In Darkness Dawns, the first book in my Immortal Guardians paranormal romance series, Music Theory Professor Sarah Bingham wants nothing more than to relax after a long, stressful spring semester. Instead, when insomnia drives her to spend a little time in her garden at dawn, she finds a wounded man staked to the ground, being tortured by two others. Little does she know when she rescues him that Roland Warbrook is far more than a man. Nearly a millennium old, he is an immortal who has acquired a new formidable foe amongst the vampires he hunts, one who has raised an army to defeat him and to destroy the rest of the Immortal Guardians. When Sarah thwarts the vampires by saving Roland, she too becomes targeted by the army and is soon thrust to the forefront of the conflict, aiding the immortals in their quest to defeat the vampires and losing her heart to the dark enigmatic warrior intent on protecting her.
2. Can you tell us a little about your favorite scene in the story?
My favorite romantic scene would be the one that begins with Roland lounging on the steps leading up to the whirlpool tub, watching Sarah blow-dry her hair because it shows so many facets of their relationship: tender, playful and passionate. My favorite action scene is the climax of the novel. For obvious reasons I can’t tell you what happens, but Roland and Sarah both demonstrate such love, heroism and a willingness to sacrifice anything for each other that I just can’t resist it.
3. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I first dabbled in fiction when I was twelve or thirteen years old, writing my first manuscript: a teen historical romance. But I didn’t pick up the pen again to pursue the craft seriously and become certain I wanted to make fiction writing my career until I entered college. I first majored in journalism, but swiftly decided non-fiction was not what I enjoyed writing. Romance was. There were just too many stories with happily ever afters dancing around in my head. :-)
4. Where do you get your information or ideas for your stories?
Everywhere. It may seem like a glib response, but it’s true. To give you an example, some of the sources of information that inspired and aided me in the development of the Immortal Guardians’ world (which revolves around immortals and vampires being infected with a virus) included a history of vampire mythology that suggested it began with a misunderstanding of such illnesses as porphyria, a program on Animal Planet that discussed the microscopic yet virtually indestructible Tardigrade or water bear, and a biography of King George III that suggested his madness was a result of syphilis. I really never know what might spark an idea that may blossom into a novel. :-)
I like to alter the media I use to write manuscripts. I’ve found it a very effective way to remedy writer’s block. My first two manuscripts (a medieval romance with paranormal elements and a time-travel romance not yet scheduled for publication) I wrote on my computer. I wrote Darkness Dawns by hand in a spiral notebook. And Night Reigns, the second book in the Immortal Guardians series, I wrote on my Alphasmart NEO.
6. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
That writing a manuscript is less difficult if I don’t first create a detailed plot or outline. When I outline the novel thoroughly before I begin to write, it restricts my creativity. The story doesn’t always take me where I think it will when I begin to write, so it fares far better if I let it develop as it will instead of trying to forcibly stay with my first idea. Now, when I start a new manuscript, I’m only certain of the beginning, the climax and a couple of scenes in between.
7. What authors or friends influenced you in helping you become a writer?
Every writer who wrote a book I enjoyed influenced me simply by firing my imagination. Julie Garwood, Johanna Lindsey, Julia Quinn and Kinley Macgregor are amongst those authors who inspired my love of historicals. Karen Marie Moning enthralled me with her time-travels. Alexandra Ivy, Gena Showalter, Kresley Cole and Lindsay Sands are amongst the authors who made paranormal romance my favorite genre. Stephen King, too, influenced my writing. Every time I read one of his books, I learn more about writing. I firmly believe every aspiring writer should read his book On Writing. I found it extremely informative. The greatest influence, however, has been my husband, who challenges me intellectually, fuels my creativity, holds nothing back when offering constructive criticism, and supports me in my every endeavor.
8. What does your family think about your career as a published author?
They’re thrilled. Like my husband, my parents have been very supportive and encouraged me every step of the way. They were as excited as I was when I “got the call.” And my husband has been my greatest champion. We’re still celebrating. :-)
9. Besides writing, what other interests do you have?
Outside of writing, my biggest interest is independent filmmaking. I’ve been active in the local independent film industry for quite some time now. I actually just worked all three stages of production on a horror feature film. In pre-production, I worked as casting coordinator and designed the movie poster. In production, I provided special effects makeup and served as script supervisor. (In fact, I edited Night Reigns while I was on the set.) And in post-production, I edited the film, am adding computer generated special effects and will soon create the trailer.
10. Can you tell us about what’s coming up next for you writing wise?
Night Reigns, the second book in the Immortal Guardians series is scheduled for release in December. In it, Marcus’s increasingly erratic behavior draws unwanted concern from his immortal brethren. Cocky on the outside, grieving on the inside, he walks the edge and takes far too many risks. Hoping to divert him from this destructive path, Seth assigns Marcus a new Second (human assistant) . . . one who proves to be immensely distracting and turns his world upside down. I’m currently working on Book 3 in the series, but don’t know yet the release date for it.
11. How can readers connect with you online?
Blog -- The Immortal Realm: http://dianneduvall.blogspot.com/
In this dazzling, sensual novel, Dianne Duvall beckons readers into a world of vampires, immortals, and humans with extraordinary gifts . . . where passion can last forever, if you're willing to pay the price . . .
Once, Sarah Bingham’s biggest challenge was making her students pay attention in class. Now, after rescuing a wounded stranger, she’s landed in the middle of a battle between corrupt vampires and powerful immortals who also need blood to survive. Roland Warbrook is the most compelling man Sarah has ever laid hands on. But his desire for her is mingled with a hunger he can barely control . . .
In his nine centuries of immortal existence, no woman has tempted Roland as much as Sarah. But asking her to love him is impossible -- when it means forfeiting the world she’s always known, and the life he would do anything to protect.
Dianne is giving away an autographed copy of her book Darkness Dawns to one lucky reader! Post your questions and comments for Dianne and we'll choose a winner from the comments.