Welcome to my world! I am the author of the Darkly Vampire Trilogy, a dark literature adventure into a world where the vampire virus exists.
Chloe Hammond is an Aquarius, very Aquarius. Born in Liverpool, she grew up in West Wales, but now lives in Barry in South Wales, with her husband and rescue cats and dogs. She always wanted to write, but life got in the way. Then she was diagnosed with extreme anxiety and depression, which caused nightmares and sleepless nights. In her typically contrary way she used this to her advantage and the nightmares became this novel, and the sleeplessness nights were when she found time to write it.
She has a lovely sea view from her desk, which she gazes at to still her mind so her characters can burst forth and have their say. This is her first novel, but Rae and Layla are demanding book two and three in the trilogy are written as soon as possible, they have adventures to live.
Darkly Dreaming, Book 1 of The Darkly Vampire Trilogyby Chloe HammondParanormal Romance Horror
Darkly Dancing: Savage and Seductive Vampire Literature for grown ups (The Darkly Vampire Trilogy Book 2)by Chloe HammondPublish: Oct 31, 2018Supernatural Suspense Paranormal Romance Dark Romance & Erotica Women's Fiction Literary Fiction Fantasy Horror more»
I had an unusual childhood- quite wildl. I was desperately unhappy in school in Liverpool, so my Mum home schooled me for two years, which made me a lot happier. She was an excellent teacher and made learning a lot of fun. I credit her with teaching me how to think and how to learn. When I was seven we moved to Wales, and I returned to mainstream education. We rented a lovely house set in 300 acres of woodland, and for two years I was a wild child, living outdoors more than in, climbing trees and adventuring with my best friend, a boy two years older than me who was my utter hero. Sadly the property was owned by the Coal Board, and just before my sister was born, my mother was given six weeks notice to move us and our menagerie of animals. We moved to an area I wasn't as happy in. I was bullied in the school for my Liverpudlian accent and not having a T.V, I knew far more about animals and wildlife than I did about pop songs or soap operas. My sister was born with severe colic and screamed continually for what seemed like years. At the same time my mother discovered my father was a fruit machine gambling addict, and their marriage started it's four year death dance. Life changed a lot for me, my idyllic childhood was shattered. We moved again, and in my new school I was severely bullied. Everything I said was mimicked, and I became very unhappy and stopped really speaking. I was incapable of comprehending the vicious vagaries of teenage girls, and didn't stand a chance in the social game playing that popularity requires. At home my parent's marriage had ground to a halt and they had started living separate lives. The day my father moved out was a delight to me, he had a nasty temper, and far too often I was at the rough end of it. As he left he cried on my shoulder, which utterly confused me, he couldn't have made it more plain he didn't want any of us, so what was he crying about? I still don't know. As the years passed, and I didn't change, tastes did, and I became more popular in school. The kinder natured students had accepted my socially clumsy, but always genuine ways, and as cruelty and nastiness was out grown, the bullies became less popular. It was a valuable lesson in remaining true to myself, and waiting for people to see through other people's games and decide whether or not they liked me for myself. There probably isn't a huge amount of difference really between South and West Wales, but for me it felt like two different worlds. I left West Wales when I was eighteen to go to University in South Wales, met my best friend on my first day, and my real life began. This world was far more cosmopolitan, exciting, and I blossomed out of my shyness, although I am still by nature an introvert. Whereas in West Wales I had lived in the countryside with our nearest neighbour over a mile away, in South Wales I lived in a market town, with the capital of Wales just a twenty minute train ride away. In West Wales, I had felt the pull of the seasons very strongly. Winters were long, wet, and grey; soul destroyingly cold and depressing, the summers scarily short and often ruined by floods that would kill an entire years riverside animal babies. In the city I found that not living so close to nature, and with so much happening, the winters passed easier and I was less aware of the bleakness and death it brought.What or who is your biggest inspiration to write?
I am very aware of my internal split between the logical, practical and sensible side of my personality, and the more fun loving, flighty, creative side. The practical side is the one bosses want to meet, and the one that makes sense of the drains of everyday life. It's been all to easy in our 'live to work' Western society to allow my bossy 'business' side take over completely, and bulldoze it's way towards practical stability. The creative side did not die softly though, it struggled and thrashed, and eventually brought in depression and anxiety to win it's side of the argument. Now my illnesses ensure I find balance, and my writing is my creativity flowing into my life.Do you think you spend more time with character descriptions or scene descriptions? Is there anything you edited OUT of your book "Darkly Dreaming"?
I concentrate on my characters, and their feelings and motivations. I get very bored of detailed scene descriptions when I'm reading, to the point where I just skim over them, so I only include a basic description of where a character is, with landmarks in relation to them, just what readers need to know for the action to make sense. I trust my readers to have enough imagination to picture the background for themselves. Editing is something I do a lot of. I have learned that as a 'visual learner' it's easy for me to have lots of details in my head, but not realise I've missed them out of the story. This is why I leave my manuscript untouched for weeks at a time, so I can come back and read it afresh, and see what I've missed out. Then I send it to Alpha readers, get their feed back, re-edit, send to beta readers, and repeat. Repeatedly. To me it's this reworking and polishing that make the difference between writing and good writing. It was through the feedback that I completely changed my first three chapters of Darkly Dreaming, so the story started in France rather than Cardiff. I also changed tense twice, and several names!What made you decide to start writing novels about your nightmares and depression? Was it harder or easier than you expected?
I needed to reconnect to my creative side, I had an instinctive feeling that this, along with talking about my experiences openly, combined with a low dose of antidepressant would be the best way to tackle my illness. The nightmares I was experiencing were incredibly lucid and vivid. Writing about them was both harder and easier than I expected. Taking the intense emotions and images of a dream, and trying to write the scene coherently without losing the depth of feeling is difficult, more difficult that I'd expected. I can usually shape feelings into poetry quite easily, but prose is different, longer. With a poem, you take a nugget of feeling and craft it into a beautiful bead of words, prose is creating bead after bead of the same quality, and then stringing them into a necklace. However, I had not realised that my characters would develop lives of their own, and start rebelling, and demanding things go a different way, which led to all sorts of extra twists and turns.If you had to have a regal, yet terrifying, Vampire alter ego, what would her name be and would she have any special powers?
I am actually writing this character at the moment for book 2. She is the first vampire, an ancient Egyptian who created the vampire virus with her husband by accident. Her name is Amunet, and she is cold, selfish and is an Empath, which means she can feel exactly what another vampire feels, and use that to exploit their weaknesses to her own advantage, knowing exactly how to win them round to doing her bidding. Book 2 is turning out a lot darker than I expected, poor Rae is having a terrible time.It is my understanding that you live by the sea. What is the best part about living on the Oceanside and how does it help your writing process?
I do live right by the sea, and I have most of my life, from being born in Liverpool Docks, to living close to the coast in West Wales. Right now I have the best sea view I ever had- we live up a steep hill which means our garden and front windows all look out across the Island, the fair, and over the docks and out to sea. I find the play of light over the waves mesmerising, and love to sit and gaze out to sea while my characters wrangle some tricky plot twist into shape.What has the reception been like for your book "Darkly Dreaming" so far? Have you received any fan mail?
It is very difficult persuading people to give up their money and precious reading time for a new book from an author they've never heard of, so a lot of my initial readers were friends, colleagues, and friends of friends. Which meant my feedback has often been face to face, as have the naggings to get book 2 finished! Darkly Dreaming is very character led, and as such classes as literary fiction. This means it doesn't really fit into the expected vampire genre, so I have taken to calling it vampire, or dark, literature so people realise it's not Mills and Boons with fangs, but a more considered novel, exploring the humanity of my vampires. One of my readers called it 'Velvet Rich', which made me think of gooey dark chocolate cake, decadent and delicious, and I love that description of my book. I am finding it seems to be especially enjoyed by people who don't normally read dark fantasy or vampire books, so I just need to persuade people who don't usually read vampire books to buy a book from an author they've never heard of, in a genre they don't usually read. This is why reviews are so important for an independent author. I was so worried about her reading the rude bits, that when my Mum offered to be an Alpha reader for me I completely forgot to warn her there were vampires. When she read it I hadn't added the prologue, and it took a while for the dark side to really kick in beyond shadowy hints, so she had quite a fright. And nightmares. I must confess she isn't the only one I've given nightmares, but surely that's the sign of a good horror?Describe a typical day in the life of Chloe Hammond.
That's not as easy as you may think, as I work in a hostel for homeless teenagers, and work two nights and two days per week. Some days they are all out, so after I've done the cleaning duties and paperwork I can get a couple of hours of writing in, other days I will be up all night with someone who is feeling suicidal, or spending the day trying to get some basic food supplies for someone whose benefits aren't in payment yet. It's a varied job, which keeps me stimulated, but does mean I come into contact with the greedy, predatory older people who circle like sharks to feed on the damaged and vulnerable young people. It's these experiences Rae uses to fuel her hunt for her monstrous human prey.Are you friends with any other authors? If you are, how do you think they help you grow?
I've been very lucky to find lot's of lovely fellow authors to become my Facebook friends, although they are from all around the world, so I do not know if I will ever get to meet them face to face. They are the people who understand the fears, frustrations, heart on the sleeve terror, head exploding excitement, and warm and fuzzy bliss that are involved with writing, editing, designing, and publishing your own book, and then receiving your reviews. They are the people who have helped me explore the intricacies of formatting, deciding which platform to publish on, and venture into the murky jungle of marketing, where everyone is after your money, but there are no guaranteed returns, and very little income. They read your work, offer valuable insights, let you know about opportunities to do takeovers, or blog posts, or submit for anthologies and competitions, and most of all they hold your hand when you need them.The saying goes: "It is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all". Do you agree with this statement? Why or why not?
Yes. My experience of love in all it's varied forms has been brutal, exquisite, strong, delicate, vicious, healing, overwhelming, and mundane. I truly believe it is the most important thing in the world. It is the currency everyone values most (apart from psychopaths, although they still want admiration more than anything else), and yet it is the thing we will waste too easily. When my husband almost died I understood completely how grief is the price we pay for love, but to try to avoid that payment would be foolish. We would waste our chance to love fully, and be left grieving not just the person we lost, but also our chance to love them properly. A life without love is a life of missed opportunity, muted colours, and cold comforts.What do you like to do to relax (besides writing or reading)?
I love to cook for friends, and sit around setting the world to rights into the night, or to snuggle up with my husband, our two rescued dogs, and my cat and binge watch T.V series. I love all the really good quality sci fi and fantasy series that are round now. The two of us are also addicted to watching TV programmes about buying houses in the sun, or living new lives in sunny climates. Delicious escapism.Do you think it is possible for someone to be a good author without first having a lot of imagination?
Yes, as long as they are writing about what they know. Good writing comes from carefully crafting words, tweaking sentences to convey an image. This doesn't need imagination so much as persistence and a gift for word play. An imagination just allows you to write about things you don't have first hand experience of, as you can imagine yourself into someone else's shoes, or create entirely new world.What would you do if you were given the ability to be invisible for a day?
I'd sneak around placing copies of my book into celebrities homes. Only the one's I think would enjoy it, and I wouldn't poke or pry, just pop a copy somewhere conspicuous, so they would find it in their bookcase, or next to their bed, think they'd bought, read it, enjoy it, and then talk about it on T.V or radio. That sort of endorsement would be better than anything I can achieve by self promotion.Do you have any words of advice to people suffering from anxiety and depression?
Talk, do not give the cloud the isolation it needs to thrive. Often face to face talking is too much, to overwhelmingly people, but find online groups to chat in, not just support groups for your mental health, but groups about your interests. And that's the other thing, find out what you've been suffocating within yourself, and give it air, reconnect to your younger self and do some of the things you used to enjoy before life got in the way. Meditation and self hypnotism can be good ways to find out what's missing. Most of all, be gentle with yourself. Some days getting out of bed will be as much as you can achieve, and that's ok, just do that.What are your thoughts on marketing through social media? How has your experience with AllAuthor been thus far and would you recommend it to your friends?
I haven't achieved many sales through advertising on Social Media yet, so I don't know how effective it is. Of all the different avenues I've tried All Author is my favourite, as I can tell they've actually had a look at my work, my biography, and my reviews. I'm sure as they become more and more established, people will start to seek them out for recommendations and Google will use their input for it's analytics, that's when being a member who has been there since the beginning will pay off. Mady certainly has the vision, creativity, and perseverance to take the company far. Thank you.
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