[See contest details at end of post.]
PVN: Would you give us an overview of the Immortal Guardians series?
Dianne: My Immortal Guardians series takes a new approach to the increasingly popular vampire romance genre. In this series, vampires are not the heroes. They are the villains . . . and somewhat tragic ones at that, though it’s difficult to feel sorry for them considering their vile actions. Neither immortals nor the vampires who war with them are undead.
The vampiric traits they posses are the result of a rare symbiotic virus, one that drives humans who are infected with it mad. But immortals differed genetically from humans even before their transformation. Exceedingly powerful warriors with remarkably advanced DNA, the Immortal Guardians will take readers on a treacherous journey as they endeavor to discover the truth behind their existence, encounter new preternatural beings and face increasingly complex challenges spawned by an escalating number of formidable foes.
Dianne: When Darkness Dawns begins, the spring semester has just ended, so the primary role Sarah’s profession plays in the story is driving her to alleviate stress by working in her garden that first morning. When she meets Roland and comes to his rescue at great risk to herself, Sarah sets the plot into motion. I also wanted her to have a profession that did not routinely put her in danger (the way law enforcement and similar occupations would) so entering Roland’s world would require even greater adjustment.
PVN: What are the characteristics of the vampires in your series?
Dianne: Vampires in my Immortal Guardians series are ordinary humans who have been infected with a very rare virus that behaves unlike any other virus on the planet. While it lends them incredible speed, strength and regenerative healing capabilities, it also afflicts them with extreme photosensitivity and a need for frequent blood infusions. Worse, the virus swiftly damages the brain, causing vampires to descend into madness. Consequently, even an inherently good man infected with the virus will become a monster who preys on humans.
PVN: Please describe the immortals.
Dianne: Immortals in my series are infected with the same virus as the vampires. But immortals were something more than human even before their transformation or infection with the virus. Though they don’t know the source of it or the reasons for their difference, immortals were born with far more advanced DNA than ordinary humans. That DNA not only lends them special gifts (telepathy, clairvoyance, telekinesis, the ability to heal with their hands, teleportation and/or others), it mutates the virus and protects them from the madness that afflict vampires.
PVN: What attracts you to the paranormal?
Dianne: Paranormal romance combines my two favorite fiction genres: romance and horror. It expertly weaves all of the action-adventure and chilling moments I find in horror novels together with the love and happily-ever-afters that draw me to romances. It provides an entertaining escape into a world that differs greatly from the one in which we inhabit. And, while other media often seem to mock love and scorn fidelity, paranormal romances feature heroes and heroines who fall so deeply in love with each other they are willing to sacrifice anything to spend centuries, if not millennia, together.
PVN: How did you go about researching the medieval time period?
Dianne: Prior to Darkness Dawns, I wrote a medieval romance with paranormal elements and a time travel romance (both of which are prequels to Darkness Dawns) that take place either entirely or largely in Medieval England. This required extensive research into the political history and daily life of residents of England at the turn of the thirteenth century.
Since sources of information on the internet can be unclear, I relied on books, some of which I listed on my website: www.DianneDuvall.com . This actually made giving Roland and his fellow immortal Marcus in Darkness Dawns subtle medieval mannerisms and describing their pasts very easy because I was already so familiar with the era of their births, which might be why my editor once mentioned she thinks Darkness Dawns will appeal not only to paranormal romance readers, but to historical romance readers as well.
PVN: One of your interests, besides writing, is film production. Would you tell us about the work involved and some of the films you have worked on?
Dianne: I began working in the local independent film industry in college and have done so in varying capacities ever since. In Pre-Production, I have served as script editor, casting coordinator (organizing casting calls, etc.), and broken scripts down into shooting schedules. In Production, I more often than not serve as script supervisor and provide special effects and special effects make-up, but have also appeared onscreen as an extra a few times.
I’m actually very camera shy, but have to admit running at the camera while swinging a machete and screaming like a banshee can be fun. :-) In Post-Production, I edit films shot in HDV or DV, make trailers and design movie posters. The latest project I worked on was a horror feature film entitled Ghosts. I worked all three stages of production. And, though it’s still in Post-Production (an award-winning composer is scoring it and I’m currently adding computer generated special effects to it), I’m very excited by the buzz it has already created in the media.
PVN: Who are some of the authors who have influenced you?
Dianne: Though I write paranormal romance, one of the greatest influences has been Stephen King. Every time I read one of his books I learn something new about writing. And I consider his book On Writing a must-read for all aspiring writers. Julie Garwood, Kinley MacGregor and Johanna Lindsey are amongst the historical authors who influenced me. Early paranormal romance writers like Maggie Shayne and Lori Herter fired my imagination and inspired my love of vampire and other paranormal romances.
PVN: Please tell us about your writing day and your writing environment.
Dianne: I would love to say that I have a very strictly regimented writing routine like Stephen King, who writes for a fixed amount of time every morning . . . but I don’t. Sometimes I write in the morning. Sometimes I write late at night. I even frequently alter my writing environment. If I write at the computer in my home office, I need quiet. Absolute quiet broken by nothing more than birds. But neighbors don’t always cooperate. So, more often than not, I grab my AlphaSmart NEO and head elsewhere. One of my bizarre writing quirks, in fact, is that I don’t necessarily need quiet when I work on the NEO. I take it everywhere with me and have even been known to sit and churn out pages on the set of the independent films I work or while surrounded by a large crowd in a concert hall while I’m waiting for the concert to begin.
PVN: Where can readers find you?
Dianne: My website: http://www.DianneDuvall.com
My blog The Immortal Realm: http://dianneduvall.blogspot.com
PVN: Anything else you would like to add?
Dianne: I hope readers will enjoy my Immortal Guardians series! To celebrate the release of Darkness Dawns, I’m holding a Win a Kindle contest. Readers can learn more on my website and on my blog.
*Dianne is offering a copy of Darkness Dawns to one lucky reader.
*Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win.
*Contest is international.
*Contest is international.
*Contest ends Feb. 21, 2011 at 11:59pm EST