Friday, October 19, 2012

Dante's Awakening by Devon Marshall


What inspired you to become an author?

It just seemed the natural thing to do. I always loved words…reading, writing, talking, listening. Words, language, storytelling - it all fascinated and thrilled me from as long as I can remember. Using words to weave a story seemed to me like the most fun thing you could do, and to get paid to do it was icing and a cherry on top!

Do you have a specific writing style?

I tend to write in more of an 'action' than an 'emotional' way. I don't allow my characters to indulge in lengthy inner monologues and I don't dwell upon the questions of life, love, the universe and everything. I doubt I would ever make a reader cry with the 'soul-searing beautiful truth' of my words! Which is fine - I write to escape and I want to take the reader along with me on that fun, escapist ride.

Do you write in different genres?

Yes, I write in horror and dark detective thriller. And I suppose ‘The Vampires of Hollywood’ series could be called paranormal romantic adventure, so there’s that too.

If yes which is your favorite genre to write?

Horror, for sure! I like writing thrillers, but for those you need to keep a bit of a rein on your imagination - there has to be some kind of verisimilitude when you’re writing about cops and serial killers. With horror, you can let your imagination run free, and run riot if you so please! There are no limits with horror. It doesn’t matter if your killer is a three-eyed, shark-toothed, green slime monster from the depths of hell ( or an alien planet ), or if he’s a machete-wielding guy in a hockey mask…it’s all good in a horror novel. I like to let my imagination out to play on the dark side.

What is your current “work in progress” or upcoming projects?

I’m currently working on Book 2 in the ’Vampires of Hollywood’ series, titled ’The Right of Blood’ ( pencilled in for publication in June/July 2013 ) and on a stand-alone horror novel titled ‘Snow Blind’ ( which I hope to have out before the end of 2012 ). I’ve had to back-burner a couple of other projects right now because I need to concentrate on these two. My ‘distraction problem’ at work again!

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

In Book 2 of the ’Vampires of Hollywood’ we find out more about Dante Sonnier, the narrator of the books, and why she is so closely linked to the vampires. We also meet the family of Voshki Kevorkian, the vampire leader, and that has some interesting consequences for Dante! My stand-alone novel, ‘Snow Blind’ takes the Nez Perce legend of Grizzly Bear Woman and works it into the modern setting of a ski resort!

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Not getting distracted. I'm easily distracted. A new idea will pop into my head whilst I'm working on something, or there will be something on TV that I absolutely MUST watch, right now, no I couldn't possibly record it for later...and ooh look, a squirrel! That sort of thing. Sometimes I have to force myself to stay at the computer and keep writing whatever I happen to be working on at that moment. Editing is a nightmare because it bores me so very, very much, and boredom is just an open door to distraction.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

Stephen King has long been my favorite author. He has a unique talent for taking ordinary situations ( for example, a rabid dog in 'Cujo', or a car crash and an obsessed fan in 'Misery' ) and turning them into your worst nightmares come to life! Even the minor incidents within his narratives are given a nightmarish quality. He has always written characters, too, who are "everyday people", John Q. Public, and he throws them into these nightmares, to which they respond in ways that make them easy to understand and to get behind, even though sometimes they don't act like heroes. And King does it all with a deliciously dark sense of humor.


Who designed the cover of your latest book?

My publisher, Untreed Reads, and Ginny Glass, one of their design team, created the cover for Book 1 in the ’Vampires of Hollywood’ series, 'Dante's Awakening', but they did involve in the process me at every stage! I really loved the cover soon as I saw it - I think it really captures my modern Hollywood take on vampires, and the redheaded vampire was genius as the Children of Judas - the villains in the books - are redheads!

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Write, write, write! Write as often and as much as you can because practice makes perfect. And when you're not writing, you should be reading. A good writer always reads more than they write. And you might try watching TV. Studying the art of screenwriting is a useful tool to teach yourself about pace. I find shows like 'Law & Order, 'Criminal Minds' etc to be particularly helpful - shows with on-going storylines and subplots but which also tell a self-contained story each week. Having this "visualized" for you on screen can help you to make sense of how to keep your writing tight, of how to tell a story that keeps moving forward without getting too ‘boggy’ and so risking the loss of the reader’s interest.




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Dante's Awakening
Vampires of Hollywood #1
Devon Marshall

Genre: LGBT Paranormal/ Lesbian Vampire
Publisher: Untreed Reads
ASIN: B00824CMFW

Number of pages: 194
Word Count: 65,898

Cover Artist: Ginny Glass & Untreed Reads



Book Description:

Dante Sonnier is a successful Hollywood agent. She is also a friend to the secret community of vampires living in Los Angeles, and occasionally she assists them when they have a problem that requires a human to handle it. The vampires are led by Voshki Kevorkian, a gorgeous, sexy female vampire, who has made it clear that she would like Dante to be her human. Dante, although attracted to Voshki, is wary of the possessiveness and jealousy involved in being a vampire’s chosen human lover and resists.

When the Children of Judas, a two-thousand-year-old sect of murderous, rebel vampires shunned by the main community, rise up under a new leader and threaten to topple Voshki’s leadership and expose the whole community, the vampires turn to Dante for help. Dante travels to a small town in upstate California where the Children seem to be active, in the company of Ellis Kovacs, another vampire sired by Voshki, and Voshki’s "right-hand woman."

There, whilst investigating the Children and their leader Robin Shepherd, Dante succumbs to being seduced by the alluring Ellis. When Dante is kidnapped by the Children, Voshki decides it's time to take matters into her own hands.

Hell hath no fury like a vampire scorned.


About the Author:

Devon discovered at an early age that she had a fertile imagination and a profound love for words which together led to her writing stories. She has published numerous short stories and articles in the LGBT and mainstream small presses.

Dante's Awakening is her first published full-length novel and spent a week in the Amazon Top 100 in Lesbian Fiction #58  

Her second novel, 'Voodoo Woman' is available in PB and on Kindle, and the novella 'The Lives and Loves of The Modern Goddess' is also available on Kindle.

Devon lives on a windswept and remote Scottish island where the 'rat race' is an event at the annual County Fair and the daily view includes boats, birds, and the occasional bottlenose dolphin.  When she isn't writing, Devon enjoys reading, watching TV, and spending as much time as possible with her dog. She is currently working on the next book in the Vampires of Hollywood saga and a stand-alone horror novel.



@DevonWrites




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