The Author: B.B. Palomo
B.B. Palomo is an American author from the state of Arizona. A writer at heart with a wild imagination, she has always had an affinity for the supernatural. Her debut novel began as a short story written in the fourth grade. While it was nowhere close to the writing prompt assigned, her teacher gave her credit anyway, noting the creativity B.B. demonstrated. This encouragement sparked her dream of becoming an author.
Even though B.B. was born in Arizona, she is not the desert heat’s biggest fan. Give her the subtle crunch of freshly fallen snow under her boots any day. In school, B.B. often used the old trick of hiding a book within her textbook while pretending to follow along with the rest of the class, though she still placed significant value on her studies. After graduating high school, she moved on to study business management in college.
B.B. now works as a licensed financial principal by day and works on her novels and blog by night. She is a wife and a mother—to an amazing daughter and a few fur babies—but when she does manage to find the time to unwind, B.B. enjoys a tall cup of coffee to go with a great book, all while daydreaming about the next story she wants to bring to life.
The Book: The Blood Society (A Department of Vampire Extermination Novel)
When the world bites, you bite back.
Sammy Cordova’s life is complicated. Between grieving the loss of her longtime partner and the grueling task of hunting vampires, she can barely keep her head on straight. The last thing she needs is more chaos in her life, but as the daughter of the esteemed founders of the Department of Vampire Extermination, chaos comes with the territory.
When a company scientist suddenly dies in a freak accident on the same day she discovers a potential cure for a virus that is aggressively creating a world of vampiric beings, Sammy is eager for answers.
Forced to team up with Gray, a new hunter who better serves as an irritant than a partner, she has no choice but to temporarily swallow her grief, train Gray, and make sense of the world around her.
Will her desperate hunt for the truth put them back on track for a much-needed cure, or will it tear her already fragile psyche apart? Find out in this adrenaline-rushing paranormal romance adventure!
The Review: 5/5 stars!
If Buffy and Priest had a baby – who then married the offspring of World War Z and I am Legend, B.B. Palomo’s The Blood Society would be the resulting literary baby.
I’m not even kidding.
This book has it all – a kick-ass MC, vampires, viruses, hunters, scientists searching for a cure, secrets, love, lust, death, and betrayal.
I went in not really knowing what to expect, keeping my expectations in check. I love Vampire books, but lately they have all felt the same. But, I am so thrilled to say that I was pleasantly surprised – and immediately hooked. As in, from the very first paragraph, I was an addict – I just had to finish this book!
The story was well thought out, and although at times predictable, there were more than enough twists and turns to keep me interested. I loved how fleshed out the characters, and the world-building were. I was there, in Palomo’s world with her characters, going through the highs and lows with them. The direction that Palomo took this story was not only fascinating, but believable and relatable (in regards to character interaction, growth etc – not bloodsucking monsters and chaos.)
Not only did I finish the book in one sitting, but the story has stayed with me, keeping my mind ticking over as to what could possibly happen next.
I only hope that Palomo’s sequel isn’t too far away!
What is the most surprising thing you discovered while writing your book?
How supportive the writing community is. My inner voice was very loud while I was writing, constantly telling me I was going to fail, that I would never finish, that everything I wrote was going to be garbage and nothing more. The writing and reading community never let me believe that for long though. I have met some of the most amazing people on social media and I can never thank them enough for their support.
Can you share with us something about the book that isn’t in the blurb?
I’d love to be able to share a little preview of how I see Sammy. I get a lot of questions about her personality and how she can sometimes come off as spoiled and childish. In reality, she is constantly struggling with having to be a young adult in a very vicious world. This, mixed with her traumas, has led her to act out in ways that probably seem silly to most. At her core, Sammy is guarded but full of trust and love—I almost feel guilty putting her through what I do. Almost.
Does one of the main characters hold a special place in your heart? If so, why?
Sammy, the protagonist, definitely does. She is modeled from the emotions of some of the worst times of my life. The things she feels, even though caused by very different situations, are the things I have felt throughout my whole life and I really used her as an outlet for those feelings to help me grow and heal.
What was the inspiration for the story?
The story itself came to fruition so long ago that I struggle to remember the exact thing that inspired it, but I do know Underworld was big and I loved the vampire aspect of it. All my stories, in some form or another, also come from nightmares I’ve had. I’ve always had extremely vivid dreams and at a young age learned to take control of them, rather than letting fear seep in. Now, I look forward to the next dream I can turn into a story!
What is the key theme and/or message in the book?
I hate to use the saying life isn’t fair, but it truly describes the theme of this book so well. The message here is the world stops turning for no one and no matter how hard things get, you have to get up, dust yourself off, and keep going for what you believe in.
What is the significance of the title?
Choosing titles is honestly my least favorite thing to do. You spend so much time trying to find something that encompasses the book, while not giving too much away and also doesn’t already show up a billion times in the market. I was arms deep in soapy water finishing the dishes when The Blood Society snuck into my thoughts. I had been stressing over the title for months and almost gave up and just kept my working title until this moment. I knew right then I would write it into the story—which I do with all my books so far—and it worked out great! I really love it!
What is the future for the characters? Will there be a sequel?
A sequel is definitely underway! I am feverishly working on book two which is set to release in August 2021. Both Sammy and Gray’s troubles are far from over and I am excited to watch their growth as the obstacles they must overcome become bigger and the stakes much higher!
What were the key challenges you faced when writing this book? What was the highlight of writing this book?
This story took me much longer to finish than I like to admit. The hardest part of getting this tale to print has definitely been the timeframe in which it was written. I started this as a child and my ideas and voice changed so much as I became older. I constantly fought with what I loved about how it was originally written and what I knew would make a much stronger story now. Through all of it though, I got to see how much I grew as a storyteller and it was really fun to get feedback from those who read the original and then re-read what is now available to the public.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
Besides my dreams, as I touched on a little bit earlier, a lot of my inspiration comes from art and music. Drawings of creatures and scenery really help me paint my own mental picture of scenes, and music is really the icing on the cake. Something about it resonates very deeply within me. The instruments and lyrics weaving together to create a seamless story, I love it! Don’t think for a second I am musically talented though! I cannot carry a tune in a bucket, with the lid closed!
Who is your favorite author, and why?
I have always looked up to S.E. Hilton. The Outsiders is my favorite book and I admire her ability to write such a moving tale at such a young age.
What are you reading now?
I love reading books by indie authors and am currently reading C.F. Gonzi’s Unraveled.
Favorite book/story you have read as an adult, and what was your favorite book when you were a kid?
White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout. I couldn’t get enough of Roth!
Since I already said the Outsiders, I am going to go with the book that made me want to start writing. The Supernaturalist by Eoin Colfer. I got the book from our school bookfair and after devouring it, decided to toss away my dream of being a storm chaser (I was obsessed with tornados and now they terrify me) and become an author!
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I am really big into DIY projects. It doesn’t matter how messy, or big or in over my head I am, I absolutely love trying to recreate something on my own. Currently, I am remodeling my guest bathroom and to my husband’s surprise (who constantly asks if I need help, especially when he hears the power tools) it’s coming out great! It’s been a great stress reliever for me.
What advice would you give a new writer, someone just starting out?
Do not, I repeat DO NOT compare yourself to others. It is so easy to get discouraged when you see these really talented people debuting their books or even well-established authors pushing out work at a speed you never thought possible, but none of that matters. The only thing that matters is that you put in the time to craft the story of your dreams and that you, whether you decide to finish it or not, love what you have written.
If you put in the work and stay true to yourself, I promise it will pay off!
How do you handle writer’s block?
Before I would take time off of writing, but I now know that just doesn’t work for me. When I am battling writer’s block now, I just type.
Word after word, I barely even care what it says or if it matches the story. I get a good paragraph of garbage out and look back at it. What do I like? What don’t I like? I look at it like it’s something someone else has written and think about how I would have done it differently. For whatever reason, it always seems to work and once I have edited that paragraph, I am normally back on track with where the story is going.
What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?
I personally love writing that can bring every emotion out of me. I believe that scene-setting and showing versus telling can make or break a story. Another thing is the flow. You have to get the pacing right, or your readers are either too bored or not invested because everything has happened before they can care and root for the characters.
What comes first, the plot or characters? How do you develop your plot and characters?
This is a wonderful question! I think it depends. In the Blood Society, Sammy came first and her world developed around her whereas in my current novel, What Lies Beyond, Willow’s world was crafted way before she was a blip on my radar. I believe every story takes on a mind of its own and as authors, we are just along for the ride.
Describe a typical writing day.
Oh boy! Normally, I am up at about five in the morning to log onto work so I can get a few uninterrupted hours in before my two-year-old wakes up. Once that happens it’s a delicate battle to make it to her nap time with both her and my day job happy with me. I normally take lunch right after, trying to juggle my food and getting a few paragraphs out to warm up for the night. I also use this time to check social media and try to stay up to date. Once work is over and my husband is home, I jump onto the laptop and do my best to be engaged in everything that needs my attention, including my WIP. The real writing happens when everyone in the house settles down for the night. I plug my headphones in, click over to my “book writing” playlist, and do my best to make it through at least one-chapter worth of work.
What is the most difficult part about writing for you?
Time. I truly feel like I am constantly choosing between my family and my dream. There just isn’t enough time in the day. On the days I have spent just on writing, I wonder how many little moments I’ve missed with my daughter, and on the days I push writing to the side, I wonder if the industry and my dream will leave me in the dust.
Do you hear from your readers much? What do they say?
Surprisingly I have! I have interacted with some extremely kind and supportive readers who really motivate me to keep writing. There isn’t a better feeling than hearing someone say they loved your book or even ask when the sequel will be coming out! It makes it all worth it in the end, all the tears, sleepless nights, and days of feeling like you’d never be good enough. I don’t know if readers know how much their words mean to authors, but I am so very thankful for all of them!
How do you do research for your books?
I mostly use google and let me tell you, if anyone were to look at my search history, they’d probably think I was a murderer! I also frequently reach out to people who are a lot smarter than me to ask questions. For example, I have a very close friend who is a doctor and if I can’t find the answer I need on my own, I will go and ask her how it works in the real world. I want to make sure that even though my book is fiction, it makes sense and is as accurate as possible.
When you’re writing an emotionally draining scene, how do you get in the mood? How do you deal with emotional impact of a book (on yourself) as you are writing the story?
It was much easier when I was younger honestly. Before I had access to therapy and still struggled with things I couldn’t control around me, I just needed to be awake to be able to jump into the mindset of some of these scenes. Now, which is both a good and a bad thing, the same mindset doesn’t come around as often and I was finding it difficult to write some of the scenes through my current lens. That’s when I turned to music. I have a playlist filled with songs that make me sad, angry, confused, scared, really everything and that really helps me get back to where my characters are.
How do you handle literary criticism?
Better now! Before, I would just refuse to share my work to protect myself from criticism, but now I realize that as long as it’s constructive and true, it’s only going to make me a stronger author. I do have a rule though, I don’t take unconstructive feedback seriously. I chalk it up to someone who is just having a bad day and move on. But constructive feedback is one-hundred percent necessary. I think as authors we can be so guarded and protective of our literary babies that we forget its sometimes very uncomfortable for someone to tell someone else the things they think are wrong with their story.
How much ‘world building’ takes place before you start writing?
I am a panster through and through! My outlining and world-building is very minimal as I get rolling on a story. I do a very rough outline and just run with it! It always bites me in the butt later when my editing process is ten times as long, but it’s the only way I can write.
Where can readers find out more about you and your book, and are you on social media? Can your readers interact with you?
To find out more about me and my work, readers can go to my website, authorbbpalomo.com, or find me on Instagram, Twitter, and even TikTok! (I’ll admit I have not posted on TikTok yet, but I am slowly working up the nerve!)
I encourage my readers to reach out! Nothing brings me more joy than getting to talk to people who have read my work!