K.S. Hello and welcome to the blog. I am very excited to have you here. Why don’t we start off with a small introduction? Tell us a little about yourself.
Denise - I’m originally from the east coast but I currently live in Ohio. I’ve been married for twenty years and have a teenaged son. I have seven parrots and I’m a roller coaster fanatic. My background is in the theatre. I studied acting in college and was a member of the Oberon Theatre Ensemble in NYC for seven years. My first serious efforts at writing were plays. I don’t do much theatre at present but I do teach acting and help friends out with their shows.
K.S. Any interesting writing quirks or stories you would like to share with my readers?
Denise - I tend to write dialogue first, probably because I started as a playwright.
K.S. When did you realize you wanted to be a writer? What sparked the desire to pen your first novel?
Denise - Well, in high school I used to write comedy sketches and song parodies with my best friend. I fooled around with writing plays in college and many years later finally submitted one to a festival in NY. It was chosen and produced. I guess I decided to start writing Cara Mia when Anne Rice killed off one of my favorite characters. I read so much of her stuff around that time that I had a dream about a female vampire that inspired Mia’s character. Once I started I was hooked.
K.S. What genre do you write?
Denise - Urban Fantasy but Cara Mia has a dash of sci fi.
K.S. What would you say has inspired you most in your writing career? Or, who is your favorite author and why?
Denise - Inspiration comes a lot from my non-fiction reading. I’ll read about a place or historical period and I’ll want to create a character to reflect it. I love mythology and it always creeps into my work. The plot of Cara Mia was largely inspired by a fascination I had in the 90’s with biotechnology. I wanted to explore the question that if vampires really existed, what would they be like biologically. Would it be possible to isolate the agent that gives them immortality? My vampires aren’t undead but biological beings. Of course to suggest that in their culture is considered heresy.
I’ve always been fascinated by vampires. My favorite show as a child was the Gothic soap opera, Dark Shadows. My favorite author in the vampire genre is Anne Rice. I like the Gothic and historical aspects of her books. I must give her credit for influencing me. Two of my all time favorite authors are Mary Rennault and Robert Graves. They wrote historical fiction about the ancient world and all of the politics and intrigue surrounding figures like Alexander the Great or the Roman emperors. I love that kind of stuff. I wanted my vampire culture to have some of those elements and tried to create Mia’s world with that in mind. My vampire society originates in India. In my third novel, Fearful Symmetry, I delve deeper into the origins.
K.S. What does your family think of your writing?
Denise - They are very supportive. My son listens to a lot of my work because I like to read it aloud to get it to sound right. My husband was after me for years to send the book out. If it wasn’t for him kicking me in the butt a little I’d still be unpublished.
K.S. What was one of the most surprising things you learned while creating your book?
Denise - That all of the things I learned as an actor were valuable tools to a writer. Acting is all about getting under the skin of a character and understanding motivation. You learn about rising and falling action, obstacles and conflict. All of this really helps in creating characters and plotting. Acting shows and doesn’t tell. I think of each chapter like a scene in a play and that each has an immediate conflict that impacts the overall conflict of the book. I tend to see things like a movie in my head.
K.S. What inspired you to write your novel?
Denise - I mentioned a few things earlier but I love Henrik Ibsen’s play The Master Builder. The play has lots of allusions to demonic forces and also invokes the plundering spirit of the Vikings. Mia is acting the play, in the role of the antagonist, Hilde Wangel when her master Ethan “discovers” her. The story of The Master Builder concerns an older man who becomes infatuated with a charismatic young woman, who essentially drives him to his death. Mia is a challenge to Brovik, her Immortyl elder and their conflict echoes the play somewhat. The myth of Eros and Psyche inspired Mia and her lover Kurt’s relationship.
K.S. Can you tell us a little about your novel?
Mia Disantini is a vampire whose greatest desire is to walk again in the sun. As a young actress, she encounters her smooth talking master, Ethan Sinclair who appears to be the man of her dreams. Mia is enslaved by him and plunged into the Immortyl culture. As a modern woman, Mia struggles against the conventions of this unenlightened world. Ethan trains her as his “Bird of Prey” and together they hunt and con mortals. She becomes the pawn of their elder, Brovik in his deadly games of deception and intrigue concerning the forbidden science. Cast out by Ethan, Mia enters into a relationship with Brovik’s slave, Kurt. The lovers rebel and deliver the secrets of immortality to Genpath Laboratories. When CEO, Lee Brooks imprisons the pair, Mia calls upon the aid of neuroscientist, Dr. Joe Ansari. But Mia and Kurt are hunted for their crime and time is running out.
Twilight of the Gods, Book Two of the Immortyl Revolution will be released this fall.
K.S. Where can we find your novel?
Denise - You can purchase signed copies through the web store on my site. It’s also available online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Fictionwise and other sites in trade paperback and multi format e-book. You can special order it from bookstores. Some independent booksellers carry it.
K.S. Do you have a website, fan site, or Blog that we can visit?
Denise - Yes, www.deniseverricowriter.webs.com, and www.immortylrevolution.blogspot.com. You can also friend me at my fan page, Immortyl Revolution on Facebook. I’m on Live Journal and in the Blood Bank at Bitten by Books.
K.S. Do you have any closing advice to aspiring writers?
Denise - Keep working, don’t give up, and dare to be different. Join a good critique group. Read everything, not just in your genre.
K.S. Well, thank you so much Denise for stopping by!
THE BOOK GIVEAWAY!
Denise has made available onefree copy of her book!
All you have to do is leave a comment, indicating you want to enter, and your email address.
Only one entry per person.
Denise will pick one lucky winner (at random) from the comment section.
If you do not wish to leave an email address, please make sure you are signed in to your blogger profile so we have some way to contact you.)
Winner will be announced no later than Monday.