Another 5-star review for Releasing A Vampire!
I just thought I’d check my reviews and was happy to find a new one! It’s for the prequel of the Suckers Trilogy, Releasing A Vampire, and it’s a 5-star one!
Thank you so much, Amy!
I just thought I’d check my reviews and was happy to find a new one! It’s for the prequel of the Suckers Trilogy, Releasing A Vampire, and it’s a 5-star one!
Thank you so much, Amy!
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:
This post contains affiliate links.
SALE! All my novels in the Suckers Trilogy are on sale for 99c/99p during October! (eBooks only)
Because I love the fall, because I love Halloween, and because I love you to read my books, all of my eBook novels in the Suckers Trilogy are on sale during the month of October!
and in my shop, of course 😀
(sorry, but the discount for my shop won’t apply when the books are on sale)
Killing A Vampire – Update. Watch my updated trailer for the last book in the Suckers trilogy!
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!
You’re probably wondering what happened as there haven’t been any posts this week. That’s because I’ve been working day and night to get my book finished. I started writing in October last year, and I feel like I haven’t stopped since. It took me about a month to write the story, but then the editing process took forever. Like with my second book, the editor of my first book didn’t have the time to help me out, so I did it on my own with all the help I could get. I felt confident I could pull it off this way as I learned a lot since writing Book 2 (in 2015). I still have a lot to learn, but I’m getting better at it all the time. Hopefully, it shows in this book.
I’ve now got to organize the promotion for the launch next. I’ve never had a good launch for a book. The first time I was such a noob and had no idea about launches. I put it on Amazon and watched its ranking plummet into the depths. The second time, I did try to promote it, but everything went wrong. The person I hired to advertise on Twitter didn’t do it, and instead of buying a FreeBooksy ad, I bought a BargainBooksy ad. By the time I realized this, it was too late to change, so there was no ad at all. This time, I’m hoping to do it right 🙂 . Keep your fingers crossed for me!
PS: This means I’ll also be too busy to post a weight loss update or a new short story. Sorry guys!
Read the first chapter of Book 3 in the Suckers Trilogy; Killing A Vampire!
As I’ve been too busy finishing Killing A Vampire, I’ve not had the time to interview other authors or write a short story this week. Instead, I’m going to give you a sneak peek of the first chapter of Book 3, the last one of the Suckers Trilogy. Enjoy!
My decision to go on national television meant all my hopes and dreams for a quiet suburban life would forever be lost. Yet here I was, my hands sweaty and my breathing deliberate. It hadn’t been an easy decision as there were more consequences. There had always been protesters, sucker-haters, but this time they had shown up in great numbers at the entrance of the studio, trying to prevent me from going in. The guards had to protect me and get me safely from the cab to the entrance. It would only get worse now. It would also mean I would be in the public eye more frequent than ever before. More interviews, more paparazzi, more work. Something Charlie didn’t agree with.
I picked up Sonny to distract myself from the anticipation, and, while cuddling him, I waited for the signal.
“Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Kate Clarke!” I heard the woman’s voice say.
The man with the headphones and clipboard pointed at me. He mouthed, ‘You’re on,’ and my adrenaline level peaked.
“Let’s go, Mommy,” Sonny said, a broad smile on his face.
I stepped onto the stage, sincerely hoping I wouldn’t trip with my son in my arms. The bright stage lights shone in my eyes and their warmth hit me with equal surprise. Emma waited for me at the white couches. I put Sonny down before shaking her hand. She ruffled Sonny’s hair. The three of us sat on the comfy two-seaters; Emma on one, Sonny and me on the other. I had expected Sonny to cuddle up with me, but he decided to occupy the other half of the couch, his legs just not reaching the end of the seating cushion.
Please don’t let his shoes make any marks on the white fabric.
He bumped his feet together, never sitting completely still. When he caught my eye, he smiled at me.
“So glad you could make it, Kate. I see you brought your son, Sonny. Hi Sonny.” Emma beamed an extra broad smile at him. I presumed to make him feel at ease.
“Hi, Emma,” he said to her. I was so glad he wasn’t shy at all.
“Sonny, why don’t you give Emma the drawing you made for her?”
Sonny eagerly moved off the couch, took the drawing he had made out of his pocket, and handed it to Emma.
“You’re not going to bite me when I take it, are you?” Emma said to Sonny. He hesitated to answer, turning to me for help. “Just kidding, kiddo.” She took the paper from Sonny’s hand and with her other hand ruffled his hair again. “Aw, thank you, sweetie. That’s so cute. It’s me holding hands with Kate and Sonny.” She showed the drawing to the audience. One of the cameramen ran up to take a close-up shot of the stick-figure drawing which instantly appeared on the big screen behind us. The audience ‘aw’d’ with Emma.
I patted the couch where he had sat a moment ago. Sonny climbed back onto the couch but cuddled up to me this time.
“You call him Sonny because he’s your son. And of course, it’s a good shortening of his full name, Nelson. Nellie would sound a bit strange.” The audience laughed. “He isn’t the son of your partner though, is he?”
“No, Sonny was conceived as a cruel experiment in the sucker internment camp.”
“That must have been a terrible experience for you. Good things have come from it though. One of them is sitting right next to you.” She smiled at Sonny again. “Isn’t he adorable, ladies and gentlemen?”
The audience agreed. I hugged Sonny as I completely agreed with Emma. “Another result of your predicament was that you became the head figure of SAM, the Suckers Acceptance Movement in Maine. Can you tell us a bit more about what SAM does?”
I shrugged as I let go of Sonny and leaned forward.
“SAM tries to help integrate suckers into everyday life. When the Succedaneum virus plagued the world during Black October thirteen years ago, a lot of lives were lost. People blamed suckers for it, but it was actually the government who was the cause of the sucker pandemic as they made the virus and failed to contain it. People infected with it had no choice but to act upon their bloodlust. They aren’t to blame. The vaccine they created eradicated most suckers from the planet, but there were cases in which it didn’t work, when vaccination was too late to have any effect. These people will always be suckers, even though they didn’t ask for it.
Most children conceived during Black October ended up in an internment camp, but some parents were able to keep their sucker children out of the hands of the government. They kept them in hiding from the public out of fear of retribution. These children deserve to have a normal life as well. Sucker children should be able to grow up, have friends, and have a happy future like any other child. SAM is trying to help people accept suckers into their communities and to not be fearful of them. They are normal people with a disease, a manageable disease. Suckers aren’t a threat to society anymore.”
“That’s so true,” Emma said, “and you, of all people, know this first hand because you have two sucker children, don’t you? Sonny, who is here with us today, and Sue, your older daughter. How old is Sue now?”
“Officially, Sue’s twelve years old, but because sucker children grow twice as fast, she’s already a fully grown adult. Sonny looks like he’s four, but he’s only two years old.”
“And they don’t display any of the aggressive behavior suckers did during Black October?” Emma asked. “Because that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it; people fearing we’ll have another Black October on our hands if we let suckers loose into the world.”
“Absolutely not. Sucker children need a strict upbringing, I don’t deny that. They need to be taught to be gentle as they are a lot stronger than other children. Otherwise, they are as playful, strong-willed, and cuddly as any other child. They still need to be loved.”
“What about the older suckers? The ones for which vaccination came too late? Are they a threat to us? I mean, I don’t want to walk next to one and he suddenly ‘fancies a snack.’” The audience laughed at Emma’s comment. I didn’t find it funny at all.
“There are still some suckers that have lived underground since Black October and haven’t changed their attitude. SAM is there for these people as well. Once these individuals are discovered, SAM will guide and counsel them. With the help of the Army, we rehabilitate them, so they can live in our society once more. As you know, there is a mandate for every sucker to register and requiring them to give a DNA sample, so that if a biting incident happens, authorities will be able to tell which sucker has been the perpetrator. This system for suckers is similar to the fingerprint system used by the justice department for virus-free humans.”
“That’s so comforting to hear. Now, I can’t keep my eyes off your son as he’s so adorable. He must be very special to you.”
“He sure is, Emma.” Sonny just sat there, taking it all in his stride. It always amazed me how ‘grown up’ he was. As if he was an old soul.
“He’s actually very special in a broader sense, isn’t he? What time is it now? Early afternoon?” Emma made a show of looking at her watch. “And you both came here by cab. No under-cover-of-darkness stuff.”
“That’s right. Sonny’s extra special because he’s a daywalker.”
“And not only a daywalker but also a half-blood which means he doesn’t drink blood but eats meat, or so I’m told. Is this correct?”
“Yes, it’s true. As a daywalker, he isn’t affected by sunlight, and because he’s a half-blood, his diet isn’t limited to blood alone. He can also eat meat, but only raw meats.”
“So, wouldn’t it be handy if all suckers become meat-eating daywalkers? Problem solved?”
“I wish it were that easy, Emma, but there’s only a small window during the incubation of the virus when suckers can become daywalkers. Unless their mother was a daywalker, children are born true suckers and photo-phobic for life. It lessens over time, but they will always be affected and move slower. There also aren’t many half-bloods around. Only a few special individuals appear to be immune to the aversion to mate with ‘the others,’ so to speak, and create a half-blood. I’m extremely lucky that both my children have come from such a union. They are both able to eat meat.”
“I can’t imagine what that would do to your grocery bill,” Emma replied, and of course the audience laughed again. “It’s better than getting blood from heaven knows where, though. Tell me, where do suckers get their blood from?”
“The virus changes the body, so, just like cats can’t be vegetarians, suckers need to drink blood to survive. Fortunately, suckers can survive on animal blood which has been a huge waste product from slaughterhouses, and until recently, only a part of it was used to make fertilizer and food additives for animal feed. Most of it was dumped in sewers or landfill. Now it fills a gap in the market. It’s treated to prevent the spread of diseases like mad cow disease, and bagged blood is currently available for human consumption in supermarkets, next to the blood sausages. It’s one of the major triumphs of SAM’s efforts.”
“I don’t know if you know this, but I’m actually a vegan, and I’ll tell you, my stomach content is churning with all this talk about consuming blood. I think it’s time we end this conversation. It’s been so nice talking to you and hearing about all the good work you’ve been doing with SAM for suckers. I wish you all the best.”
“Thanks, Emma. Thank you so much for having us on the show.”
Emma rose from her seat, and so did Sonny and I.
“Ladies and gentlemen, Kate Clarke and her son Sonny!”
I waved to the audience as they applauded. Sonny copied me. We followed the instruction we had received earlier to leave the stage on the opposite side of where we had come from. Once backstage, a woman took off my microphone and guided us to the room downstairs where our belongings were. I took off the make-up applied earlier and put my jacket back on. I then put Sonny in his jacket and gave him a kiss.
“Time for us to leave, Little Man. Let’s see if we still have a home to go to.”
Copyrighted (c) by Jacky Dahlhaus
Killing A Vampire will be available very soon!
Why not catch up with what happened to Kate before and check out Book 1. Living Like A Vampire and Book 2. Raising A Vampire? You can find them in on Amazon and on KOBO, but when you buy them from my bookstore, you’ll get a 20% discount! 🙂
Check out my ad for Killing A Vampire, the third and last installment of the Suckers Trilogy!
I don’t think I’ve shown you my ad for Killing A Vampire yet. I’m pretty proud of it as I put it together by myself. Here it is.
I’m still working 24/7 on editing the book, but I assure you it will be out soon!
The problems of blood-suckers
First you have to find your blood host, which (relatively speaking) would be found several kilometres between one meal and the next. You have to deal with the danger of being stopped from feeding, the aggressive way. Don’t expect your host to let you feed on them just like that. Although there are nice vampires that may regurgitate their meal to share with your if you have been unlucky that night.
The toxicity of blood itself is a danger. In the amounts you need, it would cause diarrhoea and kidney failure, not to mention the killing effects of the proteins and iron ingested. Apart from an overdose of some products, blood lacks B vitamins, needed for basic body function, and fat, a major energy source.
But don’t trust my word for it. Read it all in Susan Milius’s article in Science News for Students called ‘Sucking blood isn’t an easy life, even for vampires.’
Book 1 of the Suckers Trilogy is on SALE!
Grab your copy before 17 September 2017
Header image by Aris Sfakianakis
You can get it on Amazon here!
I made some Twitter ads that I’m rather proud of. Here they are:
Let me know which one you like best!