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Saturday, April 3, 2010

Author Interview with Author DD Barant (includes contest)

Author DD Barant came onto the Urban Paranormal Fantasy scene last year with her debut book Dying Bites. Now it is time for the second book Death Blows and I can't wait to see what happens next.

If you haven't already tried Dying Bites then enjoy the interview! If you have already had the pleasure of reading Dying Bites then I hope the interview helps you get to the know the author behind the books a little better.


Amber - Welcome to Amberkatze's Book Blog! It is great to have you here as a guest! Could you start things off by telling us a little about the Bloodhound Files?

DD – Sure. The Bloodhound Files is about a world where the supernatural races—vampires, werewolves and golems—are the dominant civilization. Human beings make up just one percent of the population and are considered a federally protected endangered species. The main character, Jace Valchek, is an FBI profiler from our world, specializing in deranged killers. She gets yanked into this parallel universe for her skills—the supernaturals are immune to mental diseases as well as physical ones, so they have no experience with craziness.

Amber - How did you come up with the idea for The Bloodhound Files? Was it a long process or did it just come to you?

DD –Basically, I wanted to do something in the paranormal romance/thriller field that hadn’t been done before, while staying true to the heart of the genre and what its readers want from it. Plus, I’d had this idea for “domesticated” vampires kicking around in my head for years—in fact, I tried to use it in an “Angel” book I wrote. Strangely enough, the publishers loved everything about the proposal except that one idea, which they gave back to me. Thanks, guys.

Amber - I really enjoyed the first book in The Bloodhound files, Dying Bites. Book two, Death Blows, is due out soon. What can we expect from the new installment?

DD – Glad you enjoyed it. Death Blows is out at the end of March, and features Jace trying to catch a serial killer who’s obsessed with comic books. The thing is, comic books in this particular reality have been banned since they can be used as powerful mystic focuses, much like grimoires. You don’t have to know anything about comics or superheroes to enjoy the story, though—I treat them like a bizarre sort of interconnected mythology, one that Jace doesn’t know much about herself. The plot has a whole bunch of different elements, including cowboy golems, African royalty, monks, secret societies, pirate queens and pregnant vampires. Also, there’s a puppy. Sorta.

Amber - Are you anything like the main character Jace? Are any of your characters based on people in your life?

DD – Jace is more of an outlet for me than an accurate representation. She’s much snarkier and more sarcastic—I’m a very upbeat, cheerful person with occasional moments of crankiness. I can use her to say some of the things I’m too polite to say myself.

As for other characters, I don’t use people around me as characters. I steal little pieces here and there, certainly, character traits or bits of business I like, but I never just copy outright.

Amber - What kind of research did you have to do to write Dying Bites and Death Blows? Anything interesting?

DD – I do a lot of research on the fly—I don’t mean on flies, I mean in the midst of writing. I come up with a cool idea for a scene in Alaska, and the next thing you know I’m on Google, getting an idea of exactly what the place will look like, what kind of plants grow there, etc. For Dying Bites, I did research on Japanese wolves, the Yakuza, HP Lovecraft, World War Two, Easter Island, swing dancing, and martial arts—including a scene that a very good friend of mine, Lisa Gemino, helped me choreograph move-for-move. For Death Blows, I researched comics writers like Grant Morrison and Alan Moore, the life of Bela Lugosi, historical figures that ranged from Alexander the Great to Thomas Edison, Japanese Shinto, and how much chocolate will poison a dog.

Amber - I always thought Jace was a guy’s name. So I have to ask, how do you pick the names you use in your books and do they hold any special meanings for you?

DD – I usually put a lot of thought into naming my characters, but Jace was an exception. It just popped into my head and the character insisted that it was her name. It wasn’t until later that I discovered it’s the short version of Jacinda, which is Spanish. I always knew Jace looked sort of Spanish, so that fit nicely. You got a problem with it, take it up with her—I know better than to argue with her.

Amber - How many more books will there be in the series? Are you working on any other projects you would like to tell us about?

DD –The series is open-ended right now. Killing Rocks will follow Death Blows, and I’m talking to the publisher right now about a follow-up to that. I have plenty of ideas for Jace, so I hope the series will continue for some time.

Amber - Have you always wanted to be an author? And why did you pick this genre?

DD – I’ve known I was going to be a writer since I was a kid. It was never even a question for me—just a matter of when I was going to buckle down and get serious. Once I did, I never looked back.

As far as the genre goes, I’ve always loved monsters. The first line of Dying Bites, “I think about monsters a lot,” is me being honest.

Another love of mine has always been THE TWILIGHT ZONE. There was something the original series did really well, that idea that you could just be going along, living your life, and then suddenly there would be a change, that some bizarre element would be introduced into the everyday. The world would still look much the same, but it wouldn’t be. You’ve crossed over into a different realm, with different rules. That kind of subtle dislocation seems to me to be where most of the paranormal romance genre lives and thrives.

Amber - What is the easiest and hardest part about being an author?

DD – The easiest part is coming up with ideas. I’ve got so many I know I’ll never be able to write them all. Coming up with new ideas will never be a problem for me.

The hardest part of being an author—at least in the beginning—is the discipline. Forcing yourself to sit down and write, five days a week, is the downfall of most beginners. It’s like any sort of regular exercise, though; it gets easier the longer you do it, until NOT doing it becomes the hard part.

Amber - How do you relax? Do you have any hobbies?

DD – Though I don’t own one—yet!—I love hot tubs. I’m pretty social, too—getting into interesting discussions at parties with my friends is one of the ways I love to unwind. As far as hobbies go, I will admit that I am addicted to comics. Been reading them all my life, studying every aspect of structure, dialogue, plotting and characterization, examining and analyzing how the great ones tell a story . . . I’ve done a little work in the medium but my career as a novelist hasn’t let me concentrate on it as much as I would have liked. Maybe I’ll be able to do some work in the field in the near future.

Amber - Alot of authors have 'soundtracks' for their books. Is there any music that has influenced your books so far?

DD – I like U2 and Paul Simon a lot. Devo is fun to dance to. And I get a big kick out of artists like Jonathan Coulton.

Amber - What books do you enjoy reading? Do you have any favourite authors/series?

DD – I don’t read as much as I’d like to, certainly not as much as I used to when I was young. In the paranormal field I like Kelley Armstrong, Charlaine Harris and Jim Butcher. Mystery writers I like include John D. McDonald, John Connelly, Robert Ferrigno. Funny writers: Douglas Adams, Jasper Fforde, Christopher Moore, Terry Pratchett. Thomas Harris. Stephen King. Dan Simmons is probably my favorite and excels at any genre he tries. Neal Stephenson, who defies categorization. Spider Robinson, William Gibson, John Varley, Joe Haldeman, Roger Zelazny and about a zillion other science fiction writers. And of course, some of my favorite comics writers: Gail Simone, Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore, Warren Ellis, Grant Morrison, Brian Michael Bendis, Joss Whedon, Kurt Busiek, Mark Waid, Garth Ennis, Judd Winnick, Michael J. Straczynski, Geoff Johns and a bunch more.

Amber - If you could be any paranormal creature, what would you be and why?

DD – I’d have to go with genie, because that way you can pretty much do anything. Plus you could hang with Robin Williams or Barbara Eden anytime you wanted. Or maybe even Larry Hagman—he played Major Nelson. And then later he was on Dynasty as an evil oil tycoon.

You know what I always wanted to see? Larry Hagman guest-hosting Saturday Night Live. Because then you could do this sketch where he’s playing the evil oil tycoon sitting behind his desk and all of a sudden BOING! Jeannie appears.

J: Hello, Master!
LH: Oh, no.
J: Where have you been? I’ve been looking all over for you!
LH: (in Texan accent) I—I think you have me confused with someone else.
J: Why are you talking funny, Master? Is something wrong?
LH: Nothing’s wrong. You should just—go back wherever you came from, all right? You’re gonna screw everything up. You always screw everything up.
J: But Master—I only want you to be happy.
LH: Happy? Happy? You know how long it took me to reinvent myself after that crappy little sitcom? (Accent abruptly disappears) All people saw when they looked at me was bumbling Major Nelson. Hey, look,it’s that guy who used to be an astronaut! Guess the cosmic rays fried his brain, because he sure acts like an idiot now! Still going for regular therapy sessions with that shrink, Nelson?
J: Oh, Master. I’m so sorry. I’d do anything to make things up to you.
LH: Look, Jeannie, just stay away from me. I’ve got a new life now, lots of money, lots of power, and—
A look of dawning comprehension crosses his face, followed by an extremely evil smile. The next time he speaks, the Texan accent is back in full.
LH: Anything, darlin’?
SCREEN CAPTION: One hour later.
Larry sits atop a mountain of cash, dismembered human bodies, and cocaine. He looks extremely satisfied. Jeannie sits at his feet, chin on hands, looking mortified.
J: Oh, Master.
DYNASTY theme swells as the credits roll.

Um, of course, that’s just me. What was the question again?

Amber - Thank you for visiting Amberkatze's Book Blog! I hope you will come back for another visit in the future!


Contest Time!

One lucky winner will receive their choice of DD Barant book! That means you can choose Dying Bites if you haven't read it yet or the new book Death Blows if you already read the first book!

How to enter

Tell me what you are listening to! What is rocking your iPod? ;)

No Music - no entry

Earn more entries for each place you link this contest on the net. You can post on Facebook, Twitter & MySpace but make sure you add links here for me to confirm your entries!

You can also earn extra entries by emailing your friends about the contest. Just make sure you send a copy of your email or receipt to me at Amberkatzes_book_blog at gmx dot net.

Make sure you post your links here so I can confirm your entries.

Keep the contests going by using the Amazon links below and around the site!

The contest will stay open until Sunday 11th of April 2010 4pm CET and the winner will be picked by a randomizer. Entrants should check back to see if they have won. I do not hunt down winners and will pick new winners for any prizes not claimed within 7 days.

Good Luck!


cait045 said...

Hey DD I love this idea where humans are the minority. I can't wait to read these 2 books.

Right now my favorite song is According to You by Orianthi.


elaing8 said...

Great interview.DD Barant is a new author to me.

what am I listening to-just a few are Nickelback,Hedley,Marianas Trench,Three Days Grace


Unknown said...

Awesome contest
right now i'm currently listening to Keith Urban,Train,Iron and Wine,Zac Brown,3 doors down


angie said...

Right now my favorite thing on my ipod in anything by matchbox 20. Love them!!
I tweeted http://twitter.com/bangersis/status/11549839245
email bangersis(at)msn(dot)com

Vickie said...

DD: I received DYING BITES in my Easter basket this week! We do a prezzie exchange on an online book group I belng to, the chickie saw my WWBL (Wanton Wantin' Book List) I posted and she picked yours out to add to my basket when she got my name as her 'bunny'. Can't wait to read it.

What tunes are on the mp3 player? Lordy, what isn't? I am addicted to 60's,70's, 80's tunes, some newer to this decade and just past. Some alt country like Dwight Yoakam and Lyle Lovett, John Prine....anything that makes me dance in my chair or walk faster on the treadmill.

Becky said...

Great interview! DD Barant is a new author to me. I like the sounds of both of these books.

I listen to a variety of music, but some that I listen to is: Alan Jackson, Alabama, AC/DC, Aerosmith, Lady Gaga, The Black Eyed Peas & Taylor Swift. Also a cd that I like to listen to for relaxation is Spirit Flutes by David R. Maracle.


All This Silence... said...

I'm a newbie to the series and looking forward to reading the first book. My favorite song to listen to on my Zune right now is "Haven't Met You Yet" by Michael Buble.

Roxy said...

Ah music...

I go in cycles but I've been more in a rock/alternative mood lately so:

Kings of Leon
Queens of the Stone Age

Pretty soon I think it'll change to R&B since I've been listening to some Usher lately.

Barbara E. said...

Today I was listening to Rob Thomas and Three Days Grace on my iPod.
Happy to learn of another awesome writer that I hadn't run across yet. Her Bloodhound Files series sounds fantastic, and I'll be sure to check it out.

Karen W. said...

I enjoyed the interview and am excited about DEATH BLOWS!

The music that has been rocking my world lately is Keith Urban's "Defying Gravity" and Rob Thomas's "Her Diamonds."

SiNn said...

these books sound awesome! great interview

on my music player i have a mix

Lady Antebellums I need you now

mixed with my fances music and some J-rock Gackt ect

Van Pham said...

D.D. Barant is a new author to me, looking forward to reading this series.

What's currently on my ipod is: Linkin Park, nickleback, taylor swift etc.


Kimberly B. said...

This series sounds great! Definitely something original!
I must admit, I'm writing a play for Script Frenzy right now, so I've been listening to a lot of A Fine Frenzy. (Get it---Frenzy?) Because I have a corny sense of humor---and also the music is mellow and not difficult to write to.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

I'm Listening and Loving Daughtry and Nickleback! And a bunch of
80's music too. :)


Unknown said...

Posted on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000641625482


Unknown said...

I also emailed 8 friends and family. I emailed you a copy
Thanks for all these contests! :)


Brenda Hyde said...

I listen to Shinedown, My Chemical Romance, Honey Honey, Lifehouse and Rev Theory a lot lately.

Thanks for the cool interview!

Terri Dell said...

My ipod rocks with metal. I am always listening to my favorite band Avenged Sevenfold and my favorite song is Reminissions.

Terri Dell said...

tweeted http://twitter.com/Ziggywag/status/11586606978

Curling up by the Fire said...

I have not read anything by this author so I am looking forward to doing so.

I like listening to rock music, so my ipod is full of classics like AC/DC, Def Leppard, Pink Floyd, Led Z., etc. I also like The Trews very much.

icewoman96 at gmail dot com

clynsg said...

Not everyone has an iPod, but we do still listen to music. I prefer classical, but the last thing I listened to was an original Bing Crosby recording of White Christmas on my grandson's antique portable phonograph. He collects and restores them, and was justifiably proud of his work on this one. As an aside, listening to one of them makes you really appreciate the advances in sound!

cgclynsg0 at gmail dot com

BrigidsBlest said...

Right now, I'm in a nostalgic mood, so the stuff in heavy rotation on my iPod is a lot of stuff from the 60s -- Grateful Dead, Beatles, Who, the Rolling Stones, Hendrix, Janis Joplin, the Doors, Bob Dylan -- and some early 70s stuff, mostly Neil Diamond and John Denver.

BrigidsBlest at yahoo dot com

vvb32 reads said...

i haven't read either so it would be exciting to read the first first ;-D

i'm currently listening to ticket to ride by the beatles and ticket to ride by the carpenters. both versions are great.

Lisa Richards/alterlisa said...


ACDC, Van Halen, ZZ Top anything old classic rock you'll find it on my Ipod

alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com
(='.'=) Happy Easter from Bun!

Benita said...

At the moment I'm listening to Bob Dylan. I'm in a 60's mode.


Persephone said...

I read DD Barant's first book. I am looking forward to reading the second!

Right now I am listening to Sensation by Milliyah Kato, Run Devil Run by Girl's Generation, and Swing by Lee Hyori.

I tweeted

patronus89013 at yahoo dot com

E.J. Stevens said...

Great interview and giveaway! I would love a chance to win the first book. :)


p.s. Was getting my shimmy on to Azam Ali's Elysium for the Brave album earlier today. :)


StyleVamp said...

Great Interview...My Ipod has...

Si*Se, Kings Of Leon, Fefe Dobson and Robi Draco Rosa..I've been switching back n forth to these artist...

Martha Lawson said...

Excellent interview! You are a new to me author and I really enjoyed learning about you. The books look awesome and I can't wait to read them. I'm currently listening to Nickelback and Kings of Leon.

I follow and subscribe by email

mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

jellybelly82158 said...

Hi DD, Your books sound great. I must get them. Would love to win one.

I listen to anything Country esp George Strait.

jellybelly82158 at gmail dot com

jellybelly82158 said...

shared on facebook

jellybelly82158 at gmail dot com

wanda f said...

keith anderson,trace atkins,colt ford ,toby keith ,and taylor swift just to name a few

Sweet Vernal Zephyr said...

Kesha, 3!OH!3 and Muse are rocking my ipod when I'm not listening to Halfway to the Grave.

mdwartistry at yahoo dot com

throuthehaze said...

Lately I have been listening to Ray Lamontagne, Kings of Leon, Combichrist, and Nine Inch Nails

throuthehaze at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

I've been listening to a lot of Empire of the Sun lately. Totally groovin'.

wookieecookie7 at sbcglobal dot net

Rae Reads said...

I can't stop listening to Evil Dead The Musical and Wicked.





desert_moon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
desert_moon said...

I am listening to Battlelore - …Where the Shadows Lie CD.

I can't wait to read the new book.

xphill66 at yahoo dot com


Christa said...

I listen to quite a bit and it's varied, but I'll share my 3 current favorites. : D

1. Eurydice by Sleepthief & Jody Quine
2. Till Summer Comes Around by Keith Urban
3. Summer Wine by The Corrs & Bono

I just ordered DD Barant's first book offline yesterday because I saw the second in the store & can't read them out of order. : D

ambience.of.rain {at} gmail.com
Tweeted: http://twitter.com/wordsrollon/status/11757988968

Anonymous said...

I'm listening to a lot of classic songs by The Doors, The Beatles, Heart, and Blue Oyster Cult.


k_sunshine1977 said...

please enter me in this contest! i love the sound of this series - i would want dying bites since i'm new to it....

i'm so old school - no ipod in this house - but i listen to radio stations online. right now the new wave, halloween, and psychedelic channels get heavy play on my computer.

k_sunshine1977 said...

ooops, didn't put my email....


Unknown said...

This series sound great, I'd like to read them, please enter me!

I tweeted about the interview here: http://twitter.com/Stella_ExLibris/status/11769047822

also spread the word on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?v=wall&story_fbid=115959228419783&id=100000899165880&ref=nf

Right now I'm listening to some chilling mix: Jewel and Jack Johnson (love his songs!!)!

stella.exlibris (at) gmail DOT com

Deirdre said...

Currently I'm trying out more Tori Amos, having read a book with her talking about her life and beliefs. I'm currently on Abnormally attracted to Sin and unsure about it but need more exposure to decide.

Blodeuedd said...

This book sounds so cool! So we are an endangered species, I'd like to read about that.

Right now I am into Billy talent :=D

Anonymous said...

This book sounds really great!

Right now I'm I'm listening to Shinedown, Train, and skillet.


Pamk said...

just go into bon jovi and breaking Benjamin. Both are new to me and i am liking them very much.

Mardel said...

I don't pay attention to the names of many music makers, but I do know Lady Gaga and The Black Eyed Peas. Those are the ones that get the most play at my house.

Lady GaGa for my two year old (almost) Grandson. He loves her music. I don't think he understands it yet, LOL, but he loves the music.

Black Eyed Peas for the Granddaughter, who is three. She loves Fergie, and loves to sing Fergie's part in Boom Boom Pow. I'm supposed to sing all the other parts, (i.e. the men's parts) THANKS - MAYBE I WANT TO BE FERGIE!

sorry -


BrigidsBlest said...

Right now, I'm spending a lot of time listening to classic Delta Blues music -- Robert Johnson, Tommy Johnson, etc.

Favorite song: Hellhound on My Trail.

BrigidsBlest at yahoo dot com

Curling up by the Fire said...

I would love to win the first book.

Right now, I am listening to AC/DC, Def Leppard, Pink Floyd, and Led Z and a few other oldies. I am going through a classics phases.

icewoman96 at gmail dot com

heatwave16 said...

The books sound great!!! I am rocking out to Lenny Kravitz. Great driving music. :)


tweeted - http://twitter.com/Heatwave316/status/11938058704

D Q said...

Sounds like a great book.
I'm listening to Breaking Benjamin.


booklover0226 said...

I'm rockin' to som Jay Z!

This book sounds great.

Tracey D
booklover0226 at gmail dot com

skyla11377 said...

Well, Right This Second As I Am Posting This I Am Listening To Glee: The Music, Volume 1 [Soundtrack]. But Other Days My iPod Is Filled With The Twilight Soundtrack, Repo! The Genetic Opera Soundtrack, The Mamma Mia! Soundtrack, And A Bunch Of Other Songs By Paramore, Flyleaf, Nickleback, Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, Kelly Clarkson To Name A Few.

I Tweeted About This Contest (@skyla11377).

I Posted This Contest On My Facebook Page.

I Posted This Contest On My Myspace Page Bulletin.

heidi330 said...

Great interview!!!!
Sugarland "Joey" I love that cd....
I can't wait to read both of these books

Ina said...

great interview - thanks!! will keep the books in mind :)

I don't listen to a special group or music style - I love my fav radio station and the combinations I get there...
greetings, Ina

inale87 at gmx dot at

annalisa said...

Both books sound fab! :)

I've been listening to Lady Gaga. Love her song "Monster"!


Katie said...

The books sound really interesting. I will have to add them to the TBR pile.

Right now, I have going old school with things like Damn Yankees stuck in my head.


Anonymous said...

Omnia! Great band. (http://www.worldofomnia.com)

jellybelly82158 said...

I listen to country music.

jellybelly82158 at gmail dot com

Lindsay Frost said...

I have been listening to Over the Rainbow.

I would LOVE to win this!
Thanks! :D:D:D



Aik said...

Currently, I'm listening to a song called Nobody by Wondergirls.

aikychien at yahoo dot com

Aik said...

I tweeted:


aikychien at yahoo dot com