Monday, February 21, 2011

Dark Passages-Revisiting the Vampire Myth with Sara Reinke

Congratulations to my site winner, chosen using RANDOM.ORG. Mary Jo has won a gift certificate of her choice-Amazon, B & N, whatever strikes her fancy. But don't dispair, We have another visitor on Thursday-Wendi Zwaduk, and another chance at goodies.

Today I want to welcome Sara Reinke to My World. Sara's new release is Dark Passages, a story of the Brethren. I asked Sara a few questions and her answers are below.

1) The purpose and importance of research in paranormal romance:

You’d think it would be easy to write in the paranormal genre. By definition alone, the term encompasses whatever you can imagine. But personally speaking, I have a hard time presenting something as a writer if I first can’t buy into it as a reader. For me, this means having a strong back story in place before I even begin to type out a word. And that requires research. History is full of rich and diverse mythology and legends, and I find myself drawing frequently from these as I develop ideas for vampires, werewolves, demons and other paranormal beings.

2) What six things are most important for a writer to be successful and why.

Have faith in yourself and your abilities as a writer. This is a challenging industry, and it can definitely take its toll on your ego in any number of ways. As long as you truly believe in what you’re doing and work hard to continuously improve your craft so you’re presenting your best stories to the world, you can steer yourself in the right direction, success-wise, despite rejection letters, contest near-misses, stinging reviews, etc.

Surround yourself with positive influences. Friends, family and fellow writers who are supportive of your efforts and empathetic to your struggles are worth their weight in gold.

Write as much as you can whenever you can. I don’t advocate for having a set time and place where you must make yourself write a set number of words each and every day—primarily because I’ve never had time for such a stringent schedule, and don’t know many people who do. But if you’re serious about writing, then you need to make time whenever you can reasonably do so to do it. Sometimes this means even when you don’t feel like it, or when you’d rather be doing something else. It’s only as much a priority as you make it, and I personally strive to keep it a high one in my life, despite my other responsibilities and distractions.

Throw away your rejection letters. If you can take some constructive criticism or suggestions away from them, great. If not, toss them. Who needs that kind of negativity, not to mention clutter?

Contact your favorite authors and pick their brains for career advice. You might be surprised by their responses. I have been, pleasantly so, more often than not.

If you want to be a writer, you have to know how to write. This means knowing basic rules of English grammar, which should be a big DUH. You’d be surprised how many aspiring writers don’t have a basic grasp of spelling or grammar, however, and will tell you that’s what an editor is for. Uh, no. That’s your job as the writer. Learn how to do it correctly.

3) World building

Have I mentioned I really like world building? Researching the back story and setting for my work is a blast for me, the chance to really let my imagination run wild, and to learn something while I’m at it. As I mentioned before, I love basing a lot of my world building on real or historical events, including mythology. The internet is a terrific place to begin your research and world building, but you can take it even further at your local library, or by talking to experts in different fields such as anthropology, forensic science, etc.

4) POV

I’m not one much for head-hopping. I try to keep my readers oriented in my stories by keeping to as few viewpoints as possible, and when using multiple points-of-view, keeping each one separated by individual scene breaks or chapters. Personally, I have always liked writing primarily from the male perspective, probably because as a woman, I don’t feel like it takes as much imagination to get into a heroine’s headspace as a hero’s.

Tristan Morin is a vampire on a mission: to not fall in love with Karen Pierce. To do so would prove that humans and Brethren were meant to be physically and emotionally bound to each other -- something he, as a full-blooded Brethren, refuses to believe. It would be so much easier if Karen wasn't beautiful. And if there wasn't something about her that draws him like a moth to a flame, damn near impossible to resist.

Karen has always felt an inexplicable attraction to Tristan. More than just the fact he's strikingly handsome, it's as if being with him is something natural, comfortable and right. But soon a brash choice on his part leaves her heartbroken and confused, and a sadistic new enemy will put their tentative love -- and their lives -- to the ultimate test

Excerpt from Dark Passages
From the darkness, a muffled digital ring drew Tristan from the depths of sleep.

My phone, he thought dimly, as his mind made the groggy, reluctant transition from unconsciousness to alert. I had it in my pocket, he remembered, stumbling out of bed and limping around blindly until he found his pants in a rumpled heap halfway across the room.

“Shit,” he said, because it occurred to him that they’d forgotten completely about Mason’s promise to join them once he’d finished talking to Michel on the phone. He glanced over his shoulder at the bedside clock and winced. It was well after midnight; more than three hours had passed since they’d parted company at the restaurant. And we’ve been sleeping this whole time. He’s probably been and left, beating on the door, wondering where the hell we are.

“Shit,” he said again, thumbing the keypad to answer the call. Raking his fingers through his hair to push it out of his eyes, he tried his best to sound dutifully repentant. “I’m really sorry, Mason,” he began.

“I’m sorry, poppet,” a voice purred in his ear—a voice he recognized from earlier that night. “Mason’s a bit…tied up at the moment.”

Tristan’s brows furrowed, his free hand closing into a sudden, strained fist. All of the muscles bridging his shoulders and neck drew instantly taut. “Davenant,” he seethed. “Where is he? What have you done with my uncle?”

Jean Luc Davenant chuckled gently into the phone. “I haven’t done anything with him,” he said, with feigned insult in his voice. “It’s what I’ve done to him that should worry you.”

I want to thank Sara Reinke for stopping by, and I want to remind my readers that one commenter will win an as yet to be decided goodie just for commenting. Please be sure to leave your email address, so I know how to get in touch when you win. As always, winner will be chosen using RANDOM.ORG. Good luck to you all.


  1. Great interview and answers. Sara has some great advice and I've written some things down to remember that would apply to anything in life not just writting. Thanks for the blurb and the small excerpt from "Dark Passages"...The Brethren sounds like an interesting series and I'll be sure to look it up.

  2. Thanks, Maria! I hope you enjoy! :)

  3. I enjoyed the interview and answers, even tho I'm a reader, not a writer (and proud of it, although its a talent I admire greatly)
    It sounds like a good series. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

  4. First Time on this Blog. Really liked the Interview and Answers... This Seris sounds really good, can't wait to start reading this seris :-)

  5. Thanks for the interesting interview. Your blog is looking really good.
    Linda J.

  6. I enjoyed this article.

    Writing (as with anything else) IS only as high a priority as you make it. Great piece of advice. :)

  7. It was great hearing from you Sara, I dont write but I do find it really fascinating that people can come up with these amazing stories for people like me to read.
    I have read Dark Hunger by you and enjoyed it very much. Im looking forward to Dark Passages. Cant wait till I can pick it up.


  8. I love your answer of POV, I mean I never thought of it that way and I agree sometimes if there is too many pov's that it might get a bit confusing.


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