Q&A: Why Dianne Duvall’s Immortals eat organic in ‘Darkness Dawns’ March 2, 2011Posted by Diana McCabe in Authors, Fun stuff, News.
Tags: Darkness Dawns, Dianne Duvall, Roland, Sarah
Sarah Bingham is a music professor who just wants a break from classes. Roland Warbrook is just trying to stay alive. When Sarah rescues the Immortal vampire hunter, she, too, becomes a target of his enemies and is thrust into a battle between two supernatural species. But at first, Sarah has no clue that Roland is nearly a millennium old — or that he eats organic food!
That’s the premise behind Dianne Duvall’s debut paranormal romance novel DARKNESS DAWNS. She spends time with us today, answering questions about her novel and writing. Stay to the end to find out how you can win a signed copy of her book!
Q: What inspired you to write DARKNESS DAWNS and why go into the paranormal romance genre?
A: I love paranormal romances, particularly vampire romances, and wanted to create my own paranormal world. But I wanted to approach the vampire romance genre from a new perspective. The idea for this new slant actually arose from two manuscripts I wrote before DARKNESS DAWNS: a medieval romance with paranormal elements and a time travel romance. Both featured women with special gifts bestowed upon them at birth by advanced DNA (though they didn’t know the source themselves). These women and their male counterparts — referred to as gifted ones — provided me with a way to differentiate between immortals and vampires in DARKNESS DAWNS. In my Immortal Guardians series, vampirism is caused by a rare symbiotic virus. Immortals are gifted ones who have been infected and, thus, transformed by the virus. The corrupt vampires they hunt are ordinary humans who have been infected with it.
Q: Tell us what went into creating your heroine, Sarah Bingham, and hero, Roland Warbrook.
A: As I mentioned above, before DARKNESS DAWNS I wrote a medieval romance with paranormal elements and a time travel romance (not yet published). Having spent so much time researching Medieval England, the idea of featuring a medieval warrior as a hero in a contemporary setting appealed to me. I decided Roland, in addition to possessing the occasional medieval mannerism, would be a strong alpha male, but an introvert at the same time so readers could enjoy watching Sarah lure him out of his shell. As for Sarah, I have a number of college professors and professional musicians and composers amongst my circle of friends and acquaintances and come from a musical background myself (11 years of piano lessons and musicians in the family), so making her a music professor seemed only natural. I also thought, since her world was about to be thrown into chaos and filled with action and violence, that making her someone who longs only for peace and quiet at the beginning of the book would be fun.
Q: DARKNESS DAWNS has an interesting take on Immortals vs. Vampires. Why did you create two different supernatural worlds?
A: Good versus bad or good versus evil has long been a favorite theme in fiction of all genres and forms. It has also been a favorite theme of book lovers and moviegoers, myself included. After all, who doesn’t enjoy seeing the good guys win considering how often we see the opposite happen in our society? Such triumphs, even though they are not our own, provide a welcome escape as well as entertainment. In my Immortal Guardians series, I wanted two races of paranormal beings to be pitted against each other — one good and one bad. But I thought it would be interesting to make the villains involuntarily villainous. It’s easy to dislike bad guys who choose to be bad. But when the bad guys are good guys who are the victims of madness induced by a virus — something over which they have no control — it’s a little more complicated. Since both the immortals and the vampires in my series are infected with the same virus, I made the advanced DNA the immortals possess mutate the virus and protects them from the madness. Hence the two different races.
Q: Where does the organic eating fit in!? (Do you eat organic?)
A: The rare symbiotic virus that infects the immortals and vampires in my Immortal Guardians series first conquers then replaces their immune system. In addition to lending them incredible strength and speed and dramatically enhancing their senses, the virus uses blood to repair any and all damage done to the body no matter how minute. Unlike the vampires in my series, the immortals rely upon blood donations generously provided by the human employees of the network that aids them, so I thought the immortals would naturally maintain the healthiest diet possible to reduce their need and, thus, avoid taking unnecessary advantage of their human colleagues by requiring more. Also, most of the immortals in DARKNESS DAWNS have lived centuries, if not millennia. For hundreds of years, all they could eat was organic food, so I thought they might balk at changing their diet this late in the game. As for me, I do try to eat healthy whenever I can.
Q: Who is your favorite Immortal?
A: Although I really like Roland (and Seth and David . . .), I’d have to say that Marcus is my favorite simply because he’s been with me longer. In the time travel romance I wrote before Darkness Dawns, Marcus was both a friend of the heroine in the present and the teenaged squire of the hero in thirteenth century England (before his transformation). Knowing him as a cocky, courageous youth in the Middle Ages made me like him as an immortal all the more . . . and want him to have his own happily ever after.
Q: Besides vampires, what other supernatural creatures do you want to write about? And will any of them be featured in your series?
A: There will be other paranormal or supernatural beings in my series, but I can’t tell you what they are without giving too much away. I can tell you, however, that ghosts will make an appearance in NIGHT REIGNS, the second book in the series. Marcus’s gift is the ability to see them, so they’ll be popping in at inopportune moments and may continue to do so in later books.
A: In terms of the story itself, the part that revolved around Ami was hard to write simply because of her situation, but I still enjoyed her interactions with Seth, David and Darnell. With regards to writing in general, choosing the title was the hardest part. I wanted something that would both symbolize what takes place in the novel and lure readers into picking it up off the shelf to explore more, a difficult task. I was very pleased when my editor liked my choice.
Q: How many books are planned for the Immortal Guardians series?
A: I don’t have a finite number in mind, but can tell you that there will be at least four books in the series. NIGHT REIGNS will revolve around Marcus. For those who haven’t read DARKNESS DAWN yet: Marcus is the only immortal who braved Roland’s irascible nature to become his friend. He is also mourning the loss of a woman he loved for eight centuries and is now skating the edge. When his actions become increasingly reckless and spawn concern amongst his fellow immortals, Seth assigns him a new Second (assistant) . . . one who proves to be immensely distracting and turns his world upside down.
Q: Are you working on anything else?
A: Right now I’m focusing on the Immortal Guardians series. NIGHT REIGNS is scheduled to be released in December. I’m currently working on Book 3.
Q: Who are your fave writers? Movies? Music? (That inspires you!)
A: Every writer who wrote a book I enjoyed inspired me simply by firing my imagination. Julie Garwood, Johanna Lindsey, Julia Quinn and Kinley Macgregor are amongst my favorite historical romance authors. Karen Marie Moning is one of my favorite time-travel authors. And Alexandra Ivy, Gena Showalter, Kresley Cole and Lindsay Sands are amongst the authors who made paranormal romance my favorite genre. For favorite movies, I’ll stick with vampire films: Blade II, Twilight, Let Me In and Dusk Till Dawn. My taste in music spans just about all genres and eras because of my musical background. But the music I turn to most often when writing my Immortal Guardians series is metal, namely Disturbed.
Q: This is your debut novel. What are three tips you’d pass along to aspiring writers?
A: 1. Don’t give up. It took me quite a few years and more than one manuscript to garner the notice that netted me “The Call.” 2. Romance writing contests are a good way to get writing samples into the hands of agents and editors who don’t accept unsolicited queries or submissions. They’re also a way to test the response of readers who come from a variety of backgrounds and locales to your work. 3. Once you’ve signed your first contract, begin planning and executing your promotional efforts at least six months before the book is scheduled to be released. I learned this past year, much to my surprise, that promoting a book takes as much time writing it does.
Q: Anything else you’d like to add?
A: I hope readers will enjoy DARKNESS DAWNS and my Immortal Guardians series!
Want to know more? Visit Dianne Duvall’s sites below:
Dianne is giving away an autographed copy of DARKNESS DAWNS to one lucky reader! Just post your questions and comments before for Dianne and we’ll choose a winner from the comments. I’ll keep the contest running through March 13, 5 p.m. Eastern time. Good luck!