La Vida Vampire - Nancy Haddock

Moving from Dallas to St. Augustine, Florida was the culmination of a thirteen-year goal. Little did I know that moving would help fulfill another long-held goal – selling my first book.

It all started with a peanut butter commercial. That’s right, a commercial was the seed for La Vida Vampire. The commercial doesn’t run often now, but it featured two little girls having a sleepover. For one child, it appears to be her first time to spend the night away from home, so her hostess suggests things they can do. Part of the line the hostess says goes something like, “We can play Crazy Eights, or we can watch this Princess Vampire video.”

Say what? Princess Vampire? Little kids, maybe all of age six, are watching something called Princess Vampire?

Okay, so I figured that’s not what the little actress said, but it’s what I heard. Every time I thought about it, I laughed, and I couldn’t get the idea it out of my head.

The next step was to flesh out the main character and her history, and decide what kind of job and interests she might have. Here is where having moved provided further inspiration.

St. Augustine has a long, rich history, more ghosts than you can swing an EMF meter at, and the beach. Ah, yes, ghosts and the beach! In a flash, Cesca became the oldest living citizen of the city, a ghost tour guide, and a part day-walker who learns to surf. And the surfing was only one of her surprises for me.

Am I alert for the next bit of inspiration for Cesca’s series? Oh, yes! After all, my favorite T-shirt reads, WARNING: What you do may appear in my next book!

And my next favorite reads: Write with Passion, Touch Hearts, Scorch Dinner.

The last is never a problem!

La Vida Vampire is the first in a new series from Berkley, being released on April 1, 2008 – no fooling! To read an excerpt of LA VIDA VAMPIRE and play the “Where’s Cesca?” contest, please vist http://www.nancyhaddock.com/



For Kicks

NOTE FROM IDEA BOUTIQUE : "So sorry this post is tardy. The fault lies with Idea Boutique as well as the flu, and NOT with Jenna.


I’ll admit it, I have residual retail angst. Managing a department store is a hard job, but it does give you tons of material if you decided to quit and write romance novels instead – which I can personally recommend!

In For Kicks, I sent my heroine off on a cross country trip to train employees about a new product. You know those hand held scanners you see everywhere in department stores now? When those came out lots of retail managers were sent on similar whirlwind trips to ensure the staff knew how to use them. Unfortunately, no former soccer stud ever decided to book me into a hotel suite…but that is what fiction is for!

In the story I took the idea of the trip, mixed it with a girl driven to be the youngest store manager in the history of her company, and tripped her up with a hot former soccer stud determined to make sure she stop and watch the sun set, with him. Opposite personalities, a common goal, and shifting priorities all mix together to make their lives implode.

I found some fun ways to keep the characters talking and engaged – tarot, reflexology, goldfish, Derby pie, childhood memories…and phone sex. Talk about writing for kicks!

Read an excerpt of FOR KICKS here

Jenna Bayey-Burke