Thursday, October 19, 2017

Character Fight Book Tag

So, I kind of stole this book tag from the lovely bloggers at A Magical World of Books. But, it just looked too fun to pass up.



If you don't know how this tag works, here're the rules:

- You write down the names of 30 characters.
- For every question in the tag, you randomly draw two names.
- From those two names drawn, you answer the question accordingly.

Let's do this!


My Character's

1. Buffy Summers (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

2. Bella Swan (Twilight)

3. Katniss Everdeen (Hunger Games)

4. Persephone (Daughters of Zeus)

5. Daemon Black (Obsidian)

6. Maxon Schreave (The Selection)

7. R (Warm Bodies)

8. Kaidan Rowe (Sweet Evil)

9. Juliette Ferrars (Shatter Me)

10. Dracula

11. Sherlock Holmes

12. Wonder Woman

13. Willow Rosenburg (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

14. Rosalie Hale (Twilight)

15. Peta Mellark (Hunger Games)

16. Hades (Daughters of Zeus)

17. Katy Swartz (Obsidian)

18. Voldemort (Harry Potter)

19. Wicked Witch of the West (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz)

20. Grendel’s Mother (Beowulf)

21. Amy Dunne (Gone Girl)

22. The Man in Black (The Gunslinger)

23. Nick Dunne (Gone Girl)

24. Dr. Horrible (Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog)

25. Gregory House (House)

26. Lucifer Morningstar (Lucifer)

27. Dexter Morgan (Dexter)

28. Bonnie Bennett (The Vampire Diaries)

29. Sookie Stackhouse (Dead Until Dark)

30. Xena (Xena Warrior Princess)



You only have one more spot on your spelling bee team. Who gets it?

1. Amy Dunne (Gone Girl)

2. Katy Swartz (Obsidian)

Ooo, this is tough. I can imagine both Amy and Katy being pretty good in a spelling bee, but Amy is a total psychopath so I think I’d have to go with Katy. She’s a book blogger and reads a lot so I bet she’s got a pretty large vocabulary.



Both characters want to kill you. Whom would you kill first to have a better chance of survival?


1. The Man in Black (The Gunslinger)

2. Wicked Witch of the West (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz)

The Man in Black. I don’t know how I would kill him. He’s got all that crazy otherworldly magic, but if I can figure out how to take him out then I just have to throw a bucket of water at the Wicked Witch and I’m home free.



You're on the bachelor/bachelorette and down to two characters. Who gets your rose?

1. Maxon Schreave (The Selection)

2. Kaidan Rowe (Sweet Evil)

Kaidan Rowe. Maxon was a sweetie, but I’m a sucker for the misunderstood bad-boy.



You've been chosen for the Hunger Games. Who's most likely to volunteer in your place?

1. Buffy Summers (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

2. Bella Swan (Twilight)

I think Bella would volunteer to take Edward’s place, but probably not mine so I have to say Buffy Summers on this one. And, let’s be serious, Buffy would probably win the Hunger Games (or find a way to escape and save everyone) where Bella wouldn’t even make it through training.



You're stranded on an island and must engage in cannibalism to survive. Whom do you eat?

1. Voldemort (Harry Potter)

2. Willow Rosenburg (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

Okay, one, gross. Two, I feel like I can be strategic about this. We eat Voldemort, obviously, but maybe Willow can magic him into something first. Hopefully, something more like a Thanksgiving dinner and not a rat though.



You're the next Marvel superhero (with your own TV show, of course). Who's your sidekick?


1. Juliette Ferrars (Shatter Me)

2. Persephone (Daughters of Zeus)

Interesting. Can I have them both? They both have some pretty cool powers. Juliette’s touch of pain could be useful, but Persephone can affect an entire season, plus she has that all-access pass to the Underworld, which I think could come in handy.



You're a manager of an avocado company. Whom would you fire for poor communication skills?

1. Dracula

2. R (Warm Bodies)

Ha, um both? Between Drac’s blah-bl-blah Transylvanian accent and R’s lack of talking being a zombie I don’t see either one of them communicating well at an avocado company.



You've just finished a book in which your favorite character dies. Which of these two characters is more likely to comfort you?

1. Katniss Everdeen (Hunger Games)

2. Wonder Woman

I love Katniss, but I have to say Wonder Woman. She’s much more nurturing than Katniss is. Katniss was all about survival.She’d probably just tell me to suck it up because there’s more important things going on.



Ugh, it's high school. Who would most likely be part of the popular clique?

1. Bonnie Bennett (The Vampire Diaries)

2. Xena (Xena Warrior Princess)

Probably Bonnie, she was a cheerleader after all, but she was like the nice girl in the popular clique.



The day has arrived; you're finally a year older! Who would have the nerve to forget your birthday?


1. Nick Dunne (Gone Girl)

2. Hades (Daughters of Zeus)

Nick Dunne. I mean, he wasn’t the greatest husband to Amy. Forgetting birthdays is probably not something new to him. Plus, I feel like Hades would be on top of that stuff. Ruling the Underworld he’d have an eternity of me being pissy with him.



You've just found an upcoming YouTube star! Whom is it more likely to be?

1. Lucifer Morningstar (Lucifer)

2. Dexter Morgan (Dexter)

Definitely Lucifer, I think he’d get a kick out of that.



Sleepover time! Unfortunately, you can only invite one person. Who would it be?

1. Sookie Stackhouse (Dead Until Dark)

2. Dr. Horrible (Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog)

Hmm, I kind of want to say Dr. Horrible just because then there’d be singing, and he really wasn’t all that horrible.



Bam, you're pregnant. Who's the father/mother?

1. Daemon Black (Obsidian)

2. Sherlock Holmes

Holy alien babies, can it please be Daemon Black?



You've just written a super important text. Who would see it and not reply?


1. Gregory House (House)

2. Peta Mellark (Hunger Games)

Dr. House, no question. Peta would text me back a love letter.



You've just woken up, and it's time for breakfast. Your mom's been replaced by.....whom?


1. Grendel’s Mother (Beowulf)

2. Rosalie Hale (Twilight)

Tough one. Both are fiercely protective, but I think I’ve got to go with Rosalie. She might be just a tad more reasonable than Grendel’s Mother.







Sunday, October 15, 2017

RELEASE DAY!

Unearthed After Sunset is officially available for purchase, and it will be available for 99cents on Amazon only for one more day!



Amazon - In both paperback and kindle format

Barnes & Noble - In both paperback and nook format

Kobo - In ebook format


About the Book:

When Greg Erickson is killed by sultry and seductive vampire Lila, he wakes up cold and alone in a wooden box. After clawing his way out, he finds himself thrust into a vampire turf war, unsure of exactly whose side he’s on and why he’s fighting. Greg discovers that it’s not easy to be human one day and hunting humans the next. While his new vampire cohorts push him to accept his newfound existence, there’s one girl from his human life he’s unable to forget.

Caroline Christensen lived a normal life once. Then her brother was killed by vampires and her family legacy as a vampire hunter was handed down to her. When she meets Greg at a bar one night, they both feel an immediate connection. Then Greg discovers Caroline’s secret and she worries he’ll never talk to her again. She soon finds out that he has a very different reason for not calling – he’s dead.

Now Greg has become Caroline’s target, but can she bring herself to kill him? Greg, however, isn’t Caroline’s only concern. The vampires are battling one another, and Caroline is determined to find out what they’re fighting over.



Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Taking Cliché Vampire Themes and Making Them Your Own

Vampires are a far cry from an original supernatural creature. They’ve existed in literature for centuries. So, how do you write about them and make them feel new? This was one of the biggest challenges I faced when writing Unearthed after Sunset. How to put your own twist on a story is a question writers tackle no matter what they’re writing about. There are no new plots, as they say. So, writers are constantly trying to create their own spin on things. With a vampire story, however, I feel like this is particularly difficult because if you twist too much then are you really writing about vampires anymore?



Readers expect to see some of the typical vampire stereotypes. We all know that vampires are immortal blood drinkers that burn in the sun and live in gothic mansions. They have no reflections, hate garlic, sleep in coffins, and can’t come in your house unless invited. The only way to kill them is with a wooden stake through the heart and they can be warded off with a handy religious symbol like a crucifix or holy water.

Follow all these rules and you risk being cliché, but don’t follow enough or change too many of them and you risk leaving your readers feeling like they got tricked into reading a vampire-book that isn’t really about vampires.

So, here’s what I did with Unearthed after Sunset:

First, I looked all the vampire rules/stereotypes and decided what I needed to keep so that my creatures would still feel like vampires. For Unearthed after Sunset that meant they had to drink blood. They just wouldn’t feel like vampires to me if they didn’t drink blood. I also wanted to keep the rule that vampires burn in the sun. Those were the two most iconic vampire rules to me, so they had to stay.

Second, I had to decide where does vampirism come from in my story. This meant deciding if it had a magical cause or one more akin to a virus. Since there’s no magic in my vampire universe, I eliminated the vampire rules/stereotypes that related specifically to magic. The vampires in Unearthed after Sunset are not deterred by Holy water, crosses, or garlic, and they can enter your house without an invite. They also do have reflections.

Third, I decided what things I wanted to take my own twist on. The biggest change I made with Unearthed after Sunset was changing what killed my vampires. I tweaked the traditional stake through the heart by deciding that it’s not the wood that actually kills the vampires. Since vampirism is like a virus in my world, I decided the way to kill them would be with a substance that “cured” the virus. So, my vampire hunters use wood stakes, but they soak them in Transylvanian Sage Oil, which is what actually destroys the vampire virus.

Another thing I tweaked was making it so my vampires could only drink human blood. Part of the reason I made this change was because I felt like a lot of vampire novels have recently gone the way of the “vegetarian vampire” who only drinks animal blood. And, while that was an original twist when I first heard of it, I now feel like being a veggie-vamp is too easy. Making this change not only helped my story feel more original, but it also added an obstacle for my characters and I enjoy making them suffer.


I tweaked a few other things, but if you want to know what other twists I took on the stereotypical vampire mythology you’ll have to read Unearthed after Sunset.



Giveaway

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Unearthed After Sunset by Lauryn April

Unearthed After Sunset

by Lauryn April

Giveaway ends November 05, 2017.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway