A Review of Daeva: Dawn of Darkness & Bonus Interview with Author Daniel A. Kaine

It’s the first, official post of Coffin Hop 2011!  Don’t forget to click the banner at right to visit MORE Horror-Filled sites between October 24th – 31st … and beyond!

Tonight, it’s Daeva: Dawn of Darkness and Author Daniel A. Kaine in A Diamond In The Dark…..


It is my pleasure to introduce author Daniel A. Kaine and welcome him both to A Diamond In The Dark and Coffin Hop 2011.  I have known Mr. Kaine for nearly two years now, having met him in December 2009 on the Forums of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).  I had just completed my first NaNo (a paranormal horror set in Fairbanks, Alaska, and which is still in edits), and Mr. Kaine, having heard about the insanity that is NaNoWriMo, ventured forth onto the Horror/Supernatural Forums and became a mainstay in a number of the threads.

In the course of that time, he introduced the community to his two main characters—Mikhail Hart and Ashley White.  Mik and Ash were two fully-developed characters, and when Daniel admitted to having written chapters, I was quick to offer to exchange chapters with him.  Amazingly, Daniel and I swapped unedited chapters—something that made Chris Baty at The Office of Letters and Light cringe in terror when I mentioned what we were doing.  “Unedited chapters?” he gasped in a phone call last year. “You’re either brave or completely insane.”  Yeah, well … a little of both.  I’ve been there for the journey with Mik and Ash—from those unedited chapters through the beta-reading process to his finished book that is now available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005XLPH3Q on Good Reads:  http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12353556-dawn-of-darkness and on Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/97919   As a bonus, if you purchase his book now until October 31st on Smashwords, it’s only $0.99 if you use the code: KC75Z.  As an added bonus,if you purchase the book and send an email to thefishingwidow@akmarshall.com confirming the purchase, you will receive 10 bonus entries in my Coffin Hop 2011 Drawing!

Now…..  About this book….

“I can’t really write.”  I’ll never forget Mr. Kaine’s statement of not-even-close-to-fact before we began exchanging chapters.  Unedited chapters.  What should one expect?  Certainly not what I received in my Private Message Inbox on the NaNoWriMo site.  His
story completely blew me away.  Chapter by chapter, it unfolds with such depth and humanity that the result is stunning. I found myself utterly pulled into the dystopian world Mr. Kaine imagines; his descriptions are stark, but fluid, and the Church of the Silver Dawn itself rises up as a centerpiece in that world that never leaves you, even
after the book is closed and sitting on the nightstand or coffee table.

In this post-apocalyptic world, a militaristic theocratic society has arisen—and they
begin actively recruiting humans with special powers.  Ash is a flamboyant, bi-sexual empath who, to all outward appearances, is confident to the point of near cocksureness, but as he is dragged through the events that unfold rapidly before him, the reader begins to discover that all is not what it seems.  Mik is a painfully introverted soul, socially awkward, and chagrined to find himself the roommate of someone as extroverted as Ash. It is not until events conspire against these two young men that they
realize what they really mean to one another.

Vampirism in this world was a plague that swept across the Earth, and while the humans who possess superhuman powers—the Daeva like Mik and Ash—also could be the result of this plague, the Church of the Silver Dawn is not above using these
individuals to promote their flawed doctrine that holds the remnant of mankind tightly in its grip.  It holds out fear as its driving and uniting force, and is far from the benevolent dictatorial entity it  portrays itself to be; and the vampires who scavenge the ruins beyond the barrier city are not the monsters of their mythos. Mik’s journey into the unknown beyond the barrier city of Rachat shatters the pillars upon which his whole
society—his whole world—is precariously perched. The truth he comes to understand has the potential of undermining everything, including his relationship with Ash.

Like all good books, Daeva: Dawn of Darkness is difficult to review.  This reviewer
wants you to read the book with a sense of naïveté and surprise, to take the plot twists and turns as they come—many of them stunningly abrupt, but all of them masterfully plotted.  It is a story that moves quickly, that introduces characters that you’ll care about, that you’ll cheer for, that you’ll revile should that time come. And in the end, you’ll
close the book with a strange sense of completion accompanied by a nagging ache
for something more—like Book 2.

I purchased the Daeva: Dawn of Darkness through SmashWords in ePub format for my Nook (No Nookie Like My Nookie!). I gave it 5 stars on SmashWords. Yes, I am  acquainted with the author, but I have also watched his writing process from the very beginning. His is an impressive voice, and I am confident that Daeva: Dawn of Darkness is only the beginning of what we can expect from this great new voice in Dystopian Paranormal Horror.


Mr. Daniel A. Kaine now joins us at A Diamond In The Dark!  He has graciously consented to answer several interview questions.  I am honored to have him here—even if it is to have him here virtually.

JM: Where are you from and when did you first start writing?

Daniel Kaine: I’m from Northern England… the land of rain and wind. I started writing in 2008 when I discovered fanfiction, but it wasn’t until December 2009 that I stumbled on the NaNoWriMo forums, having just missed that year’s event. After having a quick browse on the forums, and meeting some awesome people, I began writing my first original piece of fiction. And I’ve been writing ever since.

JM: What is it about the paranormal genre that interests you most?

Daniel Kaine: I guess it’s the fact that it’s dangerous and mysterious. I like that everything is exciting, because we get to experience monsters and magic that don’t exist in our own world.

JM: What scares you?

Daniel Kaine: Your writing. Seriously, you need a warning on your books not to read them in the middle of the night – it could be hazardous to a person’s mental health otherwise.  Other than that, bugs. I am absolutely terrified of anything that has more than four legs. You only have to mention them crawling across the floor to make my skin itchy. *scratches his back* Dammit!

JM(smiling ‘cause she’s freaked out a guest author): What do you feel is the one stereotype about horror writers that is absolutely wrong, and what one is dead on right?

Daniel Kaine: I have to admit, I don’t know of many stereotypes about horror writers. I guess there’s this perception that in order to write horror, you need to be some kinda crazy. Honestly, I’m not sure whether to agree or disagree with that one. *grins and hides his scalpel* I have to agree with R.L Stine though, if you’re gonna write horror then you need only one thing… a wicked sense of humour.

JM: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Daniel Kaine: Well, there’s one person who has been there since I started writing my first real book. She read through everything I wrote, gave me advice and feedback, and was always happy to answer questions about skinning animals. You, of course. But, if I had to pick a big author, I’d say Laurell K. Hamilton. It was only after I started reading the Anita Blake series that I got into the whole paranormal genre, and a few times while I’ve been writing I’ve thought to myself, ‘What would Hamilton do?’ I’ve even reread a couple of her books in the last year or so, to try and learn from her writing. Charlaine Harris was another big influence in my writing.

JM: Your book Daeva: Dawn of Darkness is now available through Amazon,  Smashwords, and GoodReads. What was that publication process like and how  has it influenced you?

Daniel Kaine: It’s hard work… no denying that. I’ve got a much greater respect for everything a publishing house does, having had to take charge and take care of everything myself. From getting a cover artist, to copyediting, to formatting, and marketing strategies. But at the end of the day, it’s worth it. When you get that first review and see that someone really enjoyed your book, it’s a feeling like no other. To think that my first book has gotten such a great response in the few days that it’s been for sale, it just makes all those hours that I spent writing and editing totally worth it.

JM: Are you working on any books/projects that you would like to share with us?

Daniel Kaine: Well, I’m working on the sequel, ‘Origin of Darkness’, ecstatic in the knowledge that readers are waiting to find out what happens next in the Daeva world. It’ll be going on hold for November though, as I’m taking part in NaNoWriMo again this year. I’ll be sticking with the paranormal genre, but I’m going for more of a Young Adult feel. The story will be about a group of kids living on the streets, each with a supernatural ability born of the demon blood in their veins. Josh, the new kid in the ‘family’, begins to fall for their leader, Sam. And when Sam witnesses one of his boys being beaten and killed by the humans, he starts to go off the deep-end. It’ll be up to Josh to talk some sense into him before he destroys everything he’s worked to build and protect.

MANY THANKS to Author Daniel A. Kaine!

Be sure to follow Daniel on Twitter:  @shiki_boy

Interested in winning the swag? Here’s your chance!  Comment on ANY of the posts here — pages of In Dark Places, this post, my desperately lonely YouTube Book Trailer, or any of the character development or writing posts, and you’ll be entered to WIN! The good news, since it’s not salmon I’m sending out, even the delectable Terrified Villager Brains can be shipped overseas or to some far flung place like … Canada… which I can dang-near see from my house!

COFFIN HOP 2011!  Don’t forget to KEEP HOPPIN’!

(new review and author interview tomorrow!)


6 Replies to “A Review of Daeva: Dawn of Darkness & Bonus Interview with Author Daniel A. Kaine”

  1. The book trailer isn’t so lonely now 🙂
    I added dawn of darkness to my TBR list.

    Thanks for the chance to win such great swag. I am very curious as to what terrified villager brains are.. may have to get the kids to try it first if I win LOL.

    JenniferSmith.ga (at) gmail (dot) com

  2. Awesome success story thus far, Daniel! We started writing at just about the same time, keep up the great work. Happy Halloween and Coffin Hop to both Daniel and JM!

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