I received a message from a happy reader of the vampire paranormal romance novels, the Suckers Trilogy!
Love will find you!
You can run, but you can’t hide… Love will always find you!
Kate tried to hide. She tried to run. Love still found her when she bumped into the handsome sucker called Caleb. But an apocalypse is not a good time to fall in love…
Read the interview with Jacky Dahlhaus by book blogger Kerry Parson to find out more about Jacky’s writing. Read Living Like A Vampire to find out about Kate’s love adventure.
#Paranormal #Romance #Suspense #Vampires
Who do you love?
Did you go for the sexy stranger or the not-so-sexy good friend? Think about it. Who do you love?
Kate bumped into a sucker when she was running for her life. He was funny, handsome, and… a vampire. Why the hell did she fall for him?
Listen to an interview with Jacky Dahlhaus by Angelina Kalahari about Living Like A Vampire.
Read all about how Kate struggles with falling for this mysterious guy in the novel!
#Paranormal #Romance #Suspense #Vampires
Kate wasn’t looking for love…
But she found it anyway!
Kate was running for her life. People were being killed, chaos was all around. This was not the time to be looking for love. Yet… love has a habit of popping up at the most inappropriate of times.
Read more about this suspensful, funny, romantic, paranormal novel here.
#Paranormal #Romance #Suspense #Vampires
Meet the Author... Caroline Davis
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!
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:
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Meet the Author… Helen Claire Gould, writer of a science fiction novel, short horror stories, and a standalone short story
Remember I attended The Darker Side of Fiction book signing? Well, I met a lot of lovely people there, and a bunch of great authors, of course! All fantasy writers, all trying to find fans. You’ve already met one of the writers, Martin Tracey, and in the next few weeks, I’ll be featuring more of these Darker authors, hoping that they may find some new fans amongst you. First up is Helen Claire Gould, writer of science fiction and fantasy. I’ve been chatting with her since we became friends on Facebook. She’s very active as a writer in her community but broke her hip and arm in an unfortunate fall recently. She is recovering well from her hip replacement and should be up and about soon!
Helen Claire Gould
Helen took English Language and Literature, A level (prior to going to university as a mature student of Geology in 1997) and came 5th in the country out of 16,000 candidates. She worked as a proof-reader for the first 5 years of her working life, firstly in publishing and then in insurance, where accuracy is even more important as an insurance proposal is a legal document. She edits and proofreads her own work, and she’s proud to mention Floodtide has an approximate 0.005% error rate.
Karma has not been easy on Helen. She has dyscalculia (the maths version of dyslexia), dyspraxia (the co-ordination version), and some features of dyslexia (luckily not spelling, grammar or punctuation, which seem to have gone in the opposite direction)–i.e. left/right confusion, so if she ever gives you any directions to get anywhere, take no notice of what comes out of her mouth, just follow the hand signals!
Who is/are your favorite author(s)? How much is your work influenced by his or her works?
Andre Norton. I write about similar subject matter, though not in her style. I’m not an imitator. I write what comes, but try to adhere to professional writing standards that are (supposedly) the same for traditionally published authors. She wrote science fiction, and science fantasy; I also bring in elements of horror.
What made you want to become a writer?
I read my first science fiction at the age of nine, and wrote some when I was fourteen. I’ve written ever since. I was top of the school for English from nine on, and bottom of the school for maths. I wanted to be a scientist, but didn’t think my maths would be good enough. I was interested in geology and palaeontology as a child, and when I researched the geology for Floodtide, I realised there was a science I could do. At 43 I went to uni, and discovered one tutor who was interested in planetary science, so I did all his modules–perfect for a science fiction writer!
Do you outline or just write?
Sometimes I’ll write a chapter or two to see where it’s going before I outline the story. When I wrote The Stallion I got up in the night to write down the dream I’d just had. My husband came into the study a couple of hours later, having realised I wasn’t in bed, and said, “Oh, so this is where you’ve got to!”
What are some day jobs that you have held? If any of them impacted your writing, could you please share an example?
I worked as a proof-reader and in retailing, where I became a professional trainer, learned to write courses, and taught evening classes in geology and creative writing. After publishing Floodtide, I spent 18 months writing workshops on writing and self-publishing, delivered through local libraries. They include eureka moments, research and examples; I use my scientific knowledge to design diagrams and animate them in PowerPoint. Everything’s on handouts, with practical assignments, even in the self-publishing workshops.
Can you give us an interesting, fun fact about your book?
When I submitted the print version of Floodtide, the printers sent me an e-mail saying there was a problem with the dialogue from page 42 on. I checked the page and the telepathic conversations, bracketed with < > instead of “ ”, began there. I emailed back and explained about the telepathic conversations–and that because the alien concepts I used didn’t exist in English I’d invented a language, so if they came across what appeared to be nonsense words, these were in Naxadan!
Do you want each book to stand on its own or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
Most of my writing is set in an imaginary universe, based on ours. I’ve set up part of my website as a companion to it, with a timeline, views of the solar systems in each book, notes on the Naxadan language, relevant scientific material, links to book trailers and readings on my YouTube channel, and a star map of that universe. Some stories contain cross-references between the series.
Are you working on another book? What are your current projects? Can you give us a small teaser?
Having put out two short books this year, I’m currently working on The Zarduth Imperative: Discovery, about the crew of Zarduthi clanship, the Bekel. The Zarduthi are space mercenaries who trade their services for food, clothing, and weapons. The ship drifts into the solar system and 33 unaccompanied children are discovered inside, revived, debriefed, fostered in different countries, and forbidden to communicate with each other. Raised communally on the Bekel, they’re desperate to take back their ship and find their parents. Oh, and a dead Voth, a bacterium-like species terrorising our corner of the galaxy was onboard–and Earth is next in line…
From the opening scene:
“Kaylar, raise shields. Nam–switch orbit now! And keep us hidden from the Voth fleet.” Although the Bekel would be vulnerable to detection during this manoeuvre, for this planetary configuration it was the best defence Rilla Dekkutz knew.
“Defence shields raised, Rilla,” Kaylar said.
“New orbit laid in,” Nam reported from the nav column.
Rilla stared into the simtank cube mounted between and below the forward sightports. A white hologrammatic dot marked the Bekel’s position between the twin moons, Bacar and Ammax, as they swung about their common centre of gravity. They’d exchanged positions again. Bacar was now nearest the planet below. Rilla saw the white dot marking their geostationary orbit change from Bacar to Ammax.
What did you find most useful in learning to write? What was least useful or most destructive?
Postal writing workshops contain five members, each allowed to keep the parcel for up to two weeks. The administrator puts their work in a parcel and sends it to the next person on the list, who writes feedback, puts in their work, then sends it on. When the parcel comes back, the administrator has four pieces to write feedback on and four pieces of feedback on their work. I learned to critique work and received helpful criticism and suggestions.
The least helpful thing was feedback from a publishing house talent scout. She didn’t read my manuscript properly, and with hindsight I realised she wasn’t even as good at giving feedback as my fellow orbiters.
What has been the best compliment?
My friend Fyzz, who runs the Fyzz Wallis Band, had read that books you love, near the end, feel like ‘that break-up feeling’, and said Floodtide was like that! Her bassist Zoe apparently reads lots of self-published books, and said they often contain many typos, but Floodtide read like a traditionally published book.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
When ill-health set in, Mike said I should stay at home and work on my novels, but he probably didn’t expect me to publish anything. In 2014 I published the ebook of Floodtide, and in 2015 brought out the print version. A day’s free self-publishing course at the printers’ gave me the confidence to go into print.
Social Media Details
Here’s where you can find Helen Gould online:
Website (where the first three chapters of Floodtide are available to read!)
As mentioned before, Helen is very active as a writer in her area, East Anglia, and has her books available in the following stores:
- Waterstones, Bridge St., Peterborough;
- Peterborough Visitor Information Centre, Bridge St., Peterborough;
- Bookmark Spalding, 20, the Crescent, Spalding;
- Beccles Books, 1, Exchange Ho., Exchange Sq., Beccles, NR34 9HH;
- Oundle Bookshop,13 Market Place, Oundle PE8 4BA.
Her books are also available from the following local libraries: Peterborough Central Library, Bretton Library, Orton Library, Stamford Library, The Deepings Library, Spalding Library, Oundle Library, Long Sutton Library, Boston Library, Huntingdon Library.
Thank you so much for sharing your story with us, Helen. I wish you a speedy recovery and have my fingers crossed you get some reviews for your short story and horror bundle!
Living Like A Vampire Blog Tour – Day 7. Last day! Read my History of Vampires on the Silver Screen at Go Book Yourself blog.
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.
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
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 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!
Well, that’s it, folks. One more day that my books are available for 99c/99p, so grab your copies while you can!
Living Like A Vampire Blog Tour – Day 6. Check out my interview with Kerry Parson on her Chat About Books Blog
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.
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 2. Read an excerpt from Living Like A Vampire, Book 1 in the Suckers Trilogy, on B for Bookreview Blog
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?!
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: Read the lovely review of Book 1 in the Suckers Trilogy by Joyful Antidotes!
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!