Today we have Dee Krull here to tell us about her new book. Having read and greatly enjoyed her novel, I can tell you that Dreams and Vampires breaks the usual vampire mold in a couple ways. For one, Laurel, the novel’s main character is a fifty-two year old heroine. If you’re tired of youngsters ruling the genre, you won’t be disappointed with the mature characters dealing with adult situations that Dee has created. Secondly, Ms. Krull has devised an ingenious twist on the entire vampire world. But I won’t give you the spoilers. Let’s hear it straight from the author.
Hi Dee! Can you tell us a little about yourself?
After living sixty-five years of life experiences, it is hard to tell a little about myself, but I will try to condense it. My dad joined the Army soon after I was born, so I have lived in two foreign countries and five different states. I was never in one school more than a year and a half so I learned to be adaptable and even though I made many friends I was very shy growing up. Both of my parents were avid readers; my dad loved science fiction and my mother read historical romance novels. I was more than avid I devoured books as a child and in my adult life as well. I went from ‘Nancy Drew’ and ‘Hardy Boys’ to ‘Milton Erickson’ and ‘The Elegant Universe.’ Two of my favorite Authors in high school was Edgar Allen Poe and Bram Stoker. Hence my love of vampires and the macabre.
Ah, a fan of the classic vamps! That makes perfect sense, now that you mention it. Tell us why your book stands out in your genre-what makes it special from the rest?
I think my book stands out because of the unique combination of genres woven into the story. I have spent the past twenty-five plus years learning about and using my knowledge of hypnosis and metaphysics to help individuals “create their own reality.” I hold a Ph.D. in Clinical Hypnosis and a Doctorate in Metaphysics. My main character in ‘Dreams and Vampires,’ Laurel, is a retired hypnotherapist who reopens a hypnotherapy practice after her husband dies and finds that she has attracted a very different kind of clientèle.
Yes! One of my favorite facts about your character building is the realistic details regarding hypnotherapy.
My late husband and love of my life, enjoyed science fiction as well as real science and history. I was inundated with, what I fondly called, the Hitler (History) channel during the twenty-four years I was privileged to be a part of his life. I have always been a curious person, (you can take that either way) but I hated history in school and science fiction was not my favorite genre. It dawned on me one day that the past was pretty interesting and held more mystery than fact sometimes. So I incorporated what I have learned from the past and the mystery it held, into my book. I wanted to create a story that held the same mystique as books written by another of my favorite authors; Jules Verne.
I have researched astrophysics and their belief that parallel worlds are a real possibility and I have understood, for the first time why their idea holds true. The world I created was also researched to the point that I thought I would make myself crazy trying to make sure the size and time were compatabile.
I have tried to make the reader stop and think about the possibility that these events could actually happen. “What if this is true and everything you have been told in the past, was fantasy?”
As mentioned above, your conceptual twist on the vampire world really is fascinating. Now I see why, and speaking of the whys and what ifs, why did you choose to write this particular story?
First of all, I love books and movies about the supernatural, my favorite being vampires. I am, one of the many, who became caught up in the ‘Twilight Saga,’ but it was another young adult novel that hinted about sexual tension without the release and hard to relate to because I am not in high school.
Stephanie Meyer is a wonderful writer and I have read her series seven times; I know a bit obsessive, but I was trying to learn from her writing style without getting caught up in the story, which was hard to do.
One day I was watching a program on the, you guessed it, Hit . . .; ops, the History channel about Parallel worlds. I leaned forward, my eyes opened wide, my pulse sped up and a light bulb went on in my head! I thought, “what if mythical creatures lived on a parallel world and have been coming to Earth for thousands of years? What a great idea for a book! Chad (my late husband) would love it! A marriage between science and fantasy. And what if the main character was a female clinical hypnotherapist who was in her fifties, who falls in love with a vampire from this parallel world?” A story was born. I went online and printed out Wikipedia’s definition of vampires, werewolves, Wicca and parallel worlds and read for the next two days. Once I had a clear idea in my mind I started creating my characters. A week later I was writing on a daily basis and keeping up with a schedule that even I have no idea how I did it.
What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author?
My toughest criticism came from a friend whom I gave three chapters of my first draft to read. She put sticky notes with questions and where there were errors such as typos, etc., that I was grateful she had pointed out. I set about making changes and getting feedback from a few other friends. One day we went to lunch and she sat across from me and asked the question, “I know you like vampire stories but do you think you could change your characters to humans instead of vampires? I think vampires have been done to death and frankly I think they are a sick idea.”
I just sat there, I couldn’t believe she actually thought I could change a story about mythical creatures into humans. It didn’t stop there; every chance she got she put me down as a writer and tried to convince me that I had no hope of ever becoming a published author. Thank God I had lots of supportive friends or I might have given up. I was crushed that she was so unsupportive because I really thought she was a close friend.
Awe, that’s terrible! Good thing for your readers that you had other friends to propel you toward your dream. What about your best compliment?
My best compliment came from another friend who didn’t know me well yet. She was curious about my book but had problems with reading, so I asked her if she would like to help me out by allowing me to read it out loud to her. I learned from a class I had taken, that one of the best ways to make sure your story flows well is to read it out loud. She was absolutely ecstatic when I finished reading one of the chapters I had planned to use on my blog as an excerpt. Her comment was, “wow! I don’t really like vampire stories but you made me feel, see and hear everything that happened as you read to me. I was so caught up in the story that I felt like I was there. I had goose bumps it was so real.” Since then she and I have become very close friends, not because she liked my story, but because she is a very kind person.
How inspiring, Dee! That just goes to show all of us that it’s not about one person’s opinion! There is an entire world of readers out there, and just because your writing wasn’t in alignment with that one person, didn’t mean it wasn’t be the best thing since sliced pie for another. A lesson for all of us to heed. Given that, do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Yes, two very important things that I learned on the “Authors Learning Center.” The first is a continuation of the last question; never give your manuscript to mean people to read. Hard, biased and unfounded criticism is not helpful and can cause you to make a decision that you may regret for the rest of your life. Give your manuscript to kind, supportive people who want you to succeed. As a hypnotherapist I have always taught my clients that negativity creates failure and positive suggestions create success.
The second thing I learned is; there are two types of stories. One type is the story that needs an outline, to create continuity to the story line and plot. The other is character driven; where you create your characters in detail, who they are, what they look like and how they interact with the main character. Then allow the personalities you have created to guide you through the story you have already decided upon. All stories begin with an idea, but how they evolve does not have to be rigid. Learn from other authors, take classes and then write in your own style. The more you write the better you will get at it as long as you are open to learning from yourself and others. And also big, big, rule: “show don’t tell” and understand what that means. When I finally got that one my writing got oh, so much better, as my readers will see in my next book in the series, “Power of the Vampire.”
Be sure and let us know when Power of the Vampire is released! In the meantime, I appreciate having you at my blog and letting readers in on the science, fiction, and history behind your novel. Again, Dee, an absolute pleasure getting to know you. I hope you’ll stop by again soon.
MORE ABOUT DEE KRULL’S DREAMS AND VAMPIRES:
A love story filled with mystery, dreams, and another world filled with danger. Two people from different universes fall in love, but not before the main character, Laurel becomes entangled in a mystery of frustration and self blame. Laurel is a human from Earth and Kianas is a vampire from a world called Htrae. Once on his world she finds herself in danger not only from the world itself but from those who inhabit it. The choices she makes are tantamount to what the future holds for her and the people she loves. If she allows Kianas to turn her she may never see her son again; but if she stays human she could loose her life.