Interview with D.B. Reynolds
Today I’m happy to have on my blog the incredible, D.B. Reynolds. Not only does she write the wonderful Vampires in America series of books, but she’s also one of my fantastic crit partners. Which works out very well for me, because not only is she very good at helping my writing get better, but I also get to read all of her books before anyone else. Not that I’m showing off or anything.
Duncan is the 5th book in the Vampires in America series and here’s the blurb:
Washington, D.C. … capital of an empire. Powerful. Exhilarating. Corrupt. And in the shadows … vampires far older than the nation itself.
A power unto himself, Duncan has served at Raphael’s side for nearly the entire two hundred years of his existence. But long laid plans have finally borne fruit, and the time has come for Duncan to leave Raphael and tackle the greatest challenge of his life. He will face treacherous vampires and murderous humans. He will rock the halls of human power if necessary. But Washington, D.C. will be his.
Emma Duquet cares nothing for vampire politics. She just wants to find her missing roommate and best friend, Lacey. But Lacey’s been playing with vampires of a particularly dangerous kind, and Emma will have to deal with the new vampire in town if she’s going to find her friend.
Battling powerful enemies who will stop at nothing to keep their secrets, Duncan and Emma will dig beneath the corruption and depravity that is Washington, D.C. and uncover the most heinous conspiracy of all …
And to whet your appetite even more, here’s a short extract:
“Do you feel it, Miguel?” Duncan whispered, and sent a fraction of what he was sensing down the link he shared with his vampire child.
Miguel sucked in a breath. “Sick fuck,” he hissed.
“Not sick,” Duncan corrected softly. “Evil.” His gaze traveled up the wide staircase. It would be worse up there. So much worse.
“Upstairs,” he said.
Miguel sent one of his vampire guards up ahead of him, but Duncan knew they’d find nothing. There was nothing to see any longer, only to feel. He tightened his shields down hard, needing to know what had happened, but unwilling to let the full measure of Victor’s corruption swamp his senses. What he was feeling was horrific enough. He didn’t need to drown in it.
He climbed the stairs slowly, reluctantly, for all that he was determined to do it. At the top of the stairs, he turned unerringly to the right, the waves of pain and terror like the fingers of a ghost, tugging at his clothing, drawing him closer.
They passed the first room, and the second. Duncan paused, looking ahead. Every one of the rooms up here reeked of lust, of a hunger that would never be satisfied. But the worst of it, the true depths of depravity that had been perpetrated here . . . that had happened in the room at the end of the hall. The door was closed. Duncan wished it could stay that way.
His fangs emerged, sliding over his lower lip unbidden, as he stared at that closed door—as he stalked down the hall to that nightmare chamber. Next to him, Miguel gave him a startled glance, his own fangs appearing in response to Duncan’s obvious anger. Duncan almost staggered when it finally hit him, a red haze filling his vision. He opened the door and halted there, unwilling to cross the threshold. He heard the voices of men laughing, swearing, grunting in release. And he heard the terrified cries of women begging for mercy, screaming in agony.
He swallowed a furious howl, biting down so hard that his fangs sliced his lip. Blood dripped down to his chin, warm and thick. He licked it up without thinking, lost in the memory of what had been done here, of how far they’d gone to satisfy their perverted need to inflict pain on the helpless.
Duncan spun on his heel, unable to bear another moment within that agony-soaked room. It ran in invisible rivulets down the walls, rotting the boards, the carpets; everything it touched was fouled by what had happened there.
He strode back toward the staircase. He needed to get outside before the leftover emotions destroyed what was left of his shields. He shuddered at the thought of facing the searing pain of that house without even a shred of protection.
I can assure you, it only gets better from there. And now, on with the interview:
1. Do you have any other projects in the pipeline?
My current contract is for eight books, and I just turned in number 6. So, first I have to write two more Vampires in America books. And then I’m in talks with my publisher for a continuation of that series. But I’m also working on a couple of new series ideas, one a paranormal romance, and the other an urban fantasy which I’m pretty excited about.
2. What has been the best compliment you’ve received as an author?
I received an email from a reader when I announced that Book 5 would be DUNCAN. She told me how much she loved the books, but what really touched me was what she said next. She said she’d had a terrible, sad day, having just returned home from her cousin’s funeral. And that when she’d read that Duncan’s story would be next, she was so happy that it brightened this otherwise very grim day. And I thought how lucky I was to have somehow crafted a world that could touch someone like that.
3. Do you have any advice for other writers?
My first piece of advice for anyone who wants to be a writer is always the same. You have to WRITE. All the time. You have to work at it. And then you have to let other people read and critique it. And I don’t mean your mom who still has your first poem hanging on the refrigerator. You need objective criticism from people who know the craft. Join a writing group—they’re everywhere, especially on the internet. And then you have to submit and risk rejection. It’s painful, but we’ve all been there, and rejection is part of the learning process. If you don’t discover what doesn’t work, you’ll never know what does.
4. What is your writing process? Do you follow a regular routine?
I’m a terrible night owl. I start work around midnight and write until about 5:00 in the morning. Every night. When I’m on deadline, I write 7 nights a week. When I can breathe a little, I try to cut down to 6 nights, but sometimes the muse is driving me almost as hard as a deadline would, and I end up doing 7 nights anyway.
5. Did you want to be a writer when you were at school/college?
I wanted to be a writer in high school, but by the time I got to college, I knew I had to be more practical. I always had it in the back of my head, though, that someday I’d have enough time, and then I’d go back to writing. And I did.
6. When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I suppose it was when my first book was published and I held it in my hand. It’s a little foolish, since by that time I’d already written the first two books in the series, plus at least two other full-length novels, including an epic fantasy that was close to 200,000 words. But somehow, holding that first book in your hand is a turning point.
7. If you could work with any author who would it be?
I can’t name only one. There are so many authors I admire, so many I’d love to work with. But just to name a few, there’s Nalini Singh, Kresley Cole and Adrian Phoenix in Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy. And I’d love to write a mystery with John Sandford, or a romantic suspense with Linda Howard.
8. What is the last book you read?
I read a lot of books, so by the time you’re reading this, I’ll have read several more books. But as I write this, the last book I read was Linda Castillo’s Breaking Silence, which is the third in her Kate Burkholder suspense series. And I’m reading the fourth one, Gone Missing, now.
9. If you could go back in time, what advice would you give to your 16-year-old self?
Don’t marry that idiot! (first husband) And … don’t get old.
10. What skills do you possess that would help you survive a zombie apocalypse?
Well, first of all I’m in good physical shape, excellent stamina and zombies don’t move very fast … or sideways, for that matter. Second, I’m quite pitiless. If flamethrowers are what works, then flamethrowers it is. They’re dead anyway. And finally, in order to get to my house, they’d have to climb a long twisty road. They’ll find much easier food at the bottom of the hill and lots of it!
11. What TV shows do you enjoy?
Not that many. I watch The Daily Show with Jon Stewart pretty religiously. And Bill Maher on occasion. And lately I’ve got a thing for crime/cop shows. Criminal Minds is particularly good, and I enjoy The Closer (which is about to enter its final season.) And then there’s this new show, Longmire, which is very laid back. I like that, too. I watch True Blood, although lately, I don’t know why I bother. This season in particular is pretty dull. I watched Game of Thrones, although it’s frustrating when they dole out a complex story like that in 13 episode bursts. I’ve read the books, but, even so, I find myself wracking my brain sometimes trying to remember what’s going on and who the many players are. I don’t watch ANYTHING live. I DVR everything and watch it later. I’m totally addicted to the reverse and forward buttons. It’s reached the point that when I’m in a theater watching a movie, I find myself mentally reaching for the reverse button! It’s very irritating when it’s not there!! LOL
12. If you could be any character in fiction, who would you be?
I guess I’d have to choose my own Cyn … so I could go to bed with Raphael every night/day. “Go to bed” being a euphemism in this case.
13. What’s your favourite Monty Python film/sketch?
There are so many! My husband and I quote them all the time! But I guess my favorite would be in Life of Brian when they’re sitting in the arena discussing the various and many political groups like the Palestinian People’s Resistance vs the People’s Resistance of Palestine. And someone asks “Whatever happened to them?” and Reg (John Cleese) points at this guy sitting alone and says, “He’s over there.” And they all yell “splitter!” And then they have this huge discussion about how Stan wants to be called Loretta. “But he hasn’t got a womb!” Cracks me up every time.