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Saturday, September 10, 2016

Dark Diary by P. Anastasia Book Review

Greetings! I hope you came to hear my review of P. Anastasia's Dark Diary book?! I was able to ask her a few questions that I was thinking about while I was reading her novel and I hope you will find her answers as enjoyable to read as I did! First, the questions:

1. Out of all the popular vampire novels out there, which I’m sure you’ve read, how did you come up with such an original idea and where did you draw inspiration from?

2. If there was going to be a movie version of Dark Diary, what actors would you get to play Kathera and Matthaya?

3. I loved the dual POV that played out through the novel, whose voice and perspective on life was more fun to write? Kathera or Matthaya?

4. Do you want to tell us more about these special illustrations that will be available with the hardcover edition?

Lastly,

5. What’s your favorite part about self publishing your books?

Here are P. Anastasia's answers:
1. I'm so glad you found the story to be original. That's the best thing I could ever hope to hear from a reader!

Honestly, I don't usually read other people's vampire novels (shocking, I know!), but I AM familiar with most of them because I have to be in this industry. I've TRIED several, but just didn't like the way the lore was shaped and gave up quite quickly on them. I joke that Vampirism is like religion - everyone has their own perception of how it should work, so I created one that stems from a cellular/genetics-based model. If I had to pick a top vampire type from another author, based on their lore and biology, I'd go with Anne Rice's.

I've watched just about every vampire-related movie or TV show, even if only an episode or two, but I actually have been working on Dark Diary for over 17 years, so the story wasn't inspired by any previous stories at all as most of the popular ones today were not out when I was a teenager. My first vampire love was for the TV show, Forever Knight, but I doubt people will find much in common between Matthaya and Nick Knight the detective. I also used to really love the Disney cartoon, Gargoyles, which may actually be easier to find some very vague similarities to Dark Diary in.

2. This is so tough, mostly because I would want the actors to be relatively unknown so they could be truer representations (sort of how Daniel Radcliffe kind of BECAME Harry Potter). However, if I had my pick TODAY - Logan Lerman would be Matthaya, hands down, and ... although she's a bit old for the part now, my ideal Kathera would have been Emily Browning. I would prefer actors who could portray darkness and convincing sadness in their eyes. There are some actors today who just have a cockiness about them that wouldn't work in any way for these two characters who carry deep burdens in their souls. I am all about feeling for a character. Viewers should see remnants of the character's turbulent histories in their acting styles. Ben Barnes would make a very convincing Matthaya.
I know you didn't ask, but since we're on the subject - I'd cast Josh Duhamel as Derek.
Emily Browning as Kathera

Logan Lerman as Matthaya


3. So glad you liked the alternating POVS! Matthaya's was probably more fun to write. I can relate to Kathera a little, but I always seem to have a closer relationship to my male characters for some reason. His backstory is so tragic and his mannerisms are so controlled and carefully planned, that he is such an enjoyable character to narrate for. He constantly tries to hide his feelings, but I am able to show the reader the truth behind the facade.

4.  The hardcover edition has some VERY special things inside it! First, there is a letter printed inside which was originally handwritten in authentic, very old-style calligraphy. In the very back of the book, you’ll find a set of anatomical diagrams that explain how Matthaya’s wings function in general. I used to tutor in biology in college and I’ve always had a fondness for how the body works. I did my best to explain some of the general premises behind how they function, and hopefully my readers can get a better understanding of their basic structure and anatomy.


5. I don't really call it "self-publishing" because there's a stigma around that, unfortunately. People believe self-publishing is the "easy way" to publish. It's quite the opposite, however, and it's a choice many of us make because we get more control and better royalties for the works we produce. Independent publishing is what we like to call it in the industry. It's basically like owning your own business.

I have a professional background in marketing and public relations, as well as in graphic design and voice over work, so I am able to oversee a huge percentage of my projects to completion. This doesn't mean I don't hire editors and designers to work with me on them, but it does mean I have the final say in how the book looks.

I spend a good deal of 60 hours a week either writing, recording, editing, marketing, planning events, doing signings, trade shows, and other things to help promote my works. My favorite part of the process is that I call the final shots on the product. The designs are 100% approved or created by me and, although I work with many editors, I have the final say in what parts of the story stay and what parts go. I feel my control over the project throughout the process makes it more raw, authentic, and 100% real. Traditional publishers large and small often make final decisions that leave authors a little unsatisfied with the completed versions. This is often why "popular" authors will have "definitive" editions released later on in their careers. Parts can be added or put back in as they had originally intended.
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Dark Diary (Dark Diary, #1)Dark Diary by P. Anastasia
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well, first things first: The cover of this book is fantastic! I started seeing this book coming up on Instagram and I'm a huge fan of Vampire Lit, so this book was very intriguing to me from the beginning.
Secondly, I was able to read a sample chapter on the author's website and I knew I would love this book because the author's voice was appealing.
So I was lucky enough to be asked to do an ARC for an honest review and I jumped at the chance!
***
I read this book in just a few days, about a week. The pacing is very fast and exciting! I always wanted to know what was going to happen next. I also loved the dual POVs between Kathera and Matthaya.
(love those names by the way)
The author is very deft at switching back and forth and having a very unique voice for both characters. A complete change of voice.
I loved the historical fiction aspect of this story as well, but I don't want to give too much away about all of that. I just want to note that it was an added bonus for readers who love historical fiction.
Overall, I loved this book and feel quite blessed that I have been given the opportunity to read it before it official comes out at the end of the month.
You can also visit my blog tomorrow (Sunday the 11th) and read my post where I asked the author some interesting questions!
http://misssadielouwho.blogspot.com


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