Yesterday I had the honor to interview author JD Brown. Today we will be talking about Book 1 of her series "Dark Heirloom". I was previlaged to read this amazing book! When it comes out, you really need to pick this book up. She has written a very unique take on vampires and where they come from and what abilities they can do. I am picky about my vampire stories that I like but this one definitely takes the cake in it's originality!
So Jen, let's start off by telling us a little about this great book. What are the genres and/or subgenres for book 1 of Dark Heirloom?
Dark Heirloom is an Urban Fantasy laced with traces of Paranormal Romance and Thriller.
Thriller definitely fits with this piece! Give the readers here a little pitch about your book, like the back cover blurb.
Jenna Marx dreams of a quiet, simple life in sunny California, with no surprises, no overdue rent, and no dysfunctional family members. What she has is a decaying studio apartment in the slums of Chicago, a dishonest boyfriend, and a manic-depressed mother who never quite makes sense.
Just when Jenna thinks her luck can’t get any worse, she bumps into a killer who’s next target is - her. But instead of ending Jenna’s life, “Phantom Freak” kid naps her and takes her back to his home in, Lapland, Finland, where she is tossed into the secret world of ancient Vampyres.
The only way Jenna can get home is not by facing the Vampyres, but by facing herself and defeating her own demons. You know the saying; You can chose your friends, but you can’t chose your family - Especially when your family’s deadly.
That's a great blurb! It would definiately make me pick it up and read it! How did the inspiration for this story come to you?
*Blush* I had a dream about one of the characters – Jalmari. He came in with his gleaming eyes and bad-boy smile and started telling me about his life. I knew he wouldn’t leave me alone until I wrote about him. Oddly, he refused to be the main character. There were several things I wanted to explore and accomplish with Dark Heirloom, besides tell an entertaining story. I wanted to explore human nature. I wanted to explore racism, relationships (both romantic and family), power struggle, living in the shadow of a parent or authority figure, how people over-come challenges, etc. Secondly, I wanted to re-examine human history. Dark Heirloom is based on an alternative history that exists within the “holes” of our own word. Lastly, I wanted to force the reader to experience life as a vampire. I’m a big fan of vampire novels, but all too often the story is told from the view of the “human” who doesn’t turn until the very end of the story – if ever. I knew immediately upon writing Dark Heirloom that I wanted my main character to become a vampire right away – and I wanted my readers to experience the drastic change, the struggle, and the cool stuff (powers!) alongside.
He invaded your dreams? Tsk tsk. My characters have done that to me many a time. They are pushy aren't they? What was your inspiration for Jenna, the main character? Jesu? And of course Jalmari! (And I suppose Leena would be upset if we didn't talk about her too.)
Creating characters comes very naturally for me, so it doesn’t require much inspiration (the setting and plot is another thing all together, though). Jenna is the protagonist and the novel is in her point of view. Jenna is based on myself. We have a similar personality and a similar background. Our main difference is our race. She is half Hungarian-Romany, half Native American. Her race is vital to the story and I took a long time to come up with the right ethnic for the story.
Jalmari is perhaps the most complicated character. He deals with the most internal struggle. I’m not sure where my subconscious came up with Jalmari since he came to me in a dream, already with a sad history to tell me.
Jesu … *shakes head and chuckles* Jesu and I had many disagreements along the way. Jesu was originally created to teach Jenna about vampire life – and then get out. He was originally Jalmari’s best friend, too. Jesu was not supposed to fall in love with Jenna, but he did. No matter how hard I tried to avoid it, he always fell for her. So I gave up and rewrote his character to better suit the “protector” image he so badly wanted. He is now Jalmari’s brother and Jenna’s protector.
Leena was always there as Jalmari’s girlfriend. She was the most fun to create because her personality is the complete opposite of mine. Unfortunately, Leena was only needed for two reasons, to lead Jenna into the Underworld, and to cause Jalmari more pain.
Jesu is surely the protector type. And of course he would fall for Jenna! I mean hello? She's YOU! With such a great book, do you have an agent/publisher in mind? Have you started sending out queries yet (or are you self publishing)?
I do not have an agent or publisher yet. I have queried several agents. I have big plans for Dark Heirloom and hope to run with a major publisher such as ACE Books. If that fails, I will consider a smaller publisher or self publishing, but I choose to aim high at the moment, see how far I can get.
That's a great mind set to have! I'm sure that you will go far with this series!
If anyone would like to read an excerpt of this great book, head over to The Dark Heirloom page on Jen's website. You can also check out my interview with her yesterday!
Jen's Main Website
Jen's Main Website
Dark Heirloom Page
Thanks for hanging out with me these past two days Jen! It was great fun! I can't wait to read book 2! When it's ready, we can do another book interview!