Monday 17 March 2014

Living Vicariously Through Writing - Guest Post by Dani Kristoff

Today I'm excited to have Dani Kristoff joining us on the blog to talk about her debut paranormal romance novel, Bespelled. One of my favorite aspects of this novel was the setting in Sydney, Australia, and Dani Kristoff tells us a little about the appeal of Balmain, not to mention hair envy and living vicariously through fictional characters! Thanks for joining us, Dani!

Living Vicariously Through Writing by Dani Kristoff.

Thank you so much for having me here today to do a guest post.

Bespelled is my first foray into paranormal romance. While writing romance has been on my ‘to try’ list since I started writing way back when, I hadn’t actually written much, except for a short story or two. Looking back though, I have had romantic elements in my stories. To me love is such an essential part of our lives that I can’t envisage and enjoyable story without it.

I can honestly say now that I’m hooked. I love science fiction, fantasy and some horror, but throwing romance in there makes writing appeal on all levels. I love reading in the genre. I’ve been reading it for years and now with digital publishing everything is so much more accessible.

Bespelled is set mostly in Balmain in Sydney. I used to live in Bondi so I’m a real Eastern Suburbs fan, but now that I live in Canberra, I only ever visit Sydney on short trips. Quite a few times I’ve stayed in Balmain or near there and I loved its charm- the harbour lights, the harbour walks, the shops, cafes and the ability to catch a ferry and travel under the bridge to get into the city.

I thought it was cool to have ‘folk’ like witches and warlocks living secretly among us in such a fab place that has a charm of its own. I also went to the Roselle markets and thought they were amazing. I love markets and I guess a secret wish of mine is to make handcrafts and sell them at a stall in a market. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been my lot in life. But being a writer I can live vicariously through my characters so Elena gets to make things and sell them. I also love red hair (hair envy), so Elena’s got that too. Jake is inspired by a number of workmates, particularly in my early years in Sydney. Hard-nosed, all about the job, never fall in love cynics and then wham bam! They are in love and everything changes. Jake gets to be a hunk into the bargain too, and awfully good in bed.

The idea for Bespelled actually came to me in one hit, so I had to write an outline because I was writing something else. I wrote about 3000 words in outline, put it away and then set out to write it a few months later. Then it was pretty easy to write. Revising though was a bit tough. I made all kinds of newbie mistakes, which was annoying really. I’m lucky to have a great critique buddy and an awesome editor, who kept sending it back to me to make better. Moral of the story: Don’t give up.

Now that I’m thoroughly hooked, you’ll be seeing more from me. I have another series starting this year and there is more to come in the Bespelled setting.

About the Author:

Dani Kristoff is an Australian author based in Canberra, the nations capital. She delights in reading and writing paranormal romance. For the last 13 years, she been concentrating her efforts on science fiction, fantasy and horror. She's just finished up a Masters in Creative Writing at the University of Canberra. Her day job is in the public service. Her partner is also a writer and they live is a big house overlooking the mountains.

Social Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

From the Blurb of Bespelled:

This isn't your mum's Bewitched...

Elena Denholm is a mild-mannered half witch. As a favour to her cousin, she agrees to meet with top Sydney lawyer, Jake Royston, to negotiate a property deal. Sparks fly immediately, but before they can even take a sip of wine, let alone explore where the sizzle might go, Jake is hit by a love spell and is helpless against his feelings for Elena.

Jake may be at her mercy, but Elena is keeping her hands off — exploiting humans is a no-no. But Jake’s good looks and powers of persuasion are breaking down her resolve, and Elena knows she must do something fast.

Desperate to set things right before her resolve crumbles, Elena begins a frantic search to find the witch or warlock who hexed Jake and return him to his right mind, even if it means breaking her own heart...

Bespelled by Dani Kristoff was published by Escape Publishing on February 1, 2014 and is available from Amazon

You can read an excerpt from Bespelled here, and check out my review here.