Welcome to WIP ME INSPIRED, Tima Maria Lacoba!
Thank you so much for hosting me, J’aimee. It’s a pleasure to be asked to discuss my books, and especially my current WIP, which is the second book in a gothic romance series entitled, The Dantonville Legacy.
It’s a modern fantasy about a young woman who stopped aging in her mid twenties, (don’t we all want that!) and on her 50th birthday learns the frightening secret behind it.
The story is set in Sydney, Australia (I’m an Aussie), which as far as I know, hasn’t been done before. Almost all vampire books in the past have been set in London, New York, Paris, New Orleans or some out-of-the-way place called Forks.
It was time for a change of hemisphere.
Bloodgifted, the first book in the series,was released last October, and I’ve just completed the second book in the series, Bloodpledge. Here’s the description:
Tima Maria Lacoba
Bloodpledge continues Alec and Laura’s story from Bloodgifted.
Having undergone the Ritual and her induction into the vampire community, Laura now takes her place as Alec’s consort and First Lady of the Brethren.
But resentment and anger grows at Alec’s privileged position as daywalker. Among a powerful few, alliances are made and conspiracies formed threatening a war that could destroy them all and endanger every human on earth. Now Alec and Laura must invoke the Pledge, an ancient ceremony that enforces Brethren loyalty to the Principate.
When Laura’s ex-boyfriend, Detective Inspector Matt Sommers, turns up with a threat that could expose Alec, the battle for their world and even their lives begins.
Release Date: June 30th 2014
What inspired my WIP?
I’ve always been an avid reader and writing came a close second. What tipped the scales the other way was a combination of factors that began with my doing archaeological research for my MPhil thesis at Hadrian’s Wall in Britain. One of the forts I was investigating—Vindobala—had been abandoned in the 3rd century. There was no logical explanation for it. Then someone casually remarked that I didn’t fit their image of an archaeologist—they expected someone older, bearded, and pot-bellied! Not only did I lack those requisite attributes, but I looked too young, as well! I laughingly answered I had vampire blood. That day, The Dantonville Legacy was born—the entire story from beginning to end.
What Have I Learnt About Myself Since Starting This Writing Journey?
If anything I learnt that you never known the hidden gift(s) you may possess until you try. If I hadn’t decided to leave my full time teaching job to do my Master of Philosophy in Ancient History & Archaeology and gone to Britain for research, I would never have known I could write. An academic thesis, yes, that was no problem, but a novel? Never in my wildest dreams! Sometimes it pays to take the risk to discover the unexpected.
At this stage, there is one more book to write in the trilogy—Blood Portrait. After that, the story will continue but from the viewpoints of other characters in the book. So in all, there may be another five to six books in the Dantonville series. I’m aiming to release a book every ten to twelve months. Considering their word length—95,000-105,000 words—that’s a good length of time between releases, especially as editing and revising take up a third of that.
Tima Maria Lacoba
I took her hands in mine. ‘Jen, I need you to keep an incredible secret. Promise me you will.’
She frowned. ‘Laura, you’re not involved in—’
‘No! Just shut up, listen and don’t say a word till I’ve finished. Okay?’
She pursed her lips, then after a moment said, ‘Go for it.’
I took a deep breath. ‘You know how my blood stops me from aging normally? Well, it’s because I’m part vampire, on my father’s side—’ her eyes popped ‘—and it’s also special. It allows his kind—vampires—to walk about during the day. That’s why Alec can be with us now and not burn up.’ My cheeks were burning by this point. ‘He feeds from me.’ Her eyes darted to him, then back to me. ‘And Judy’s the same—her blood, that is—because she’s my real mother. And her husband, Luc is my father. I only found this out on my birthday. They hid me with John and Eilene—my aunt and uncle—to protect me from rogue vamps who want me, or rather, they want my blood. And before I let you say anything, I’m not nuts, nor on drugs or playing a rotten trick on you!’ I stopped for a moment as I ran out of breath, grabbed my phone, brought up Mum and Dad’s number on the screen and showed it to Jenny. ‘Look, you can check with them, if you like.’ I finally stopped and watched Jenny’s face.
She gazed at the screen, then up at me. ‘You finished?’
‘That’s brilliant!’ She held out her empty glass.
Alec and I glanced at one another—he with raised brows—as I refilled her glass. It was not the reaction I had expected. Where was the sceptical expression, the sarcastic remarks or pitying looks implying I needed therapy?
‘I don’t get it, Jen. You believe me? Just like that?’ I snapped my fingers.
‘Hon, I can tell if you’re lying and you’re not good at bullshit, which is why you’ve never been able to play April Fool’s Day jokes on your students. Besides, it makes sense of something I overheard your mum say to your aunt when I was helping you move… something about your blood not being mature yet, and… the Brethren? I thought it was about your funny genes.’
‘The Brethren is what they call themselves,’ I said, almost in a daze. ‘You believe in vampires?’
‘Sure. I’ve been researching it for years. I never told you in case you thought me weird. My secret.’
Alec laughed, filled the mug with coffee and handed it to me. Its delicious aroma had a reviving effect. I took a deep gulp and stared at Jen wondering whether to strangle or hug her. ‘And all this time I’ve been worried sick about telling you. Honestly Jen, I could just slap you!’
Jenny grinned at me before her gaze slid to Alec, and she seemed to be appraising him anew. ‘You’re for real?’