Monday, April 30, 2012

Better off Dead by Danielle Blanchard Tour‏ - Author Interview & More

Hi Danielle

Thanks so much for stopping by today!

Thanks for inviting me to your blog. It is a pleasure, Wendy.
Can you tell us a little bit about your book, Better Off Dead?

Better Off Dead picks up shortly where Death Wish left off. Mikkel and Manon are content and have moved to Western Europe as Mikkel has business there to take care of and Manon has never really seen the world so she is happy to tag along.

A plot is revealed which threatens her life and she must go off into hiding with her step-son, Emmerik. It is full of side-dramas and a very complex book but above all, it is a love story about two people who find one another and it might just be too late.

What inspired you to write this story?

I had so much fun writing Death Wish and I knew this was going to be series but it is actually turning out to be a series/serial as a few reviewers who have read it said they felt confused and would have been able to follow the story better if they’d read Death Wish.

It’s hard writing a series because I didn’t want readers to feel like I spent half the novel rehashing the plot from Death Wish but it is also a learning experience. I know how to add just a bit more so new readers aren’t confused but not too much that readers who have reach each and every book in the series are rolling their eyes at information they already know.

This particular story was inspired because I knew Mikkel and Manon had it too easy and there was a reason behind this, a method to my madness, let’s just say. He broke a sacred oath when he decided to make her his wife and now he must pay the consequences. Above all, I think it is a story of what happens when people believe they can do anything they want and get away with it.

What celebrity is closest to how you envision Manon and Emmerik look like?

Oh, wow, I have so many ideas twirling around in my head. I often try to see the characters as they are and not celebrity faces but this one was hard so I would have to say I have always seen Mila Kunis as Manon and a very well put together Charlie Hunnam as Emmerik. I am thinking about the kind of emotional scenes these two would have to play off one another and they are both actors I enjoy watching immensely.

How long did it take you to write it?

A little over six weeks. I am a very disciplined writer and I do write every day. I should revise my position and say the FIRST draft took six weeks. Then it was back and forth between my editor and I to change certain scenes and clean up any plot holes so overall, the finished product was about three months in the making.

Any quirks that your characters have, that you can share without spoilers in the book?

Manon can be an infuriating character to read about but she has a good heart and is a bit naïve.
Mikkel can be an out right bastard but he’s spent many years living with his cold personality and it is hard for him to bond with people, even his wife.

Emmerik is a wounded bird; he’s an alpha male but not your average alpha male in that he seems to have two sides to him. There is the loving, passionate side you see and then there is that hardness and coldness in him you expect to see as he is a vampire.

Overall, many of my characters might seem to have absolutely no redeeming qualities but if a reader goes with the flow, keeps reminding themselves these are vampires and not a Harlequin romance, they will be okay.

Are you currently working on another novel? If so, can you give us any hints?

Absolutely! Writing is my life and it is difficult not to write. I have recently finished Queen of the Undead (the third novel in The Vamp Saga). It is being proofread as we speak and should be released late June, early July of this year. I have also begun a new paranormal series to give Manon and Co a break for the next few months. Hart Attack: Book I of The Hart Family Saga involves a group of half-breed supernatural creatures who are all half-Faerie and half something else.

It is part mystery, part urban fantasy, and all romance. I am very excited about this new series and hope to win over some of the fans who were a bit ambivalent about The Vamp Saga.

Thanks so much!

Welcome to Western Europe in 2020. The International Vampire Council are in the middle of intense negotiations with the Global Six when a mysterious plot is revealed to end Manon's life and thinly veiled lies Mikkel has told his wife will be exposed once and for all.
Manon is sent into hiding with Emmerik as her protector while a deal can be negotiated to spare her life.

As the clock ticks toward a catastrophic outbreak of new virus which seeks to destroy not only the Lycan population but millions of humans along with it, two ancient vampires return prematurely from their time in the ground, and their mood is less than receptive.

What will happen? Who will live? Who will face betrayal? Who will die? Sometimes, the most devastating secrets are better off dead and buried.

This novel is not YA friendly, contains plenty of snark, supernatural creatures included, but not limited to, vampires and Lycans, not to mention a few choice scenes of sex and death. It is not for the faint of heart.

About The Author

Danielle Blanchard Benson is a world traveler and author of several different series.

Ms. Blanchard Benson is the author of Beginnings: Book I (The Plague), Death Wish: Book I, Better off Dead: Book II and Death Lair: A Novella (all from The Vamp Saga), The Catalyst: Book One (The Pop Stars) and The Beautiful People series.

She is currently working on Love Voodoo: Book I (DeGeneration), Apocalypse 2012: Book II (The Plague), Hart Attack: Book I (The Hart Family Saga), The Making of a Star: Book Two (The Pop Stars) and Queen of the Undead: Book III (The Vamp Saga).

Ms. Blanchard Benson has lived abroad in Stockholm (Sweden), Manchester (England), Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area and Portland. She currently resides in Las Vegas, Nevada.


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Ten Things About Danielle

1. Your genre(s)?

My genre will always be romance or some form thereof though I have been known to do contemporary, erotic (not erotica as there is a difference), paranormal, dystopian and even -- grasp! -- horror. I am an artist so I don't limit myself and as a reader you don't have to buy everything I write. I assume most of y'all will cherry-pick anyway.

2. How many books have you completed?
I love serials and series so I have completed one long damn serial, The Beautiful People (which consisted of eight novellas), Death Wish and Better Off Dead in The Vamp Saga (and a novella, Death Lair), Beginnings inThe Plague series, Love Voodoo in the DeGeneration series, The Catalyst in my other serial, The Pop Stars, and Forever 27, a novelette in The 27 Club series.

3. How many books are you working on now?

*Breathe* Okay, I am almost finished writing Queen of the Undead in The Vamp Saga (72k and counting),Hart Attack, the first novel in The Hart Family Saga (another paranormal series), Apocalypse 2012 in The Plague series, The Making of a Star in The Pop Stars serial and Love Game in the DeGeneration series. Plus, I am co-writing a novel with a writer friend of mine, a horror-thriller, Ties That Unbind. I'm tired just thinking about my year...

4. Are you a linear or chunk writer?

I try to work on one project at a time so it makes it easier for me to maintain consistency. That list above, that is the order of the books with the exception of the one I am co-writing. I write that one when I get it back from my co-author, write my part and then send it to him via email and Drop Box.

5. The POV (= Point of View) you’re most partial to?

I'm not. I love first person though it can definitely have its limitations. I usually stick with third person though. The HUGE exception to this rule is The Vamp Saga. The first novel is written in first person but the rest are a mix of first and third person. There are some people out there this irks but what can I say? I love Manon and I *can't* write her in third but I also love some of the other characters and thought they should get a word in too. Hence the bastard project it has become involving both POVs.

6. The themes that keep cropping up in your books?

Female empowerment, strength, change and staying true to one's self. None of these are ever easy but nothing in life worth fighting for ever is so there you have it.

7. How many days a week do you write?

Everyday. There is no such thing as writer's block for me. I began Apocalypse 2012 but my Vamp Saga muse didn't want to let go so I began the third novel. Due to my schedule, I write at least 2k each day and can finish a first draft in anywhere between four and six weeks.

8. What time of day do you get your best writing done?

The evening. I have two children under the age of ten so when they are sleeping or are about to go down, I find myself most creative. Plus, I can have a glass of wine while I write... yes, I sometimes write toasted but I do all my revisions dead sober and I have an editor just to make sure she catches all the mistakes I don't. Plus, I have some great writers who act as beta readers and guinea pigs for those other pesky mistakes neither of us catch. I will upload and re-do a book that isn't perfect countless times. I do it all the time as it is a bit easier with the e-books than print but there is no such thing as "done" for me if mistakes are found.

9. What kind of music do you listen to when you write?

I'm a child of Generation X and I listen to everything but when I write paranormal/horror, I need some hard rocking music. My favorites: Deftones (Diamond Eyes and Best Of albums are classics), Marilyn Manson (Mechanical Animals, and Eat Me, Drink Me are two of my faves but I have every album ever made), Nine Inch Nails, Rammstein...I also listen to a lot of French hip-hop (Sinik, Diam's, MC Solaar) and French music in general (too many artists to count!). And I love some good pop music so Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Britney Spears, and Madonna are never far away...neither is Mylene Farmer for the matter, my favorite French pop star.

10. What the hell is up with your love affair with France?

Yeah, la Belle France gets mentioned a lot in a myriad of my novels. Better Off Dead and Queen of the Undead take place there as does most of Beginnings and Apocalypse 2012 will be a revisit (yet again). TheDeGeneration series takes place almost entirely in France. My other love affair is French influenced even if it is in the States. Hart Attack takes place in New Orleans.

I just love France, French culture, the language and desperately can't wait until I can live there for a couple of years and write. I have lots of French friends and am partial to the Ile-de-France area of the country (though it is often cold, rainy and overcast). Plus, who wouldn't want their children to be bi-lingual? And did I mention the wine and the cheese and the food? Everything is better with a French accent! ;-)


  1. Great Interview Wendy!! You put together a beautiful post with so little to work with!!

  2. Thanks, Wendy, for having me on your blog. It meant a lot. ;-)


The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.

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