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Sandman built his dubious reputation by turning the dreams and nightmares of others into harsh reality. Now he’s pursuing his own twisted dream; the beautiful Maria Milan. But she doesn’t want to become a player in Sandman’s sordid fantasy.
Michael Sykora is a hit man who kills for justice. Sean Riley is a hit man born to kill. Together, they’re out to take down Sandman and his organization. Whether mercy is given depends on who catches him first.
EXCERPT LOCATED AT THE BOTTOM!!
I love to read. And talk about books I’ve read. And look at all the books on my shelves, rearrange them, dust them. Yes, I’m a tad obsessed. ~Darcia Helle
I really don’t know. I wrote the first draft of my first novel – Enemies and Playmates – way back in the early nineties. I don’t know why I chose to write a novel at that point. In fact, I’m pretty sure I didn’t choose to at all. It just sort of happened. I always wrote, from the time I was very young. I’d create scenarios in my mind and stay up late into the night playing out full stories. Then one day a scene popped in my head and I wrote it down. Then I wrote another scene. Before I knew it, I was writing a novel.
Do you have a specific writing style?
Aside from The Cutting Edge, which I wrote in first person, my approach is always a close third person narration. My writing is very much character-driven. I get inside the POV character’s head and tell the story from his/her perspective. In order for me to write, I have to fully immerse myself in the character to the point that I feel the same emotions he/she feels. My hope is that readers will experience the story, not just read it.
How do you come up with your titles?
Deciding on a title is sometimes worse than writing the blurb for the back of the book. (Which can be brutal!) Occasionally, the title strikes me right away as obvious. That happened with The Cutting Edge and Miami Snow. I knew what those books would be called when I came up with the plots. Most often, though, the title requires a lot of thought and maybe a sort of epiphany. I’d written the entire first draft of Beyond Salvation, the second book in my Michael Sykora Series, and didn’t have a title. When I was doing the first edit, that phrase popped out at me. I’d used it at one point in the narration and it struck me as the perfect title for the book. My novel Enemies and Playmates had three other titles at various points. The final title didn’t come until I did the final edit.
Killing Instinct is the first book that had a title before I was even sure what I was writing about. I knew Sean Riley, Michael Sykora’s partner, would play a large role in the book and that phrase fits his character. Fortunately, it also fit the book I wound up writing.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I love to read. And talk about books I’ve read. And look at all the books on my shelves, rearrange them, dust them. Yes, I’m a tad obsessed.
Aside from the written word, I’m a bit of a music fanatic. (Okay, it’s another obsession.) Despite living in the digital age, I still prefer the physical objects. I have somewhere around 500 vinyl albums and 1,500 CDs. I like to play DJ for my dogs. They’re tolerant of my eclectic taste, unlike my husband who goes out in the garage when I play something he’d rather not listen to.
My husband and I spend a lot of time with our dogs, taking them to the beach on the off season and to the Dairy Queen for special treats. Our house has been in a constant state of remodeling chaos since we bought it. My husband does all the work himself, and I dictate design. Since we don’t have the money – and he doesn’t have the time – to do it all at once, we spend a lot of time talking about our plans, then changing them multiple times before we start a project.
My sons are grown up and my oldest lives in Canada, so my life is now, for the most part, quiet. Being a complete introvert, that’s just the way I like it.
What are your current projects?
I’m just starting to work on the fourth Michael Sykora Novel. All I have at the moment is a vague sense of the plot and the first couple of scenes floating around my head. Now that I’ve launched Killing Instinct out in the world, I hope to have the time and focus to complete the first draft of this next one by the end of the year.
What are your favorite movies and what book genres do you like reading/writing the most?
Favorite movies is a hard one for me. I haven’t been to a theater in years, and I don’t watch many DVDs or pay-per-view movies. A few that stand out in my memory are The Green Mile, The Sixth Sense, and anything starring Jason Statham.
My reading preferences lean heavily into suspense, with psychological suspense being my favorite. That being said, I will read pretty much anything that has a good story.
My writing is always some form of suspense. I am fascinated by the dark side.
Where can readers connect with you? i.e. facebook, twitter, website, blog etc.
I love to interact with and get to know my readers, and have a lot of cyberspace homes. The ones I use more often are:
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/darciahelle or @DarciaHelle