Today I'd like to introduce Dawn McCullough-White. Leave her a comment or a question in order to be entered in the drawing to win the Amazon.com gift card. See complete rules in the tab above.
Tell us about your book
My novel is called Cameo the Assassin and it's a dark, historical fantasy.
Cameo, the main character is an assassin who seems to possess a certain, otherworldliness. She has a master that she works for at a place called The Association, which is a company of assassins, and a secret master who is a vampire. She's sort of stuck between a rock and a hard place, she hates working as an assassin but she's afraid if she breaks from the company they'll kill her, and she has a vampire master who seems to delight in tormenting her by killing the people she loves. Up to this point in her career she has steered clear of any sort of friendship entanglements, until she meets up with two somewhat charming highwaymen.
It's set in the pseudo 18th century, so it's pretty gritty. The characters have scars and bad teeth from clay-pipe smoking, and hang out in dirty taverns. Death comes pretty quick and dirty, I don't generally let characters with grievous wounds survive my novels. I try to stay fairly realistic to the medicine of the time except for an element of the supernatural and some magic. I really enjoy history so I try to inject odd bits of history into the story.
What inspired you to write this book?
Well, I guess I'm a person who often wonders what happened to minor character's in other literature or film to make them who they are; I wonder what his or her story might be. It was fun expounding on the life of someone who might be a minor character in another novel. An assassin.
Do you have a favorite character? Black Opal. He's a highwayman, a dandy, a libertine and he's really flamboyant which made him a lot of fun to write about.
Are any of your characters based on people you know in real life?
One is based on someone I used to know, although I'm not going to divulge that character's name. Many of the others have some quality that I borrowed from people I know; my father and my grandmother heavily influenced traits of minor character's.
What kinds of things did you research to write your book?
I did some research into some mundane things about the 18th century such as black powder pistols, bedding, fabric, bathing, tavern games, smallpox, and grievous wounds.
I have a lot of very creative readers. Do you have other hobbies or creative pursuits besides writing?
I am also an artist but I haven't done much drawing in a few years now. Generally though, when I'm working up a new character I draw him or her to get a feel for what he or she is like. My son (who is 3yrs) and I planted a veggie garden this summer and I'm really obsessed with watching it grow. I'm really quite a nurturer, although you probably would never guess that from my novel.
What’s on your nightstand (or kindle) right now?
I'm reading Mudhouse Sabbath[Image] by Lauren F. Winner and The Lovely Bones[Image] by Alice Sebold. Sort of a dichotomy but both authors write such beautifully delicious prose.
Do you have any upcoming titles you’re working on?
Yes. The second book in the “Cameo” series is with my editor right now. It's called Cameo and the Highwayman and that will be out in the fall of 2010. I'm currently writing the third book which is untitled presently.
What else would you like to add?
Here is an excerpt from Cameo the Assassin:
It was midday and over an hour since Kyrian and Opal had arrived on horseback in Plunyport. The lad wandered up the dark, cobblestone street near the stable where they had sold the horses they'd stolen from Kings Basin. Just as he did, a slender dandy happened to be sauntering down that same alley, with a bottle of red wine in one hand."Where have you been?" Kyrian demanded."Ah, hello lad." Opal faked a smile."I've been looking all over for you." "Oh, have you? Well, now you've found me."Kyrian examined his wardrobe. "You've bought new clothes?!""Yes. Surely that can't come as such a shock to you, can it? I've even had a bath."The lad fumed, "I've been waiting here at the stables for you to get back!""Quite obvious you hadn't had a bath or gotten yourself a new set of clothes.""You said to wait for you here!""Calm down, lad. You'll make a spectacle of yourself." He attempted to push Kyrian into the shadows near the town stables.The acolyte looked over Opal's newest ensemble and scoffed. "I'm making a spectacle?!""You really do smell like a horse.""I wonder why.""The bathhouses are still open.""Fine. Where's the money from the sale of those horses?""Hmm ... money, yes, well. Don't you have some money?""I spent all of my money buying you and Evangeline that bottle of wine, and my last meal. Where's my cut of that robbery money?""Oh, Kyrian," Opal rolled his eye as he lowered his voice. "Don't be a hypocrite. I know full well that the gods don't take kindly to thievery."The lad grabbed him roughly by the lapels of his jacket and shook him. "You spent all that money on yourself! On this stupid outfit?!"Black Opal looked down at the boy whose hands were still clutching the jacket.Kyrian looked up at the pock-marked face, his anger subsiding to a wary realization that he had just attacked a wanted villain. "Did you really expect more than that out of me?""Um ...."Opal's face softened a bit as he brushed Kyrian's hands from his jacket. "This material is crushed so easily. It's because it's so delicate, so yielding.""It's very nice ... very, shiny."
Where can we find your book? It's on sale at Smashwords for the month of July Also available on Kindle It's also available in paperback at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
Any other links?
For more information please visit my website http://www.dawnmccullough-white.com
Dawn is kind enough to make herself available today to answer your questions. Leave comments or questions to qualify to win the $50.00 Amazon.com gift card!