Tuesday, June 22, 2010

CONTEST!! And An Interview Too!

Lee, you've won my contest! Please contact me ASAP at soharden (at) swbell (period) net. Thanks!

One of the great things about the Brenda Novak auction is meeting other book lovers and writers.

Virna DePaul is a fellow law school survivor and paranormal author with a fabulous new series coming out April of 2011 with Berkley.

Hi, Virna! Tell us more about your special ops team that gives new meaning to “special.”

Hi, Suzan! Thanks so much for having me as a guest on your blog and, of course, for supporting the Brenda Novak Online Auction for diabetes research.

My debut novel is CHOSEN BY BLOOD and comes out by Berkley in 2011. It’s the first book in a series that follows a unique special ops team. Its leader is Knox Deveraux, a dharmire (half vampire/half human), and the leader of the Vamp clan located in Portland, Oregon.

Although Vamps are Immortals, Knox’s clan is slowly wasting away thanks to an engineered vaccine developed almost a decade earlier by the FBI. The equivalent of chemical warfare, the FBI created and provided the Vamp vaccine to all Humans, contaminating their blood so it fails to provide the nourishment Vamps need. The FBI used the Vamp vaccine at the beginning of the Second Civil War, when Humans fought Otherkin (Vampires, Weres, Shapeshifters, Felines, Wraiths etc). Although the War has been over for several years, Humans and Otherkin are struggling to live in peace, and the plight of the Vamps has reached crisis proportions. The clan’s only true hope is to recover the Vamp vaccine antidote, which had recently been created by a group of U.S. scientists, then traitorously sold to a hostile foreign government.

The FBI decides to form the first elite special ops team made up of Humans and Otherkin.
FBI Director Kyle Mahone offers positions to the best of the best:

Dharmire Knox will lead the team and coordinate the missions;

the one called Wraith will assist Knox in obtaining intelligence, tracking down sources and targets, and selecting the right ammunition and explosives for each job;

Dex Hunt, a Werebeast, who is an expert marksman and “Karakai” fighter, will serve as the team’s sniper and field agent;

Caleb O’Flare, a Human psychic trained in medicine and chemical warfare, will be in charge of medical relief and chemical strategy; and

Mage Lucy Talbot, who has the power of telekinesis and has been trained in the art of enchantment, will serve as the team’s communications officer.

Lastly, although Mahone offers a spot to Human Felicia Locke, Felicia initially turns him down; the last thing she needs is to work with Knox, the dharmire she’s been in love with for over ten years. Of course, she later changes her mind and joins the team.

The Team’s first assignment is to locate the Vamp antidote.

When you got The Call, did you handle it with the aplomb of a former prosecutor or did you squeal with delight?

Total aplomb. LOL. Not. First, I was in shock. Weeks before, I’d gotten news that an editor who loved the story and wanted to buy it had been thwarted by the company’s marketing department (too many debut authors being launched). Second, I thought my agent was calling about a different proposal I’d just turned into her. When she told me we had an offer, I squealed and hugged my husband. We literally jumped up and down with joy. He’s supported me through all the ups and downs, and I was so happy he was home that day to celebrate.

You also teach craft at Savvy Authors. And you teamed up with Blaze Author Tawny Weber to create LOVE WRITING, which is out this month. Tell us more about your non-fiction work and where LOVE WRITING is available.

Love Writing is a craft book I’m self-publishing with Tawny. It’s a comprehensive tool that covers everything from craft to the realities of the industry to staying motivated. The full title is actually Love Writing: How To Write And Get Your Romance Novel Published (Without Losing Your Perspective, Passion or Sanity).

In the three years it took me to sell, I often wished I’d been better prepared for (or at least warned about) the difficulties that I would face. In addition, when I took an online class from Lori Wilde a couple of years ago, I was surprised that even after all the conference and workshops I’d taken, there were still some major craft concepts I didn’t know about. I saw a way to synthesize the most critical concepts into one streamlined method. I asked Tawny to collaborate with me and we both agreed we wanted to share what we’d learned from so many other talented people over the years.

The book is divided into four parts. Part I discusses the top ten things a romance writer can do to write a good book. Part II deconstructs a published romantic suspense book, You Only Love Twice, by Lori Wilde. It focuses on how Wilde took advantage of the principles highlighted in Part I. In Part III, we discuss the realities of pursuing publication. Finally, Part IV provides tips and worksheets to make the writing process easier. It also touches on miscellaneous information, defines terms, and lists additional resources to explore.

We’re going to be selling the book at National in Orlando, Florida, but you can also buy an e-version (PDF format) for $9.99 on our website http://www.lovewritingbook.com/. We’ll be selling the hard copies on the website as soon as we receive them.

What’s the one most important piece of advice you’d tell aspiring writers?

Even when things seem bleakest, don’t give up. If you keep moving forward and generating new work, your effort will pay off. It might not happen when you want, but that’s not in your control. Whether you quit is. Don’t quit.

Thanks for dropping by! Remember, folks, Virna’s new book, CHOSEN BY BLOOD will be on store shelves April of 2011. For more information about Virna and her new series, check out her website. Also, check Virna and Tawny’s website for more writing tips.

Thanks so much for having me, Suzan! I wish you and all your readers much joy and success. Feel free to contact me at virna@virnadepaul.com with any questions.


Like I said, I won a boatload of books during the Brenda Novak Auction including two Blaze books (paper version) from Virna’s writing partner Tawny Weber. The winner will receive these two Blazes, plus Virna’s throwing in an e-copy of LOVE WRITING: HOW TO WRITE AND GET YOUR ROMANCE NOVEL PUBLISHED (WITHOUT LOSING YOUR PERSPECTIVE, PASSION OR SANITY).

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment before 11AM CDT on Thursday, June 24. I’ll pick a name from Capt. Rex’s helmet and post it at noon.

USUAL LEGAL MUMBO-JUMBO: The contest is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada. The decision on who to blame on for the state of the current U.S. postal regulations I’ll leave to you guys.


  1. Wow! Intriguing post. Love the sound of the non-fiction, too. I know Tanya, waving at her now. She's a great writer.


  2. Thanks, Christie! I picked up your book at the Lori Foster event in Ohio. I can't wait to read it!

  3. That sounds like it's going to be an awesome book. I love paranormal.

  4. Virna, I can't wait to get your first novel. I'm so thrilled for you. I'll have to get the writing book too. :)

  5. Kristi, I'm glad you like the description of my book. I love paranormals and want to do justice to the genre! My favorites right now are Larissa Ione and Rhyannon Byrd.

    Jill, Thanks so much for your continued support!! I'm looking forward to your novel, too.

  6. Awesome interview, Virna!! Yeah!!! Can't wait to check out Love Writing! And of course, your new release next year! :)


  7. Great advice for new authors. Can't wait for CHOSEN BY BLOOD to come out next April!

  8. Bummer. Sounds like I missed meeting Virna at the Lori Foster weekend. Must not hurt myself at the last minute next year!

    No need to enter me, Suzan. I'm dropping in to say thanks for the e-mail. I've got this posted at Win a Book for you.

  9. How fun *g* Virna, I'm so ecstatic about your release and cannot wait to get my hands on your book. It sounds absolutely fabulous and I know it's going to be a great read.

  10. Can't wait until your book come out and the writing book. Of course I'll have to have both!!!

  11. Laura, Tawny, and Lee--Thanks for stopping by, girls! I love that the Diamonds are so supportive of one another. Great friends and great writers, all of you!

    Susan--I'm sorry I didn't get to meet you in Ohio but I'm planning on going next year, so no new injuries! And I hope the last one wasn't serious. Thanks for posting my info on Win A Book!

    Refhater--I've learned so much from other writers, I hope I can help others just as much. Thanks for your support!

  12. Hi Virna,
    I can't wait to read your book when it comes out. I'm sending wishes for success your way.