelette) have their feet firmly planted in romance. It is the core of the stories as without them they wouldn’t make sense. But there are so many stories about normal romances already. Don’t we all want to be special, experience something unusual, be part of something extraordinary? Enter the paranormal aspect.
There was a time I watched a lot of crime series on TV. Suddenly, I was fed up with all this pain and suffering as it became too real. I don’t watch any news or read any newspapers. It’s too depressing. What I want to achieve with my writing is for people to get away from this world and love on a deeper level. Hence, I also don’t take the (minimal) intimate details in my writing for granted. They have only been added to express the love, the romance, the needs of Kate, hoping it will flow over to the reader. I know my vocabulary needs to improve, but I’m working on this.
What’s next on the agenda?
First of all, I need to launch Killing A Vampire, Book 3 of the Suckers Trilogy. I screwed up the other books’ launches and want to do this one right. Procrastination is hard to overcome, but I’m trying my hardest. At the moment, only Book 1 exists in print format, and I want all three to be available in print. Before I can make this happen, I need to go through Books 1 & 2 and re-edit them (for the so-maniest time, I know), but I’ve learned so much since I wrote them, and they can do with another ‘upgrade.’ Audio format is the next step.
In the meantime, I am ready to start writing something new. Not writing for a few days made me depressed already. I’ve suffered from depression for a long time. My GP told me I was tired because I was depressed. I am convinced I was depressed because I was always tired. Who was right, I will never know. One thing I do know, and that is that writing is the only thing that gets me out of bed in the morning. Don’t get me wrong. I love my family to bits and honestly couldn’t wish for a better life, but writing fires up my soul.
I’ve got so many ideas in my head. Number one and two are another paranormal/sci-fi novel (I never seem to be able to stick to one genre 🙂 ) and a whole new fantasy series in the style of Terry Pratchett. I love putting humor and sarcasm in my writing, and this seems like a good option to get away with this. I will send out a newsletter to my readers soon and ask them what they prefer I should write first.
Well, that’s me in a nutshell. I’m proud to be a woman, proud of what I’ve achieved, and proud of all the women in my life. You girls rock!