I’m so excited to spotlight D.L. Blade, author of the The Chosen Coven series! I learned of D.L. Blade and The Chosen Coven when I won the first book in the series in a Goodreads Giveaway. I quickly became immersed in The Dark Awakening and wanted to know more about the protagonist and her friends. Vampires, covens, werewolves, references to the Salem witch trials, and more fill this series with rich characters and memorable plot-lines.
Getting to Know D.L. Blade:
Q: Which authors do you like to read? Which books have most influenced your writing?
D.L. Blade: I love anything dark romance, or YA paranormal. If I’d go with dark romance, authors Anna Zaires, Pepper Winters and Julia Sykes are my favorites.
If I were to go with YA, I love L.J. Smith (The Vampire Diaries being my favorite book, IF I had to pick one). Also, Charlaine Harris, Holly Black and Cassandra Clare. I love their writing style and how each paragraph grips you without having your mind wander somewhere else. I struggle when books are TOO descriptive where it takes me away from the story. I enjoy when an author allows my own imagination to take me through that chapter and fill in the blanks. Don’t get me wrong, I love the written word and when an author describes a person or place beautifully, but I’m a sucker for action and once the author drops me into a suspenseful scene in the story, or an exciting dialogue, they have me hooked.
As far as authors who have influenced my writing, I think L.J. Smith takes the prize on that one. Her stories helped me LOVE reading, which then led me on the journey to create my own stories for others to get lost in.
Q: What are you reading right now?
DLB: I’m reading Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris, City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare, and Pirates of the Siren Sea by Marin F. Hengst.
D.L. Blade grew up in southern California, but relocated to Colorado with her family in 2014.
She always loved writing, concentrating on poetry rather than prose when she was younger. That changed however, when she had a dream one night and decided to create a story about it.
In her spare time, D.L. enjoys a wide variety of hobbies, including reading, and attending rock concerts. She also enjoys visiting animal sanctuaries and pet shelters. She hopes one day she will own enough land to start her own dog rescue.
In the future, D.L. hopes that she can continue to write exciting novels that will captivate her readers and bring them into the worlds that she creates using her imagination.
Q: You bio says that you switched from writing poetry to prose after having a dream that inspired you to write The Dark Awakening. Can you tell us more about this?
DLB: One night, in 2009, I had an exciting, very vivid dream, where I woke up in the middle of an intense action scene. It played in my mind like a movie. Because I often forget my dreams unless I tell someone about them, I decided to write it down. Then, ideas came to me on what could have led to the scene in my dream and what happened after. That dream then turned into a story.
If you’ve read my book, it’s the scene that takes place in the basement of the Salem Library on Mercy’s 18th birthday.
About the Series:
Q: Can you tell us a bit more about The Chosen Coven series?
DLB: The Dark Awakening, which is the first book in the trilogy, takes place in a small, quaint town of East Greenwich, Rhode Island. Mercy, who had just recently graduated high school, has been through more than most teenagers. She struggles with trust, touch and moving forward after her own mother attacks her on the night of her high school graduation.
She has a strong group of friends who have stood by her through it all. Riley, her ex, now her best friend. And two close girlfriends, Shannon and Cami.
Her aunt Lily takes on the guardian role, and as much as she could trust her friends and family that are still in her life, she keeps secrets from them; like the fact someone has been following her. She senses them and even sees a shadowy figure lurking in the woods.
She also feels something she can’t explain. A magic, brewing inside her, and how she heals at an unnatural speed.
Through a series of events, she’s led to Caleb, a handsome stranger who tracks her down at a nearby cove. He’s beautiful, but arrogant and she doesn’t quite trust him, yet.
He reveals to Mercy a life changing secret. Mercy was born in 1674, who died during the Salem witch trials, and he brought her back with a spell 18 years ago. They are both witches, vampires are real, and Mercy was born to earth to rid the world of the undead.
A vampire hunter.
Earth, Air, Water, Fire, and Spirit, brought to the earth in human form, to create their own coven, and save the world.
There is also something special about her blood and every vampire on the earth seeks her out, especially the Master of a ruthless vampire clan in Salem.
The story will take the readers on a journey of love, betrayal, lots of suspense, and lead them to a dark world of supernatural creatures Mercy never knew existed. She will grow from a naïve, stubborn teenager, to a warrior.
Between book one and going into the sequels, I took some writing classes and felt I grew so much as I wrote the remaining books in the series.
Book two is a year later and is filled with a serial killer, a devious villain, obsession, romance, and incredible growth from the protagonist.
The final book gets a bit darker and will have an explosive battle to save the world.
I highly recommend the readers to read all three books and experience their journey, as there are many twists and turns and a unique story-line that I hadn’t seen yet in the YA, paranormal book genre.
Q: The setting of The Dark Awakening takes place in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, and you reference several historical events from those states throughout the story. What drew you to use the New England area as your setting?
DLB: I wanted a place only a few hours to Salem, Massachusetts, as that’s where the Salem witch trials took place over 300 years ago.
I also wanted a small town, but since I had never been to either RI or MA, I, “made up a city.” I put those in quotations because I thought I was making up a city. I wrote about a Greenwich, RI. I described the Main Street, even had a park next to a cove, and driving distance to a cliff.
One day, about halfway through my book, I opened google maps to check out the area, and there in front of me was a town called East Greenwich, RI. Of course, now I have to go visit. I booked a ticket and flew over there. My jaw dropped as I toured the city, as it was exactly how I pictured it in my mind when I wrote it.
I went to Goddard Park, and it too, looked like I had pictured in my imagination. It was pretty surreal.
After staying a few days in East Greenwich, I spent a few days in Salem and did the whole witchy tours and threw myself into the culture of the city.
I would sit on a bench on Goddard Park, close my eyes and have more ideas come, so I’d go back into what I had written and tweak it a bit. The whole area has a haunting, yet beautiful feel.
Q: What is your process for creating such a fresh twist on witches, vampires, awakenings, and other paranormal elements?
DLB: Being that I have read a lot of paranormal, I wanted something unique. I loved the idea of creating my own origin to how a vampire was made, and having a coven created from the actual universal elements. I wanted something that would grab a reader and keep them reading throughout the series, while I brought in the parts we all love from young adult paranormal storylines, but bringing in new, refreshing ideas to help it stand out from others.
Q: What kind of research did you focus on to bring the story to fruition?
DLB: I did a lot of research on the Salem witch trials, the cities in my book, and places the kids would hang out. Though it’s fiction, I needed to make sure at least THOSE parts were accurate.
When you get into book three and they travel to a fictional island off the coast of Barbados, and you have shaman tribes and ceremonial practices, I researched those topics as well and then added my own twists and turns to make it my own.
Q: What do you hope readers will take away from your stories?
DLB: One of the most common compliments I have received is that the story helped someone’s teenager, who hated reading, love reading. Plot aside, I hope the writing style helps grip the readers into enjoying a fast-paced story that a reader could get lost in and not want to leave. I want to help inspire young readers to enjoy reading fiction.
Seeing Mercy’s growth from young child to a strong warrior, is also inspiring, especially for our youth today. Mercy makes a lot of sacrifices (though at times, you want to scream at her) she has a purpose/reason for everything she does. And, I hope that part of her character relates to the readers.
Q: Can you tell us anything about your upcoming books?
DLB: I am writing a character spin-off from the trilogy. I won’t name the character yet, but she’s a key player in the final chapters of the third book.
I am also writing a pirate fantasy romance which should be out this winter.
I want to thank D.L. Blade for participating in the Author Spotlight, and I can’t wait to hear more about the upcoming spin-off and your pirate fantasy romance! I’m already swooning!
Q: Where can readers learn more about you and your writings (i.e., website, Twitter, Facebook page, Goodreads, etc.)?
DLB: Here is my Linktr URL where they can find all my social media sites, and my book links!
If you click on “My Books,” you will be directed to my Amazon author page. You’ll want to start with book 1, The Dark Awakening.