Today’s Meet the Neighbor is a fellow Crimson Romance author Alicia Dean. She’s got a new vampire novella that I’m dying to read and she’s giving away a (Nook or Kindle) copy (or two) to a lucky commenter. I’ve come to know Alicia a little better in the last year and am amazed at her generous heart and amazing story telling magic. So here’s Alicia…
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
When I was very small, and I first started reading Amelia Bedelia, Ramona the Pest, and Pippi Longstockings books. I was hooked, and I wanted to create stories of my own. I wrote my first romance at around eleven years old. (My hero looked just like Elvis. I still have that story, but I doubt it will ever be published, LOL)
I never got Pippi. She seemed to always be in trouble. What does your family think of your writing?
They are so, so supportive. I am blessed to have such a loving, encouraging family. My kids, siblings, mother, cousins, etc, are all behind me. My sisters read pretty much everything I write, My youngest sister, Christi, has read all my books except this last one. She’s putting it off either because her fear of vampires or her fear that, for the first time, she won’t like one of my stories. J
What do you think makes a good story?
One that keeps you on the edge of your seat, one that you think about even when you’re not reading it, one that keeps you turning pages. Specifically, I love stories with high tension suspense, and or spooky/creepy but not gory stuff, angst, conflict, secrets you can’t wait for characters to learn, and when characters are in a situation that you don’t see any way of them getting out of, yet the author manages it in a logical way without making you feel cheated.
Tell us about your latest book, including its genre.
My latest is a YA Vampire Novella titled Liberty Awakened Isle of Fangs Book 1. This is a YA paranormal, my first attempt at YA and my first attempt at a vampire story. I loved writing it, and I am getting positive feedback thus far. Hopefully, readers will enjoy it and look forward to the next in the series. You’ll find the blurb below, but in a nutshell, it’s about a girl just out of high school who travels to an exotic island to meet the father she never knew existed. She learns she is a descendant of Van Helsing and must learn to hunt Vampires. There is a love triangle, and I have tried to stick more to the original vampire lore where they can’t go out in the sun, they turn into bats, can’t see their reflection, etc.
What is the craziest thing you did as a kid, and would it ever end up in a book?
I was somewhat of a daredevil when I was a child. I did some very foolish things that will not end up in a book. I used to play ‘chicken’ on my grandparents country road. I would stand out in the road until a car came (while my sisters watched in horror) and not move until it was way too close. Of course, it took a while to play the game, not a lot of traffic around there. I’m not sure why I didn’t do it at home, except because we lived in the city, and my parents kept an eagle eye on us. They would have tanned my hide. (No ‘time out’ back I those days, LOL) Also, when I was eleven, we moved to Missouri and lived out in the country for a brief time. I was a city girl who knew nothing about the wilds. I would catch garter snakes, but one time, I brought a tiny snake to my dad and showed him. He knocked the snake out of my hand immediately. This time, I’d picked up a baby Copperhead.
Snakes totally creep me out. You were a brave kid. So, help me out here, If I was a first time reader of your books, which one would you recommend I start with and why?
It depends on the genre you like. If you like suspense, I would recommend Death Notice. I was pretty pleased with the story, and it’s the first in a series. I only have one sequel to it so far, but am planning more. If you like paranormal, I would suggest Soul Seducer. It’s different than your run of the mill werewolf, vampire, witch stories. My hero and my villain are Grim Reapers. I’ve received some negative reviews on the book, but personally, I’m pleased with this one too.
I have to say, I LOVED Soul Seducer. List two authors we would find you reading when taking a break from your own writing.
Dennis Lehane, Michael Connelly (Stephen King – there, I snuck an extra one in)
I think besides Lord of the Rings, Stephen King was the first author I read his entire backlist including the Bachman books.
Evil lurks beneath the surface in the beauty of the tropics…
After graduation from her small, Oklahoma high school, Liberty Delacort is looking forward to a fun-filled summer before college. But when the people she trusts the most betray her, and a letter arrives claiming her deceased father is still alive, she jumps at the chance to travel to an exotic island to meet him.
But her excitement is short-lived. Her father is dying, and he doesn’t want her around. And, in spite of its outward tranquility, the island is filled with danger and ominous secrets. The secrets soon begin to unravel, and she discovers she is a descendant of Van Helsing, the vampire hunter.
The one up side is her budding romance with the sweet and sexy Ryan Kelly. But even that is threatened when—in spite of her fear of him—she finds herself attracted to an insolent, formidable vampire. Her plan to stay away from him fails when she learns he is the only one with the ability to train her to fulfill her destiny—to save humans from a faction of vicious vampires.
Will her inexperience lead to her death—and the death of others—or will she rise to the challenge and realize her full potential as a Hunter?