Please welcome Dave Ferraro!
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Tell us a little about yourself...
I grew up in Minnesota and went to college at St. Cloud State University, where I graduated with a B.A. in English and creative writing. I grew up reading young adult novels and comic books, watching horror movies and animated films, and I think you can see the influences in my writing. I currently live in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and work in a bookstore, where I get to talk to people about books all day long.
What do you enjoy doing when not writing?
I read a lot obviously, but i'm also a film buff, and like watching all sorts of movies. Horror films hold a special place in my heart, but I really enjoy all kinds of movies, from foreign films to action, rom-coms to dramas. I still read a lot of graphic novels as well, and have a blog where I talk about comics called Comics-and-More.
When did you begin writing?
I began writing when I was very young, probably around ten years old. I still have notebooks where I wrote out those early novels, which are really, really bad. lol But I feel like the more you write, the better your writing gets, and twenty plus years later, I've definitely honed my craft and found my voice. I used to just devour young adult books, which at the time consisted of slasher novels by the likes of Christopher Pike, Nicole Davidson and Dian Hoh. I remember that I used to look at the covers of the books and read the short synopsis on the back and come up with a story myself before reading them, and I sometimes thought that my ideas were better. I think that's what compelled me to first begin writing my own books.
Do you listen to music, drink coffee, etc. while writing?
I do listen to music when I write, usually, and just have it on quietly in the background. I listen to a lot of Kate Tucker, Erin McCarley, and Vanessa Carlton - singer/songwriter types. They sort of put me in a certain mindset with the atmosphere of their music. I also have some instrumental standbys: Blood Theme from Dexter, and Bella's Lullaby from New Moon. Otherwise, I tend to write well at night. If I try to sit down and write during the day, I accomlish very little and feel antsy, but when it's dark outside, I usually get on a roll. I also have a candle that smells like fresh-cut grass that I pull out sometimes when I need a little something extra to put me in the mood, and sip on either Pepsi or water.
What book are you currently reading, just finished reading or going to read next?
I'm reading "Boundless" by Cynthia Hand currently, the last book in the "Unearthly" trilogy, which is one of the best paranormal romances that I've had the pleasure to read. I'm also about to start Veronia Rossi's "Through the Ever Night." The first book in the trilogy, "Under the Never Sky" is probably my favorite dystopian book, so I'm really looking forward to digging into the second book.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
Growing up, I was a huge fan of Christopher Pike and L.J. Smith, and they are probably the biggest influences on my writing, particularly Smith's "Night World." Lately, I've been really excited by Rick Yancey ("The Monstrumologist"), Elizabeth C. Bunce ("Star Crossed") and Kiersten White ("Paranormalcy").
What other projects are you working on or have coming out next?
I'm currently working on the fifth book in the Hunters of the Dark series, an urban fantasy series that follows a group of monster hunters. I've been working with these characters for almost fifteen years, so I definitely have a bond with them, and have a lot more stories to tell concerning the various characters from these books. I'll probably never stop coming up with new adventures for them.
Why did you choose to write this genre?
Since I grew up reading young adult novels, my writing voice just naturally went in that direction, and I love monsters and magic, so those are the types of stories that I want to tell. I feel like my books have a touch of all sorts of elements from different genres in them: fantasy, paranormal, romance, horror, action, mystery, and a splash of humor. I think it makes for interesting stories that don't get stale. And since I grew up with such a love for comic books and film, my writing has a very cinematic quality to it that I think people are drawn to.
If you could be any paranormal or have a supernatural talent what would it be and why?
You're asking an X-Men fan what power he could have, and not surprisingly, I've asked myself this question a lot. lol. I think the best power would be to be able to shape-shift into any form I want. I've thought that it would be invisibility in the past, but that limits you to just hiding in the background. As a shape-shifter, you can be involved in the action and you can be ANYTHING. Who doesn't want to look like a model, or fit in in foreign environments? You could have limitless new experiences.
Tell us why readers will enjoy reading your book...
Dark Genesis is a book that will constantly keep readers on their toes. Alyssa is a kick-ass protagonist, but she's also a lost, tragic figure in this world that's completely foreign to her. She wants to get home, but she doesn't even know what home is. She just knows that she doesn't belong, which I think a lot of people can identify with. Dark Genesis also has a great cast of supporting characters, and really cool villains. Since Alyssa is in a world populated by monsters, you get your vampires and werewolves, but you also get new twists on classics. Just wait until you meet the Ticks and Neo-Alchemists. This book is unlike anything out there, and is packed with a great story and memorable moments. It's pretty much awesomeness in book form.
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Here's an excerpt from Dark Genesis
“Ugh,” Alyssa put a hand to her head, its throbbing making her nauseous as she tried to sit up. Tentatively, she reached back and touched the back of her neck, where a large welt screamed in protest from her delicate probing. She winced and looked down, noting the chain on her right leg. She touched the cold metal and frowned before looking up at a white room with several stone slabs, an alter on raised ground at the back.
On the stone slabs before her, she saw her friends tied down. Vessa, Parker, Eric and Lace. Ambrosia was also in the room, but muzzled and chained by its neck to a nearby wall, struggling against the metal.
Alyssa’s blood ran cold at the scene and she pulled on the chain at her ankle, as if she would be able to free herself with pure force of will.
“You’re awake,” Mia observed, sitting a few feet away, her back to the wall. “You were unconscious for a long while.”
Alyssa nodded, putting a hand to her forehead. “What did I miss?”
“Everyone being tied down by two men from the coven. The hags have come and gone several times.”
Alyssa leaned her head back. “Great.” She winced as the stone touched her welt.
Mia frowned. “I tried to heal your wound as I did your friends. For some reason, my magic doesn’t work on you.”
Swallowing hard, Alyssa nodded. “Yeah. It has advantages and disadvantages.”
The sound of footsteps could be heard coming from a doorway near the altar, and Alyssa struggled against her chain again, to no avail.
Two appeared, smiling, a bounce in her step like she were about to go to an amusement park. She breathed in deeply and nodded to herself, as if satisfied with something. Her eyes fell on Alyssa and Mia and she turned to the two men who’d just accompanied her into the room. “Tie down the pretty one next.”
Alyssa clenched her jaw and braced herself for their arrival, watching the mens’ slow procession. One of them dragged his right foot behind him, as if he were injured. Her eyes narrowed at the grins on their faces. She wouldn’t mind handing them a few bruises.
She kicked hard when they reached her, aiming for the man’s bum leg, but they seemed prepared for her attack, and quickly detained her, holding her arms and legs so tightly that she felt her circulation cut off. Two laughed, then undid the chain. “A lot of spirit in you,” she said as she followed the men to an unoccupied stone slab. “We’ll fix that right quick.”
As the two men held her down, Two began to wind twine around her midsection, with very careful motions, almost lovingly, tightening her arms against the stone. Alyssa bit down her terror as her legs were twined together, and continued to struggle, although she could feel herself tiring quickly in this losing battle.
She struggled against her bonds as the men left her to do the same thing to Mia. She felt claustrophobic, like the twine was smothering her, and each breath she took wasn’t enough. Sweat began to gather on her forehead as she started to panic.
“Take deep, slow breaths,” Parker’s voice came to her.
Alyssa glanced up and saw Parker’s head not far from hers, on the slab behind her and to the right. “Not that it’s going to do you much good,” Lace called out. “They’ll finish us off soon enough.”
Parker shook his head. “Don’t listen to her. These people aren’t murderers. They’re just scared.”Alyssa blinked, then laughed, a noise that sounded a little hysterical, even to her own ears. “They’re scared? That’s rich.”
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