Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Interview with Dennis Sharpe

So, tell us a little bit about you. What makes you tick?

Kinda broad, as questions go...  I'll give it a shot.

Let's See...  I'm a dog person, and allergic to cats.  I am also allergic to asprin and Cucumbers. How wierd is that, right?

I value honesty more than I believe most do these days. I am highly creative and I believe I have finally found a way to properly put my vivid imagination to use.

I am a full time father (my kids are my world) and a full time student. I like to keep busy. Idle hands being what they are, and all.

I have an addiction to coffee. I love to travel, and have been all over the U.S., who knows maybe I'll get to try new countries soon.

I am a movie and music buff. My amount of raw trivial knowledge of both are near epic. I worked managing a music and movie retail store for about 3 years, about a decade ago, and that only added fuel to the fire.

I read a lot. Like...a LOT! It's entertainment, hobby, pastime, and so much more.

I love to play cards, and games with my family and friends.

I tend to be kinda the counselor of my friends. I get the emotional calls at odd hours, because I will listen.

Did I mention that I can be long winded? ;)

How long have you been writing and who or what inspired you to write?

My mother has little stapled together "books" I wrote and illustrated before I started formal schooling. So at least since I was old enough to talk.

I don't know where the original inspiration came from, I've always just been a storyteller.

I've been inspired by many others since then. Teachers, Authors, Musicians, painters, film makers...


Now on to the important bit, your book. Can you tell us about it?

The book is "Blood & Spirits". It's a dark urban tale of vampires, ghosts, and zombies in the midwestern United States.

The story centers around Veronica, a Vampire madam, and how her well ordered life gets turned upside down when she "adopts" Rachel, an eight year old ghost.


From the back cover of the book:

"Small-town life can be hard for a dead girl…

For Veronica Fischer the night to night life of a bloodsucking madam in Middle America is tough enough before she adopts Rachel Gregory, an eight year old ghost.

After her house is set on fire, and Rachel disappears, all signs point to foul play. When she finds herself with a hit out on her unlife, and warrants for her arrest, it becomes clear she’s going to need help.

Now she has to contend with horny zombies, violent spirits, and murderous grave robbers if she’s ever going to find Rachel and discover the awful truth of the coming storm.

A raucous ride through the dangerous lives of the lecherous undead."

How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books?

I honestly don't remember where the title came from originally. I know it had several different working titles before the one it ended up with. It's also book one of a trilogy, and that was somewhat by accident as well. Originally I was only writing one book, but the story just got too big. I ended up breaking the three acts of the story into thier own books.

The cover design came from the feelings I had for each book. "Blood & Sprirts", which is book one, has a mostly white cover...  While "Distant Thunder", which will be book two, has a mostly gray cover...  And "Driving Rain", which will be book three, has a mostly black cover.

The character on the cover of "Blood & Spirits" is Lucy...  a kind of best friend, and mentor to Veronica. She also happens to be a ghost.

Is this your first book?

Yes and No. This is my first book of fiction. I had previously published three books of spoken word and performance poetry. "The Years Distilled", "(un)SPOKEN", and "Fresh".

Do you have plans for more?

There are 20 books written or outlined for the Veronica/Lucy/Frank world. I also have several that are set in other worlds, and other realities, as well. So, yes. Many more to come.

 Which comes first the character or the plot?

Well, I guess it's the plot. But that's a bit misleading. I usually have an overall idea for a story I'd like to tell, and then I meet the characters.

The characters tell me their life stories and their deepest darkest secrets, and then I tell them what I want out of them for a story, and then we argue it out. Sometimes they do what I ask them to, other times they just do what they want and I have to scamble to keep up.

Describe your main characters in a single word.

All of them? Chaotic? <laugh>

I can give one word for each of them, but it's only a word that applies at this 'stage' of the story.

Veronica - Scattered

Frank - Loyal

Lucy - Protective

Rachel - Lost

Garrett - Mysterious

Paco - Perverse

Jules - Wise

Okay, now you can tell us more about them?

Veronica is no nonsense. She has a style and humor that are really all her own. Sometimes I don't even know where she's coming from... but she's strong and independant, with a heart a little too big for her own good.

Frank is her best friend, and employee. He's simply amazing to get to write for. He's at home in the seedy underworld, and in high society, and Veronica requires the seedy work, and pays for his expensive taste.

Lucy is Veronica's mentor, and best friend. She gets much more "face time" in her own trilogy of books that will be released shortly as well.

Rachel is an eight year old ghost. She died at an early age, and now will never get to grow up. She's chosen Veronica to be her mother figure... and Veronica will never grow old. So they will be an endless mother and child. It's an odd relationship, but they really help anchor each other emotionally, in ways neither of them fully realize. 


 What do you think about book trailers?

I think they are an interesting medium. Being a film school drop out, and an indie film writer and director on the side, I think there's a lot there to explore...  but personally, when I write for print...  it's for print, and when I write for a screen...  it's for a screen. I think it might be difficlt to do both on one project for me. I still haven't explored it.

What is your favourite scene?

Good grief. Do authors really have just one?

I have several that I love for various reasons. Veronica in the Alley with Buck... Interrogation of the grave robber...  Veronica in the police station... Rachel's introduction...  Sunny's introduction... Frank and the fire at house...

I guess if I had to pick one scene to simply stand alone from this book I'd choose, at least right now I would, Veronica's fight with "unquiet spirits" in the funeral home.


Where can readers connect with you?

Twitter: @WitlessLackey

Where can readers purchase your book?

Can we read it?

Inching into the room, it’s clear something is wrong here. There’s a tingling sensation up my legs and back before I can even really focus on the parlor’s details. There are silhouettes of people, but I can see through them. It’s like shadows were cast and left behind to do as they please. Lost in the surreal sight of them for a moment, I inch further into the room without noticing that some were now moving behind me.

There is no warning. I’m suddenly in the air, and moving backward rapidly toward the wall. It’s almost a full second before my body registers the actual pain of the blow my stomach just took.  Being hit by a car doesn’t even compare to this, and I didn’t even see it coming.

“For a shadow, you hit like a sledgehammer!” The words barely escape before something else slams into the base of my skull imbedding most of my upper body in the wall and all but removing my head. These things are like Lucy; the disembodied dead who haven’t moved on. I’ve never met others that can actually touch things physically, they must be fairly potent.

I pull my face out of the hole it had been planted in, letting plaster dust fall, coating my chest and legs like snow. Looking around quickly I try to gauge my surroundings. I can’t see them, but I know they’re there. Is one easy night, without a huge dry-cleaning bill, too much to ask for these days?

I only have time to dwell on it a moment before my head is bouncing off the hardwood floor; once, twice, and then a third time in quick succession. Now ‘pick splinters out of my forehead’ can be added to my Saturday night to-do list.  Damn it, this is not going as planned.

A  big thank you to Dennis for this week's interview.  Please leave a comment with your email for a chance to win.


  1. Excellent interview. It's always fun to hear a little insight behind the creation of a new world.

  2. Hey Dennis, just wanted to say again that Blood and Spirits was awesome, my fav. scene was Veronica in the alley with Buck, but only because it was the most disturbing sex scene ever . . .

  3. Thanks for the excerpt, giveaway and interview!! Honestly I find it difficult to find male writers that have a writing style and sense of humor that I really like. Dennis seems to nail both so I'm excited about this trilogy.