Friday, July 29, 2011

Converting Real Life into Fiction with Vivi Dumas & Giveaway!

We have an extra special guest today, Vivi Dumas, who's here to discuss her paranormal romance, Soul Catcher. When I read Vivi's novel, I was struck by her bravery of taking "real"-life characters and writing about their experiences. She's a brave and talented soul. Here's what she has to say on the matter. 

Hello Everyone! I want to thank Louisa for inviting me here today. For your warm welcome, I would like to offer an e-copy of Soul Catcher to a lucky commenter.

Soul Catcher is my debut novel with Decadent Publishing. Soul Catcher is about a disfigured supermodel who barters a deal with the Devil for her beauty back. The novel is filled with many concepts we deal with in our real lives, like the ideal of religion or at least some of the religious icons many of us grew up with. The Devil is an integral part of this novel. I’ve also included some arch angels and “The Big Guy” aka God. There is an Egyptian goddess and a Voodoo priestess.

When writing fiction, it can be difficult to incorporate people and places that exist (or thought to exist) in the real world. Although the Devil is someone most of us understand, I believe each person has a different perspective of who this person/demon is. Everyone one can have a different interpretation of the individuals we find in the Bible/Koran/or other religious material.

Many believe the Devil to be a monster, the source of all evil. The Devil in Soul Catcher is far from this hideous monster. In my mind, Lucifer is temptation. He is the voice leading us down a path of destruction using deception and our weakness against us. My version of the Devil comes to us with visions of loveliness, surrounding himself in beauty. Why? Because we fear monsters and we run from what we fear. Lucifer’s goal is to attract his victims to the dark side, entice us to do the wrong thing. That kind of lure only comes with tempting us with the things we most desire.

I also include many places in the setting of the novel that are real. All of my main scenes occur in places, which exist throughout New Orleans. The names may change to protect the innocentJ, but if you look at the descriptions and the directions, those buildings are real. I love the fact that someone can go to St. Charles Avenue and find Etienne’s house or know where the Le Pavillion hotel is located.

I spend time researching locations and houses, which match the pictures in my mind. My realtor hat has helped me with finding places that match. I investigate many of the “real” people in my novel (i.e. Marie Laveau or Isis). I want to portray as much of their true characteristics I can find while still adding my own twists to them.

For all those who write about “real” people and places, please do your research. We should get the facts straight, while still adding our own creativity, straddling the best of both worlds.

Where to find me:

Thanks for having me! Below is a small sampling of Soul Catcher.


This must be what it felt like to be hit by truck. Truck or bullet, it didn’t really matter. They both hurt like a motherfucker. She sat next to Etienne wearing Jacque’s shirt, which covered more than her dress. Her chest pulsed with pain and her head throbbed as the bright lights of Bourbon Street entered the car.
Etienne’s driver parked in front of her house and Etienne ushered them inside, using as much of his long lanky body to shield them as possible. Nat snapped out of her comatose state halfway to the house. Jasmine went numb, not saying or doing much of anything. She aimlessly followed Etienne’s orders.
Marie and Faith rushed into the living room when Angel and the others entered the house. Horror distorted their faces as they stared at the group.

“What the hell happened tonight?” Marie inquired.

“Long story, Grand-mère. We have to get our things and get outta here. I’ll explain later.” Angel ran to the kitchen and grabbed two bottles of Vamp Juice. She tossed one to Nat when she returned back in the room.

“What the hell is this?” Nat scrunched her nose as she cracked open the bottle and took a whiff.

“You don’t want to know. Drink it. It’ll make you feel better. I know you used a lot of energy saving me. And yeah, you’ll be explaining how you did it later.”

“Okay ladies. I need you to gather all essential items as quickly as possible. We need to get out of here.” Etienne began packing the items in the dining room, all the potions, ritual items, and spell books. Marie and Faith went to pack Marie’s bags. Angel grabbed Nat and flew up the stairs.
She threw open the closet doors, debating what to take.

“Nat grab the biggest suitcase you can find and make sure to get every designer shoe you can manage to carry. If nothing else, everything over $500 must come with.” Angel snatched her Louis Vuitton off the floor and shoved clothes into it. “I’ll take care of clothes.” Four suitcases later, she and Nat struggled down the stairs. Angel said a sad goodbye to those items she left behind.

Etienne shook his head in frustration. “Ladies, I said ‘essential.’”

Angel clutched her bags to her. “I don’t know how you roll, but all this is ‘essential,’ unless you plan to replace five years of collecting designer shoes.”

“Okay, the driver will put everything in the car. Come on, we have to leave.”
Everyone shuffled into the limo. Exhaustion tackled Angel like a linebacker. She rested her head on Marie’s shoulder as Faith patted her leg. “What happened?” Marie questioned again.

“I’m not sure of everything. We were at the club dancing. Then someone started shooting. Jacque and I got hit. I woke up in the back of this limo.” “Who would be shooting at you?”

Angel yawned and stretched her arms behind her head onto the back of the seat. “Jacque and Laurent went back into the club to find out more information. Hopefully, they’ll have something when they meet us at Etienne’s.”

“Let’s hope they are safe and will return soon.” Marie forced a grin.

“The rougarous were there helping, too. I hope they’re fine. I have no more bargaining chips up my sleeve. Jacque better be fine!”

“Now, Nat, please explain what the hell you did to me. I’m not complaining, just what the fuck?” Angel kicked her friend’s feet, drawing a smile from her.

You can purchase Soul Catcher at:
Barnes & Noble
Decadent Publishing
All Romance Ebooks

Review of Soul Catcher

Vivi Dumas is a writer after my own heart. After I read the description of her latest paranormal romance, Soul Catcher, I knew that I would be hooked. And, she did nothing to disappoint.

A former top model, Angel Dias gets into a car accident that leaves her face hideously disfigured. She loses her livelihood, the respect of her family and her self-confidence. After visiting doctor after doctor without any hope, Angel does the one thing left to help herself: She sells her soul to the devil.

A soul for beauty? Angel soon realizes that her exchange wasn’t the smartest thing to do, but is it too late for redemption? Lucifer brings Angel into his dark world for training. Her instructor, Jacque Toussant, is a demon with a prejudice against human women. In fact, after his last love Isabella, who happens to be Lilith's daughter, left him, he’s bitter against all women – supernatural or not. Yet, there’s something about Angel that draws him, and he’s willing to risk just about everything in order to save her.

Add in a pitch-perfect setting of New Orleans, and some Voodoo undercurrents, and Dumas has created a dynamic romance with more than a touch of the erotic. 

-- Louisa Bacio

Thanks so much for visiting today, Vivi. Remember, one lucky commenter will win an electronic copy of Soul Catcher.  


  1. I recently had a discussion with my youngest about the ugly and scary vs. beautiful depiction of the devil. Your explanation is much better than mine : )

    Congrats on the book. Sounds like a good one!

  2. Cathy,

    I also just read Patricia Eimer's upcoming release "Luck of the Devil," which is coming next week from Entangled Publishing ( It's brilliantly funny and takes an interesting look at the God-Devil relationship. I don't want to give a lot away, but in her story, the Devil is given quite the personality and is explained by having to have that equal balance in the world (and afterworld).

    I'll be doing a review on it, but another take on this concept.

    Great discussion points, Vivi!

  3. Thanks for having such an interesting guest, Louisa. Vivi's certainly got me intrigued with her action-packed excerpt.

    If I don't win it, I'm definitely going to buy it!

    -Jilly van Warren

  4. Really enjoyed the excerpt. It has that emotion Vivi has stressed to me regarding my own manuscripts - now I see how it's done:)...will buy (if I haven't done so already - need to check devices:) and read. Good stuff and thanks Louisa for inviting Vivi to blog here.

  5. Thanks everyone! Another interesting perspective of devil/god relationship is Anne Rice's Memnoch the Devil. It's one of my favorite books because of it.

  6. This was great. I enjoyed the excerpt. I am glad I stopped by. Even if I don't win I plan to get the book cause it sounds excellent.


  7. Hi Vivi, Fantastic excerpt!!

    And I love the cover... blame my lateness on my migraine ;) But I had to drop in :) (Better late than never- huh!)

    Thanks for the insight into the research aspects of the story! Much needed for aspiring authors like me!