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Thoughts on writing, technology, and things left of centre.

davidhburton
Date: 2010-12-17 09:50
Subject: 5 Day Giveaway!
Security: Public
Tags:uncategorized

Originally published at Random Musings. You can comment here or there.

For the next 5 days I’m giving away one copy per day of the ebooks Scourge and The Second Coming!

These are the “personalized” versions where I substitute in the name of the winner with one of the minor characters!

Just leave a comment below that you want to be entered. Winners will be announced at the end of each day at 9:00pm Eastern.

Good luck!

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davidhburton
Date: 2010-12-16 19:00
Subject: Tony Porter – A Call To Men
Security: Public
Tags:violence against women

Originally published at Random Musings. You can comment here or there.

This is not only a video worth watching, but one worth spreading.

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davidhburton
Date: 2010-11-29 10:16
Subject: Scourge: Official Launch Day!!
Security: Public
Tags:books

Originally published at Random Musings. You can comment here or there.

Today is the official launch of my new children’s novel, Scourge: A Grim Doyle Adventure.

I’m giving away 5 personalized copies of the ebook (it will have a signed dedication page and I’ll replace one character in the book with your name). All you have to do is post the book info anywhere between November 29th and Dec 1st on Facebook. Once you’ve posted come to the Facebook event and write on the wall that you’ve posted – then your name will be entered in the draw. (event location: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=171123342906340)

Here’s what you’ll need to post to enter:
———–
Scourge: A Grim Doyle Adventure – a new children’s steampunk fantasy

Check out the book trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Qbj7qqwBr0

Amazon ebook link:http://www.amazon.com/Scourge-Grim-Doyle-Adventure-ebook/dp/B004AHKCVQ

For more information, visit http://davidhburton.com
————


Map of Verne

Map of Verne

Here’s some information about the book:

Scourge: A Grim Doyle Adventure – a new children’s steampunk fantasy

Two dads, five siblings, and goggles! Grim Doyle has always known his life was not exactly “normal”, and things get even more curious when he discovers a set of stones that sweep him and his family to the fantasy, steampunk world of Verne – a place they had escaped from years ago. Now that they’ve returned, Grim and his siblings hide from the evil Lord Victor and his minions. And while learning about Jinns, Mystics, and the power of absinth they try to discover who is trying to kill them with the deadly Scourge.

Purchasing information:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Smashwords

iBookstore

Paperback

Personalized version of Scourge:
If you wish to purchase the personalized version of Scourge, it comes with an autographed dedication page as well as a fun feature where I alter the name of one of the minor characters in the story with the name of the purchaser.

The link to purchase is here.

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davidhburton
Date: 2010-11-23 16:15
Subject: Introduction to Smashwords
Security: Public
Tags:books, ebooks, self-publishing

Originally published at Random Musings. You can comment here or there.

For indie authors looking to get broader distribution of your ebooks, check out Smashwords. They’re easy to deal with, responsive, and for international authors, this is your best bet to get your ebook in the hands of retailers that you otherwise can’t.

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davidhburton
Date: 2010-11-17 20:00
Subject: Book Review – The Blood Witch by Guido Henkel
Security: Public
Tags:book reviews

Originally published at Random Musings. You can comment here or there.

An ancient curse resurfaces. From deep within the English forests, a hideous creature threatens to re-emerge, stronger than ever. Meanwhile, young girls are disappearing from the streets of London, and rumors of heinous rituals abound.

Fearing for her very life, a young actress working at the famed Lyceum Theatre calls desperately on Jason Dark for help. On the eve of Walpurgis Night, the Geisterjäger meets another formidable enemy as he comes face to face with the Blood Witch. Who will prevail?

———————–

Guido Henkel is another talented writer I met in one of my earlier interviews. I also interviewd him for Blood Witch – the latest in his Jason Dark series.

The Jason Dark series are dime novels. And if you don’t know what those are, they’re shorter pieces of fiction with their history originating in the 19th and early 20th century. To quote Wikipedia:

Dime novels are, at least in spirit, the antecedent of today’s mass market paperbacks, comic books, and even television shows and movies based on the dime novel genres. In the modern age, “dime novel” has become a term to describe any quickly written, lurid potboiler and as such is generally used as a pejorative to describe a sensationalized yet superficial piece of written work.

Although I’d heard the term “dime novel” previously, I had never actually read one. And I would hardly call them “superficial”.

Henkel’s series harkens back to Victorian England. It is peppered with supernatural elements and fun historical references. (Bram Stoker makes a cameo in this book!). The Blood Witch, Vol 8 in this series, centers on Jason Dark’s adventures against a character based on Elizabeth Báthory – the Blood Countess. She was one of the worst serial killers in history, with some references setting her count at over six hundred victims. Some writings even say she bathed in the blood of her victims in order to conserve her youth and beauty. This is the legend that Henkel does a wonderful job of weaving into his tale. And he adds his own supernatural spin on the story that gives a whole new, and hauntingly sad, dimension to it.

Naturally, Dark is not alone in his battle. He has with him a female counterpart – Siu Lin. She’s a martial arts expert that almost acts like his bodyguard. I thought it was a brilliant element that added yet another interesting dimension to this book. And along with this are tantalizing hints at Dark’s past. It’s enough to whet the appetite and make you want to not only read the earlier books to gather more but also to keep reading the subsequent volumes.

The writing for this book is fast paced with enough detail to get the point across without all the fluff. The Blood Witch was an intriguing read and I now look forward to reading the earlier books in the series. Yes, I read this out of order, and that’s fine. From what I can tell, each story stands on its own.

Henkel has now converted one more person to appreciating the dime novel, and in particular the Jason Dark series. The next volume I want to read is called Dead by Dawn. I can’t wait!

Purchasing info:

Amazon: Kindle
Paperback
Barnes & Noble: Nookbook

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davidhburton
Date: 2010-11-14 22:08
Subject: Book Review – Drummer Boy by Scott Nicholson
Security: Public
Tags:book reviews

Originally published at Random Musings. You can comment here or there.

On an Appalachian Mountain ridge, young Vernon Ray Davis hears the rattling of a snare drum deep inside a cave known as “The Jangling Hole”, and the wind carries a whispered name. According to legend, the Hole is home to a group of Civil War soldiers buried by a long-ago avalanche. Everyone, especially Vernon Ray’s dad, laughs at him…because he’s different.

On the eve of an annual Civil War re-enactment, the town of Titusville prepares for a mock battle. But inside the Hole, disturbed spirits are rising from their dark slumber, and one of them is heading home.

And Vernon Ray stands between the battle lines of the living and the dead, caught between a world where he doesn’t a belong and a world from which he can never return…

———————–

Scott Nicholson is an author I learned about this year when I interviewed him for The Skull Ring. I’m not exactly sure why I chose Drummer Boy as my first Scott Nicholson novel – he has quite a repertoire to choose from – but it was an excellent place to start.

I haven’t read much in the horror/supernatural realm in a long time. I used to read a LOT of Stephen King when I was younger. When King lost his edge, I more or less moved on to other genres – mostly fantasy and scifi. And after that I never really returned.

That has just changed.

Drummer Boy is one of those novels that creeps back into your thoughts long after reading it – in particular, the “Jangling Hole” and the darkness that lies within it. There’s a realism to this story that’s reminiscent of some of King’s earlier work that I once loved. Not the graphic scenes of violence which I don’t have much of a stomach for, but rather supernatural elements that have just enough reality in them to make you turn the lights on at night when you’re alone. It’s the kind of horror that reaches into the deep places where nightmares lurk and make them surface. This is my kind of fright.

With Nicholson, you are in the hands of a master – a brilliant writer that portrays a gritty reality to his characters. They’re flawed in one manner or another, but you can’t help but empathize with their predicaments, especially Vernon Ray. I had quite a personal connection with this particular character – a reluctant hero who shows great resilience considering the harsh environment he’s grown up in.

I think one of the greatest strengths of this writer is the complexities so well weaved into these characters. They live a life you would want to very quickly remove yourself from, yet at the same time you can’t help but be fascinated with them.

Nicholson also references, what I suspect, are some events from The Red Church. This will likely be the next book of Nicholson’s that I pick up. I’m also very tempted by The Skull Ring. Tough call!

All in all, I have to say I’m so pleased to have rediscovered my love of horror through Nicholson. This is a name you should be adding to your TBR list. He’s on mine!!

Purchasing info:

Amazon: Kindle
Amazon: Paperback
Smashwords
Barnes & Noble: Paperback

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davidhburton
Date: 2010-11-08 19:01
Subject: Little Wonders…
Security: Public
Tags:adoption

Originally published at Random Musings. You can comment here or there.

Little Wonders by Rob Thomas
Click here to listen

let it go,
let it roll right off your shoulder
don’t you know
the hardest part is over
let it in,
let your clarity define you
in the end
we will only just remember how it feels


our lives are made
in these small hours
these little wonders,
these twists & turns of fate
time falls away,
but these small hours,
these small hours still remain


let it slide,
let your troubles fall behind you
let it shine
until you feel it all around you
and i don’t mind
if it’s me you need to turn to
we’ll get by,
it’s the heart that really matters in the end


our lives are made
in these small hours
these little wonders,
these twists & turns of fate
time falls away,
but these small hours,
these small hours still remain


all of my regret
will wash away some how
but i can not forget
the way i feel right now


in these small hours
these little wonders
these twists & turns of fate
these twists & turns of fate
time falls away but these small hours
these small hours, still remain,
still remain
these little wonders
these twists & turns of fate
time falls away
but these small hours
these little wonders still remain

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davidhburton
Date: 2010-11-08 08:30
Subject: Interview with Author – Guido Henkel
Security: Public
Tags:author interviews

Originally published at Random Musings. You can comment here or there.

I’ve been running a series of interviews with authors that are releasing new books. I hope you’ll take the time to check out their work. Today, please welcome back author, Guido Henkel.

————

I interviewed you a few months ago for Dr. Prometheus, Volume 5 of the Jason Dark series. Tell me about this new work in the series.

The Jason Dark series is now up to Volume 8, titled “The Blood Witch,” which was released in October. It is a story that is heavily rooted in actual history as the titular character, the so-called Blood Witch, is in fact loosely based on Erzsébet Báthory, who has gone down in history as one of the most notorious serial killers with 600 victims attributed to her – depending on who you ask. Bathory used to bath in the blood of her victims to retain her youth.

That historic fact created an image in my mind which became pivotal in the development of the story, and I began thinking in terms of alternate history and asked myself, “What if?” From there I began to spin a completely new tale with these historic legends as the backdrop.

Which of your characters in this book was the most difficult to write about? Why?

The young actress who calls on Jason Dark’s help in the beginning of the story was the most difficult for me. To find the proper naïvety in the character while making sure she always comes across as very intelligent and worldly was what threw me off a few times and I ended up rewriting parts of her dialogue on a number of occasions, just to try and pinpoint the proper way she would communicate with the people around her.

The Jason Dark series is just that – dark. What are some of the darker elements in Blood Witch?

The Blood Witch herself is a remarkably dark character – both in history and in my fictional story here. I wanted to write her as a character who has lost touch with reality, who exists solely to support herself, yet at the same time is very vulnerable and has to depend on others for sustenance and help. It was an interesting walk to show the stone-cold side of her where she has not a hint of mercy or remorse for those she chose as victims, yet at the same time almost falls to pieces when things affect her directly.

I never wanted to make her come across as completely despicable but with a truly human side that everyone can relate to. In my mind that helped make her ruthlessness and blood thirstiness so much more meaningful and dark. To balance that, particularly within the confines of a dime novel, was pretty tricky. I loved that challenge, however, and loved every moment I got to spend writing her parts in the book.

Do you ever get the feeling that dime novels are too short for their own good?

Yes, and no. On the one hand the compact format gives me the chance to hone in on what’s important to the story, what propels it forward, without having to deal with a lot of extraneous fluff. I do like to get to the point – in all things I do. Beating around the bush is not for me and I am honestly not sure how I would conjure up all the filler material that is needed for a full-length novel. I just started reading a book and the first quarter of the book was nothing but peripheral information – no real plot development or highlights. It was just a description of the environment, how this creek leads to that stream which then turns into another stream a couple of hundred miles south… that kind of stuff. I often have to ask myself in those moments, “Who cares?”

On the other hand, given the format of a dime novel, it is hard for me sometimes to isolate the really important things because there are certain vignettes, you might call them, that come to my mind that would help to illustrate personality traits better at times or that would simply help the reader understand a character’s deeper motivations better. Occasionally, it is a mood thing that I’d simply like to linger a bit longer than necessary, or that I’d like to insert an element that has nothing to do with the immediate story but is rather part of the overarching world of Jason Dark.

I have to balance these things very carefully and occasionally I have to cut them out simply because there is no space for it, or because the structure of the story wouldn’t allow it without destroying the dramatic arc and suspense that I’ve been building.

So in that respect, dime novels are very different beasts than novels. Readers often tell me that they wished the story would have been longer or that it would have been fluffed out some more, lengthened with more events etc. I understand where these readers come from, but I honestly believe there can be too much of a good thing. If you read one of my stories and you get to the last page feeling like you could have read on for another 100 pages, I think I’ve done my job, because I have created an immediate bridge to the next story, giving readers the chance to continue reading by simply picking up the next adventure in the series.

So, is it important for readers to read the series in sequence?

Not at all. The series is laid out in such a fashion that you can jump in and out anywhere . You can begin with any volume, read them out of order, whichever you want. There is a certain beauty in reading them sequentially, however, I will admit, as it allows the reader to see how the world around Jason Dark changes over time and how people change, how their actions affect their world and how these effects sometimes carry over into subsequent stories. It is a little literary sleight of hand, so to say, that I love to engage in, to add a level of information to these stories that only those familiar with the series are able to pick up on. Nothing essential, but a nice little tidbit of recognition as you read that might make you smile.

You are the founder of G3 Studios (a video game developer and publisher) as well as an author. Tell me about your experiences in the RPG world.

I sort of stumbled into the role-playing world through text adventures. These are best described as interactive books on the computer where the player directly interacts with the story and changes the course of it. I wrote a number of those games but found them too limiting because they were really all text, without any graphics.

The next logical step up were RPGs, because the key to a good role-playing game is a good story(teller). The better the storyteller, the more thought out the story itself, the better the experience. When we developed games like the “Realms of Arkania” series we tried to create some of the most intricately detailed game worlds and game mechanics that were available at the time. We wanted to make sure that every action the player took had some kind of effect on the game itself. The result were incredibly complex games that took a long time to develop but immediately found audiences who were looking for exactly that.

When we created “Planescape: Torment” we wanted to take it one step farther, but on a different direction. In Planescape the key to the development of the story was how the player interacted with the other computer-controlled characters in the game. We took a very mature, adult approach to the story and made sure that players will literally lose themselves in the experience. It seemed to have worked because Planescape is to this day – over 10 years after its release – still regularly showing up in polls and magazine lists as one of the best games ever made.

Do you find the RPG/gaming world intertwining more with the fiction world these days? How has your work in the gaming world helped you in the writing world?

The key difference is that in games you write non-linear fiction. The player can change everything. The plot constantly evolves, depending on what the player does. Therefore you can never build a dramatic arch, or a suspenseful storyline the way you do in a book where you firmly control what the reader gets to see, and when. In games it is a usual occurrence for the player to stumble across information prematurely or out of sequence. You never have the same kind of build-up as in linear fiction and you always have to have 10 different answers – and plot lines – for everything the player might do. It is extremely challenging work. You have to keep track of everything, detangle everything properly at the right time, create segues to move the plot forward smoothly even if the storyline has not been fully uncovered, and so forth. It really takes it out of you.

In linear fiction, things are much easier in that respect. You have a beginning and an end and you simply fill in everything in-between, always being in the driver’s seat. While this is generally easier, I noticed that in linear fiction my focus shifted and I now pay much more attention to how I write certain passages. I write for maximum effect and not so much for versatility or even ambiguity. I use entirely different vocabulary in my books and watch more for my style. I track things like suspense and the proper mix between characters and plot points, etc. It is equally interesting and demanding, but on a very different level.

This blog is called Random Musings, so give me a random quote from the book – something you’re particularly fond of.

Here is a passage that might be a little odd, but I like it a lot for the human quality it has. Jason Dark and Siu Lin are in the middle of fighting off the Blood Witch and her henchman. Siu Lin gets the upper hand with her kung fu and beats the henchman to the ground. This is the line that follows.

“Please stay down, she silently prayed of Radu. I don’t want to hurt you any more than I have to.”

To me this line is pinpointing precisely who Siu Lin is. She is this incredible kung fu master who is a match for anyone – man or beast – but despite this warrior that she is, deep within her she is a gentle and loving soul, using her skills only if she has to, in the true spirit of kung fu.

What can we expect from you next?

The next Jason Dark adventure is currently being prepared for release, diving into very dark waters, as a creature called a Terrorlord is being summoned in an attempt to open the Seven Gates of Hell. I’m sure fans of the series will enjoy this one, too, as it has a very gothic Lovecraftian feel to it in my opinion.

Where can we find you on the internet?

People can find the Jason Dark series at http://www.jasondarkseries.com or join the Jason Dark Facebook Page.

Additionally, you can find me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

Any final comments or thoughts?

If you haven’t checked out the Jason Dark series yet, you better hop to it. These dime novels are a fun, fast-paced read that are just waiting to pull you along for the ride. What could be more fun than mystery thrillers set in Victorian England, featuring some supernatural nasties and a bunch of truly resourceful sleuths to hunt them down? Give it a try! I promise you won’t be disappointed.

————

Thanks so much for coming back, Guido. This series is totally worth checking out. I’ve been reading Blood Witch and I love it!

Purchasing information:

Amazon – Kindle

Barnes & Noble

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davidhburton
Date: 2010-11-03 08:30
Subject: Interview With Author – Sidney Williams
Security: Public
Tags:author interviews

Originally published at Random Musings. You can comment here or there.

I’ve been running a series of interviews with authors that are releasing new books. I hope you’ll take the time to check out their work. Today, please welcome author, Sidney Williams.

————

To start, can you tell me a little about yourself.

I’m a native of Louisiana, and I recently earned an MFA from Goddard College. In my early years, in the Pleistocene, I worked as a newspaper reporter and covered everything from local crime to entertainment and religion, including Pope John Paul II’s visit to New Orleans.

I’m generally harmless. I’m married, my wife, Christine, and I have cats, and we enjoy travel, reading, British mystery programs and gardening.

How long have you been writing and how did you get to this point in your career?

I really became interested in writing early in life. I re-wrote the captions in my coloring books with my mother spelling words for me. It was probably junior high that I became enamored with writing stories, when teachers really encouraged reading and imagination. We had the opportunity to order paperbacks really inexpensively at school, and that introduced me to many authors through short story collections.

I’m an only child, so I also had the indulgence of parents who would buy me books. I read Ray Bradbury and H.P. Lovecraft early on and sampled a lot of different genres, even some Cheever. I became a Raymond Chandler and Ross MacDonald fan around that time as well, discovering their books because of movie tie-ins to Farewell, My Lovely and The Drowning Pool. I discovered a free issue of Writer’s Digest through 1,001 Free Things, also a school book purchase, and used the magazine to figure things out.

I started submitting little things in high school including instructive quatrains for a textbook company, but everything was rejected. While I was an undergraduate, I tailored my educational experience as much as possible toward writing and produced three detective novels while I was in school.

I learned from those, but I didn’t feel I had something new to offer the private eye story. I recalled my junior high influences, and in the early days of reporting, began to write stories that blended mystery and horror. That led to my first novel, which led to others including YA titles under the name Michael August. I’ve written comics and short stories and audio drama. I’ve always kept busy, though I dropped out of the novel scene for a while.

My books are coming out in e-book editions now, and I’m working on new material as well. I consider the e-books my B-movie-in-print period. They’re horror thrillers, as fast paced as I could make them with action, visceral chills and high energy conclusions. I think it was fantasy writer Steven Brust who said once, we’re all trying to put as much cool stuff as we can in each book, and that’s what I hope is true of these novels. Monsters, chills, ancient secrets and excitement.

Tell me what inspired you to write this particular novel?

Gnelfs, with a silent G, is just out in an e-book edition from Crossroad Press, with a fabulous new cover from Neil Jackson. It’s similar to some of the urban fantasy and paranormal suspense that has come along since its original publication. I kind of pushed my original publisher’s limits on the constraints of the horror genre. Gnelfs is probably the book in which I rebelled the most against the boundaries, and I got in a lot of dark fantasy elements.

The core idea developed when I saw someone on a talk show claiming that cartoons included elements from real magical rituals. I started to think about what might happen if that were true and someone set out to exploit gateway symbols in children’s book illustrations and on TV.

The story focuses on a young mother whose daughter is the target of attacks channeled through magical symbols. She’s assisted in her struggles by an occult investigator known only as Danube; he’s a holy man with a mysterious past.

Danube started life in my notebooks as a spy, when I was in high school. Danube was his code name, but he grew into the central character he is now, much more mystical and mysterious, though clues about who he really is are laced throughout the narrative. The Gnelfs of the title are cartoon characters, half-gnomes and half-elves, but the spirits behind their attacks are mischievous demons who are hard to control.

I have a keen interest in dark fiction. Tell me how you would classify this book and what’s dark about it?

I’d say in this case, it’s dark fantasy or paranormal fantasy. It’s filled with dark forces that the forces of light must battle. It’s good vs. evil, purity vs. corruption. Without giving too much away, the heroes have to face Hell itself before it’s all over. I drew on mythic elements for the plot, the Kabbalah, the Old Testament, Judaeo-Christian tradition, all boiled into sort of the novel’s own mythology.

Are you a dark person?

I think I’m generally warm spirited and fun.

Sometimes we have to be ruthless in writing/editing. We cut scenes, eliminate characters or even kill them off. Tell me what was the hardest of these in this book.

I’ve actually been criticized about this book for the death toll. I read an interview with Stephen King once in which he discussed Ed McBain’s brilliant 87th Precinct books about a squad of detectives. King said something to the effect of once in awhile McBain kills a main character just so you know you’re still playing hard ball.

In horror, I think it’s important that anybody can die. It hurts to kill off a character, but when anyone can go it means everything’s unpredictable and everyone’s at risk. I hated to see one particular character go in Gnelfs, but it had to happen.

The book was entered in a contest once, judged by a children’s book author, who I don’t think understood horror. The author in a critique railed against a particular death and the book’s overall horrific tone, but Tom Skerritt’s character dies in Alien, and Ripley winds up on her own, and it makes for a tremendous ending. Marion Crane and Detective Arbogast go in Psycho. Ditto Gage in King’s Pet Sematary. It’s a tough world. Live with it. Oh, by the way, spoiler warning on those titles I mentioned.

This blog is called Random Musings, so give me a random quote from the book – something you’re particularly fond of.

Here’s a little passage of dialog:

“These blasted things of yours are out of control.”
“No,” said Simon. “They are merely gaining strength. All is well.”
“The hell it is.”

What can we expect from you next?

More of my early thrillers are coming as e-books including my Louisiana-set vampire thriller Night Brothers, and I’m working on short story collections for Crossroad, which will bring together a lot of magazine and online pieces in one place for the first time. There will be a mixture of old and new. Beyond that, it’s hard not to sound pretentious, but I’m working on what I hope are a couple of literary thrillers, true to what I’ve done before but reflecting where I am more as a reader and a writer. I sought an MFA to expand my ideas and perspective, and I want to work to incorporate that new insight into my work.

Where can we find you on the internet? Blog? Twitter? Web site? Book trailer?

I like Twitter, and what my profile says is true. I like having a community of writerly and readerly types. If there’s a good flow of conversation going, you certainly can’t be bored. I can be followed on Twitter as @Sidney_Williams. If you’re not a Web 2.0 entrepreneur, I’ll follow you back. My website is sidisalive.com. It needs to be refitted, I think, but it’s a gateway to my social media presences including my blog, and my books can be ordered from there or from the usual places, Amazon, Amazon UK, Barnes and Noble and Smashwords or from the publisher, Crossroad Press, which has a host of great horror and thriller titles.

Any final comments or thoughts?

I’m excited to see what comes next.

————

Thanks for the interview Sidney!! And good luck with Gnelfs! I love the cover!!!

Purchasing information:

Amazon US – Kindle
Amazon UK – Kindle
Smashwords

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davidhburton
Date: 2010-11-01 08:30
Subject: Interview With Author – Dawn McCullough-White
Security: Public
Tags:author interviews

Originally published at Random Musings. You can comment here or there.

I’ve been running a series of interviews with authors that are releasing new books. I hope you’ll take the time to check out their work. Today, please welcome back author, Dawn McCullough-White.

————

I interviewed you for Cameo a few months ago. Tell me about this new book.

The new book is a sequel to Cameo. It’s called Cameo and the Highwayman. There are two plot-lines in this novel, one focuses on the highwayman- Black Opal, and deals with his back-story. The second plot deals with Cameo, the mission her master has sent her on, and the vampire Edel. Edel, who has no more than a walk-on role in the first novel becomes a major character in the sequel and seems to hold a lot of the answers to questions Cameo never believed she could have answered for her. As always in my novels there is a decent share of action and dark themes.

What inspired you to write this particular novel?

I was doing a lot of reading about the French Revolution, and toyed around with the “what if” possibilities. What if, it hadn’t turned out exactly the way it did, what would the royal family look like? And what if some of those who were a major part of the revolution had lived?

Which of your characters in this book was the most difficult to write about? Why?

I don’t know if it’s one single character, but the interactions between Cameo and Opal can be very difficult to write because they are both main characters each a powerful personality, it can sometimes be hard to have them interact without one over-powering the other. One of the scenes in the novel had something like fourteen rewrites because it just never seemed to be going where I wanted it to. Their personalities were changing in ways I did not want them to. But when left to their own devices each of them is the most dominate character in a scene and I don’t have to worry. When one walks in the other characters orient themselves around either Cameo or Opal… when they’re together I have to make a decision about who would be more dominate in that moment.

I have a keen interest in dark fiction. Tell me how you would classify this book and what’s dark about it?

It’s a dark fantasy… urban fantasy… paranormal fantasy… historical fantasy; it falls into all of those categories. If I were to compare the Cameo series with something, I guess I’d say it’s similar to the movie “Brotherhood of the Wolf”. It’s darkly beautiful and gritty. It’s set in approximately the 18th century, although in another universe… a fantasy world. I love the whole underbelly of life at that time, the taverns, the poor, the drug use, hygiene, disease, etc, etc… and it all comes out in the world I’m creating.

Would you say that your work is more plot driven or character driven?

Character driven, completely. Yes, there is a plot (several plots) but my writing is driven by interesting characters. It’s what I love most about writing, the breathing life into a new character and discovering who this new person is and then throwing them in with other characters to watch how they interact.

This blog is called Random Musings, so give me a random quote from the book – something you’re particularly fond of.

“Hey! You two!” the guard called after them.

Black Opal stopped.

“Are you part of this mob?” He took a couple steps closer.

A small unit of military men came trickling around the corner to see what all the commotion was about.

Opal half turned, “No.”

Kyrian turned around to look right at the guard, innocent, nearly smiling then looked back at the dandy who seemed rooted to the cobblestone. “What’s wrong?”

Opal shoved the purse into his hands. “You don’t know me.”

What can we expect from you next?

My next project is a YA horror novella that I’m writing for a small press anthology and will probably be out in 2012. I’m also halfway through the third installment of the Cameo series, and it may be released in the winter of 2011.

Where can we find you on the internet?

My website.

My Facebook page.

Cameo and the Highwayman is available on Kindle.

Any final comments or thoughts?

I’d like to mention and thank Kurt Hanss who is the talented artist who does my covers and created my website. I’d also want to thank David Burton for giving me the opportunity to talk about my new release on his blog.

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Glad you could come back, Dawn!! Thank you very much for the interview and best of luck with Cameo and the Highwayman as well as Cameo!!

Purchasing information:

Amazon – Kindle
Smashwords

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December 2010