As seen in Issue 2 of Uncaged Book Reviews. To read an excerpt from Blood Lust, and to read the Uncaged Reviews, please see the issue, link below.
I had the priviledge to read the first book in the Demon series a few months ago. And when I say priviledge, that’s how it feels to read the works of Bernard DeLeo’s. His storytelling is second to none, from his crime-solving to the characters he builds. Uncaged is honored to have him here.
First off, thank you so much for taking the time for the interview!
1) When did you come to the realization that you wanted to be an author?
One of the first classes I attended in college after my enlistment in the Navy was a creative writing class. Our first assignment was to write a short story. I wrote the story from a dog’s point of view. During the class critique session another student said, ‘you can’t write a story from a dog’s point of view’. The professor replied, ‘he just did’. I was hooked.
2) Who are some of your favorite authors now, and what genres do you tend to read the most?
Tom Clancy, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Janet Evanovitch are some of my favorite authors. Although horror and action/adventure novels make up most of my reading list, I love the Stephanie Plum series because of the characters and humor. Romance is another key ingredient in what I read.
3) How long does it take you to write a full book? Do you write full time or part time?
I write full time, but I also own a one-man auto shop in Oakland, CA. My writing goal is two thousand words a day no matter how long it takes. I write on and off from 5 am to 10 pm. I very seldom miss my word goal. Since my novel length is between 90,000 and 130,000 words, depending on the series I’m writing, it takes about two and a half months for me to write and edit a novel.
4) I loved the book Demon, as it was a very fresh, original idea on the paranormal, young adult world. And now, in Blood Lust, you bring in a Dhampir to work with officials. I chuckled at the references to The Vampire Diaries and even the more obscure, Moonlight. Have you actually watched these shows? How much research did you do in the vampire world for this novel?
I admit to watching all things vampire from the time I was a kid up through the present. If the characters have chemistry, I’m all in as far as being a fan goes. I have used variations of vampires in a few of my novels, including ‘Layla’, ‘Lancelot’, and of course ‘Blood Lust’. I can’t really claim my fascination with vampires to be research. I have immersed myself in the various vampire legends from childhood. Adding humor in ‘Blood Lust’ made the novel irresistible for me to write.
5) Where is your favorite place to write? What are some of your favorite ways to relax?
I write wherever I happen to be: on an airplane, train, deck chair, my auto shop backroom desk, and the most comfortable would have to be my tilt back couch seat with laptop. When I’m fully engaged in a scene, it doesn’t matter where I am. I’m always relaxed when I write. I might laugh out loud, pump my fist, or grit my teeth in concentration, but writing is always a relaxing escape for me.
6) I loved the humor and the very charismatic duo of Jed and Erin, is Blood Lust a one timer, or is this the start of a fun new series?
I believe I will revisit my Blood Lust duo of Jed and Erin at some point in the future if for no other reason than the enticement of humor, romance, and Jed’s Dhampir powers. The scenes like this one where Erin interrogates Jed about what he fed on make it difficult to resist a sequel because they’re so much fun for me to write:
“I agree. I’m off in another hour. I’ll change into civvies and we can check the lab for any sign of him. What did you feed on?”
Erin made her usual disgusted face. “You fed on Bambi’s mother? That is sick.”
“Yeah, and I did it in front of Bambi and his sister. I think I saw Thumper and Flower gawking at me too while I did the deed.”
Uncaged follow-up - I laughed at this scene, along with many others. The chemistry between the characters was perfect.
7) What would you like to say to fans, and where can they follow you?
I’m a story teller. I don’t write while trying to be Earnest Hemingway, or Shakespeare. When I get an idea with characters and plot I can’t resist, I write the story to please myself. If my writing keeps appealing to readers, I love sharing the stories with them, but I write for me. Editing is a humbling and crucial endeavor no author can avoid. If a writer doesn’t love what he or she writes, the editing will drive the writer into a coma of either avoidance or blockage.
Uncaged follow-up - It’s appealing, trust me!
Born and raised in Warren, Ohio, I write adventure fiction in many genres. I have thirty-two of my novels offered for Amazon Kindle in the Unlimited Program. I have four continuing series offerings - Hard Case 1-7, Cold Blooded 1-6, Rick Cantelli, P.I. 1-4, and the New Adult paranormal series Demon 1-4, all with RJ Parker Publishing Inc. Recent releases are the paranormal novel Blood Lust, Cold Blooded VI: Red Horizon, Hard Case VII: Red Waves, Rick Cantelli, P.I. IV: Shades of Death, and Demon IV: Darkness Rules. I served aboard the USS Ranger (CVA61) from 1969 until November of 1972. I earned an AA degree in Auto Technology from Chabot College in Hayward, CA, and a BA degree in English from Cal State Hayward. My hobbies are basketball, backpacking, and scuba diving. My favorite dive spot is Point Lobos near Pacific Grove, CA.