Please welcome J.D. Brown, urban fantasy author of Dark Heirloom and Dark Liaision!
What are your book about?
Dark Heirloom follows the misadventure of a young woman named Ema Marx as she stumbles fangs-first into the world of vampyrism. She has no idea how she became a vampyre, but she’s convinced the guy who kidnapped her is to blame. Yet, he keeps asking her how it happened, as if she has any clue. Just yesterday she was happily living life not knowing they even existed. Dark Liaison (which comes out next week!!!) is the sequel where Ema has to fight a major baddy that she accidently unleashed in the first book.
What inspired you to write this particular story?
I really love vampires, ever since I read The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice, but more recent works (well, they’re not so recent any more. Think pre-Twilight) always seemed to focus on the clumsy fragile human and I was tired of it. I wanted to read a book there the vampire was the main character, and all the other characters where vampires too. Really, I just wanted to give my readers an “up close and personal” look at what I thought the vampire world might be like.
Describe your writing in three words.
Sarcastic, exaggerated, dramatic.
Do you have specific techniques you use to develop the plot and stay on track?
Oh God. You know, I used to preach about outlines and organization, but at this point in my creative career, I just hand the pen over to my main character without even putting up a fight. I just sit back and watch the chaos happen and then try to clean up the mess later. Haha. I don’t recommend it.
Are your characters in the book based on anyone you know?
No. There may be a few bits and pieces of people I know mashed in there, but individually my characters are 100% their own.
Have you ever had difficulty “killing off” a character because she or he was so intriguing and full of possibility for you?
No, but I did feel horrible for killing them only because I feel so emotionally close to my characters. I’ve spent so much time with them, it’s hard not to cry when they die.
If your book was made into a TV series or movie, which actors would you choose to play your main characters?
Mila Kunis would play Ema Marx. I adore Mila and she has the right looks and personality to pull off Ema. As for the guys, I really have no clue. My sister and I talk about it sometimes just for fun and neither of us can ever come up with an actor right for the part. Some of my fans have suggested Ian Somerhalder, but I think it’s only because he’s so hot right now.Some of my fans have suggested Ian Somerhalder, but I think it’s only because he’s so hot right now.
Who gets to read your drafts before they’re published?
My critique group is made up of different people who get to read it at different stages. My alpha readers are my two best friends and authors, Charlene Wilson, and Anastasia Pergakis. They’re the ones that keep me on task through the first draft and revisions. Then I send it off to my beta readers – my fans! Some of them are authors and editors, like Kay Dee Royal, but a couple others are just normal reader folks who I met online and have grown to love because they’ve been so supportive! I really love my readers and I really value their feedback.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve Googled?
Umm…I really rather not say….
What projects are you working on now?
I’m working on writing the third book the Ema Marx series titled Dark Becoming. I’m also working on a prequel novella titled Athena’s Oracle that stars two of the side characters from Dark Heirloom and takes place in ancient Athens. I’m hoping to make it a web series, but at this early point everything is still up in the air. I’m also working on YA Paranormal Romance tentatively called Crescent Hill High School.
Is there anything else you would like to say to your readers?
Be kind, rewind. Follow your dreams, and all that good stuff.
Where can readers find you and your books online?
Tag Line: She wasn’t bitten. She’s not undead. So how did Ema Marx become a vampire?
Blurb: “You’re a vampire” is so not what Ema Marx wants to hear when she wakes from a two-day coma in a cryptic yet exquisite castle in northern Finland. Unfortunately, it explains a lot. Like why she’s able to see in the dark and walk through solid objects. What she doesn’t understand is why the other vampires expect her to have all the answers. It’s their fault she turned into one of them…right?
Jalmari’s hatred for his old-man intensifies when he’s ordered to bring that troublesome girl to their castle. He has a clan to run, there’s no time for babysitting newborn vampires no matter how they were converted to their culture. But when a two-thousand-year-old premonition threatens to take the crown and his life, Jalmari sees no other choice than to take out the catalyst. Ema Marx. Fortunately for Ema, she could also be the clan’s only savior.
The race to figure out her vampiric origins is on. And maybe she’ll get the hang of the blood-drinking gig along the way…
A scream tore from my throat. The rapid slap of my sneakers against asphalt echoed through the alley. Wind ripped my hair and coat back as if trying to halt my escape. A chain link fence rose in the distance as I neared the end of the alley. Shit. I could have sworn this one opened to Clark Street.
I froze. My heart pounded in my ears. Tears fell as I closed my eyes. Please, please, God…
His heinous laugh drowned out my ragged breath. Caught at a dead end, I had no choice but to turn and face him. He stood in the shadows, the darkness of his attire blended in with the night. Only the glow of his emerald-colored eyes gave him away.
Think, I shouted to myself. What does he want? My purse? My money? With a shaky hand, I pulled my wallet from my bag and flung it at him. He shifted his weight, dodging the wallet in one simple move. I stared like an idiot as it landed in the gutter behind him. Why is he chasing me if he doesn’t want my money? What else could he want?
He grinned, bearing a set of abnormally sharp, fluorescent-white teeth. Who the hell is this freak? He stepped toward me. My fists clenched as I stepped back. He took another step forward. My back pressed against the cold metal of the fence. Tears blurred my vision and fell as ice melted through the back of my coat. Chills rolled down my spine, sending a quiver to my lip. I swallowed the lump of panic building in my throat. “Leave me alone!”
He kept advancing, his eyes locked on my face, his gait slow with one foot in front of the other, like a cat. I shoved a trembling hand in my purse in search of my pepper spray. He snatched my wrist and yanked me to my knees. The contents of my purse spilled and scattered.
“What makes you think I want anything from you?” he sneered.
My chest heaved as I pushed myself up. From the corner of my eye, I glanced at the mouth of the alley, now behind me.
He scoffed. “You think you can run? Go ahead, mouse. Run.”
I was almost to the street when a thick shadow dropped from the sky. Two rock-solid fists shoved my chest. I fell backward. My head hit the pavement. Stars danced in the periphery of my vision as I struggled to sit up, but my limbs moved in slow motion.
Two hands, each finger adorned by a silver ring, gripped my shoulders and lifted me. My back hit something solid and cold—a brick wall. My feet dangled above the ground. He held me at eye level; his sour breath churned my stomach as his face inched closer to mine.
“I know what you’re thinking.” His voice was deep, smooth, as he rolled his R’s. “You’ve done nothing wrong. Nevertheless, once you kill one rat, you have to kill them all. Even a little mouse like yourself.”
My blood drained at the utterance of the word kill. I squirmed in his grasp. “Please, don’t hurt me.”
He clenched my jaw with one hand as his fingernails dug into my skin. I cried not from the pain, but from fear.
“Would you like to know a secret?” His hot breath caused bile to rise in my throat. “Only you disgusting rats can see our eyes glow. I’m sure you knew that already. I’m sure your mother told you the stories. I’ll bet you didn’t listen to her. I bet you thought they were just fairy tales and bad dreams, hmm?”
I had no idea what he was talking about. I concentrated on finding a way out of his grip, hoping his guard would slip while he continued his monologue.
“You know, when you find one rat, there are a dozen more in the nest.” He tightened his grasp. “Where’s your rathole, eh little mouse?”
“Let me go!” Pain manifested in every inch of my face. My jaw throbbed and my head spun. A stiff ache cut through my spine. Fear and cold shook my core. Exhaustion weighed down my struggling limbs. I just wanted it to end.
He studied my face for a moment, a frown tugged at his lips. “Very well.”
He released my jaw then reached back under his jacket. The sound of sharp metal being unsheathed pierced the night as he drew out a long silver dagger. My eyes widened at the emblems engraved on every inch of the blade and handle. I recognized them as Norse in origin. I also recognized the precise way in which he held the dagger level with my left rib cage. He’s going to stab me in the heart.
J.D. Brown writes Urban Fantasy for MuseItUp Publishing, as well as a monthly “how-to” newsletter column for PDMI Freelance Publishing. She graduated from The International Academy of Design and Technology with a Bachelor Degree in Fine Arts and currently lives in Wisconsin with her two Pomeranians. J.D. loves paranormal characters; from vampires and werewolves, demons and angels, to witches and ghost. She is a self-proclaimed expert in vampire and Greek mythology. Her writings are often a combination of suspense and romance. J.D. enjoys helping her fellow writers and interacting with her fans and leads an active life on the web.
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