Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Author Spotlight with Chloe Hammond

Author Spotlight with Chloe Hammond

Bookpage: contains my promo film, a sample chapter, reviews, author bio etc. This is where people can preorder Darkly Dreaming. It offers worldwide postage. Also explains all the bonuses to being a preorderer-  like your name printed in every book if you would like, and getting the book 2 weeks earlier than it will be available to everyone else, to name but two of the perks.

My Facebook author page: has links my book page, launch event, details of my prise draws:
1.    Draw for preorder of Darkly Dreaming- everyone who likes my page, and /or shares the link to my bookpage will be put into a draw on 15th May 2014 to win a preorder. If I get over 150 likes on my author page I will add a second preorder.
2.    Everyone who preorders Darkly Dreaming will be entered into a gold ticket draw. The prize I have selected for this draw is a limited edition print of the cover art I commissioned from artist Owen Claxton. It will be signed by me and the artist.
3.    I am sending a signed Darkly Dreaming business card, and a little Darkly dreaming gift to everyone who preorders and then P.M’s me their address. Although I am based I the U.K I am offering these little treats to my fans and supporters throughout the world
My website:- If people don’t have a Facebook profile they can still follow my progress on my website:-
And I would be delighted if all my supporters followed me on Twitter too, I’ll follow them back:-

Questions thank you for taking time to answer these!!

1.    When did you decide to write?
My name is Chloe Hammond. I am thirty nine. I’m a shy, introverted reader, who decided to finally write a book. As a much more confident and clear sighted child I always knew I would write. English was my favourite subject throughout school despite my dreadful spelling. I was lucky enough to have a spectacular English teacher who believed in me and encouraged my writing. At university I discovered Creative Writing was a degree subject! Why didn’t I know that sooner? However I really wanted to continue with the Behavioural Sciences course I was already on too. So I pestered people until they finally let me do both. That was my first lesson in the benefits of being that little bit more stubborn and determined than everyone else.
I was diagnosed with anxiety last year after a very difficult year in my roles as a support worker and also foster carer. I was having real difficulty sleeping, and felt disconnected from myself. I started writing in the extra time I had from not sleeping. It made me feel better to use the time constructively, rather than worrying about not sleeping.
2.    How did you come up with the idea of your newest book?
Due to the anxiety I was dreaming vividly, I started to write my nightmares down in the form of a story about a woman who is turned into a vampire. I found that writing on the nights I couldn't sleep calmed me and centred me. The story flowed and I became fascinated by what my characters would do next.
I became more and more excited as I wrote Darkly Dreaming and I started noticing inspiration everywhere: a wildlife documentary revealed the wolverine frogs, whose bones rip out of their toes when they fight, and a newt whose ribs snap and protrude through their skin to deflect predators. A holiday in France provided some locations, and I stumbled across perfect names like Ulla, which means Pearl, and Chloris, which means pale, while doing a search for German names. I used a combination of having facts I wanted to fit into the story, and having progressions in the story I needed to find facts for- like Guillaume’s car I needed a classic French open topped car, and a Google search kindly popped the Goddess up- perfect for what I was looking for. I was opportunistic with information I stumbled across, and persistent in hunting down exactly what I needed for the other parts.
3.    What Genre do write?

I find it hard to put Darkly Dreaming into a genre. It’s about vampires, which makes it a horror story, but it’s also about love in all it’s different forms, which would make it a romance, or even erotica- there’s rude bits! There’s fights, so it’s an adventure, and it’s set in a world where there is a virus you can contract by blood contact with an infected person’s mouth, which I suppose it could be called fantasy or sci fi, but Darkly Dreaming is as much about Rae and her journey to discover who she really is and what is really important to her as it is about anything else. If you’ve ever thought back to your youth and wondered where that shiny, resilient, sure person disappeared to, then you’ll enjoy Rae’s story. My mother actively avoids horrors, and I forgot to warn her what the book was about because I was too worried about her reading the aforementioned rude bits, and she loved it. It gave her nightmares, but she loved it.
My life is filled with people from all walks of life- different ethnicities and sexual orientations, and I wanted this reflected in my novel. I didn’t want all my characters to be white, rich, beautiful, straight and young. I wanted Darkly Dreaming to be richer and more varied, like real life. I grew up reading Anne Rice and Poppy Z Brite. I was fed up with overly perfect, young characters in all the modern vampire stories I’d read recently. I was ready for a funny, flawed heroine who got things wrong, and made a fool of herself, but who loved intensely and loyally; someone who was determined and stubborn, and ready to die for her beliefs and her friends. I couldn’t find it, so I wrote it.

4.    Would you ever write with another author if asked?

I’m not sure I could write a whole fiction book with someone. I’m quite opinionated, and have a very definite idea about what I’m trying to achieve when I write, and I suspect any other writer would feel the same way about their work, so it might be difficult to compromise our ideas into a flowing novel. However, I was recently asked to write a blog post, about finding your inner strength through writing, with one of the other Britain’s Next Bestseller authors, and I really enjoyed that collaboration. I’ve also been asked to help a charity put together an anthology of its service user’s work with contributions from other authors too. It should be a really exciting project.

5.    Who is your biggest inspiration?

I love Anne Rice’s novel, and Interview with a Vampire is one of my favorite films ever. I really admire her exacting attention to detail. I follow her on Facebook, and she is always sharing interesting and thought provoking articles, and really interacting with her fans. I also love the relationship she has with her characters, how she talks about getting Lestat to speak to her again after so many years. That’s very much the same relationship I have with my characters. They are very forthright about demanding my attention.

6.    Who are some of your favorite authors?

Anne Rice, Poppy Z Brite, Deborah Harkness, Cecilia Ahern, Fay Weldon, Barbara Kingsolver, Anne Tyler, Toni Morrison, Terry Pratchett - the list goes on and on! My favorite character of all time is Pratchett’s Esma Weatherwax, she’s my hero.

7.    What genre do you like to read?

I’m a total genre tart! I read all different sorts of books, from sci fi, to chick lit, to classic literature. As long as a book is well written and interesting, I’ll give it a go.

8.    What was the last book that you read?

I’ve just finished Deborah Harkness’s second book- Shadow of Night. I like the way her characters are also slightly more mature, but still learning and developing as individuals. I feel I can relate to them.

9.    What are you working on?

I’m working very hard on promoting Darkly Dreaming. I have to confess that when I chose Britain’s Next Bestseller as my publisher I hadn’t expected to have to spend so much time doing all my own marketing. I was advised I would just need to pop on Facebook and Twitter for 30-60 minutes a day. Ah, no! I’m spending 5-6 hours a night on line after work, and 12-15 hours a day when I’m not working. If I’m not online chatting to new fans and raising awareness of how the preordering system works so my novel can be crowd funded, I’m writing blog posts, and organizing my launch event, sending out press releases, or trotting around local businesses asking them if I can put posters in their window, or business cards by their tills. And I was a complete social media and marketing virgin! I only got a Facebook account a couple of years ago so I could share my holiday photos with people, and I’d never tried Twitter until I was promoting Darkly Dreaming.
Don’t get me wrong though, I absolutely love every single second of it. I’m right outside my comfort zone, I’m very shy and approaching strangers and asking them to buy something I’ve put my heart and soul into, which doesn’t even actually exist yet, really challenges me. I’ve never felt so alive. I’ve also been surprised and delighted by how people have helped me. Friends and family have been incredibly supportive, especially my poor husband. He’s had to take over all the household stuff while I write, and be my ideas board; and my first reader, when he doesn’t even read fiction; and now my promoter- he’s an extrovert and actually enjoys ambushing strangers so I can talk to them about my book. I’ve also been delighted by the enthusiasm and support I have received from other authors, bloggers, and local businesses.
So, I am determined to get the 250 preorders I need for Darkly Dreaming to be published. I want to do this always and forever. I want to feel this alive, passionate and creative for the rest of my life. I will need your help though. I need those preorders. Once I’ve got them I will be able to concentrate on writing Darkly Dancing the second book, in what I hope will be a trilogy, and Rae and Layla are getting very pushy, they want their next adventures. Once I’ve finished my trilogy I want to write the book about the Angel who has argued with God, and then the one about the ghost who isn’t impressed with the medical student who has her cadaver, so decides to teach him a lesson in humility and humanity. Oh, and then there’s the Y.A novel about the alternative world where animals speak like humans, and good and bad are battling for control.

Fun Questions:

1.    Favorite Animal

Cats, can’t live without my puddies. Even Rae demanded a cat when she moved to Brittany, a little silver stray who she hunts and plays with.

2.    Favorite Color

Red and green, contradictory in what they are meant to represent I know- green is calm and serene, red is fiery and passionate, but I feel that contraction within myself too.

3.    Favorite Food

Just one? Argh! Chocolate, no, salmon, no steak, no, cake, no, ice cream, no…….

4.    Favorite Genre of Music

Folk- I adore Joan Baez, her voice connects to something essential inside me. However I also love Robbie Williams, I feel people don’t appreciate the power of his lyrics enough because he hides them behind cheery tunes and his playful persona.

5.    Favorite Season

Summer. I love the sun, which is why my husband and I are planning to move to France once my writing takes off. Britain isn’t known for its sunshine, and I really need the mood boost the sun offers.

Rude bit teaser:- My head fell back as my back arched and his casual grasp on my shoulder became molten. He slid his hand up and cupped the back of my head while he was kissing and licking and nipping down my cheek, lingering on my mouth and then down onto my throat. Then back up to bite and tug my ear lobe, and back down to the sweet dip where my collar bone met my neck. At the same time his other hand slid around my waist and down onto my arse pushing me hard against him. The need in me was as instant and furious as a gas flame, it became me. Only where he touched me was the need sweetened and slaked.
I’ll attach my cover art separately. I can’t send you an author pic- due to the nature of my day job I have to write and promote as Chloe Hammond- which is my pen name (although I enjoy being Chloe Hammond more than my real name!) this is why I use one of my artists preliminary sketches as my Facebook and Twitter picture.
Thank you so much for your support,

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