Tag Archives: Jacky Dahlhaus

500+ Followers on Instagram!

500+ Followers on InstragramYay! I have more than five hundred followers on Instagram! I love Instagram! I joined only January 25 2017, less than a year ago, and I can’t believe I’ve come this far. I never saw it as a business tool… and I still don’t. I just post things I like, funny things, writerly things, coffee things. I also love engaging with the people on there. I love seeing what they’re up to and commenting on their texts. It’s a whole new family!

Yes, I do sometimes post things about my books, but I don’t go overboard with this. I will try and use it as a business tool in the future, once I get my head around it, but for now, I’ll just enjoy posting funny stuff.

If you’re not following me on Instagram yet, why not check out my account?

 

The Stranger, temporary cover

The Stranger temporary cover V2I’ve had to make a temporary cover for my WIP and came up with this one. I first had ‘Leaving was never an option’ as the tagline, then came up with this one. Now I’m thinking ‘He’s not what he says he is,’ but showing a woman on the cover then doesn’t make sense. Should I go for the handsome male on the cover? What do you think?

My interview by Jason E. Foss

What a way to start the new year! I was interviewed by Jason E. Foss. Check it out here!

How I Finished My First Draft of The Stranger, a Paranormal Romance Novel

I did it! I finished the first draft of The Stranger, previously called The Extra (although the second is by no means now final). As you can see in the graph below, I began writing seriously on the 5th of November for NaNoWriMo, and it took me exactly one month and a day (excluding the first 3K words I wrote earlier in the year). The final word count stood at 63.861. This number will be going up as I will go through the next few edits, and I’m hoping to reach the 70K again.

NaNoWriMo Result

So, how did I do it? Let me tell you.

Research

Concept

Did I start writing the story from scratch? No, I didn’t. I finished Book 3 of the Suckers Trilogy in March 2018, and just after that, I wrote the first few chapters of this book. I didn’t know it was going to be another trilogy, but the more I thought about it, the more ideas I had. I didn’t have time to continue writing, however, as I decided to do major cover edits on the Sucker Trilogy books. This took me a couple of months (next time I’ll let someone else do it!). I then needed to work on promoting the trilogy in October. In between the scenes, so to speak, I jotted down notes on my cell phone. I used the Samsung Notes app every time an idea for the book popped into my head. I have two pages of them (the Note app has a limit on how much you can put on each page). Some notes I have used, some I haven’t, but you never know when they’re coming in handy, so I’m not deleting them. I still have two books to write :).

Location

Alaska MountainMy book plays in Alaska. Why? Because I needed a place where paranormal creatures could live in relative obscurity. Werewolves need to be able to run unseen. Vampires need to be able to drink blood without being caught. And Alaska is a pretty remote place. One day, I Googled the map for Alaska and found this lake called Deadman Lake. I had found the perfect spot for my story!

The Real Research

Now I knew where my novel was going to take place, I tried to read up and watch documentaries on everything Alaska. What were the daylight hours? How cold did it get in winter? What animals live there? What is it like for humans to live there? A mistake I make when writing my first Suckers Trilogy book was that that I assumed what country towns in Maine looked like. I had no clue. I actually made a similar mistake in The Stranger. A typical house in the UK has an upstairs, and I assumed this to be the case in Alaska as well (like in Maine). Only halfway did I realize this was so wrong, and I had to rewrite certain passages.

One of the ‘in-depth’ researches I did was when I contacted another writer who had lived in the area. We had an online, live conversation, and she could give me a lot of answers to questions I had. I also bought Nora Roberts’s book Northern Lights, a story which also plays in Alaska. I haven’t finished it, but it very much regurgitated all the things I had learned so far about living in Alaska. I was on the right track!

The Actual Writing

NaNoWriMo

As mentioned earlier, I only began writing on the fifth day of November, and by the time it was the fifteenth of the month, I only had written for six days and hadn’t even passed the 20K word mark. I was running behind big time and needed to up my game. Competitive as I am, I set all other things aside and began treating my writing as a full-time job. This did it the world of good. I limited my time on social media. I even turned off the notifications on my phone. Sorry, I lie. This was actually a remnant from my filming session with Aberdeenshire Film Productions late October, and I simply forgot to turn it back on again. I don’t think I will, to be honest, as I don’t want to be a slave to Facebook and Twitter anymore.

Writing

Writing At Last

What was it like to actually write after half a year? Awesome! Even though I had been thinking about this story for months, I refused myself to think up an ending already, literally going LALALALALA in my head when my mind even hinted going into certain directions. I didn’t want to make the same mistake I made with Book 3 in the Suckers Trilogy and spoil the fun. I sort of had an idea of what the moral of the story was (oh yes, it has one), but I kept an open mind on how to put it in there. I preferred to let my characters take me on their journey, leaving all directions open (north, east, south, and west). And during all of my writing, I have faced many, many directions. Sometimes I turned into directions that I immediately backtracked and erased. Most times, however, I just took some time looking around at the crossroads and chose the option that was the most interesting.

This story is different in that it definitely complies to being a romance. The Suckers Trilogy is rather dark whereas I kept this story reasonably light. I’m not sure yet if the next two stories are going to stay this light, but romance lovers are certainly not going to be disappointed with this one. There’s (only) one semi-descriptive love scene in it, and I had to change the age of the main character from 17 to 18 to keep everybody happy. No, this doesn’t make it erotica. I had to look up what the difference was to make sure for you, but this story still holds if you take out the loving, so no erotica.

Surprise

SurpriseAt one point, something happened that I didn’t anticipate at all. All of a sudden, this character appeared, out of the blue, knocking me off my feet, throwing a spanner in the works, so to say. But it made it so much more fun, giving the story so much more depth.  It’s going to be one of the red lines that run through all three of the stories. I just love it when things like this happen!

The Editing

Having an Editor

The first draft is done, and I’ve actually already finished the first edit. I love this story so much that I couldn’t stop working on it! 😀 I’m trying to make this production the most professional one I’ve done so far, so it’s going to be interesting how much time it will take. Being more professional also means I have an editor booked in January (which is pretty organized for me). I have the next two weeks to polish the story and get it ready for the editor. She already told me I’ve got a habit of head-hopping (a remnant trait from my first-person point of view writing of the Suckers Trilogy) before I started writing this book, but I’ve caught myself still doing it. So quite a few scenes need to be re-written.

Alpha/Beta-Readers

I’m hoping I can find some alpha/beta-readers in my email list (but if you’re not, I’ll still welcome you!). I already have one person who has put his hand up for being a beta-reader (yay!). As I write ‘on the fly’ or ‘pantsing’ as they say, my story has no pre-checked structure. I go with the flow and hence some sections may be too slow, too fast, or perhaps not necessary at all. I need someone to tell me this to make the story better.

Editing

My editor will do a light edit. She already told me my writing isn’t bad at all (You have a firm handle on voice, style, grammar, and punctuation), so it will mostly be a vocabulary and possibly a little grammar improvement here and there, plus help with my POV and chapter changes. I’m keeping my fingers crossed she won’t find any plot holes. As I’ve changed directions so many times in the story, I hope I can correct any wrong assumptions I had at the beginning of the story. Once I’ve gone through her notes and made my changes in February, she’ll proofread the work, and it can go to beta-readers to be read in March-April. So, if you have some time in your schedule and would like a free book, put your hand up! (and email me: jackydahlhaus@gmail.com)

In the meantime, I need to organize a cover. At first, I was thinking about a cartoon-style cover, but now I’ve written the story, I don’t think that’s the way to go. It’s not that funny. I still don’t have any idea for a cover, so I’m open to any suggestions (cover or cover designer). Let me know if you know of a great designer.

All-in-all, I can’t wait to get this story on the market and to my readers. I just know they’re going to love it as much as I do!

 

Photos by Massimo Sartirana,  Ben Black,  Andre Guerra, and rawpixel on Unsplash

Living Like A Vampire Blog Tour – Day 4

Day 4

Today we have the lovely Joanna Park from Over the Rainbow Book Blog participating in my Blog Tour. She’s posted a little excerpt about the moment when Kate is about to get bitten, and infected, by Caleb. So, head over there and find out how Kate experiences this life-changing event!Thank you, Joanna, for taking part in my Blog Tour!

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I’m afraid I’m going to keep this post short as I didn’t get much sleep last night. I did a book signing at Slains Castle, Aberdeen, and only went to bed at 1:30am; way past my bedtime! And I was awake at 5am again for no good reason… So, I’ll leave you with some photos of last evening. Night, night!

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Living Like A Vampire Blog Tour – Day 3

Day 3

Another great review for Living Like A Vampire today! This time from the lovely Kirsty Crichton on The Midnight Review blog. You can read her review there, but here’s a summary of her review:

Overall Thoughts:

From the opening chapters, the tension ratchets up and stays that way. That and the short chapters have you racing through the book in no time. The pace is pitched perfectly. I read this in two sittings. I have a love-hate relationship with short chapters, ‘oh, just one more’ followed by ‘how is it 2am?!’ They certainly help you to speed through.

I did enjoy this book and it certainly is an excellent choice for a Halloween read! 

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Love at First Sight

Now, Kirsty did have a problem with the ‘love at first sight’ that Kate experiences. She’s not the only one, or so I’ve heard. My guess is that some people put the book aside once ‘the moment’ occurs. I honestly don’t understand why. As I mentioned in my interview with Emit Blackwell on The Emit Blackwell show, a lot of what I write in my books are taken from my own life. Not exact moments, I’m not writing about particular persons or events; I’m talking about emotions. And I have experienced these ‘love at first sight’ moments.

It’s not love-love, i.e. not the love I have for my husband whom I’ve shared my life with for nearly thirty years. That’s a different kind of love. No, call it an infatuation, an instant attraction to someone that you can’t explain. It gives you butterflies in your belly, attracting you like a magnet, and you just have to get to know this person better. Maybe I’m old-fashioned. Maybe, in this day and age, relationships are more calculated, more business-like as in ‘what do I get out of it?’ Or maybe my hormones have been more active in the falling-in-love department than the average person. Who knows? All I know is that love at first sight really is ‘a thing.’ I’d love to hear from people who’ve had the same experience.

Thank you, Kirsty, for being part of my Blog Tour, for with sticking with the story, and finding out what Suckers is all about!


Living Like A Vampire Blog Tour – Day 2

Day 2

It’s day 2 of my blog tour and today you can read an excerpt from Living Like A Vampire on the B for Bookreview blog by Els from Belgium (Hi, southern neighbor! Yes, I still feel I’m a Dutchie sometimes :D). You’ll have to scroll down a bit as I’m the third book mentioned by Els. Did I mention she likes to read, a lot?!

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The excerpt is the moment when Kate, Sue, and Charlie are hiding in the cabin on the campground. There is a false sense of security as they still haven’t met any suckers themselves. After Kate had the first night shift (just to be on the safe side), she decides to sleep in the top bunk bed, above Charlie when Sue has taken up the whole of the queen bed with her long legs. Kate’s presence surprises Charlie in the morning.

The sequence was an important moment for me. It was the first time the story began going in a completely different route than I had planned. Charlie was supposed to be the comic relief, not a love interest. But it was so much fun to write about the interaction between Kate and Charlie that they began to do their own thing. Before I knew it, Charlie became love interest #2!

So, head over to B for Bookreview and read the fun bit about Kate and Charlie!

And a big thank you, Els, for being part of my Blog Tour!


Living Like A Vampire Blog Tour – Day 1

Day 1

My Blog Tour has started, and what a great start with this lovely review by Joyful Antidotes!

Living Like A Vampire by Jacky Dahlhaus is the first part of the Suckers trilogy. It centers around Kate, a school teacher who has just begun her new job and suburban dream life. However, a virus that turns people into vampires is rapidly spreading and packs of vampires are killing everyone in sight. Kate has to pretend to be one of them to stay alive, which is further complicated when she accidentally bumps into a handsome sucker.

Yes, I agree, vampire books/films/TV shows have been a bit overdone – but give this one a chance. There is something rather unique about it that I enjoyed. The story has its own take on vampires but gives homage to past versions, even a cheeky little nod toward Twilight. Thrown into the mix is somewhat of a more advanced, smarter zombie apocalypse (without the zombies) and the result is a book really worth reading.

The language of Living Like A Vampire matches the plot: eerie and tense. Even though one would expect it, I didn’t see the ending of this book coming, nor some of the things that happened throughout. Therefore, I was always on edge and eager to move ahead to the next chapter. Likewise, the pace of the story was perfect and never had me feeling too rushed or longing for more information.

Kate is the main character in Living Like A Vampire but while she is likable and interesting, it was more what she brought to the story rather than her personality that I enjoyed most, if you catch my drift. Through the inclusion of Kate, the author touched in a number of themes. Of course, there is the idea of what exactly a person would go through to stay alive, but we also see the close bond of friendship (between Kate, Charlie and Sue) and the age-old problem of being attracted to the “bad boy” rather than the loyal, reliable option.

Finally, we have the vampire themselves, or “suckers” as they are called in this book. The vampires are complex creatures, some cruel like we expect from the creature but others more like Angel, the vampire with a soul. This added an additional layer of depth to the book and one which I would have enjoyed reading more about.

Overall, loved this book! I’m looking forward to part two already.

Thanks so much for participating in my Blog Tour, and I’m extremely happy you loved reading Living Like A Vampire!


The Emit Blackwell Show

I have been interviewed for the third time (first time by Detroit’s DJ Jon, the second time by lovely Londoner Angelina Kalahari)! This time by Emit Blackwell from Michigan, and it’s live!

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You can listen to the interview here:
 

But why stop at my interview? Emit interviews a lot of authors to put them in the spotlight for a moment. Check them out too on The Emit Blackwell Show website!

The Emit Blackwell Show

Slains Castle Book Signing

Slains Castle Aberdeen

Come and join me for a book signing at

Slains Castle, Aberdeen

Wednesday 31 October

from 8pm till 12pm

It’s the perfect venue for a Halloween night with creepy coffins and skeletons in cages. You can come dressed up or not, but make sure you have a bite and a drink…I know I will! Mwaaahaha!

Jacky Dahlhaus at The Darker Side of Fiction book signing

 

 

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