Misty Hayes - The Blood Dagger Trilogy Boxset: The Complete Series
Misty Hayes has always had a thing for escaping headfirst into fantastical books. This is what led her to start writing her own adventures down. As someone who has spent a long career in law enforcement, Misty has a love for strong female protagonists. She also directs short films and claims to have been bitten by the traveling bug (not to be mistaken for a radioactive spider). When Misty isn't filming or roaming the planet, or diving into another novel, she's spending time at home in Texas with her myriad of nieces and nephews in tow. The Blood Dagger Series is a multiple award-winning high-octane Young Adult Paranormal trilogy. The Outcasts has received recognition for a Literary Titan award, IndieBRAG Medallion, 2018 solo medalist winner of the New Apple Literary Awards for YA Fantasy, and 2019 2nd place winner of the North Texas Book Festival in YA Fantasy. As our Author of the Day, Misty tells us all about The Blood Dagger Trilogy Boxset.
Please give us a short introduction to what The Blood Dagger Trilogy Boxset is about.
Hello, Naomi, thank you so much for having me. This digital boxset includes all three books in The Blood Dagger series and contains over 1,400 pages of magic, heroism, and strong protagonists—perfect for fans of Mortal Instruments and the CW’s Supernatural. When Larna Collins finds her missing father’s secret journal, she follows his final entries to a small English village — where she stumbles into the middle of an ongoing supernatural war. Thus begins this unputdownable complete series!
What inspired you to write this story?
Every time I keep trying to answer this question, it just sounds more and more tropeish to my own ears. Really what it boiled down to was just me wanting to tell my own version of a vampire tale — but with a supernatural twist.
Did you plan from the start to make this into a trilogy? How do the books tie in with one another?
Yes, this was a planned trilogy from the very beginning. The story is told in first-person; in eighteen-year-old Larna Collins POV. When Larna finds her father’s journal hidden away under the floor, it leads her to a small village in England — inhabited by vampires and full of deadly secrets… What she doesn't realize is that she gets dragged into this story not because of her father, but because of her best friend, and burgeoning crush she left back home in Texas.
Tell us more about Larna Collins. What makes her so special?
Larna is not your typical cookie-cutter teen heroine. She's curvy and short and spunky. And even though she may be a little troubled and bullied in high school, she is also very relatable and funny. Sometimes it takes us longer to find our inner beauty. I think Larna's journey in book one is about finding herself, and learning to be comfortable in her own skin. Like most of us, we're not all gonna have our stuff together at every moment. She's beautifully flawed, and to tell you the truth, she's taught me some life lessons.
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
Oh man, I'd like to tell you writing is a skill of mine, but I think it's more of a learned craft I keep trying to finetune. I don't think I'll ever be skilled at it. I am always learning. I'm pretty skilled at being hard headed. That counts, right?
Why vampires? What drew you to these creatures?
Ohhhh, good question. There's so much you can do with your own spin on these creatures. Old-school Dracula. Creatures of the night, as in Fright Night. Twilight sparkly vamps. Trueblood southern vampires, already known to the world. They are enigmatic and typically good-looking and seductive. What's not to like? I think the allure of writing about them comes from all of the above.
You also direct short films. How has this influenced your writing?
I do! It's been a minute, though. Directing is a whole other beast. Filming is getting to work with — and getting along with — a ton of different people. It's a collaborative project. Writing is more of a lonely road until you need to work with your editors, cover designers, proofreaders, etc... the creativity doesn't change. I'd say taking an amazing script and giving life to a writer's vision is nothing short of miraculous. A book is painting a picture with words, but a film is showing everyone else what that writer imagined in their heads. I hope that makes sense. It's kind of cool to do both.
Which character in this trilogy was the most challenging to create?
I so wanted Corinth Taylor, Larna's best friend and crush, to get together. But Alastair Iszler, the hot, and enigmatic vampire, popped up out of nowhere, unplanned, and took over from there. At the beginning, I fought his character. It was hard to give him a voice. Once I did, though, the story changed completely for the better.
If you could choose one character from your trilogy to spend a day with, who would it be? And where would you take them?
This question is waaay too hard to answer. I couldn't possibly. Probably Vinson, the scary Russian vampire. I'd try to win him over by taking him to do something outdoorsy, like hiking Angel's Landing at Zion National Park in Utah. You don't really have conversations with this vamp, you have experiences.
How much fun do you have coming up with these storylines and characters?
There's a fine line between fun and torture. I had a blast creating all of the characters, especially Gabriel Stanton, the antagonist vampire in the books. You love to hate this guy.
How do you come up with such brilliant ideas for conflict? I mean, the way the plot goes is just never what you expected it to be, you never know what might happen next!
THANK YOU. Ohmygosh, that is the nicest compliment ever. Lots and lots and lots of plotting, nail biting, cursing, and rewriting. I knew how I was going to end the series, the hard part was getting the bits in between right.
Do you have any interesting writing habits? What is an average writing day like for you?
I used to write drunk. Does that count? To be clear, I don't do that anymore, but in the beginning, it was hard for me to tap into, like, any feelings at all. Segue from the drinking thing, I have a day job (I don't drink at! I felt the need to explain that), so learning to make the most of my writing time is and still is the priority for me. I don't take days off often. An average day of writing is on the weekends when I'm off from the day job. For me, it's sitting down at my kitchen table and cranking out as many words as I possibly can. I don't do sprints, or a certain number of words per day. I work for as long as I can before I realize I need to eat or rehydrate myself, or move my stiff and aching joints.
What are you working on right now?
The spin-off to The Blood Dagger trilogy. I am really excited at how this one is shaping up. I just finished the first draft of this first book in the spin-off series. **Excited squueeeee**
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
You can visit my website at: https://www.mistyhayesauthor.com/
I have an active fan group on Discord I'd love for you to join (ask me questions!): https://discord.gg/UYGXNTJ
Here's my Instagram where I take daily photos of all things books, travel, and nature and the occasional hilarious meme: https://www.instagram.com/mistyhayesofficial
You can tweet me on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/MistyGH_
On Bookbub? Me too! Follow me here: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/misty-hayes
Follow along on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/author/mistyhayes
You can also rate and review and read my blog on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/mistyhayes