Author Interview: Donna Burgess

The Book

9972389Title: Darklands: A Vampire’s Tale
Author: Donna Burgess
Genre: Horror, Supernatural
You can read the review of Darklands: A Vampire’s Tale here.

Have a chance at winning a copy of this rather scary vampire book. Scroll down to the bottom of this post for details!

Halloween night, twenty years ago, college student Susan Archer watched as her beloved twin brother was brutally murdered at the hands of a stranger she invited into their home. Still haunted by the guilt of that night, Susan is now a tough but bitter cop in a nowhere town, trying as best she can to lead a normal life. When she is nearly killed during a wild shoot-out, she realizes she is not as strong as she first thought.

Fearing a breakdown, she flees the confines of her safe boyfriend and familiar surroundings to find salvation in the arms of “Deathwalker” Devin McCree—the very man who killed her brother.

But things aren’t always what they seem and she quickly realizes Devin was not the monster she originally thought, but a kind of guardian angel instead.

On the run from a crazed Nazi vampire-hunter named Kasper, she and Devin must find a way to endure the dreary urban landscape of a dying metropolis and escape Kasper’s wrath.

Author Interview


1. First of all: Hello, and nice to meet you. I enjoyed (if that’s the proper word for it) reading your novel Darklands: A Vampire’s Tale. Can you tell us something about your writing career before you started working on Darklands? Earlier books you wrote, what inspired you to become a writer, etc.?

I’ve loved writing stories since I was small, but before Darklands, I had only written and published poetry and short fiction. There just seemed to be so many things that kept getting in the way of writing an entire novel. A lot of it was of my own making—excuses, mostly. Then, the opportunity to go back to school sort of fell into my lap and it was like a light went on. I suddenly became disciplined—with education, fitness and writing. Maybe it’s maturity, but who know?

2. There are some scenes in Darklands that strike me as extremely gruesome, and described in so much detail my stomach twisted a couple of times. Why did you choose to write a horror-themed book, and especially one with more guts and gore than the avarage slasher movie?

I’m a real horror geek, so much of this was written out of the love for that genre.

3) There were a lot of underlying themes touched in Darklands. For example, the strange relationship between Kasper and Devin, that although Kasper had been his torturer and continued to hurt the people he loved; Devin didn’t want to kill him. How did you come up with this somewhat bizarre relationship between these two, and why choose to include it as an important part of the story?

It is a strange relationship and I honestly haven’t uncovered all of the reasons why yet. Hopefully, I will pieces some of it together in the next book of the series.

4. Another one of those themes that was mentioned occassionally, was how tough life can be when you are immortal, and thus unable to die. Not only physically when you are being burned by sunlight or buried alive, but also mentally: when you see others around you age, and you yourself remain the same. There aren’t a lot of vampire books that include this aspect of immortality, usually it’s all about ‘be pretty and young forever’. What made you decide to focus more on the bad sides of immortality?

On the surface, idea of remaining young and pretty is great. But I started wondering how lonely it would be if everyone around you aged and eventually died. I know if I could not have my loved ones with me, I definitely would not want to go on forever. Plus, I just wanted to try something a little different.

5. What I thought was interesting but peculiar about the novel, is the fact that neither one of the leading male characters shows a strong personality and leadership qualities. For a vampire, Devin seemed to be rather weak, not the strong ‘hero who comes to save the day’ type, and Michael has a lot of insecurities of his own, although we do see a remarkable growth in his personality as the story continues. In fact, Susan is probably has the strong personality of all the cast members in Darklands. Did you create your heroine like this on purpose, or did it just happen as the characters developed throughout the story?

I definitely wanted a strong female character, but Devin and Michael sort of developed as I went along. I really didn’t like Devin very much by the end of the book. I think he’ll have a chance to redeem himself in the next book—hopefully.

6. What was the most challenging aspect of writing Darklands?

It’s actually what comes after writing that has brought the most challenges. As a newbie novelist, there is a phase of trial and error. Most of the feedback on the novel has been positive—but the proofing needs to be addressed. I have the book scheduled for editing in early March, along with a spring re-release featuring a hot new cover (that I received this morning!). It seems I did things backward with my first book, but it has been an invaluable learning experience.

7. So far, what is the most interesting comment you received concerning Darklands?

My mother said, “I can’t believe you’d write something like this!” 😀

8. Are you working on something right now? And if so, can you tell us more about it?

I’m working on an apocalyptic novel about a man who is determined to keep his son safe as the planet dies around them. The two of them, along with a young woman, travel across Europe in search for a place called “Sanctuary,” a sort of safe haven for survivors. There will be some “infected” humans (not zombies!) along the way to make things difficult. In hopes of capturing a wider audience, violence and sex will be toned down a bit, unlike Darklands. My mom may be able to read this one without cringing! It does have some good scares, however.

My daughter and I are working on a darkly humorous young adult zombie story, also. It’s based on a short story that’s currently available for Kindle and Nook called “Dead Girl’s Blog.”

Thanks so much for having me on today! Cheers!

Thank you for the interview, Donna!

Donna Burgess is an author of dark fiction and poetry who enjoys surfing, painting and has a deep affection for all things Monty Python and low-budget horror flicks. Over the past fifteen years, her fiction and poetry has appeared in genre publications such as Weird Tales, Dark Wisdom, Sybil’s Garage and others. She has been married for twenty years and has two children. Her newest releases include Darklands: a vampire’s tale (the first book in the Darklands Vampires series) and Breaths in Winter, a short story collection. Both are available in print and e-book. When she is not conjuring, she can be found surfing. Visit Donna’s website!

The Giveaway

Donna was kind enough to offer two copies of Darklands: A Vampire’s Tale to two lucky winners! One of the copies is print version (U.S. citizens only) and the other is an ebook, which is available for international winners. Contest ends on February 28th at midnight, and I will draw the winners by March 1st.

Rules:

  • You must leave a comment to the author interview. The comment must be meaningful, and you must provide a valid mailing adress, so I can get in touch with you if you are one of the lucky winners! Also, you must mention whether you are a US citizen, or an international participant. 1 US winner and 1 International winner will be chosen. The comment will count for 1 entry.
  • Leaving a comment on my review of Darklands: A Vampire’s Tale will get you 1 entry for the contest.
  • Following this blog through Google Friend Connect (both new and old followers welcome) will grant you 1 entry.
  • Subscribing to the newsletter by mail will give you 1 entry. All you have to do is go here, and enter your email adress.
  • Following me on  Twitter (iheartreads) is good for another 1 entry.
  • Twittering about this contest counts for 1 entry. Please leave a link to the twitter post in your comment.

There is a maximum of 5 entries per contestant. Please indicate  what you have done, and the number of entries you get in total in your comment, but leave an otherwise meaningful comment as well! 😉 Good luck!

Comments

  1. Such a great give away! Looks like a grat book.

    GFC Follower- Loveangel132

  2. Hi and thanks for having me! For some reason, my silly Internet service has been up & down for the past week or so & I was not able to visit until this afternoon.

    Cheers and have a terrific weekend!

    Donna

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