Interview & Giveaway: Author Donna Burgess

Posted January 20, 2011 by Carmel in / 21 Comments

Today I would like to welcome Donna Burgess to the blog. She’s kindly volunteered to do an interview-style guest post and to give away digital copies of her new book! Entry details can be found further down.

DONNA: Hi everyone. I want to thank Rabid Reads for having me today in support of my new novel Darklands: A Vampire’s Tale. My name is Donna Burgess and Darklands is my first novel. Before this, I wrote short fiction and poetry, mostly in the horror and dark fantasy genres. I also operate the indie publisher of dark fiction called Naked Snake Press. I have been married for twenty years and have two fantastic kids—aged twenty-one and nine. I live in the metropolis of Pawleys Island, SC ;-D

Please visit my website for more information regarding my writing and Naked Snake Press.

RR: In the vast world of supernatural fiction, why did you choose to write about vampires?

DONNA: I have always been a fan of vampires. Story possibilities for vampires are countless, for one thing. As a writer, I can mold my vampires into almost anything—sexy hunks or vicious monsters.

However, I enjoy all creatures of the supernatural from faeries to werewolves. I suppose I’m a fan of anything outside the human realm. I’m a bit of a geek!

RR: What do you hope your readers will get out of this book?

DONNA: A few little scares and a little bit of escape from what we all know as everyday life. I hope they’ll find the situations and the characters interesting enough to want to re-visit them in another book sometime in the future.

RR: You’re an author of both dark fiction and poetry. Seems like an odd combination, how did that come about? Is there a connection between the two?

DONNA: Well, most of my poetry is quite dark, as well. I’m really not a flowers and pink hearts kind of girl. Unless, of course, the pink hearts are on a platter ;-p

RR: Where did the inspiration to write this novel come from?

DONNA: The genesis of the story is pretty old—I think a seed popped into my head while watching the movie “Near Dark” years ago, but life got in the way and the novel never really materialized until last year. Over the course of time, it changed and evolved into something completely different from what I began with.

RR: Have you always wanted to be a writer?

DONNA: Yes! I wrote my first story in 2nd grade. It was about King Kong. As a kid, I wrote what is called fanfic today. I wrote little stories about Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia in pencil on purple notebook paper during math class. I guess that’s why I’m terrible at math today.

RR: Do you have a goal with regards to the number of books that will be in this series or are you going to wait and see where it takes you?

DONNA: I would like to do at least two more. Unless of course, everyone hates the first one!

RR: What was your biggest challenge in the whole process (publishing, writing, etc)?

DONNA: Now that I’ve decided to go the “indie” route, the biggest challenge is turning out more work as quickly as possible. Before, when I had the notion of having my work published traditionally, it was meeting certain criteria that would make the book as marketable in the eyes of the gatekeepers. Preferred word counts, cookie-cutter heroines, etc.

It’s a lot easier to just write for myself and see where it takes me.

RR: Did you have a hand in designing the cover? What overall feel were you striving for?

DONNA: Yes. My daughter is a graphic art and web design student at the Art Institute, so I always need her help with Photoshop stuff. She helped enhance a stock photo and I designed the rest. I was happy with it.

RR: What are you working on right now? When do you expect the next installment of this series?

DONNA: I’m working on a couple of novels. One is an apocalyptic vampire tale. The other novel is a southern paranormal romance—ghosts, not vampires for this one. I’d love to have both out by autumn, at the latest. (I’m a slow writer!) As for another Darklands novel, hopefully spring of 2012.

RR: Why did you choose to go the dark urban fantasy route as opposed to the romance centered one?

DONNA: I’ve never really been a reader of romance novels. I do like good, spooky gothics, though. I’ve always been a fan of horror movies and books, and I suppose it was only natural that I would write something that was dark and a bit violent.

From GoodReads:

Halloween night, twenty years ago, college student Susan Archer watched as her beloved twin brother was brutally murdered at the hands of a stranger she invited into their home. Still haunted by the guilt of that night, Susan is now a tough but bitter cop in a nowhere town, trying as best she can to lead a normal life. When she is nearly killed during a wild shoot-out, she realizes she is not as strong as she first thought.

Fearing a breakdown, she flees the confines of her safe boyfriend and familiar surroundings to find salvation in the arms of “Deathwalker” Devin McCree—the very man who killed her brother.

But things aren’t always what they seem and she quickly realizes Devin was not the monster she originally thought, but a kind of guardian angel instead.

On the run from a crazed Nazi vampire-hunter named Kasper, she and Devin must find a way to endure the dreary urban landscape of a dying metropolis and escape Kasper’s wrath.

RR:Thanks for the great interview!

DONNA:Thanks again! I would like to give away ebook editions of Darklands: A Vampire’s Tale to three lucky winners! Please leave a comment on this post with your e-mail address and answer the following question:

Do you prefer indie or traditionally published books?

**Giveaway is open internationally and closes on January 29th, 2011 at 11:59PM EST. Winners will be selected by and have 48 hours to respond to my e-mail.**

This Giveaway is now closed. Winners: Vivien, Kat and Ammy Belle. Congrats!

Darklands may be purchased at: Barnes & Noble / Amazon / OmniLit / Smashwords
More Donna Burgess: Website / Twitter / Facebook / GoodReads

Good Luck!


About the Blogger
I review Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance books with a focus all things werewolf. Based out of Ottawa, Canada

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Owner, designer and main blogger behind Rabid Reads. Avid book reader, snowboard bunny, video gamer and Supernatural fan. I love all things paranormal, werewolves especially. Oh, and I’m Canadian, eh!

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21 responses to “Interview & Giveaway: Author Donna Burgess

  1. that was a wonderful interview Carmel! now to answer Donna’s question: i’m a recent convert to indie published books when i discovered so many amazing and talented authors about ten months ago. i couldn’t believe my luck when i stumbled upon such a diverse and creative lot. traditionally published books are alright but rather stifling when it comes to creative expression. control is good but when it limits the artist’s will to write and shape his creation, it becomes a hindrance. c”,)


  2. Thanks for a great interview. And thanks to Donna for ignoring what everyone says about vampires being “dead” (ha!) and writing about them anyway…I LOVE them!

    I’m actually starting to lean to not necessarily “indie” publishers but more small-house publishers. They tend to put out a much more diverse type of book that breaks the mold of the cookie-cutter books out today.

    And thanks for the giveaway!

  3. Great interview and the book sounds great too. I prefer Indie. I love finding new authors and the great stories told. There are so many talented writers aside from the well known.

    Thanks for the chance to win.

    bkwalkerbooks at comcast dot net

  4. Kat

    Awesome interview! I know what Donna means– I’m a girl who’s always been more into Buffy and bloody hearts and action movies than Valentine’s Day and pretty flowers. 😉

    To answer the question: for many years I was pretty much unaware of the whole indie book movement because I bought all my books at the Barnes & Noble. (There are no indie book stores near my tiny town.) Since I’ve been blogging, I’ve been lucky enough to read and review a lot of awesome indies, and I just love them. The best part is that the characters and storyline don’t fall into the wearisome ‘cookie-cutter’ patterns, as Donna says.
    Anyway, thanks for the giveaway.

  5. @aobibliophile – Great answer to the question. Very detailed and well said. I’m reading more and more indie authors than ever before for many of the same reasons. Good Luck! 🙂

    @Mad Scientist – eBooks are great. I haven’t bought a tangible book since November. Which is weird for me!

    @Jamie – I’m a guy, btw – I love vampires too. I’m steering away from books that use them in traditional ways though. I like the authors who put new spins on existing ideas.

    @Nightly Cafe – I agree! Just because a book isn’t a best seller doesn’t mean that it doesn’t deserve to be even if it doesn’t fit the “mold”. Good Luck!

  6. @Kat – Hehe I get where you’re coming from. Growing up all my friends were guys. Girl nights have never really appealed to me.

  7. Thanks for the interview Carmel, I saw your book on goodreads and immediately added it to my wishlist. It sounds amazing and I can’t wait to read it. I recently discovered indie published books and I’ve only read a handful, but the ones I’ve read I have loved. I feel like I had my eyes opened to a world I didn’t know was out there and I am eating it up right now. I live in a small town and would buy all my books off the shelves of Walmart. Once I discovered goodreads and all these amazing blogs and learning about so many new authors and books, I couldn’t believe everything I was missing out on. I actually won my first indie author book from librarything and I loved the book so much I looked up his other work and am now anxious to see what else he puts out and have recently purchased a few others that I can’t wait to read

  8. DarkBloodyVamp

    Hi Carmel and Donna!

    Great interview! The book sounds very interesting and definitely one I will be adding to my growing TBR pile.

    Thanks for the giveaway Carmel!


  9. DarkBloodyVamp

    Ugh I forgot to give you my response. I prefer both styles because it is not how it is published but whether the book is good or not. I have discovered several indie authors whose books are amazing! It is a good thing indie writers can go this route otherwise we would never be able to read some wonderful stories. Also it provides them with the exposure to reach readers.

  10. I love both Indies and published to me it depends on the book.If the book is good I will love it regardless how its published.


    Thanks for the interview this book sounds really really good.

  11. Great interview thanks! 🙂

    I prefer traditional books myself, but I am starting to appreciate non-traditional books too. They tend to be more eco friendly and easier to cart aorund – and more importantly, the independence of it creates things that would otehrwise never be around. It’s amazing!

    Thanks for the contest!

  12. I absolutely love indie better. I have been able to get signed copies for books that I just love through indie bookstores. I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise since they didn’t tour near me.

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  13. I don’t think I’ve read many indie publications. I’d wager there’d be lots more variety and spiffy esoteria.

    Thanks for the giveaway.

    emi3mle at yahoo dot com dot au

  14. Awesome interview! Both you and your daughter did an amazing job on the cover art:)
    I think i tend to go for the more traditionaly published books, but that doesn’t mean i prefer them. At the end of the day if a book stirs my interest then it doesn’t matter how it was published:)

  15. Great Interview!
    The book sounds extremely interesting. It especially grabs me because I have a twin brother and for some reason im like…intrinsically drawn to that in books lol.
    I love both Indie and traditionally published books. I have favorite authors from both, they are just fabulous!
    Thanks for the contest!

    hense1kk AT cmich DOT edu