Interview with Danica Winters, author of The Vampire’s Hope

Today is a chance to put your feet up, and meet an author.  Then read about her book, where to find it, and you even get an excerpt added into the bargain!

But first – the book:

The Vampire’s Hope
Series: The Vampire’s Hope: Book One
Author: Danica Winters
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Suspense
Publisher: BTGN
Format: eBook
Pages:  40 (approximate)
Purchase:  Amazon | Barnes and Noble | All Romance

About the Book:  Ellie Smith, an emotionally stunted dancer, finds more than she bargains for after her human life is taken by the vampire, Master Liam.  Once inside the Vampire’s underground lair, the Keres Den, she meets Ian, an immortal Viking warrior, who is infiltrating the soulless prison.  (New Paragraph) As Ellie begins her training, she learns that the dark tunnels around her are filled with even darker secrets.  As the truth of her existence come to light, she is faced with a choice—does she let her past dictate her future, or can she begin to feel again?

Thank you Danica for answering my questions, it’s a pleasure to have you here today.  First:  Tell us a little about yourself, where you live, relationship status, what colour are your socks?

A little bit about me, eh?  Well, I’m a self-confessed nerd who loves to work all night writing then spend all day chasing small children in circles.  When I have time to get dressed and exit the lands of make-believe I live in the mountains of Montana.  And my socks, well (looking down) they are white but the bottoms are a dirty gray.

I won’t ask you the all too typical when did you know you wanted to be a writer, but I am curious as to what was your earliest interest – was it a teacher or particular book, parent or a character or situation that just wouldn’t go away until you told the story?

Where do your ideas come from? Do you give up cleaning? Instead I pursue making peanut butter sandwiches and developing vampires, nymphs, veelas, and angels. 

Can you tell me a little bit about this book? 

I always write romance with a dark edge.  And this book is a short novella entitled, The Vampire’s Hope.  In which, Ellie Smith, an emotionally stunted dancer, finds more than she bargains for after she is indoctrinated into a Vampire den. When she meets the immortal Viking warrior, Ian, she is faced with a choice—does she let her past dictate her future, or can she begin to feel again?

My next novel entitled, The Nymph’s Labyrinth is a about a world shrouded in mystery and intrigue and the Sisterhood of Epione, all which must not be exposed. 

Shape-shifting nymph, Ariadne Papadakis, is tasked with keeping the truth of the group’s existence and their ancient mysteries far out of reach of the American archeologist, Beau Morris and his trouble-making son, Kaden.  When forgotten and forbidden passions are awakened, Ariadne is forced make a choice—fall in line and continue to be overrun and pushed down by the sisterhood, or follow her heart and put Beau and Kaden’s lives in danger.

Can she have the man she loves or will the pressure and secrets of her past keep her from her heart’s desire?  (To be released December 31st, 2012 by Crimson Romance.)

If you had the opportunity to do anything else in the world BUT write, would you trade in the writing to do it?  What might tempt you?

I am pretty fortunate to admit that there is little in this world that would tempt me away from writing.  I love that every day I can enter my own world and break from reality.  I don’t have a boss.  I work on my own schedule.  I work hard, but when something great develops I know that I made that happen.  To write is to be empowered.

What is the first book you remember reading?

I have always been a bibliophile.  I can remember some of my favorites as a young girl (The Babysitter’s Club, Ramona Quimby, and the Goosebumps Series).  I must admit that I occasionally go back and read young people’s books—I like to know what my kids will be reading. 

What is the last book you read?   

Honestly, I just finished reading my next book—I had to do a round of edits before sending it back to the publisher for another set of eyes.  Each time I write a book I read it dozens of times before it ever hits the store shelves.  (And sometimes sadly, I still make mistakes!! Ah, imperfection!!)

As to the last book that I read that wasn’t mine, well I read about two books a week.  I recently read My Vampire Cover Model by Karyn Gerrard (very spicy!) and Dracula (I love the classics). 

Coffee or tea? Coffee—and keep it coming.  Who needs sleep when they could be writing??!? 

Cats or Dogs?  Dogs warm up my feet a little more and my cat likes to walk on my keyboard while I’m working. 

eBooks or traditional paper books?  I love both.  I like that I can listen to my e-books, but I still love the smell of paper.

Do you have a character that keeps returning for their spotlight?  I have a witch, Tamsin Blithe, who keeps reappearing in my novel-length works.  She is a bit crazy, but I think that is why I love her.

Best advice you have ever been given about writing?   I heard BJ Daniels say something that I think not only applies to writing, but life as well.  She said, “There will always be someone out there who is doing better than you…[so why waste your time worrying about what they are doing or what they think]?”

I think this is a great motivator.  Don’t worry about those around you.  Keep your nose to the grindstone, work hard, and focus on your goal—whatever it may be.  If you do this, you will be a happier person. 

How long does it take you to craft a story that you feel is ready to be released (not counting final edits and the like – just the writing )?

This is a tough question.  I think it depends on the book, the length, and how much you already have written in your head.  My first novel took me a year to write—it now sits under my bed.  This story, The Vampire’s Hope initially took me a week, and then I let it sit for a year before I came back, reworked it and sent it to my publisher. I can write two or three novels a year—this year I’m hoping to finish three. 

Do you have a favorite chair or corner that always seems to keep you inspired?  I have a divot in my couch.  From there, I can work and head off any rebel heathens that come out of their beds at night. 

What is your favorite sound?  Least favorite?  Favorites—“Thank you” and “I love you.”  Followed by the sound of my computer closing after a great night of writing. Least Favorite—The low-din of a child’s whine.  I’m patient, but nothing can drive me crazier than a child whining, “I don’t want to.”

You can only keep one: Thesaurus or Dictionary  Dictionary—I write genre fiction not literary fiction!

Which character have you created would you take out for a night of Karaoke? What about out for a meal?  

Well, Ellie (the main character from The Vampire’s Hope) is a former pole dancer so she could sing and dance, but I would look rather silly doing the thumb waggle dance while she shimmied up and down the pole—so sadly, she’s out.  Instead I would have to choose Gloriana Canis from Curse of the Wolf.  She’s a sexy Veela and retired opera singer—so I could just lip-sync while she entertained the masses (no one wants to hear me sing—or try and get up a pole for that matter).  

I want to take a moment and thank you for having me on your blog.  It is greatly appreciated.  And I had fun answering your questions.  

To the readers—Thank you for stopping by and learning more about me. 

If you’d like to join me on Facebook Or Twitter Or on my Website and you can find my books on Amazon

Thank you for joining me!

Read on to see more about Danica, and read an excerpt of The Vampire’s Hope 

The Excerpt:

The couple in front of her stood under the bar’s lopsided mistletoe, their lips pressed against each other in a gesture of Christmas spirit.  On the man’s lapel was a white rose, smashed against the woman’s full breast.

The sight made Ellie Smith laugh.  Ellie was the same age as the two lip-locked party goers, yet they were so much younger.  They wore the white rose of hope—probably hope for love that would undoubtedly turn bad, or hope that the holidays would bring them the gifts of eternal bliss… those naïve fools.

The couple parted and their cheeks glowed with the pink twinges of arousal.  The sight was more than she could handle and she looked away.  They were luckier than they knew.  They probably did not have any idea what it was like to be without a bed for the night, without a home, without purpose, and without hope.

To her left a thick-set, redheaded man approached.  His shoulders were erect and he walked with a stride that conveyed power.  Catching Ellie’s eye, he smiled the grim smile of subtle manipulation.

Whatever he wanted, he wouldn’t get it from her.

A blonde man with an arched smile stepped out from behind the threatening redhead and sat down at the table.  “Hello, Elpis.  Welcome to The Ravena.”

The way he said her name made her skin crawl.

The blonde waved his hand at the rows of booze and the surly bartender.  “I hope you like the bar.”

The bar was like any number of others, just another stop in her constant travel through the dark world of the forgotten.

“Thanks.   I have no idea how you know my given name, but I’d rather you called me Ellie.”

“Sorry, Ellie.”

“Are you the owner of this place?”

The blonde motioned to the dangerous-looking redhead behind him.

She knew she should fear them, but there was nothing inside of her heart.  “I need a job.  Are you hiring?  I can dance.”

The blonde laughed. He looked over his shoulder at the red-headed man.  “She doesn’t have a clue.”

He turned back to her as if he had said nothing to the man who was clearly his boss. “My name is Ian.  And this is Master Liam…”  He pointed at the rigid redheaded man.

“What are you after?”

The club’s music filled the silence between them.

Ian smirked.  “Master Liam would like a dance.”

Ellie gazed over Ian’s blonde hair and his features—his eyes were the same blue as the sea, and his face was wide and rugged.  He looked like a portrait of a Viking.

Master Liam extended his hand in a silent command to dance.  She looked back at the handsome Viking.  Liam was a threat, but so was Ian.  Was it better to go after a powerful man who she wasn’t attracted to in hopes of getting a job, or was it better to forget her chance of getting hired and stay with the handsome Viking?

For once Ellie wondered what it was like to feel something—anything. If she was normal, would she blush? Would her lust move her nearer to him?  Instead, she only felt the dull emptiness inside of her breast.  Was there truly life without emotion?

Ellie slipped her hand into Master Liam’s. He led her to the dance floor, but she could sense Ian’s eyes upon her.

Master Liam moved in a stiff, archaic way and his hands never strayed from her waist.  Not that she minded.  It was nice not to be groped.  What kind of dancer would Ian be?

She looked back at her table.  Ian stared at her with a hunger in his eyes. She dropped her gaze.  If he wanted her, he didn’t act the part.

Master Liam said nothing to her as she looked up into his face.  His eyes were filled with lust and they slowly danced their way to the farthest recess of the dance floor.  His cold hands forced her head back and she stared up at the ceiling.

He pushed her against the wall.

He slowly bent down, taking each movement in his own unhurried time.  He inhaled and blew his chilled breath against the skin of her neck.

He wasn’t the man she wanted, but a job was a job—however she had to get it.

Liam leaned in, and instead of kissing her lips, he pressed his face into her neck and caressed her skin with his icy lips.

She drew in a breath and her pulse quickened.

His teeth pierced her skin, and she started to shriek, but his hand clamped down over her opening lips.  She struggled but as he drained her, weakness won.  A fire burned where his teeth dug into her flesh.  Acid filled her veins.

With her last thought, she envisioned the white rose on the stranger’s lapel.  No emotion, no hope…

About the Author:  Danica Winters is an Amazon best-selling romance author based in Montana. She is known for writing award-winning books that grip readers with their ability to drive emotion through suspense and often a touch of magic. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Montana Romance Writers, and Greater Seattle Romance Writers. She is a contributor to magazines, websites, and news organizations. She enjoys spending time with friends and family, the outdoors, and the bliss brought by the printed word.

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