Monday, January 24, 2011

Interview with Author Dawné Dominique

An interview with the very talented artist and author Dawné Dominique about her series, The First, a world where biblical facts crash headlong into fiction.

Cynthia - Dawné, thank you for being here with us today. I must say that I admire you for not only being an author but a very accomplished artist as well. With that being said, let's get down to business, shall we. Knowing that you are a very talented artist and author: If you had to choose only one career path, which would it be -- Artist or author and why?

Dawné - Oh, dear. This is like asking which of my children to give up. Both these careers go hand-in-hand for me, but if I had to make a life or death choice, I would have to say being an author. Creating cover art is one of the most fulfilling occupations I’ve undertaken, but my need to write, to allow my muses to run free, is what keeps me sane. If I didn’t, those voices inside my head would probably land me in a round room with padded walls. *smiles*

Cynthia - Well, yes, putting it that way I can understand. I wouldn't want to have to make the choice between children. On to this brilliant series The First. How nervous were you stepping away from the “norm” of today’s mass market Vampire and visiting the darker, grittier Vampire? Satrina’s wickedness rocked in Eden's Hell, I: The First.

My review of EDEN'S HELL, I: THE FIRST

Dawné - I’m not a person who conforms to the norm of anything. I write what’s in my soul. It was an unfortunate set of circumstances that The First series wasn’t released four years ago, before the mass vampire craze hit. Without saying negative things about a particular publisher, suffice it to say that one novel in this series was held hostage for three years, which made me shelve the entire project because it hurt too much to even look at it, let alone continue to write the story.

When I began Eden’s Hell, it was originally created to be a stand-alone novel. About halfway through the writing, I was struck with an epiphany…I realized that it had to begin this unique series.

Vampires who kill are not the norm in today’s paranormal fictional standards, especially with the influx of movies and books like Twilight, but the origin of their species, the Bram Stoker’s Nosferatu version, I tried to keep as close as possible in Eden’s Hell albeit with a twist, while still installing the “tortured souls” personification that Anne Rice had epitomized. What could be more perfect than biblical facts crashing headlong into fiction?

Cynthia - Yep, I knew there was another reason I liked your writing. Well, make that two reasons: Bram Stoker and Anne Rice. And Ms. Rice did weave her tales with religious undertones. So then, what is the significance of the bird/raven on your book covers and did you design the covers?

Dawné - I must give thanks to Edgar Allan Poe for giving me the inspiration. And yes, I designed the symbol, as well as all the book covers in this series. Thanks also goes to my amazing publisher, Purple Sword Publications and Traci Markou. They allow me the creative freedom to do so.

The raven encompasses unknown darkness and evil, “quoth the raven”. *smiles* The Roman numeral behind it represents The First. I had worked on an icon for several years, trying to create something that would properly signify the series. The raven also holds some importance in book II, Dark Diary, wherein a deranged serial killer uses a weapon shaped like a raven.

Cynthia - *aha moment* Now, I have to go back and read Dark Diary. I'm curious about Adam and Lillith and Eve; a very original beginning concept to me. How did they originate?

Dawné - Well, I wanted to create a completely different vampire tale. I was raised in a religion that didn’t recognize Lillith as being Adam’s first wife. When I was researching “evil” entities, I came across a website that described an array of folklore demons. This one particular female demon would hunt children in the dead of night and drain them of their blood and souls. The idea of Lillith being this kind of entity was born. The more research I did, the bigger the idea blossomed.

Cynthia - What gave you the idea to have Daniella, in Dark Diary, II: The First, to feed every 30 days? BTW -- Love this cover....


Dawné - Again, I was thinking outside the box. I’ve often wondered why female vampires couldn’t bear children. With the creation of Lillith’s character, I explain the how and why in Eden's Hell. I don’t want to give away any spoilers here, but there is a very logical reason as to why female vamps are barren.

Daniella Rolfe is a completely different vampire, as she was born a blood drinker and not created by the interlacing of vampiric blood. So, in order to make her more real to my readers, I reversed the menstrual cycle—instead of bleeding once a month, she must consume.

Daniella was originally created through a short story vampire contest in my writing forum. It was chapter length wherein I detailed a diary entry from her point of view. I won the contest, but the reviews I received back held one huge critique. It was too short—people wanted more. Thus, Daniella Rolfe was born, in more ways than one. And let me tell you, she has been the most demanding muse I’ve ever encountered. She needed to have her story told, and it’s quite a tale, indeed.

Cynthia - I have enjoyed the first two books of The First series immensely. Please tell me that more are on the way; as I want more of these deliciously erotic and evil vamps. How many more of The First series can we expect to see? Or will you be surprising us with something entirely new?

Dawné - There are five books to this series: Eden’s Hell, Dark Diary, Kindred Blood, Crimson Cries and the final, which is halfway written. It was originally going to be titled Nightstalker, but as I continued writing the final novel, I realized that the title just doesn’t do it justice, especially with it being the end of the series, so for now, it’s currently untitled.

My next project may be a murder, horror novel, with some paranormal twists. I had started a novel in this vein about three years ago, and haven’t had a chance to get back to it, as I wanted to finish this series. Right now, the market is swamped with enough vampire tales, so I’d like the hype to die down first before I begin another vampire series, and I promise you, I will. I always have something brewing inside my head, which is a dangerous place to be, let me tell you. *grins*

The First twists biblical facts of several religions into believable fiction, creating what I hope is a series that is plausible and spellbinding. We have to remember that bibles are merely books written and rewritten many times by an array of authors detailing events that “supposedly” happened long ago. It is a person’s “faith” that makes them believe, or not. This is the premise I wanted to create for The First series.

Laurie and Cynthia, thank you so much for having me here today. It is an absolute pleasure to be interviewed by Bitten by Paranormal Romance.

Places where you can find Dawné. Be sure to check out her beautiful art work.

Dawné Dominique

Dawné Dominique Deviant Art

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