Prepare to occupy the edge of your seats, ladies and gents! Today’s guest, D.V. Berkom, has a chilling suspense with her name on it, and one lucky reader will get to claim it. Want to know how? Hang out until the end of the interview for the details. For now, let’s kick things off … on a sailboat? Almost! (Trust me … this is a good story. Keep reading!)
Hi, DV, and welcome! I like to stalk bios, and I was a little giddy when I saw you used to live on a sailboat. We have a cabin cruiser with living quarters so the idea isn’t foreign to me, but I’ve never been inside a sailboat. I have observed, however, they seem to tilt easily, LOL. What prompted your move to the water, and what was it like to live there?
Hi Sarah! It’s great to be here. Yep, sailboats tilt—a LOT. LOL you really have to trust the captain when you’re under way! I learned early on to respect the ocean –it has so much power and can destroy you or your boat in an instant. Pretty awesome, really J
After graduating college, I was invited to live aboard a 44-foot ketch in Mexico by some good friends. In return, I learned to crew and did beer and grocery runs in the dinghy. It was a dream come true in many respects, and I met so many interesting people while there. Living on the water draws a particular type of person (usually quite unconventional) and I found I got along well with most everyone I met. Not to mention the weather and food was fabulous! I’d do it again in a heartbeat—though I’d probably go with a cabin cruiser this time. Sailboats are fairly confining to live on, although the experience can’t be beat when you’re under sail J
That sounds *amazing* … although the tipping still scares me. I watched a couple of people climb off one at the marina and the darn thing laid over sideways. (My husband would surely throw me overboard *on purpose* with all the screeching I’d end up doing, LOL.) Changing the tide a bit (*grin*), does your degree in political science ever directly influence your writing or your stories?
Interesting question. I suppose it does, directly and indirectly. When I was in college I was intensely interested in the political process (not just in the US) and how people came to power, what they did with that power, etc. What I learned contributed to my current cynicism about politics, which inevitably informs my writing. One of the characters in Serial Date is a man named Senator ‘Buzz’ Runyon. I had a lot of fun writing his scenes. Apparently, I’m not that fond of politicians. J
LMAO! Okay, I’m hooked. And on that note, since we’re here to talk about SERIAL DATE, can you introduce our readers to the story?
Sure! Serial Date is an entirely new take on reality TV, where beautiful young women are set-up with ex-cons pretending to be ‘serial killers’. But what happens when a bonafide serial killer gets thrown into the mix? Cue Leine Basso, an ex assassin brought in to provide some no-nonsense extra security. Unfortunately for her this serial killer is looking to play a deadly game…
Oooh, I love it! What might readers be surprised to learn about the plot or characters of SERIAL DATE?
A twisted dream woke me up in the middle of the night and spawned the idea for the book. It wouldn’t let me go until I wrote the darned thing. I love it when that happens J
I love a story demanding to be written. (They must not love me so much. I need more of those moments, LOL.) Let’s have some fun with SERIAL DATE. What’s the first sentence?
Peter Bronkowski peeled himself away from the prop closet.
Makes me wonder what might have been in there, LOL! What’s your favorite line in the book?
Years in the profession left its mark. Not everybody noticed. Just the ones who bought the ticket and took the ride.
That’s fantastic! How about an excerpt … three sentences long! Yep, that’s it. Three!
She didn’t see it coming. The sharp wire snaked around her throat, taking her by surprise. He must have moved while her attention was on the cat.
Wow. This is totally my kind of story – I love the suspense. Which scene of SERIAL DATE was most difficult for you to write? Why?
The first time I had to write from Azazel’s point of view turned out to be the most difficult. I hadn’t really thought about putting myself in the mind of a serial killer and the research freaked me out. I avoided that puppy like I avoid housework.
Dinner with Santiago at Il Buon Alimento. Definitely in Leine’s POV (with apologies to my sweetheart, Mark J)
Sounds like it must be *some* dinner! LOL. What inspired the title of SERIAL DATE?
As I was writing the book, the working title was completely different than SERIAL DATE. A good writer friend and I were having dinner one night, talking about book covers and marketing and she suggested using the name of the reality show instead of what I’d been using. It made sense and I had to laugh because it was right under my nose!
LOL. Don’t you love that? *Grin* What are you currently working on?
Currently, I’m writing another novel with Leine Basso and Santiago Jensen of SERIAL DATE. It’s so new, I don’t even have a working title yet. It was such a great feeling to write their characters again. I really missed them! With any luck, it should be available sometime in late fall. I also have plans to write another novel in the best-selling Kate Jones thriller series, and have that available in time for the holidays.
Thanks so much for having me on your blog, Sarah!
Thank *you!* I think you’re going to stay busy (and successful!) and I’m so glad you had a moment to join us here today. Before we scoop the giveaway, let’s check out the blurb and a short excerpt from your book.
SERIAL DATE | blurb & links
A retired assassin. A serial killer with a social agenda.
A politician with a fondness for free-range livestock.
Determined to leave her old life behind, retired assassin Leine Basso accepts a job working security at one of television’s most popular reality shows, Serial Date. When a contestant is found dead in the prop closet, it appears the killer is one of the ‘bachelors’ on the show- an ex-con billed as a serial killer- but the detective in charge of the case isn’t so sure.
When Leine’s estranged daughter is abducted by a man claiming to be the real killer, she’s forced to rely on old skills to find her, and must come to terms with who she really is. She soon realizes the murderer may be a grisly remnant from her past and she’ll need to use all of her cunning to stop him, and rescue her daughter.
DV Berkom grew up in the Midwest, received her BA in Political Science from the University of Minnesota, and promptly moved to Mexico to live on a sailboat.
Several years and at least a dozen moves later, she now lives outside of Seattle, Washington with her sweetheart Mark, an ex-chef-turned-contractor, and writes whenever she gets a chance. You’re welcome to email her at dvb (at) dvberkom (dot) com or chat with her on Facebook or Twitter- she loves to hear from readers as well as other writers.
SERIAL DATE | excerpt
He didn’t have long to wait. Her green sedan pulled to the curb fifteen minutes later. He watched as she opened the door and climbed out, then shut and locked the car behind her. When she reached the walkway leading to the front door of the house, Jensen got out of his car and crossed the street.
She stopped but didn’t turn.
“You need to go.” Her voice rippled through the still evening air.
He covered the distance between them and placed his hand on her arm. She turned and he could see by the light of the street lamp she’d been crying. Surprised, he let go.
She turned and walked the rest of the way to her door, fumbling in her purse. Jensen followed slowly, not wanting to spook her.
“Listen, Leine. If there’s something wrong, I can help. Just tell me.” All of his senses were heightened, being so close to her. He could feel her body heat and smell her hair, her perfume. Something by Chanel, she’d told him the other morning.
“No. You have to leave. Don’t ask me to explain.” She found her key and slid it into the lock, but didn’t open the door.
Jensen edged closer and placed his hand on the small of her back. She didn’t move. He buried his face in her hair, inhaling her scent and encircled her waist with his other hand, bringing her closer to him. The feel of her body against his left him unhinged and he bent his head to devour her neck, acting like a man who’d found water after days without. Her breath caught; she offered no resistance.
Her body began to relax into him and a soft moan escaped her. He continued to nuzzle her earlobe and neck, his heartbeat matching his excitement. All sense of time and space vanished. Nothing mattered except Leine.
Without warning she stiffened and pushed him away. Confused, he drew back.
“I can’t see you anymore,” she said, as she unlocked the door. Before he could protest, she slipped inside and closed it, sliding the deadbolt into place.
If you’d like to win a free e-copy of SERIAL DATE (to be awarded via a Smashwords code), simply comment with your email address and you’ll be entered in the random drawing. And for fun (not required), answer this question: which reality show are you most like to be on, and why? (Use a real one or make one up – have fun with it!) D.V., thanks again for hanging out here today. Readers, thank you for spending some time with us. Say hello before you leave, and have a wonderful day!