Today, this blog has the honour of an interview with author Delizhia Jenkins, who has written the fabulous paranormal saga, The Vampire Hunters Academy. Recently, I contacted Delizhia and asked her the following questions:
Where do you live and do the place(s) you’ve lived in appear your writings?
Currently, I reside in Inglewood, CA. But I’ve lived in different parts of Los Angeles County throughout the course of my life. And yes, Los Angeles and even Compton have been referenced in my books.
You have now published 15 books since 2013, which is a phenomenal feat. Do you still feel as passionately about writing as much now as you did when you first started?
I have my days when I do not feel as inspired as I did when I first started writing. But all in all, I am always hungry for my craft.
This blogger: That’s good. And I hope there are more days when you are hungry for your craft than not lol.
Your books are mostly in the paranormal fantasy and vampire genres. What drew you to those genres? In particular, what is it about vampires that you like so much?
There is a sinful beauty beneath the mythos of the vampire. The gift of immortality alone creates opportunity for new chapters, untold stories of adventure, pain, love, war, and history even. I’ve always loved magic, legends and prophecies – In other words, stories that I believed were hidden gems amongst humanity. That’s why the paranormal fantasy and vampire genres drew me in. The worlds I can create within those genres are home to me.
This blogger: (*smiles*.) I have never heard anyone speak about the paranormal and vampire genres with as much passion as you; nor, have I thought about them in the ways you speak about. Honestly, you have given me a new perspective on them.
In fact, you should be the PR spokesperson for the genres. Books in those genres would sell ten times as many copies if they had you marketing them.
In four recent blog pieces, I have discussed the (admittedly morbid) topic of death scenes in stories. Which death scene in literature or film is your favourite, in the sense that it moved you the most?
In Castlevania, which is both a game and an animated series on Netflix, the final scene between Dracula himself and his son, Alucard, was brilliant. There was a moment where Dracula remembered his love for his son and the memories he shared with his wife and Alucard, just as Alucard killed him. It was the best thing I’ve ever seen.
In all of your novels, which character is the least like you? And why?
Sin (from Sin: Daughter of the Grim Reaper) and Viper (from Viper: The Vampire Assassin) are probably the only characters that are the least like me. Sin is a character that spawned from me pondering on a theory that proposes angelic procreation with humans; and from there, she just took on an identity of her own. Viper was based off of a friend of mine, which is essentially how her character was created.
If you could give your younger self some advice about the writing process, what would it be?
My advice to my younger self would always be: trust yourself. Trust your ability to create, the worlds that you build, and trust the voices of your characters in your head. All of this is what I do now. I allow my characters to guide me.
This blogger: That is brilliant advice, Delizhia. Trust/belief in oneself, and the voice within, is crucial to writing. Without it, I doubt many writers would finish their books, let alone get them published.
Your most recent novel is The Vampire Hunters Academy. Tell us a bit about it, and what would you like readers to take away from it?
Well, The Vampire Hunters Academy is scheduled to be a seven-book series and I recently completed the first draft of book five. The series follows the journey of the prophesied Huntress/Slayer, Sanaya Scott, as she reaches adulthood in preparation for a “final battle.” In the series, readers follow her as she learns how to hunt; work with her team of Guardians; trust her instincts; and develop her gifts, while dealing with typical teenaged woes and carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders.
Now, in book five, things are getting darker as we prepare for the kick-off of what is to come. Readers can expect to laugh as new characters are introduced, shout, cry, laugh some more, and even throw the entire book out of frustration, only to return to it later so they can finish reading. I think what the readers can take away from book five is the fact that I (as the author) did not come to play when I wrote this next instalment. This book took a lot out of me and there were even scenes that took days to write because, emotionally, I could not handle it.
This blogger: You have quite a series on your hands, and book five sounds like it’s going to be a phenomenal read. I am not surprised that some scenes took days to write. And that is not a bad thing either. In my opinion, it means that you have bled for your story (so to speak) and have given every ounce of energy (and more) towards making it as enjoyable as possible for your readers. Thank you.
Are you writing a novel currently? If so, could you give us a sneak peek into what is in store for us readers?
I am working on a novel currently – several to be specific. Readers can always go to the blog section of my website (missjenkingbooks.com) and check out the snippets posted for one particular book that is due for release in 2020. The title of that book is Cain. Everything else I am keeping top secret until it gets close to release the book.
This blogger: (*smiles and winks*.) You have me in suspense as we speak. I am sure the same is true for many other of your readers.
How has writing changed you?
Writing has been and will always be a part of who I am. Writing is therapy for me. It’s the vacation I have yet to physically take (and that I need). Also, it’s my only source of true peace when it comes to existing.
Writing provides a space for me to express my thoughts and share messages that I am not always permitted to vocally share. Writing provides the space, the true space, for me to be vulnerable and to explore aspects of myself that I tend to hide. So, writing hasn’t exactly changed me per se. But it is a strong aspect of all that I am. All my personal growth and experiences are channelled into it.
This blogger: That is very honest of you, Delizhia. Thank you for sharing that with us. It’s very brave of you and tells us a lot about your great character.
Have your family and friends read any of your novels? If so, what have they told you about them?
Recently a couple of family members purchased some of my works at a book fair I participated in. Most of my support comes from non-family members and readers who simply want a good read.
What’s the best piece of writing advice anyone has ever given you?
I could not truthfully respond to the question directly because I have been operating under my own self counsel for quite some time now. Every piece of advice I offer, stems from what I have learned on my own.
This blogger: What you say is very true. Again, your answer demonstrates what a strong and secure person you; that you are comfortable with yourself, which is an amazing position to be in. Keep it up.
What do you like to do outside of writing?
The best thing I have learned since becoming an author is that an author must always be comfortable with himself or herself before they can become comfortable with their writing. I’ve noticed a lot of authors who are unsure, afraid even, about the work they produce. At first, my question was “why?”. Until I realized that it all stems from how people feel about themselves and their place in the world. Unsure people are always unsure about everything they do.
I like to travel, go to the movies, spend time with my daughter and those that know me. Otherwise, I am always looking for an opportunity to take a nap. (*laughs*.)
End of Interview
That brings our interview with author Delizhia Jenkins to an end. I would like to thank her for his time, and to say that it has been delightful speaking with her. I wish her all the best in her future writings, her family, and other ventures.
You can purchase Delizhia’s books on Amazon, including The Vampire Hunters Academy, which Delizhia is currently writing the fifth volume of (and begins with The Darkness). For anyone who like the paranormal and vampire fantasy subgenres, I strongly recommend these books as they reflect their author’s passion for the genre.
Otherwise, like Delizhia on Facebook; follow her on Instagram and Twitter; and check out her website. This way, you will be able to keep up to date with her and be the first to know when her next book is out.
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