Day Unto Night by TammyJo Eckhart – Q&A and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. TammyJo Eckhart will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

What inspired you to write this book?

I’ve always loved vampires, ever since I was a child. At the same time, I’m a very picky fan of vampires. While I give it all a try, I don’t love the angst or the whininess of some vampires that have become popular over the decades. An outright monster, though, is also unappealing. I wanted to do something unique, so I looked farther and farther back in time and discovered a potential vampire-like entity that the ancient Sumerians mentioned, though not much information is given. That allowed me freedom to expand and develop a new mythos while meeting some current expectations for what vampires are and can do.

What exciting story are you working on next?

My next book is due at my publisher at the end of this month. It will be the first in a science fiction series that is a mixture of social science fiction and reverse harem, think old fashion feminist science fiction that’s been updated with dark romance edginess. It is a series I’ve been working on for most of my life. I’m thrilled that the world will finally get to see some of it, I hope all of it eventually.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

That’s a good question because it comes down to do I consider from a paid professional angle or a driven to write angle. I’ve always been driven to tell stories. My fifth-grade teacher sent a story I’d written to the University of Iowa Writer’s workshop back in the 1970s. They sent it back saying that it was good but not a short story (that is what turned into the series I mentioned above). I don’t think they knew how old I was because they didn’t speak down to me in any way in their response. I would say that was when I knew others considered me a writer so I should consider myself one, too.

Do you write full-time? If so, what’s your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?

I have a quarter-time job that I’ve only had for four years. Primarily I’m a full-time author who balances that with taking care of her family, her house, and doing social and educational outreach programs. I schedule every morning, Monday through Friday, from 9am to Noon to focus on writing for publication in some way, whether it is editing, social promotion, or writing something new.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I write in my dreams. I will dream of the same scene or sequence of scenes from whatever project I’m working on (or which my muses think I should be working on) over and over again. When I sit down to write, I write fast, usually 1500 to 2500 words in 90 minutes or so. I have a word limit per day that I can type because of an army injury, so typing fast is important for me to be able to do.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I always wanted to be a writer, because my mother wrote stories though she was never traditionally published. I also wanted to be a historian and professor or a psychologist. I would say that I use history, psychology, and sociology in my fiction and non-fiction, so it all works out.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?

I don’t pull my punches in terms of sex or violence. Both are part of human life. However, I also don’t put sex or violence into my work merely to turn on or shock someone. It can be jarring to read some of what I write because I want to make you think, I want to make you uncomfortable at times, but there is always a reason. I hope if you get that uncomfortable feel when you read my work, you pause to go back and reread or sit for a moment with that feeling. Then continue. It will be worth it.

A Sumerian child named Ningai survives the murder of her entire family and cries out to her people’s gods, who answer her prayer in an unexpected way. Now, as the first of the Akhkharu, the living dead, Ningai embarks on a journey across the millennia to rebuild what she lost. The best of her offspring must maintain some shred of goodness to prove worthy to their Child-Mother while fighting the deadly impulses of their kind. Join their journeys across time in a series of interconnected stories from the earliest cities to a brutal future where humans are mere pawns in the hands of near gods. Like all of us, Ningai and the best of her children will stop at nothing to protect her family. Can they succeed before they lose what’s left of their humanity, or will all of humanity become enslaved to the Akhkharu forever?

Enjoy an Excerpt

I remember running.

I remember their screams.

Father’s, as they came to the farm. Father’s, as they pushed him aside. Father’s, as they stabbed him while I watched in horror from the window.

I remember their screams.

Brother’s, telling them to get off our land, then crying out for father, then crying for us all to run, but then was nothing but a gurgle.

I remember their screams.

Mother’s, ordering them out, then silence until she yelled for us to hide, then her cries to the goddesses to protect her until there was only a slapping sound, their laughter, and a gurgle.

I remember their screams.

Sister’s, as she was pulled by her hair from beneath the bed, the sound of cloth being ripped, and her cries of anguish and pleas for mercy, then her command to me: “Run!”

I remember running.

I ran between their bodies as they did things to her that I didn’t even have words for. I ran over the cold stone floor, slipping on the cooling sticky substance that dripped from my mother’s still body. I ran over the door and my brother’s cold mass trying to block it. I ran over the earth and grass, matted from my father’s slaughter.

I remember running.

I ran until I fell into the Great Water, what you call the Euphrates but we only called Puranum, and was carried until I could grasp a branch with my hands, tearing it until my blood also covered the ground as I pulled myself up.

I remember my pain.

My stomach gave up the wonderful dinner Mother and Sister had made for us that night, as all I could see was blood and bodies in my mind. I retched until I was as hollow in my stomach as I was in my heart.

I remember my pain.

My hands were torn; my blood was dripping down my arms to soak my nightshirt. My feet were pitted by rocks and twigs that I had dashed through in my haste to obey. My legs were aching from the run, my lungs were still gasping from the water, and my fingers felt like they were turning to ice in the black night.

I remember my pain.

My mouth opening and letting out a scream that was primal and raw, that tore itself from my very depths. My throat burning until only a squeak came forth and I collapsed on the ground, shivering.

I remember them coming.

About the Author: TammyJo Eckhart, PhD, is the published author of science fiction, fantasy, contemporary, horror, and historical fiction. Her non-fiction works covering subjects ranging from history to alternative sexuality to relationship advice and the challenges of trauma recovery. She holds a PhD in Ancient History with doctoral minors in Gender & Sexuality and Folklore. Her blog, The Chocolate Cult, has been the go-to guide for chocolate lovers since 2009. She loves visiting conventions as well as organizations to read, sell books, or share her experiences and insights on various topics in the form of lectures or workshops.

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  1. Thanks for hosting!

  2. Hello, Everyone!

    I’m the author checking in this morning.

    This is day two of my first organized book blog tour (I can type more about that if someone asks me to, but I won’t go into that for now).

    If you have questions or just want to chat, I’ll be around all day and even the rest of the week (if I can figure out how to sign up for notifications of new comments).

  3. Since it has been quiet for a while, I’m going to ask you all two questions.

    What vampire trope do you dislike the most?

    What vampire trope do you need to consider it a vampire story?

  4. The book sounds good and I love the cover.

  5. Thank you for helping me out with the book blog tour last week!

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