I’m pleased to welcome a guest blog post from Jocelynn Drake who’s next Dark Days installment, Dawnbreaker, releases TODAY! She’s also graciously giving away 2 signed copies of Dawnbreaker! See below for entry details.
The History of the Dark Days Series
I never set out to write a series of books about a hot-tempered vampire and a narrow-minded vampire hunter. I never meant to take mankind of the edge of extinction with its only hope being the very race that fed off of it. I never meant to fall in love… but I did.
Close to five years have passed now since the birth of Mira and Danaus. The world has aged a little bit, we’ve grown a little more experienced and a little more jaded. We’ve laughed, we’ve cried, children have been born, and loved ones have died. And in the midst of it all, I created two people that would become my best friends and nearly constant companions. I wish I could recall the exact date so that I could celebrate it like a birthday. I know that it was in the early fall, when the air was just beginning to grow crisp and full with the scent of dried leaves.
Prior to working on what would become Nightwalker, I had been reading a wide assortment of urban fantasy novels, which started to get my own creative mind working in that field. The urban fantasy genre was relatively new at the time, with authors that were still finding their voice, their world, and their direction. It was a veritable playground filled with new untouched toys. And there was plenty of room for everyone to play.
In the back of my mind, a character started to form by the name of Miranda. She was older, confident, experienced, powerful, and somewhat sarcastic and hot-tempered. In fact, she reminded me greatly of a character that I had been working on in a fantasy series I had started back in high school. During my free time, I would sit behind the computer, typing out scenes with her fighting battles, struggling with great odds and vicious villains, while struggling to overcome her own personal demons. I would type about twenty or thirty pages before I would finally grow bored with it. I would then close out the file, open a new one, and start a whole new story. This went on for more than a month. During that time, Miranda went from vampire to witch to elf. Her race changed with my whims, but her personality stayed relatively the same.
After my fourth extended scene with Miranda, I took a break. I was going nowhere with these little stories, even though I greatly enjoyed working on them. It was time to work on something that I knew I could write a beginning, middle, and end for. I decided that I wanted a new character. I wanted to expand my own creative endeavors and skills by working on a male character. Most of my stories centered on females simply because I was female, allowing me to feel comfortable that I was getting the voice correct.
This time I attacked what would become a short story from a different, more methodical direction. I decided that the short story would be about an experienced, skilled vampire hunter as he tracked down a vampire with a special ability. I didn’t know who the vampire hunter was and I didn’t know what the story was going to be about. I just knew what I wanted. Unfortunately, I had to wait for that final spark of creative genius.
So, one day, being the avid gamer that I am, I was flipping through a video gaming magazine when I came across him – Danaus. He was brutal, and hard, and strong, and absolutely perfect. It was my Danaus with his beautiful blue eyes and cruel expression. Tearing the game advertisement out of the magazine, I hurried into the office and started typing. Immediately out came Miranda’s voice, but it was slightly different. Silky and confident, with just an edge of sex appeal, she watched Danaus as he moved, telling his story and hers. With the change in voice, came a change in name to Mira.
During the next few months, I just kept typing, filling my world with Mira and Danaus. I haunted magazine racks, looking for more pictures of my Danaus so that they covered my office wall and the desktop of my computer screen. He was my muse.
In less than four months, I created what would essentially become both Nightwalker and Dayhunter. I love writing about the Dark Days world. It’s dark and hard and frequently cruel, but it is also a place where friends are dependent upon each other for survival and that love struggles to find a perch in this harsh world.
I am just about to complete the fifth book in the Dark Days series, with the hope of many more to come. I am still in love with Mira and Danaus, my old friends. And I still keep a picture of Danaus with me when I travel as my talisman of creativity and hope.
How cool was that?
Did anyone else notice that she doesn’t say what game character depicted Danaus so well? Yeah, I noticed too! What the heck Jocelynn! Way to leave us hanging!
OMG! Thank you SciFiGuy for your awesome research! The picture above was found on his blog post of his recent interview of Jocelynn and he found it in her gallery! He’s right, the internet is awesome.
Now, who the heck is that dude? Besides Danaus! He’s The Prince of Persia! Specially: Warrior Within. I’m slightly disappointed. Why? Because that game is currently being made into a movie and it’s starring Jake Gyllenhaal. And he’s not my perfect Danaus. But he’s not bad. ;)
I have to thank my buds at G4 Forums! They identified the game from the small pic above.
Jocelynn wants to give away 2 signed copies of Dawnbreaker! If only I could win a copy!
To enter please leave a comment below telling me you want to win a signed copy!
One entry per person. Include your email address and I’ll email you if you win.
Open to everyone!
Comment by 10/05 and the winners will be announced 10/06.
Connect with Jocelynn
Amazon.com slideshow below includes the Dark Days books and Unbound an anthology that includes a short story pre-Nightwalker.