After reading The Hangman: Vengeance, I had to get in touch with the author of the book, Dee Rose. I am sure my sentiments must resonate with all of his fans. I am grateful that he agreed to the interview. So, without further ado, let’s start the conversation with the very talented author, Dee Rose. I along with the readers of Mojito with a Twist wish to thank and give a warm welcome to Dee Rose. Thank you for finding the time to do this. Without further ado, let’s start the fascinating conversation with the amazing Dee Rose.
- First off, where did the inspiration for the HMU come from? Any superhero series/movie?
That’s actually a funny story. The inspiration for the Hangman character came from a rap I wrote over a decade ago when I first got out the Navy. I desperately wanted to be a rapper with an edgy sound that I called psycho rap. Then one day I was listening to the song in my car, I thought, this would make a great story if I developed it. The next thing I know, I was sitting in front of my computer and writing the backstory for the character. Once I began to receive positive feedback from the book, I decided to write stories about the main heroes, and the Hangman Universe was born. I’m a huge comic book/movie fan and I thought it was just a great idea. One of my favorite movies that helped inspire it was Van Helsing, starring Hugh Jackman.
- When you started writing the very first book of the series, did you expect that you’ll end up writing ten books? Or, the story just demanded to unfold in this manner?
No, I didn’t expect the first book to spawn a series. But I knew if there was to become a series, the Hangman was always going to be the main character till the end. Even in the books where he doesn’t play a prominent role, his presence is still felt. There are only three books in the series that bear his name, starting with, The Hangman (HMU Book 1), The Hangman Returns (HMU Book 6), and finally, The Hangman: Vengeance (HMU Book 10). If I’m being honest, the series could, just as easily, be named after Jericho Caine, the vampire slayer. He is just as important as the Hangman.
- The Hangman: Vengeance presents strong evidence of your affinity toward Superheroes Vs. Supervillain plot. When did this fascination begin? Is there a favorite?
Like I’ve said, I love superhero books and movies. I have ever since I was a child. I’m a huge Superman and Spiderman fan. Lately, because anti-heroes loom as large as heroes, I’ve become a Venom fan as well. My favorite villain is Magneto of X-Men fame.
- Dracool and Leechadon are some peculiar names. How did you come up with these?
I like the story of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. I’ve wanted to make a book about a black vampire for many years, but I just didn’t have the right vehicle to put him in. I’ve had the name Dracool stuck in my mind for a very long time. Putting him in The Hangman: Vengeance was the perfect opportunity for me to bring him to life. Leechadon was an idea I got from reading Star Wars books and watching the movies. All the Sith names are based off sinister names like, for instance, Darth Sidious. Leechadon draws his power from stealing soul. So, like a leech, I called him Leechadon.
- Among all the characters, my personal favorite, as I mentioned in my review of The Hangman, is Jericho. Regardless of the degree of severity of a situation, his wit always produced a smile. How did he come into existence? Does any of the book in the HMU reflect on his upbringing and life before joining forces with Tom Padilla?
Jericho Caine is also my favorite character in the HMU. I’d like to think that his wit comes from own personal sense of humor. Jericho’s beginnings are fleshed out over the course of a few books in the series. He is introduced in The Hangman (HMU Book 1), where it is explained that he is a descendent of the first vampire slayer, Victor Caine. His history is further explained in his own book entitled, Jericho Caine, Vampire Slayer: Dakota Rises (HMU Book 4). He also gets a few chapters of attention in The Hangman Returns (HMU Book 6), when Harold Caine’s essence possesses Jericho’s body. The rest of the team, with the help of an angel, must travel into the mystical Sword of Caine to rescue him. And then the final piece of how he became a Death Brother is explained in, The Death Brothers: A Supernatural Awakening (HMU Book 8).
- Is there a character we can see you in?
There are two characters that I envisioned myself in when I created the HMU. My humorous side comes out in Jericho Caine. The rest of my personality is drawn out in the Hangman himself.
- Which book are you currently reading? Any author whose work has inspired you recently?
Right now, I’m currently reading, Fallen Reign (Sins of the Father Book 1) by Nazri Noor. It’s pretty good so far. However, my favorite author is Stephen King. I love how he writes with the purpose of, “shock and awe”.
- Apart from Superheroes, are there any other supernatural/paranormal creatures that attract you?
I’m attracted to more of the traditional supernatural creatures like vampires, werewolves, demons, angels, Wiccan, and maybe someday, ghosts.
- If you had to try your hand at a different genre, which one would you like to explore?
I’ve also written a romance book, my first publication, called Forbidden Love. I definitely want to do another one. I already have a few ideas rolling around in my mind for it. I’m working on an episodic science fiction story for Kindle Vella entitled, Hut-Yo Cull: The Hunt begins. I hope it will be big in that format, but we’ll see.
- Who is your all-time favorite author? Did he/she inspire you to be an author?
Stephen King is my all-time favorite author and yes, he did inspire me to be an author. I started out writing poetry at first. But reading his work helped me realized that I wanted to share a story to energize people’s imaginations.
- Let’s talk about Dee Rose! When you are not writing, what are you doing? What does your normal daily life look like?
I have a day job as a supervisor in the USPS. When I get off work, I usually spend a few hours with my children, Nadia and Nicole. They are another reason I want to be a successful writer. I want my legacy to be theirs as well. I watch a ton of television and I’d like to think I’m a movie buff. Haha. I spend a few hours writing and marketing. I’ve been stuck in the house lately because of the pandemic and health issues, so I’m looking forward to getting out and doing things again. I have a display planned for Colorado Springs Comic-Con. That should be huge exposure for me.
- If given a chance to hang out with any author (dead or alive), who would you pick?
Honestly, that’s a tough question. Recently, I’ve read more autobiographies than books by traditional authors, so I can’t really name any right now.
- What is the one important lesson that you have learned while publishing your books?
The one important lesson that I’ve learned from publishing my books is that marketing is tough. I’d love to have an agent, but I believe that what I’m doing now, builds character and makes me humble. I appreciate being an author more than I did when I was younger.
- When it comes to marketing your work, according to you, what is the best approach?
When It comes to marketing my work, I believe that having a social media platform is the key. It allows me to put my name out there. Blogging, interviews, and interacting with people all over the world is fun, even though, at times, it can be draining.
- Any suggestions for aspiring authors? How do they begin writing? How do they go about publishing and marketing?
My suggestion for aspiring writers is to simply write. Worry about everything else later. If you are good, the final product will show it. The publishing business is crowded, so finding your voice can be difficult. However, if you can’t find an agent or a traditional publishing company that is willing to take a risk, then self-publishing is the way to go. If you have a great story to tell, don’t let those roadblocks hinder you.
- What’s next? is there a project in progress? Can your fans get a peek into the same?
I am constantly writing. My brain doesn’t shut down. I’ve experienced writer’s block once, years ago. When I got over it, I decided I’d write until I couldn’t write anymore. So now, I’m working on a few books, a Kindle Vella story, and the audiobook for Susan Taki: The New Coven (HMU Book 9). If anyone wants to get a sneak peek at the audiobook, the paperback is available on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/s?k=susan+taki+by+dee+rose&crid=1IU70X8V8DUDF
Thank you for having me on your site. It has truly been an honor. For you to review The Hangman: Vengeance and interview me has been exciting. Having people like you champion the world of literature means that we will exist for a long time.
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