Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Cameo Trilogy

Today we have Dawn McCullough-White. She's almost finished with a very interesting trilogy.


Dawn McCullough-White writes mainly dark fantasy and horror.

Her novels tend to favor the use of anti-authority anti-heroes as

the main characters, most commonly with a strong,

female protagonist.

Dawn was born in 1969, in Rochester, NY, and began writing

prose at age 14.

Ms. McCullough-White is married and has a young son. She is

fascinated by history and social psychology. She is a vegetarian

and animal lover. Her favorite drink is Gew├╝rztraminer.

She's fan of Alice in Chains, U2, and Stabbing Westward, her

favorite books include The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien,

A Movable Feast by Ernest Hemingway, and The Social Animal

by Elliot Aronson.


What is your earliest memory of writing?

I used to write and illustrate my own comic books starting when I was around seven years old. So, that's probably the earliest example I can think of. I wrote my first novel when I was fourteen.

How does it feel being published?

It feels right, like this is what I'm supposed to be doing in my life.

When did you decide to be a writer?

I knew it's what I wanted to do when I was a teenager. At the time I was pretty naïve, and didn't really understand how the whole process really worked, but I did think long and hard about what career would satisfy me in my life and writing certainly filled the bill. Of course, I didn't go to college when I graduated from high school right away either, my parents were against it, and that probably could have helped to improve my writing at the time. Instead, I ended up learning how to write the old fashioned way- writing thousands of words, numerous novels, and improving a little more with each one, until I could finally deem my writing good enough for human consumption.

Do you get writer's block? How do you combat it?

Yes, I do. It happens mainly in between writing projects which is the worst, because when it happens I'm sitting there stressing about what book I'm going to write next, and it seems like the sky's the limit. I find limiting my choices about the plot helpful, that way I'm not just floundering around in limbo with too many pointless, unconnected ideas. It's also a lot easier when you're an Indie to write what you're passionate about. I really can't imagine the stress put on traditional writers to pump out whatever their publishing company wants them to write in whatever time frame suits them. I'd probably chew my arm off if I ended up in that position. I'm too anxiety-ridden anyhow to handle that sort of added stress to my life.

Where do you write? Do you write longhand, typewriter or computer?

On my eight year old laptop, the M key sticks but so I'm too comfortable with it to replace it yet. It will probably end up dying with one of my half written novels on it before I break down and buy a new one.

Tell us about your Latest Book.

Well, my latest book is Cameo and the Vampire and if all goes well I'll be releasing it this summer. It's the third book in the Cameo Trilogy, and should tie up all the loose ends left dangling in books one and two, and as the book suggests the main character will probably have an encounter of some sort with a vampire.

The series fall in the Historical/Dark Fantasy/Paranormal Fantasy genres- and are action adventures, with paranormal creatures such as vampires and zombies. These are fast paced, character driven novels.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

I'd advise them to do a lot of writing before they decide to put anything out for the public to read, and get an editor.


Cameo the Assassin

Chapter One

Her eyes were wide, nearly sightless orbs staring into the sky. She watched as the clouds drifted overhead, gasping. She could hear her own blood bubbling at the corner of her mouth as it slithered out and slipped in a gob onto her neck. For a moment she felt nothing, her eyes went dark, and she felt herself suck in the air once more. Never had simply breathing given her such happiness, at least, not as far back as she could remember. Maybe this is exactly how she felt with the very first breath of her life.

At her throat was the dead head of Adrian, his blonde hair was tousled gently about her. It was the first gentle thing he had done with her all day. His blood was mingled with hers now, predator and prey, dead and dying lying in the beauty of the summer meadow.

Somewhere beside her lay sandwiches and colorful plates. Ivy had wanted pretty plates and had made certain that the silver was polished very well. The last she had seen of her little sister had been her lifeless form, knocked hard into the Faettan soil. She was a few feet away now, a little body lost in the sea of tall grass ... like her own ... and like that of the young lord with his head still on her breast.

The sun was warm on her face, illuminating exactly what had taken place only a little while ago, showing all of Faetta true darkness in the brilliant light of day. Somewhere, drifting in on the summer's breeze, was the sound of people passing on the ridge, chatting about their lives as she was dying just down the hill, in the meadow.

Her eyes were fixed; the transformation of the day into dusk was recorded behind those lenses. Her body rigidly awaited death. Her blood gummed up in the stab wounds in her chest, cold and nearly luminescent against her deathly pale skin, as the faintest of starlight lit her young woman's form.

The spider's web danced in the cool breeze. It was assembled beautifully in the branches of the black trees whose backs arched, and arms stretched to the sky, silhouetted against the setting sun. The meadow was turning dark. This was the moment he had been waiting for. The sun was soon snuffed out, and he did not waste any time. He burst forth from the dark house at the clearing, his black boots beat down the tall grass and the wildflowers growing in the meadow. He was tall and thin, rigid in appearance, nothing more than wispy black gauze against the stark nightfall, running like a wild animal toward his prey. He quickly fell upon the picnic basket, half-eaten food, and silverware fallen askew under the waxing moon. The forks and knives glittered in the starlight.

A fog rolled out from under the thick of the treeline; it ebbed along as if it were alive itself and fanned out with its smoky tendrils snaking around the bodies that lay there.

Haffef's black eyes found the form that he had longed for and saw the child in the distance. As he swept past the older sister, he saw the distinct rise and fall of her chest. This had been the scene of a horrible crime, and as he knelt to look into her eyes, he took in her ripped gown and saw the rape that she had endured at the hands of the others at this picnic, seeing vividly what she had seen.

Her body was covered with stab wounds, and to one side of her bruised and bloodied body lay the dead body of a man. Clutched in her fingers was a paring knife slick with blood.

The fog crept over her battered form, as if it would steal her life away and take her with it as it moved. Haffef glanced over his shoulder at the girl who was just a few feet away, then back at the teenager in front of him who had a cameo brooch embedded in her collarbone.

Kneeling beside her, he tossed the dead body off of hers, moving it with such force that he nearly took off Adrian's head. A young woman he had seen before in Terrence, he realized, now lay here amidst yellow flowers, nearly dead. He was amazed she had actually lived through the day.

She felt the long, black hair against her face, caressing her body. It was light like the frail web of a spider. She felt his slender fingers against her back, the gentle feel of him raising her neck and the shocking pain it caused. After all she had endured earlier, she found herself unable to fathom what was happening to her now. It felt like ice ripping open her throat, its shards coursing from this icy bite to her heart. She took in a breath like one she'd never known; her lungs expanded, but it was almost as if they had hardened, and it nearly hurt to make them work again. It was renewing, but there was death in that breath of life. She blinked with eyes that were dry, and all she saw were black boots that were slick with dew and long, black hair that fell to the ankle of his boots.

She pried her fingers from the paring knife, opening and closing her hand to see if it still worked. Her breath was visible in the cold night air....

The stars moved across the sky as she regained strength. She watched the cool slivers of silver-tipped clouds as they slipped overhead. The moon and stars shifted position while she remained, her eyes capturing the moments that were lost to her. With a sudden surge of energy, she flipped her body onto her stomach and pulled herself away from Adrian's corpse.

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