Hi and welcome to my stop on Jacky Dahlhaus’s Living Like A Vampire blog tour!
Many thanks to Jacky Dahlhaus and to Kelly @ Love Books Group Tours
Interview with Jacky Dahlhaus…..
For those who don’t know already, could you tell us about yourself and your book(s) please?
I’m a fifty-year-old lover of good stories, movies, traveling, and animals. I’ve had many jobs and tried many hobbies before I realized writing gave me such pleasure. I love stories that take you away from the hustle and bustle of real life, preferably with a bit of humor, action, and romance in them, and that’s what I like to put into my own stories. I hope it gives people a few hours of escapism and a pleasant memory after they’ve read them.
Where did/do you get your ideas from?
I had a dream in 2015 about a girl running and bumping into a vampire. I told my kids who told me to write it down. I sat behind my computer and wrote 55K words in a fortnight. It gave me such a buzz and have been writing ever since.
Most of my ideas come from dreams or random thoughts during menial housework tasks, when my mind is free to roam.
Are any of your characters based (however loosely) on anyone you know?
My main character, Kate, has two sisters, and their names start with the same letter as my own sisters. They are both (very loosely!) based on them.
One of the main love interests is a dwarf. As I don’t know any dwarfs personally, he developed into Peter Dinklage. He didn’t start out as him, but the later part of the character certainly is based on him. Caleb, the other love interest, is based on the appearance of Ioan Gruffudd when he played Hornblower.
How do you pick your characters’ names?
I try to be as random as possible when picking names, often looking around me and picking a word of something that catches my eye (Dr. Green in Book 3 was picked as I saw green leaves from my window).
Taking ‘typability’ into account is a thing for me, though. You don’t want to pick a name you have trouble typing. The c,x q, and w are letters I have trouble with, so you won’t often see names with those letters in my stories.
I gave one blogger who is a great fan of my stories the honor of naming the main character if my next novel. She was very chuffed with that.
Can you share your writing process with us, in a nutshell?
The first two books were written ‘on the fly,’ i.e., I let my characters take me on their journey. The third novel I plotted since I had about two years to think about it. I must admit I didn’t like it as much as I needed to steer my characters in a certain direction. I prefer to let them lead me on an unexpected journey. If I’m surprised, I hope my readers will be too.
Who are your top 5 favourite authors?
I love reading books from Anne McAffrey, Terry Pratchett, Neil Gayman, Conn Iggulden, and Kathy Reichs. I love McAffrey’s romantic flair, Pratchett’s humor, Gayman’s creativity, Iggulden’s epic stories, and Reich’s suspense.
If you could meet any author, who would it be and what would you ask them?
I’d love to meet Neil Gayman and ask him how he managed to keep positive about his writing when it’s so hard to get heard.
Were you a big reader as a child?
Yes, I like to think so. I used to read really fast, something that is the opposite nowadays. I read the big pills like Shogun and LOTR (and associated books) as an early teenager. For an English assignment I read all the books in Gullivers Travels, only to find out afterwards that I only needed to read the first story. LOL!
When did you start to write?
As mentioned earlier, I only began writing novels in 2015. I have kept diaries, have written (academic) articles, and have been a secretary for years, so writing has always been a part of my life. I only realized in 2015 that it gave me such pleasure.
After writing the first two novels, I realized there is more to writing that putting words to paper. I needed to improve my English grammar, learn how to write American English, and learn how to write eloquently. I used the last two years to hone my craft and all books in the trilogy have now been updated to a better version. It’s a never-ending journey, though, and I’ll always work towards improvement.
If you could re-write the ending to any book what would it be and what would you change?
I once read a book about the sinking of the Bismarck, a German destroyer during World War II. Most of its crew died. Even though they were ‘the enemy,’ the book made me very sad. I wished history was different, so I could re-write the ending to keep these men (and many others) alive.
Is there a book you wish you had written?
All of Terry Pratchett’s novels!
If you wrote an autobiography, what would your title be?
‘The boring life of Jacky D.’ That was actually the title I had given my diary when I was studying. It’s actually a fun read. I may read it again one of these days :D.
If you could invite any fictional character for coffee who would it be and where would you take them?
I would take Lord Havelock Vetinari, the Mayor of Ankh-Morpork (in Terry Pratchett’s novels) for a coffee at the Margaret River Chocolate Factory in Western Australia. He’s a very interesting character, and they do a scrumptious chocolate fondue at the Factory.
What are you working on right now?
At the moment I’m working on the first book of my next trilogy, for now called ‘The Extra.’ It’s about a girl from the interior of Alaska who dies in the first chapter. When she is revived, she recognizes everyone except for one person. She has to prove he doesn’t belong there or face insanity. As I’ve never been to Alaska, there’s quite a bit of research involved before I can actually put pen to paper.
Tell us about your last release?
I finished the last novel in the Suckers Trilogy last March. It’s different from the first two books in that it is a whodunnit. Kate’s partner is missing, and she needs to work hard to get him back. It has the same, familiar characters as from the other two books in it, plus some interesting new ones (including one very sexy one).
After I released the book, I worked very hard to make new covers for the trilogy and am finally happy to promote all of the books.
Do you have a new release due?
As mention earlier, I’m working on the first book of my new trilogy and hope to bring this out halfway next year.
What do you generally do to celebrate on publication day?
After indulging in a bubbly alcoholic drink, I quickly carry on as normal, working on the next book as soon as possible.
People can follow me on one, some, or all!
Is there anything else you would like us to know?
My novels are on sale for 99c/99p each during October 2018. Once the sale is over, you can still get them with a 15% discount on my website.
Also, I would love to have readers write some reviews! It’s hard to get promoted by the better promoters with just a few reviews. It puts you between a rock and a hard place. Every review is a step closer to being more visible, so please, please; write reviews, people!
Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, Jacky 🙂
It’s been my pleasure 😊
Staying alive is hard in a world full of bloodsuckers. What do you do to survive?
Kate has just begun her new job as a high school teacher and is looking forward to living her suburban dream life. All her hopes and dreams turn into smoke as a virus turns people into vampires, roaming the world in packs and killing everybody they can get their hands on. Kate has to pretend to be one of them to stay alive. When she accidentally bumps into a handsome sucker who then mysteriously disappears, surviving is no longer the only thing on Kate’s mind.
Will Kate stay alive and human while pursuing this mysterious stranger?
Pick up this action-packed, fast-paced, suspenseful novel and explore the depths of Kate’s emotions as she struggles to make sense of it all.
Jacky Dahlhaus lived in many countries, has worked many jobs, and tried many hobbies before she realized writing gave her such pleasure. She now loves to write paranormal fantasy stories full-time while delving into the human psyche with all its faults and mysteries.
Next to writing novels, Jacky helps indie authors by promoting them on her blog, writes an online newsletter/magazine, runs a writing club for adults and for children at the local library, and is a writer/director/producer for Aberdeenshire Film Productions.
When not busy with the above (which is rare nowadays), Jacky works on renovating her Scottish Victorian home, watches movies with her family, and tries to stop her two Jack Russells from barking for no good reason.
Jacky has written three novels, all books of the Suckers trilogy which is set in Maine, US, a novelette (the Prequel of the Suckers trilogy), and Short Shockers, a bundle of short stories. She is currently working on the first book of her next trilogy, this time set in Alaska.
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