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Awesome Author Interviews > [AOTM] - Interview with Suki McMinn - author of Drop Dead Gorgeous

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message 1: by Anna, LoP BOTM & R2R mod (last edited Nov 03, 2014 05:49AM) (new)

Anna Erishkigal (annaerishkigal) | 795 comments Mod
Greetings Lovers of Paranormal!

One of the coolest things about being a Fab-5 MOD is approaching the authors of the books we love to read and pestering them asking lots of nosey intriguing questions about the inspirations behind the books we have up for Group Reads.

This month author Suki McMinn has answered our call about her book Drop Dead Gorgeous, a tale about a Los Angeles supermodel who gets murdered and turned into a vampire and the still-mortal girl he's left behind.

Suki McMinn Drop Dead Gorgeous

Find out the story behind the story, including Suki's real-life experience modeling in Los Angeles with real-life hunky men. They say 'Write what you know', eh? Can't wait to find out more! So without further ado, I'll step aside and let Suki tell us about her book!

Be epic!
Anna Erishkigal
LoP Fab-5 BOTM-MOD

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1. What books have most influenced your life?

Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence opened my eyes to relationships between men and women. I love the way Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and Charles Frazier’s Cold Mountain explore romance, and Anne Rice’s Interview with a Vampire began my love for the paranormal. Charlaine Harris’s Dead Until Dark lit a fire beneath me, and that’s when I started to write.


2. How do you develop your plots and characters?

I try to select carefully from among my story ideas. Once I start a story, it haunts me day and night until I have it written, so I want to be sure the characters are people I want in my life since I know they’ll consume me until they’ve said their piece.


3. Tell us about your Lovers of Paranormal book?

Drop Dead Gorgeous is an adult vampire romance, Book One in the L.A. Vamps series, and my debut novel. We follow Derek Randall, an L.A. supermodel whose life was perfect until he’s murdered. Now a brand new vampire, his world is turned upside down by his evil maker, Madeline. He struggles with his new existence, finds help from his nest of brothers, and goes to Clara, his dream girl. They renew their love and hatch a plan that will get him back in the modeling spotlight, but it’s a dangerous game, and as Madeline circles closer, Derek has to choose: his life or Clara’s.


4. We all need a hero! Tell us about your protagonist(s)? Was there a real-life inspiration behind him or her?

Derek is a lovable monster, trying to find a place in his new world while building as normal a life as possible with the woman he loves. His appearance was inspired by several gorgeous models I’ve known, but his heart was built from scratch. Clara could be any one of a number of my girlfriends and she’s also me in some ways. She’s going through some tough things in her life, but is stronger than she knows.


5. A good villain is hard to write. How did you get in touch with your inner villain? Was there a real-life inspiration for him/her/it?

I’m happy to say I don’t know anyone as horrible as Madeline. She was fun to write, as are most villains. Yes, she seems to be as cold and evil as they come, but she’s really just a master of self-preservation. I do know some people like that, but thankfully, they don’t bite.


6. What real-life inspirations did you draw from for the world building within your book?

I lived in Los Angeles for twenty-seven years and worked as a model and commercial actor. I was not a supermodel like Derek, but I certainly knew and worked with many of them. The first modeling agency that represented me was known for its male models, and I loved being one of only a few women among many gorgeous and interesting men. That period in my life definitely inspired me to create the nest of hunky male vampires in Drop Dead Gorgeous.



7. What real-life science, pseudo-science, history, religion, or mythologies did you research for the paranormal aspect of your book?

I wrote a great deal of fanfiction about vampires, and got to know a number of wonderful fanfiction writers who also explored this aspect of the paranormal. When I decided to create my own world of vampires, I searched non-fiction sources for the history of vampire myths before choosing which elements I wanted my vampires to have.


8. What was the hardest part of writing this book?

There was nothing hard about writing it. It was such a pleasure to create the characters and follow them around. When it came time to edit, though, that was difficult for me. It was my first experience with a publisher, and I wanted to please my editor but also maintain my voice. It was hard obsessing over every comma and word choice. I was determined to make the final version the absolute best it could be.


9. What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?

I loved creating Derek’s nest and his brothers. I fell in love with all the men and soon realized I had the makings of more books in the series.


10. Did you learn anything from writing this book and what was it?

I learned a lot! I loved the collaboration with my editor and cover artist. It was interesting to see the story through their eyes and that helped me expand and improve the book. I feel so lucky that I had such a great publisher even though they were new and small, and it broke my heart when they had to close their doors. Seven days after the launch of Drop Dead Gorgeous, I had to give myself a crash course in self-publishing. I’d lined up interviews, blog posts and reviews, and area newspapers had already invited the public to my release party, so even though my publisher was closing, I had to keep going. Yes, I learned a lot.


11. Is there a message in your novel that you hope readers will grasp?

I love writing strong women, and hope the reader sees that it’s wonderful to love someone and give that person your heart, but we should all ultimately love ourselves and make decisions that improve our lives.


12. What are your future project(s)?

I’m working on the sequel to Drop Dead Gorgeous, Book Two in the L.A. Vamps series, called Die Laughing. Shortly after Drop Dead Gorgeous was published, I started writing a weekly newspaper column in my town and am planning to publish a collection of the columns soon. I also have a roman a clef looking for a home and a non-fiction collection of funny essays about my career in Hollywood that I hope to publish soon. I write non-fiction under the name Susan McNabb.


13. If you couldn’t be an author, what would your ideal career be?

Writing is my second career and a fairly new one after nearly three decades working as a model and commercial actor. If I couldn’t write any more, I’d do something in the pet rescue world as it’s near and dear to my heart.


14. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to the Lovers of Paranormal community members?

Thank you! Your support is crucial to independent authors. When I got the word that Drop Dead Gorgeous had been chosen as your Indie Pick for November, I was absolutely thrilled. I can’t wait to hear what you all think about the book, and would love your thoughts as I write Die Laughing. After all, I write for you!


Interview granted to LOP: 11/03/2014


message 2: by Anna, LoP BOTM & R2R mod (new)

Anna Erishkigal (annaerishkigal) | 795 comments Mod
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Join the Drop Dead Gorgeous book Discussion Thread HERE: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

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message 3: by Laura (new)

Laura (dogsmomlaura) Very interesting. Thank you for sharing with us.
I like your thoughts about characters that will become part of your life, and to choose carefully.


message 4: by Suki (new)

Suki McMinn | 2 comments Thank you, Laura!


message 5: by Dorte (new)

Dorte Birch | 1 comments I loved this book and am thrilled it was pick of the month.

When will book number 2 in this series be published?


message 6: by Suki (new)

Suki McMinn | 2 comments Thank you, Dorte! I'm working on Die Laughing now, but don't have a release date yet.


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