I’m excited to have Daniel De Lorne on my blog today. I’ve recently got to know Daniel (we’re on the Romance Writers of Australia committee together) and I can tell you, this is one lovely guy. So when I found out he was releasing his first book, I jumped at the chance to feature him and his novel, ‘Beckoning Blood’ on my site. Daniel agreed to be put in the hot seat and answer my questions about himself and his novel.
It’s about twin brothers, Olivier and Thierry, who get made into vampires. Thierry is in love with Etienne but Olivier can’t bear it. He’s obsessed with his brother and orchestrates Etienne’s death and Thierry’s becoming an immortal. Though Thierry really can’t stand his brother, he stays with him through the centuries…until Etienne’s soul returns. Then all hell breaks loose.
It’s a bloodier and grittier m/m paranormal than most readers are probably used to. Lots of blood, a bit gruesome and violent. All the good stuff. 🙂
Beckoning Blood is your first published novel – congratulations. Can you tell us a little bit about your ‘call’ story?
Thanks 🙂 Beckoning Blood was the first full length novel I wrote. I completed the first draft in 2009, got some interest from the first few chapters after attending the Romance Writers of Australia conference in 2010 but unfortunately it didn’t eventuate into a deal. I rewrote and edited parts of the book over the next couple of years and then submitted it to Escape Publishing in 2012. Initially it was a no but Kate Cuthbert, the managing editor, gave some great feedback and said she’d be happy to see it again. I went away, rewrote the opening, submitted it and it got accepted in the second half of 2013. I was over the moon about it, as I was starting to think it would never find a home.
Beckoning Blood is a dark and bloody visit into history and mythology with a male on male romance. M/M romance is a genre primarily written by females for females. What do you think it is about this genre that particularly appeals to women? As a man writing the genre, did you have to change the way you viewed things knowing your audience was mostly women, or did you just write what seemed real for you? (personally, I write what I like and just hope that others do too, but I know not everyone does that.)
I’ve read female readers’ and writers’ thoughts on why m/m appeals to them and some have to do with the exotic nature of the romance, or maybe the added…vulnerability…of men who love men. Of course, it could have a lot to do with the hotness of two guys getting it on. I’m not really certain of the attraction for them but I’m glad there is such a large readership.
I can’t say I changed much to what I thought female readers would like because, like you, I’d rather write what I like and hope others do too. I think the audience is broad enough now to accept something different.
I love paranormal books and have bookshelves full of them. What inspires you to write paranormal? What’s their appeal to you? Where do your ideas come from?
The wonder and the impossibility of paranormal and fantasy stories wormed its way into my brain when I was little and the fascination has stuck with me ever since. I like stories where the impossible becomes possible, where the different is part of the norm. That’s not to say that the real world doesn’t hold wonder for me, because it does, but writing about the paranormal just has a stronger allure.
My ideas come from all over the place. Often it’s from a song or a particularly beautiful piece of music, combined with whatever I’m feeling or looking at at the time. Then presto! An idea is born. I’ll often have a scene in my head with an intense emotion attached to it and I’ll work from there.
Well, there’s the cooking, and the cleaning, and the shopping…just kidding. I don’t clean and I hate shopping. I’m a freelance writer and editor, so that helps bring in some money, which we need as my partner and I have been doing a lot of travelling. So, I spend time planning trips (next we’re off to Salzburg for a week), but otherwise it’s the usual house stuff. Now that the weather is warmer in Toronto, I’m heading out more often to explore the city. I love to explore and perhaps that’s why I like creating imaginary worlds in my books.
Writers are always being given advice to diversify and write in different genres – although this doesn’t work for everyone. Aside from dark paranormal, do you write or have aspirations to write any other genres?
I’ve recently written a book that leans more towards fantasy. It’s not that far from dark paranormal but it’s definitely got a different feel to it. I’ve also got a few ideas for contemporary books, not necessarily romance but there’d be a romantic storyline in it at the least. Really, it comes down to what the idea is about and I worry about the genre later.
You have recently joined the Romance Writers of Australia committee, an organisation primarily run by women for women, mostly because most romance writers are women). Although, we have seen more and more men joining RWA and writing romance in the last few years. What is your experience being a man in a primarily female oriented organisation? Do you think people’s ideas about romance are changing, making joining organisations such as RWA more appealing for more writers? What have the benefits been for you?
I love it. I’m certainly a point of difference within the organisation. I hope attitudes are changing, however, I’ve still come across plenty of people (writers included) who sneer at the romance genre. What I think does help is RWA having a bigger presence and reaching those writers who still feel ashamed about writing romance. What I love most about RWA is its sense of community. Hearing stories of writers who’ve joined and then brought to tears because they’ve finally found their home always make me smile. And for the sneerers? Well, jealousy’s a curse.
What’s Daniel De Lorne’s pet peeve? What’s your favourite thing?
In the writing world, my pet peeve is the snobbishness from writers who don’t write in the romance genre and readers who don’t read in the romance genre. I was in a short story workshop once and the romance genre bashing was pretty free and easy. THAT made my blood boil. Next time it happens, I’m going to say something.
Favourite thing: that sense of discovery when writing a new story. I don’t plot much so every chapter is a surprise. Even more surprising is when it all comes together with some beautiful (and unconscious) imagery or plot turns.
What’s been the most surprising aspect of your writing career so far? What have you had the most difficulties with? What have you learned the most from?
The most surprising thing is that people like the book. I’ve got a few really good early reviews and that’s quite validating. Similarly, the most difficult thing is the not-so-good reviews. But you get that and just have to deal with it.
What’s up next for you? Any projects on the boil that you’re particularly excited about?
Next I’m working on the sequel to Beckoning Blood. I’ve written one draft but it needs a lot of work to get it to publishable standard. Then there are a couple of others I need to edit. Maybe amongst all that I’ll be able to work on something new. A few characters and scenes have taken root inside my head so I’m keen to get to them.
Thank you so much for being a guest on my blog today, Daniel. It was fun finding out a little bit more about you and your writing. Congratulations once again and good luck with the book.
You can buy Daniel’s novel, Beckoning Blood, from:
Daniel de Lorne writes mostly about the loves and trials of hot and sexy paranormal men – and creatures. He grew up in Perth, Western Australia, and developed a fascination for the mythical and magical early on. Daniel wrote stories from a young age but it was high school biology class he remembers fondly as providing an excellent cover for writing stories that were filled with teen angst and fantastical creatures. He now lives in Canada with his partner. It was while in this great northern frontier that Escape Publishing accepted his first book, Beckoning Blood, for publication.
For a free read, introducing you to the “heroes” of Daniel’s book, head to his website at www.danieldelorne.com/the-boys.
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