Dale Mayer is a prolific multi-published writer. She's best known for Tuesday's Child, her romantic suspense novel that was one of the final four in the Kensington Brava/Romantic Times contest this last year. Besides her romantic suspense/thrillers, Dale also writes paranormal romance and crossover young adult books in several different genres. To go with her fiction, she also writes nonfiction in many different fields with books available on resume writing, companion gardening and the US mortgage system. She has recently published her Career Essentials Series in ebook format.
Q: Welcome Dale! Please tell us about your YA book, Vampire in Denial. And do you have a review you could share with us?
A: Vampire in Denial: Blood doesn't just make her who she is...it also makes her what she is.
Like being a sixteen-year-old vampire isn't hard enough, Tessa's throwback human genes make her an outcast among her relatives. But try as she might, she can't get a handle on the vampire lifestyle and all the...blood.
Turning her back on the vamp world, she embraces the human teenage lifestyle—high school, peer pressure and finding a boyfriend. Jared manages to stir something in her blood. He's smart and fun and oh, so cute. But Tessa's dream of a having the perfect boyfriend turns into a nightmare when vampires attack the movie theatre and kidnap her date.
Once again, Tessa finds herself torn between the human world and the vampire one. Will blood own out? Can she make peace with who she is as well as what?
This book isn't my latest release but it's one of the books of my heart. It's done very well in terms of reviews.
Here are a couple of links to reviews:
Q: What inspired this story?
A: Watching my 13 year old daughter grow up in today's world, trying to fit in and feeling like that was a lost cause.
Q: What do you enjoy most about writing Young Adult?
A: Writing YAs are just plain fun for me. I write in many genres for adults and children. However my adult books are very convoluted plots with crazy twists all throughout. So writing YA is a refreshing change. The issues facing teenage characters are not so different than what adults face, but they problem solve differently. I really enjoy writing for that age group.
Q: Please tell us about your favorite character in the book.
A: Tessa is my favorite character in this book, followed by Cody. Tessa is a gawky 16 year old on a journey to finding who she is. She reminds me of my daughter and of course there are little bits of me in there.
Q: Which element of this story is your favorite?
A: I love the skills that Tessa finds, some accidentally, some through learning to embrace her heritage. She truly finds out what she can and she can't do in this book.
Q: Which element of this story was the hardest for you?
A: The hardest thing about this story was the ending. I could NOT do anything but leave the cliffhanger ending on this book. I tried to change it several times, but my muse refused. It had to stay as is.
Q: What is your writing process or method?
A: I'm a diehard pantser. An idea twigs, I sit down to a blank page and I start typing. Usually after I've done one or two scenes I have an idea for what comes next. After about 30 pages I can see the next couple of turning points. I don't plot and I don't outline. The endings ALWAYS surprise me.
Very interesting! Thanks for joining us today, Dale!
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Tessa hunkered down low to the ground, hidden by the long line of poplars edging the property as Cody went in for a closer look. She’d protested being left behind until Cody pulled the mom card on her. That he’d never be able to explain to her mom why he’d let her accompany him. She’d couldn't argue that.
The longer she’d studied the house, the stronger her sense of knowing grew. Jared was here. Somewhere on the property. Looking around, she realized the easy answer was to check out the sheds and outbuilding first.
Silently, she slipped inside the first outbuilding. Empty. She circled it anyway and looked for stairs, hidden doors, or rooms. Then she moved onto the next building. This one appeared to be a storage unit. Boxes and containers filled every square inch or so it appeared. She studied the level of dust and the jammed boxes. Everything appeared deserted and forgotten for decades. Empty. She couldn’t sense anything bigger than a mouse.
Back out in the night, the dogs still slept and Cody had yet to return. What if he couldn’t?
No, Cody had some serious skills, at least according to David he did. It would take a lot for someone to get the drop on him.
He just didn’t have much class. Turning around, Tessa watched Cody land in front of her. "There’s no sign of anything unusual going on."
"No, of course not. Why would there be? It’s not like they’re going to advertise that they've kidnapped humans." She studied the huge stone mansion. "The captives are most likely to be downstairs."
"You’re not going into the house. If you’re determined to take this further, we go back to our parents and let them take it to the council. They will determine the best course of action."
Tessa stared at him in disbelief. Everything about the night had taken on a surreal appearance. She was here, where Jared was being held, with someone who could actually help her and he wanted to go for their parents. No knight riding to the rescue here.
Then he'd been raised by the old belief that vampires don't go against vampires – without just cause. She didn’t think she could come up with enough evidence to prove her case.
"We have to at least see if they are here."
"No. No way." He pulled away and turned prepared to leave.
"No Tessa." He shook his head, his vampire eyes glowing with terrible heat. "That’s enough. This isn’t a kid’s game. This is vampire business."
"And who’s going to believe me? No one. I’m not like you. My word doesn’t mean anything to the others. If you don’t see that Jared’s been taken and kept as a captive yourself, you won’t be able to convince them either."
He shook his head.
Fine. She'd go in alone. Turning away, she headed to the back of the house. "Go back home. I don’t need you."
"What the…" He raced behind her. "Tessa stop. You can’t go inside there. You’re not allowed."
"And they’re allowed to take humans?" She snorted. "I don’t think so." The moon slid out from behind the clouds highlighting the lower level of the house. Off to the left, a set of stairs cut down to a narrow wooden door. Probably the cellar. Perfect. She picked up the pace reaching for the knob in seconds. She bolted though the unlocked door, before Cody could drag her back out. Down a narrow hallway, she fled through another door that led to a wide open space. Empty space. Damn it. Could the prisoners have been moved already? How?
"There, are you satisfied now?"
She spun around at the sound of Cody’s voice. "No." She walked the perimeter of the room. At the far end, the room curved down and around. This place was huge. At the far end, her nostrils flared. Animal. Death. Fear. Pain.
This area had been used as housing for animals during the cold winter months. Horses, most likely. Ancient farm smells permeated the air. Hay. Manure. Blood.
"What’s the matter?" Cody whispered.
She looked at him. "Can’t you smell it?"
"Death. Pain. And an overwhelming fear."
"I can’t sense any of that. What are you talking about?"
Tessa looked at him strangely. "Not even with your vampire senses?"
He turned and lifted his nose in the smelled the air. After a moment, he shook his head and laughed. "You don’t have a clue, do you? There’s nothing there." He dropped the smile. "The fun’s over. Let’s go home."
Tessa turned her back on him. Moving closer to the one side, Tessa concentrated harder. There. Jared. Relief washed over her. He was alive. "Jared’s in there."
But Cody was talking to empty space.
Tessa darted ahead of him. Half smooth walking talking vamp and half wholesome innocent human. He shook his head. What happened to David’s kid sister? He’d always been protective of her and Cody had naturally picked that up. She was different from the rest of them. Seth didn’t treat her with the same patience. And her Dad, well, he didn’t know what patience was. If it wasn’t for her mom, her life would have been much different.
On the outside she looked vampire. Hell, she looked hot. He hadn’t believed his eyes when he’d seen her tonight. He knew most of the gorgeous females in their area and she hadn’t been one of them. He'd followed her for that reason initially.
She’d smelled familiar. Then she’d turned and he caught a glimpse of Tessa in that wicked outfit. But she’d given him the rebuff. Confused, he’d withdrawn and kept a close watch. When she’d disappeared out back, he’d followed and couldn’t believe it when he’d seen her in the moonlight. He still wasn’t sure until she’d jumped. Jumped. Vampires did a lot of things, like flew, floated and even raced, but everything they did, they did with grace.
Not her. Awkward, disjointed movements, hard landings and gawky take offs. Little Tessie had somehow morphed into one hot Tessa.
His curiosity and doubt had turned to horror. She’d only ever been allowed at vampire meetings with a chaperone and sure as hell not in that ‘come hither and get laid’ outfit.
Christ, she’d looked good. And vampirish. Good enough to fool everyone there. But if her family found out, well that would be the end of life as she knew it.
To find out more about Dale and her books, visit her at http://www.dalemayer.com. Or connect with her online with Twitter at www.twitter.com/dalemayerand on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dalemayer.