Title: Parasite Life
Author: Victoria Dalpe
Genre: YA Paranormal, Vampires
Release Date: October 10th, 2017
a totally unique spin on the vampire genre. In Victoria Dalpe’s
compelling debut, seventeen-year-old Jane DeVry shares a house in a
small New Hampshire town with a mother suffering from a mysterious
condition whose symptoms include mysterious wounds and sudden bouts of
screaming. When the friendship of a new student at school awakens new
desires in her, Jane sets out to learn who she is, beginning an odyssey
that takes her first into her mother’s old journal, and then to the art
scene in contemporary Manhattan, in search of a father she has never
known. Smart, gripping, and possessed of real emotional depth, Parasite
Life invokes the traditions of the Gothic while taking the form boldly
into the twenty-first century.
look like? Do you know the whole story when you start? Or do you just
start writing and go with it (seat of the pants writing)? If you plan
it out, how do you do that? Outline, notecards, post-it-notes, etc.?
lean toward the seat of my pants style. My favorite thing is to just
start and see where something goes, and I employ that technique a lot
with short fiction. A novel needs a little more of a skeleton to hang
the meat on though, and so I had a very loose outline for Parasite Life,
just a few road marks of ‘this needs to happen, then this, and this is
how it ends’ etc. I use the desktop sticky notes on my mac, and some
handwritten notes mostly. But not much more than that honestly. The
rough draft for PL took me six to eight months to write total.
over really, I read a lot, and watch a ton of movies/TV. I find a lot
of inspiration in the story not told, or a deviation of the thing I am
watching, reading, listening to. PL is essentially a response to how
often the more unpleasant or blatantly coercive/rapey qualities in
vampires get glossed over. (Looking at you Vampire Diaries) I went to
school for art, and still paint, and I find inspiration looking at
artwork a lot too. There are good ideas everywhere. I wish I did
something with even 1/100th of the ideas I pick up just wandering around.
always written, but it was usually very personal, and more for me than
for others. In high school I wrote a lot, and had a few friends who
liked to read my stuff, but past that, I was private about it. In my
twenties I wrote a bit here and there, but I was busy and worked in
museums and was very social. It was when I left NYC and was figuring out
my next career move that I decided to really take my writing seriously.
I took a few courses, to get more comfortable workshopping, and then I
just started submitting stuff! I lucked out because the very first story
I submitted “Vulture” was picked up and published in an anthology. So I
took that as a good sign and kept going with it.
4. What tips do you have for aspiring writers? The obvious one is to write.
But everyone says that. I think experimenting with styles and lengths,
play around with writing some flash fiction (under 1000 words) or
drabble fiction (under 100 words) because it forces you to be concise.
You have to treat all the words as precious. It’s a good exercise and
there are a lot of places that publish (and some pay) for micro fiction.
So you can get experimental and weird, and then take a risk of
submitting and trying to get published. My other advice would be to get
good at finishing things, finish the story, give it a polish, have it
ready to submit. Start something new. Keep doing that and you will have a
body of work before you know it. And then when you go looking for open
calls for submissions etc. you have things ready to go.
How important are names in your books? Do you choose the names based
on liking the way it sounds, or the meaning? Do you have any name
choosing resources you recommend? They
aren’t super important for me personally. I think it is important that
they fit the character and gives the reader more of an idea of them.
For Parasite Life, I always like the name Jane because it’s a
classic name that you don’t hear that often. Vivian, is a more vivacious
name with fun nicknames, but also old ladyish, so I felt that fit
Jane’s mother. But I think it’s probably half the time just names I
like, or like the sounds of, or like the way they look on paper, and the
other half a name that fits the character.
6. What are your favorite:
it’s really good. Also Robert Aickman’s collections, they are so good.
Really good, the way he tells his story in a way that is both horrifying
and familiar is brilliant. Big fan of super long urban fantasy series: I
love Carrie Vaughn’s Kitty and the Midnight Hour series. Also Ilona Andrews’s Magic Bites series. BIg fan of early Kelley Armstrong. Laini Taylor I like a lot. Adored the Maggie Stiefvater’s Raven Boys books,
they were so original. Clive Barker. Nancy A. Collins. Huge Lovecraft
fan. I love vampires, and monsters in general. And based on my mood I
run from very hardcore splatterpunk horror to paranormal romance. But
almost always a few monsters in there.
Movies/TV Shows: Buffy, Veronica Mars, IT Crowd, Party Down, Teen Wolf, She Wolf of London, Forever Knight, Slings and Arrows, Call the Midwife
Music: Nine Inch Nails, Fever Ray, Portishead, Crystal Castles, Carpenter Brut, Patrick Wolf, The Cure, Joy Division, PJ Harvey
Food/Writing snack: popcorn, sour gummies
still pretty new to all the social media, but I have really started to
enjoy the writer’s community on facebook. And I love to look at art on
instagram when uninspired.
About the Author:
Victoria Dalpe is a writer and visual artist based out of Providence, RI where she lives with her husband, writer and film maker, Philip Gelatt and their son. From the attic window they can see the spot where HP Lovecraft’s ancestral home once stood… alas, it’s now a Starbucks. Victoria loves horror movies, reads too much, and has a soft spot for painting animal skulls.