Author Julie Campbell is doing the tour of the blogs to promote her novella of Doc Vampire-Hunting Dog, and I am very proud to host here. And, as a special two-in-one guest series, she’s brought along the main character of her novella: the intelligent and wonderful Border Collie, Doc.
I have read all of the Doc short stories on her blog and they are charming, sweet and thoroughly entertaining. I can’t wait to get my teeth into this novella.
Q&A – Julie Campbell
1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. As a human being, awriter, an animal lover – all the good stuff.
You kind of covered it. I’m a writer and an animal loverand that pretty well dominates my life. I’m kind of a big geek too. I lovefantasy, role-playing, sci fi, other worlds. Anything that sparks myimagination. I’m also an escapist… What better way to get out of the “realworld” for a while then to dive into a great book, whether I’m reading orwriting it. I’ve always loved animals and they’ve slowly made their way into mylives. I now live with three cats, my dog and my horse. Well, my horse is closeto my house but not quite living with me. I love country music and rock androll. The mountains are my home away from home and I spend as much time therein the summer as I can.
2) Your series about Doc: TheVampire-Hunting Dog is precious – it’s great that you’ve posted them from freeon your blog. What gaveyou the idea?
The idea came about with Devin O’Branagan’s original roundof flash contests. She wanted me to write something for one of them, but I hadno idea what to write. I’m not awesome at short stories either – they all turninto novels eventually – so I told her I’d think about it. The theme of thecontest was vampires of some sort or another and one day I was playing with myBorder Collie and noticed (not for the first time) how intense her gaze was.Surely she could trap even a vampire with that Eye. And Doc was born.
3) Is it challenging, writing from a dog’s point of view? You make itlook easy.
Haha, thanks. It is challenging. The trick for me was tobalance Doc’s intelligence with the reality that there are some things he won’tunderstand. Some of the more abstract concepts that humans have, unless they’vebeen explained to him, he won’t get, for example Jake, one of my more humancharacters, says something about hoping that Kevin will snap out of his daze.Doc, in his mind, says he hopes Kevin will wake up soon, and snap out of hisdaze, whatever that is. He’s thinking this, not communicating telepathically. Ialso had to show enough of the world, through him overhearing dialog, and hisobservations, that readers could pick out the back story even though Doc isn’tconcerned with many of the going-ons in the human world. I also had to decidehow he would refer to things like vampires. To him they smell dead, so he callsthem dead-things, but someone tells him they are called vampires, so he usesthat sometimes as well.
Doc is, obviously, exceptional, and he becomes even more soas the series progresses. He’s a lot of fun to write.
4) Doc, how do you feeling letting a human tell your tale?Do you feel she’s doing a good job relaying your adventures?
*Grins* It makes me happy that I can give her a job to do.It’s the best thing in the world, to have a job. Especially one huntingvampires. Maybe if more dogs read my stories they can help their humans hunttoo, then we can get rid of the dead-things. I think she is doing a good jobtelling my tale. *lowers voice* But she needs to write in more sheep, andNelli.
5) What can you or Julie tell us about your upcoming tale?
Doc: Well, in the one my author just published, I learn alot about hunting vampires and we meet one that is very dangerous. She getsaway, but I bet we’ll be fighting her again in my next novella. I’ve beenpromised sheep, too.
6) Julie, I loved the characters in your Halloween 2011short. Can you tell me a little about that series? And Doc, what was it likingworking with Kat and Jin?
Julie: I discovered Doc in 2010 shortly before Halloween. Ihad a great time writing a Halloween story for him and this year I wanted towrite another Halloween tale. I’d also just watched Deadliest Warriors Vampiresvs Zombies episode and wanted to write my own vampires vs zombies story. I alsowanted to write a Doc story and after some debate, and the realization that Ididn’t really have time to write two stories, I decided what the heck andcombined them all into one. I will likely write another Halloween story nextyear, but I don’t know what it will be yet. Kat is a rather old vampire who,atypically, really enjoys hunting other vampires. She’s actually a prettyreasonable sort if you happen to be human. She’s hell on other vampires thatpiss her off though. Jin is her adopted daughter. Long story short – she wasfriends with Jin’s parents, they died but before they did they asked Kat totake care of Jin and her brother because they knew she could protect them. Jinis becoming a bad ass vampire hunter in her own right too.
Doc: We got trapped in a hotel by rotting humans. It wassupposed to be a vacation in the mountains. With sheep. Stupid rotting humans.The vampire and her human, Jin, showed up. I didn’t have the energy to attackher by the time she arrived and then she did something really strange. Shebrought us food. I decided that she couldn’t be all bad, if she was going tofeed me. Jin was really nice. Even though I don’t like vampires, I’m glad theycame. They saved me and Kevin. I suppose if I see her again I’ll be nice toher, as long as she has food.
7) You write horror really well, as Halloween 2011 demonstrated. Haveyou played around with the genre very much before or since that story?
Thank you. I write fantasy mostly, but one of the things Ilove about fantasy is that it encompasses most other genres and I do tend towrite darker stories. Especially when I dive into the Urban Fantasy realm. Thatlends really well to the vampires and zombies and such. So, even if I’m notspecifically writing horror, you’ll probably see elements of it many of mystories.
8) Fill us in a bit on your other projects. You are the author ofSenior Year Bites, and I believe are currently working on a sequel?
The sequel is done and I’m currently working on edits frommy beta readers. I should be able to submit it to my publisher at the end ofthe month. I’ve had some good comments on it so far, so I’m really excited toget it out to the world. I’m also working on a YA fantasy that should be outsometime this year. It’s called Arabian Dreams and about a girl who travels toother worlds on horseback. It is under contract, we’re just finishing up edits.I have a ton of other projects too, but I do have plans for another Doc novellasoon.
9) Finally the questions I ask all my writer guests – what is your“Writer must-have”? Setting, mug, music, favourite desktop? What do you need towrite?
Hmm, good question. Ideally, I’m at my desk with my musicand a mug of tea. Sometimes I’ll take my netbook and go outside, that’s reallynice. All I truly need is a pad of paper and a pen. I’ve even written ideaswhile out riding my horse in the mountains.
10) Do you have any advicefor other writers out there?
It’s a crazy game, but don’t give up. Keep a regularwriting schedule and write all the time.