Tag Archives: Paranormal Suspense

Meet the Author… Caroline Davis

Meet the author

It’s been a while, but I’m back with some interesting author interviews again! I met Caroline Davis on Twitter. She has a book out called Night Vision: An Oupire Romance.  She is a vampire fiction writer who writes about ‘oupires.’ I actually had to google what oupires were as I’d never heard of the word. I read that vampires are mythological creatures, and oupires are the real thing, but it appears that Caroline has worked with completely different info. Let’s find out more about Caroline’s oupires!

Caroline Davis

Biography

I didn’t start out wanting to be a writer, although I became interested in vampires early on through the TV soap opera Dark Shadows. It was while I was at Fashion Institute of Technology in New York that I started writing down my vampire fantasies with another student there. After I left Fashion Institute to study fine art and then library science, I would try my hand at writing vampire stories now and again. To be honest, most of them were abysmal and best forgotten! I had better luck with my nonfiction efforts. An academic article I wrote on the reburial of Native American human remains in New England was published in a regional archaeology journal, a highlight of my academic library career. During my last few years in the library world, however, I finally found time to write fiction again, and so I began work on a story about (what else?) vampires.

What is your book about? 

I like to write about undead characters (vampires and oupires—I’ll explain) in situations where unresolved issues from their past come out. My novel Night Vision has what’s really a cold case murder mystery from 1913 mixed in with a love story. Undead characters are great for this kind of story because those involved in the crime are usually still around!

The difference between vampires and oupires in the book comes from the variety of characteristics ascribed to blood sucking revenants in folklore and literature. So, for example, the vampires are alive from sundown to sunrise, but the oupires are alive from noon to midnight, something which comes from certain eighteenth century accounts of Polish and Russian vampire activity. The two groups aren’t always at war, but there is a lot of friction between them and sometimes violence erupts. That possibility is always there, and it’s a problem for the two main characters in Night Vision, since the heroine, Lily Schmidt, is an oupire and her lover, Carl Eckhart, is a vampire.

How did you come up with the idea for Night Vision

As I mentioned in my bio, I got interested in vampires through Dark Shadows years ago but got involved in other things and only turned to writing on and off. However, during the vampire craze of the early 2000s, it happened that my father passed away. At his wake, I encountered a female cousin, someone of whom I was very jealous when I was a child. I started thinking about writing a vampire story about two cousins, but I didn’t want it to be just a simple novella about how they investigate this supposed “vampire murder” from 1913. So the murder became part of the backstory, and I expanded from there.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

Well, I was a librarian so you can imagine that I spend a lot of time on research both in constructing a book and while I’m working on it. For example, in one scene in Night Vision the vampires play a card game, so I needed to find a game they would be likely to play. Eventually I figured out that since most of the characters in the scene are German, they might play a game called Skat. This led to my trying to learn how to play Skat, or at least understand enough of the game to realistically show it in the scene.

Are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

I don’t want to write a series with the same characters appearing in multiple books because I like to catch a character at some sort of emotional turning point. Then I want to write about another character who is facing a different issue. However, I do intend to use the preternatural “world” that I established in Night Vision in other books, which might occasionally share a character or two. I also intend to keep the settings in the Northeastern U.S. (Night Vision is set is Pennsylvania) and to work with similar plots and themes going forward.

Do you outline or just write?

I make a detailed outline—the more detailed, the better—because I want to find a coherent way to present the backstory and the clues to the mystery. I also want to be sure that there is plausible motivation for whatever a given character will do that moves the plot forward. Of course, as I write I understand the characters better and then new ideas occur to me and some things get changed.

When you develop characters, do you already know who they are before you begin writing or do you let them develop as you go?

As I mentioned, I understand my characters better as I go along. But I do start with a fairly good idea of what the main characters are about, basically. It can happen that I understand a character’s psychology, but I’m not sure how to present the character, that I don’t have a clear idea of his or her “persona.” It’s difficult at first, but when I can hear a character talking in my head, I know I’m on the right track.

Do you have any difficulty writing characters of the opposite sex?

Frankly, yes. Although I believe that men and women share the same mental and emotional processes on a deep level, there are all kinds of subtle differences that make it challenging for me to portray someone who is not a heterosexual woman. Just to take a simple case—in my experience most men do not readily admit they are depressed. So, I can have a deeply depressed male character, and I doubt that he’s going to talk about it with a friend the way a female character might. A related problem is that many of my characters were born in the nineteenth century, sometimes abroad, but they have lived through the whole twentieth century into the twenty-first. I go on the assumption that they are not going to be the same people they were years ago, but they aren’t just like people now either. I struggle with these kinds of issues in my writing, but I’m not sure how successful I am in dealing with them.

Music or silence?

This is a fun question. Night Vision has a lot of music behind it, and I even describe a concert in the book. So, yes, I do listen to music much of the time when I am writing, although not always. To write some types of scenes, I need a sharp focus that is better achieved through silence.

Are you working on another book? 

Yes, I am writing another book, the working title of which is Blood and Water. The main character in this book, Jan Martínek, is a vampire who, under pressure from his estranged wife, reluctantly agrees to investigate the disappearance of his detested uncle Otakar. Jan holds a grudge against Otakar because, many years before, Otakar made him a vampire against his will and later forced him to marry his ex-wife. But when Jan goes to the old spa town in western New Jersey where Otakar was last seen, he encounters the beautiful descendent of a long-dead medium, a woman with whom he was in love in the late 1890s. Trouble ensues, as they say.

What motivated you to become an indie/published author? How did you break into publishing?

When I first finished Night Vision I tried sending it out to about a dozen agents and a few traditional romance publishers, but, as you would expect, no one was interested in it. It was a particularly bad time to send out a vampire love story because the market for such books was saturated by then, and I was an unknown author with no social media presence at all. So, I put the story aside and worked on the second book until last year, when I was able to retire.

At that point I decided to self-publish Night Vision on Amazon, which took a while as I had to learn to use Kindle Create and make a cover. I finally got the book out last November and since then I have been learning to use Twitter and connecting with other authors. That’s been a lot of fun! Now I’m glad I decided to go the indie route and plan to self-publish Blood and Water on Amazon when it’s finished later this year.

Thank you so much for your explanation of oupires, Caroline! Your story sounds very intriguing, and I hope to read it one day.  It’s a pleasure to have met you on Twitter 🙂

You can contact Caroline Davis via the following social media:

Email: cdavis1903@outlook.com

Twitter

Amazon Author Page

If the world was ending…

Suckers Book 1 Ad If the world was ending...

Description:If the world was ending, would you go back to school? Living Like A Vampire; A fast-paced, suspenseful paranormal romance

#paranormal #vampire #suspense

 

Living Like A Vampire Blog Tour – Day 7

Day 7

I’m sad that the Blog Tour is almost over, but I have one nice stop for you at the funny Amanda’s Go Book Yourself, a bookish blog. I have a guest post there about the history of vampires on the silver screen. Go check it out and tell me who your favorite vampire is.

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A BIG THANK YOU to the amazing Kelly Lacey from LOVE BOOKS GROUP who was so kind to help me out last minute organizing my Blog Tour. I couldn’t have done it without her! Big hug, girl. You are one amazing woman! xx

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If you’ve missed any of my Blog Tour stops, here they are again:

Day 1 – Joyful Antidotes

Day 2 – B for Bookreview

Day 3 – The Midnight Review

Day 4 – Over the Rainbow Book Blog

Day 5 – Nemesis Book Blog, MADEUP Books and Parenting, and Tangents and Tissues

Day 6 – Chat About Books

Day 7 – Go Book Yourself

Thank you so much, lovely ladies, for participating in my Blog Tour! A special thanks to Kirsty and Cassandra for taking the time to read my book (so appreciated!), and to Kerry, for interviewing me. You have made my first Blog Tour extra special!

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Well, that’s it, folks. One more day that my books are available for 99c/99p, so grab your copies while you can!

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Living Like A Vampire Blog Tour – Day 6

I have an interesting author interview for you today. The questions are asked by the lovely Kerry Parson on her Chat About Books blog. Check it out if you want to know which author I’d like to meet, which fictional character I’d like to meet, and where I’d like to take them for a coffee.

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Please excuse the writing mistakes in the interview answers. I was extremely tired and in a hurry when I wrote them. Not a good combination! I’m mixing up UK and US English and found at least one punctuation mistake XD.

Thank you, Kerry, for taking an interest in me. It was fun to answer your questions. And of course for being part of my Blog Tour. You rock!

Living Like A Vampire Blog Tour – Day 5

Day 5

Guess what? Today I have three bloggers posting about Living Like A Vampire! Each will have a little bit more information about the book or about me.

Let me start with Kim from Nemesis Book Blog. Kim has posted a little excerpt from the book when Kate and Charlie try to escape the suckers in a car. It doesn’t seem like much, but it has dire consequences! Go check it out on Kim’s site.

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The second stop is on Laura Nelson’s Facebook site: Tangents and Tissues Book Blog. Laura wanted to know more about me, so I wrote a bit about a question I often get when I wear my fangs; “Are you a real vampire?” Check out my answers, and I’ll let you decide!

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The third stop is on the blog of Cassandra’s MADEUP-Group. I’m so thrilled she liked the story! This is what she has to say about it:

“For somebody who enjoys Vampire type stories, I tend to have quite high expectations from them, and this didn’t let me down. (…) If you enjoy Vampire/Apocalyptic/Romantic stories with a bit of a twist on the norm, this is the story for you! I can’t wait to see what comes from the next book!”

Obviously, she has more nice things to say about Living Like A Vampire, so head over there to check it out!

Thank you, Kim, Laura, and Cassandra, for participating in my Blog Tour! You are wonderful people!

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!