After giving you teasers of the stories included in the Shades of Pink Charity Anthology in September, this month I'll tell you a little more about the authors involved. I interviewed them with questions about their contributions, their writing life, their works in progress...
Today, DJ Shaw
Kallysten - First, thank you for being a part of this project. How did the idea for your contribution ‘Blood Lust’ come to you?
DJ Shaw - I wanted to do something different for this project, something hadn’t really been done before. I have done a half-Siren and had considered breeding a Siren with a Vampire but thought the take of a Succubus/Vampire Hybrid would be fun to work with.
K - Do you have a favorite supernatural being? What makes it attractive to you?
DJS - I like all supernatural beings, but to be honest I would have to say the Fae are my all time favorite. The thing that makes the Fae so attractive is all of their abilities and the different races.
K - Do you have a writing routine? A special place where you sit down to write? A favorite drink or snack you keep at your side while you work?
DJS - I try to write at least 2-4 hours a day. Being a mom of five children and a caregiver as a day job, finding somewhere quiet to write can be a bit difficult, but I lock myself away in my bedroom for about 2-4 hours at night to write, and I work on more than one piece at a time. Chocolate would be my all time favorite snack when I’m writing and Dr. Pepper seems to be the drink I can’t do without.
K - What is your favorite thing about being a writer?
DJS - Being able to make all the characters come to life for other people. I have always been one to use my imagination to tell stories and being able to write them down and have people who don’t know me (people other than family or close friends) be able to read the worlds I write is the best part of being a writer for me.
K - Can you tell us about your current writing project or next release?
DJS - I’m currently working on, like, last count 22 separate pieces. I have a haunted hospital turned hotel piece that has me really excited and many different ideas swimming in my over worked brain but I think the most exciting for me right now (other than “Blood Lust”) would be my first novel that took me eight and a half years to write, “Wiccan Lies”. It’s soon to be debuted and I’m wicked excited about it, not to mention really nervous. It’s about a woman who has just discovered that she is Wiccan and she is going through some tough times trying to come to grips with that fact. She decides to do some research and finds out there is much more to the world than just humans. ;-)
K - Would you care to share an excerpt from it?
As I stepped into the attic, I remembered seeing my mom at the window with the light playing on her burgundy hair and the smell of gardenias especially strong in this area of the house. The image was so life-like, the smell so strong, that I headed straight to the last book I saw my mother writing in. It was opened to the last page and the shock of seeing what was written on that page, in my mother’s handwriting, floored me.
I was sitting on the floor with my head between my legs, total shock enveloping my body. I was taking deep breaths and I could see the words written on that page as clear as if I was reading them from the book itself. Once the wave of shock passed, I stood once again, picked up the book and reread the words.
My darling daughter,
If you’re reading this now, it means that your father has finally committed me, as he always thought I was crazy, and that he is dead due to his line of work. Remember that we both loved you very much. What you’re about to read will shock you, and you’ll probably deny it for the next few days, but I fell you really need to know why your father’s dead and why I’m in the hospital.
Your father always thought I was a bit eccentric but the truth is, I’m Wiccan. As are you. Your father never understood my religion and wouldn’t let me teach you in the ways that I was taught. I taught you the things I felt were the most important at the time, but if you’ve made your way up to the attic, and to this book, then you’ll have some questions and are really ready to be taught the full and true religion. First and foremost, I need to tell you about your father before I get into the rest of Wicca and what the vials and things in the basement are for.
Your father is a high profile cat burglar. What that basically means is he only robs from the elite. His last job will be at a museum in Denver and this is where he’ll be killed. He has been hired to steal an antique parchment written in Gaelic. However, he doesn’t intend on giving it to his employer. He plans on selling it to the highest bidder so he can get you all the things he feels you need and to be able to pay for the hospital. He’ll be caught by the security officer and shot on sight.
I looked up from the book when I heard a meow. Apparently, my house guest had gotten lonely and decided to either investigate their new digs or was just looking for me. I moved the book off my lap and the cat immediately took its place. While I was petting, listening to it purr, I glanced around the attic.
“What should I call you?” I asked my companion.
When it stood to rub itself into my hand, I noticed that it was female.
“Should I call you Cleo?”
She stopped moving and threw me a dirty look.
I laughed, “Okay, not Cleo then. Hmmmmm, let me think. How about Harley? No, I don’t like that name. I know, we’ll call you Sabatte!”
I snapped my fingers, startling my new friend, though she seemed to like the name I’d given if her intensified purr was anything to go by. She climbed off my lap and returned to her investigations. Shaking my head, I rubbed the back of my neck. I could feel the beginnings of a headache coming on. I brought the book back to my lap and picked up where I’d left off.
He’s currently making his will, almost as if he knows what’s going to happen. He’ll be leaving the house to you, seeing as I’m to be left in the hospital to rot. I won’t even be allowed out to attend his funeral. I’m so sorry about that, my darling. That you’ll have to attend your father’s funeral alone. I’ll try everything I can to get out to at least attend the funeral but your father will leave strict orders that I won’t be allowed to leave the hospital for any reason. Now, if I know you, and I do, you’re probably going to try to find a legal loop hole around that whole mess.
I appreciate the thought, but it’d be best, for the both of us, if you just live your life and come to visit on occasion. Now the answers you’re looking for concerning Wicca can be found throughout this book and all of the books here in the attic. I’m sure you’ll have a ton of questions for me and I’ll love to answer them all. All you have to do is visit me at the hospital. I love you, darling, and I’ll miss you with all of my heart. Give your head some time to process all of this before you do anything rash. I must go, your father’s on his way to take me to the hospital where I’m to spend the rest of my life.
Your loving mother,
My god! All of this was going on my entire life and I never knew it! I thought with real anguish flooding my heart. I picked up the book and stood up. Closing it, I made my way through the attic, picking up any books that were within easy reach and then raced out of the room and down the stairs.
I stopped in my room, shaking my head and setting the books down on the desk just inside the door, as I remembered that I had pictures uploading onto my computer in the basement that needed to be saved in a file and set up to be emailed.
K - Thank you again for being a part of Shades of Pink. Any last word before I let you go back to your writing?
DJS - Thank you for having me as a part of Shades of Pink. This is something that is very close to my heart as my mom is a breast cancer survivor. I would like to tell all the aspiring writers out there to never give up there dream! Don’t listen to the nay-sayers. A good friend of mine has told me time and time again and this is probably one of the biggest reasons I still do what I do, because I have had my fair share of nay-sayers and still do, “Haters gonna hate.”
Find DJ at http://www.facebook.com/WiccanLies