Friday, July 1, 2011

Guest Post and Giveaway from Jocelynn Drake!

I am very happy to have a guest post today from Jocelynn Drake, author of the Dark Days series!

Today Jocelynn is going to talk about some of her characters from the Dark Days series

A Visit with Old Friends

I started writing what would become Nightwalker: The First Book in the Dark Days Series close to seven years ago. On June 28, 2011, Burn the Night: The Final Book in the Dark Days Series was released, bringing to a close a fantastic journey with a number of characters that I would now consider to be close friends. I’d like to take this time to visit with some of these characters and look back at their growth.

Mira: I’ve known Mira for years. We got to know each other well before I even started writing Nightwalker. I could see her dancing through my brain, but she wasn’t very clear. I tried her out in different bits of fan fiction that I would occasionally write. In those stories she moved from witch to vampire to elf. She was violent and tortured and more than a little sarcastic. But the important thing was that she was strong, and I felt that she could take whatever I threw at her.

I think the thing that always surprised me with Mira is her capacity to love. Mira was beaten, tortured, and betrayed by people she loved and trusted, and yet she never seemed to hesitate to risk her heart on someone. She loved even when common sense said that it was suicidal. Maybe it was born from her father’s unflinching love of her and his sacrifice to keep her safe. Maybe it was just something in her soul that kept her searching for love in a dark world. Or maybe it was because she encountered creatures that were so starved for love that she couldn’t stop herself. I don’t know, but the Dark Days world is a better place because of her.

Danaus: I found the vision of my lovely Danaus while flipping through a video game review magazine one day. I carefully ripped out the ad and ran to my office where I quickly started typing. I still have that image sitting next to me on my desk. When I was attending conferences, trying to sell Nightwalker, I would tape the image of Danaus up on the mirror in my hotel room and use it as a constant reminder to remain focused on my goal. It was as if it wasn’t about me. It was about telling his story. I had to tell the world about Danaus and Mira. He will continue to be the driving force behind my writing even after I’ve stopped typing his name. His image symbolizes perseverance, determination, and focus. It symbolizes passion and love.

Danaus only surprised me in Pray for Dawn. It was always difficult to get him to talk and even more difficult to get him to tell a whole book. But was surprised me most was his interaction with Lily. Before that book, he was always the warrior, endeavoring to protect the weak and helpless. When he met Lily, I think for the first time in a very long time Danaus considered what it might be like to put down his sword and have a normal life. He thought about having a family and the warm comfort that came with such a life. I think it was the first time he thought about what he had missed out on.

Tristan: Tristan isn’t a favorite character of readers, but he will always be one of my favorites. He was the boy who lived. I had created him purely as a better way of describing Sadira, but when I closed Nightwalker, I was stunned to find that he was still alive. To me, that proved that he had more inner strength that people would see at first glance. I think in many ways Tristan was what Mira had been centuries ago when she had escaped Sadira. She was weak and vulnerable and in desperate need of protection and guidance. Mira sees herself in Tristan and that’s why she takes him in. I always saw such promise in Tristan. He had a good, wise old soul but a battered, wounded psyche. In time, he could have become great, but I just wasn’t able to give him that time.

Valerio: I am always surprised to find how much readers love Valerio. He’s a slippery, sexy devil that can’t be trusted under any circumstances. There’s no doubt that he loves Mira very much, but he will always act to protect himself above all else. I love his smoothness, the fact that he can’t be ruffled by anything. You get the feeling when you meet him that he’s seen it all, done it all, and has the T-shirt packed in the back of his luxurious walk-in closet. Valerio is that piece of chocolate that you can’t turn down. Pure temptation. And I love him. I’ve got some vague notes for his own story. I would like to give him someone to fill his heart. He’s had a hole growing in his heart ever since he and Mira went their separate ways. He needs to meet someone that will make the world new again.

Ryan: There are four family names that are very dear to my heart that I work into many of the things that I write. “Ryan” happens to be one of those names. I am very careful about the characters that receive those names. The characters aren’t really a reflection on their benefactors, but it’s more that those characters have a special place in my heart. No matter what I did with Ryan, I always felt like he had a secret agenda that he wasn’t willing to tell even me. Ryan was both older and more powerful that anyone ever knew. He was similar to Jabari in many ways because he wasn’t above manipulating people to get what he wanted. Both characters also believed that what they were doing wasn’t particularly selfish, but what needed to be done because it was for the best. Ryan wasn’t to be trusted. But where Jabari was cruel and vicious, Ryan was cool and reasonable. He would rather use logic to sway you to his
way of thinking than force. I would have liked to spend more time with Ryan, but he was dangerous to be around.

Thanks for spending this time with me. I’ve enjoyed this walk down memory lane with some of my favorite characters. This is just a small glimpse of who you will meet in the Dark Days series. I’ve closed the door on the series, but I miss them all. I miss Gabriel, Knox, Amanda, Barrett, Archie, Alexandra, Jabari, James, Sadira, Michael, Macaire, Shelley, Rowe, Cynnia, and Nyx. But most of all, I miss Mira and Danaus.

And now it is giveaway time!

Jocelynn has been amazing and is going to donate two signed copies of Burn The Night to my lucky followers!

The giveaway is INTERNATIONAL!
You need to be a blog follower to enter, and I will be checking!
What are you wating for...all you have to do is fill out THIS FORM

Giveaway will run from 1/7/11-8/7/11
Two winners will be announced on the 9/7/11


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