This Is Vanessa Barneveld!

v1I’m delighted to host for the very first time in the lair, my very dear friend Vanessa Barneveld, a triple Golden Heart finalist. Vanessa’s debut young adult romance THIS IS YOUR AFTERLIFE comes out from Bloomsbury Spark today!

Vanessa and I met some years ago, working as captioners on television programs for the Deaf. We bonded over a mutual love for romance and a shared dream to be published romance writers. I’m so happy for Vanessa that her dream has come true in such style!

Here’s the blurb for THIS IS YOUR AFTERLIFE:

When the one boy you crushed on in life can’t seem to stay away in death, it’s hard to be a normal teen when you’re a teen paranormal.

Sixteen-year-old Keira Nolan has finally got what she wanted—the captain of the football team in her bedroom. Problem is he’s not in the flesh. He’s a ghost and she’s the only one who can see him.

v2Keira’s determined to do anything to find Jimmy’s killer. Even it if means teaming up with his prickly-yet-dangerously-attractive brother, Dan, also Keira’s ex-best-friend. Keira finds that her childish crush is fading, but her feelings for Dan are just starting to heat up, and as the story of Jimmy’s murder unfolds, anyone could be a suspect.

You can find out more about Vanessa and her books on her website:

By the way, I love the ‘ghostly’ pics Vanessa sent to accompany this article. The cemetery ones are from Camperdown in Sydney – and of course every paranormal writer needs cats, especially black ones!

Check out the great trailer Vanessa made for her book. That Dan’s a bit of all right, isn’t he?

Vanessa, I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to host you at the Romance Bandits to celebrate the release of your first book THIS IS YOUR AFTERLIFE. Can you tell us something about this story?

v3Anna, I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to be in the Lair as a debut author! You and the Banditas have been so good to me over the years. (Waving to the Golden Rooster and the trusty cabana boys!) THIS IS YOUR AFTERLIFE was a finalist in this year’s Golden Heart YA category. It’s a paranormal that brings new meaning to “teen spirit.”

Sounds great! What were the inspirations behind this story?

The idea of ghosts is endlessly fascinating to me. As a child, I fed my imagination with a UK series of magazines called THE UNEXPLAINED, which was chock-full of paranormal phenomena. So it’s no surprise that this led me to writing ghost stories!

V 5As with most of my books, it was the title that came first. I don’t remember the exact moment it hit me, but from then on, characters started “talking” to me. Jimmy, the dead guy, had looks, talent and his own fan club. The world was at his feet, but it was ripped from under him in one terrible moment. My heroine, Keira, is clairvoyant. That means she sees dead people. Her character is loosely based on a member of my husband’s family who was psychic and helped police with investigations many years ago. Keira was a card-carrying member of Jimmy’s fan club. “What bugs me is that I’ve been invisible to Jimmy for years. Now that he’s dead, he finally sees me. There is no justice in the world,” she says.

V 6Oh, no wonder Keira’s a bit annoyed! What’s coming up next?

I’m partying for the next week – literally! I’ve got a stellar line-up of YA authors sharing spooky stories on my blog. Once the paranormal party’s over, it’s back to work on my follow-up book, AFTERLIFE GOES ON. I may or may not be traveling to Amsterdam to research that story. I’m partway through a UFO abduction book. It’s a ton of fun! I may or may not be traveling to another galaxy to research that story. Next year, I hope to continue my master’s degree in writing.

We love, love, love call stories in the lair. Can you please tell us yours?

With pleasure! I’ve been writing with the aim of publication since 1997 and have written eight or nine paranormal and contemporary YA manuscripts since then. In 2007, after facing more than 100 agent rejections on three different books, I signed with Writers House. (Third time lucky!) Then we proceeded to rack up so many rejections I was sure I’d make the GUINNESS BOOK OF RECORDS. The rejections were rarely about the writing—that was comforting!

V 7THIS IS YOUR AFTERLIFE was the fourth of my books to be shopped. Rejections galore, which I had come to expect. My agent submitted to Bloomsbury’s New York office in July 2013. A few days later, my sister and I went to London and we kept drifting toward the Bloomsbury area. Just by accident, but I thought it was a nice omen.

In March this year, my agent emailed me when I was at the day job and said she wanted to call me. I immediately thought, “Maybe she wants to drop me!” I quickly emailed a very wise and trusted friend who told me I was a total loon. (Not in so many words.)

As it turns out, my agent had the best news of all — an offer from Bloomsbury Spark! My workmates managed to find a bottle of champagne at 10 o’clock in the morning and we had a little celebration. The book received a Golden Heart nomination a few weeks after that.

v 8Great story! Young adult books are huge in the market right now, with all ages. What do you think is the appeal of the genre for the general reader?

I can speak for myself in that teen fiction allows me to see the world through a younger person’s filter. I like seeing how teen characters react against the problems they face and choices they have to make. It brings back great (and not-so-great!) memories of firsts – first kisses, first dates, first time you felt like you were growing into your identity.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Simplest advice? Read! Study the masters of your genre. I recommend reading out of your genre for a fresh perspective, too. If there’s one thing I know about writing it’s that I don’t know enough about writing! So whatever level you’re at, keep learning through workshops or craft books and blogs. Join an organisation for writers (e.g. RWA) where you can find a critique group, learn from others, and importantly, share what you’ve learned. And one last thing—just write. It doesn’t have to be Pulitzer Prize-winning prose, not in the first draft, anyway! Good luck! 🙂

Great advice, Vanessa. Do you have a question for the Bandits and Bandita Buddies to get conversation going?

If you could have a paranormal power, what would it be and why?

BanditBootyGet commenting, people! Vanessa has very generously offered a download of THIS IS YOUR AFTERLIFE along with a $20 Amazon giftcard for someone who leaves us a message today. Good luck!

Posted in , , , , , , , , ,



  • Jane says:

    Happy Release Day to Vanessa. I’ll choose telekinesis. Being able to manipulate objects with my mind would be a cool trick to impressive my friends and I’m sure it would prove to be beneficial to my everyday life.

    • Thank you, Jane!

      I’d be super-impressed by your telekinesis superpower. And I agree with you on how handy it’d be for everyday life. Right now, I really need a glass of water, but I don’t want to disturb the cat on my lap. If I could get the water to come to me? Happiness all round.

    • Jane, does that mean you might be able to shift the rooster? Now that would be a trick!

      Love the idea of having telekinesis! Especially if my powers included turning on the kettle and making myself a cup of tea without me having to shift from my couch!

  • Shannon says:

    One of my favorite author’s has a paranormal gift called seeing, that is being able to look at a person and comprehend a persons roots, their growth, and the impacts of life and life’s choices. Side benefit: it bestows immortality–a 2000 year old mage looks 29, yes 29.

  • Annie West says:

    Yay, yay, yay! So pleased to be celebrating your debut book, Vanessa! I can’t wait to read it. After reading and loving some of your earlier manuscripts I know this will be a treat. I’ve been so looking forward to it!

    I knew you’d been through the mill with rejections but 100? Wow! You’re a force to be reckoned with!

    Speaking of forces, I’m tossing up between flying and invisibility for my special gift. Either would be amazing.

    • So great to be celebrating with you, Annie! We’ve come a long way together, haven’t we? You’ve helped me along the road to publication more than you know! Thank you!

      I’d be happy with either of your paranormal choices, too! Imagine how much you’d save on airfares.

    • Annie, isn’t this so exciting? I think Vanessa is such a talent!

  • Amy Conley says:

    Wow, this books sounds GREAT! I’ve always been into paranormals probably since I was in third grade, circa 1968, and read about the Salem witch trials. I remember asking my mother if she believed in ghosts, and she told me just because I couldn’t see something didn’t mean it wasn’t real.
    So if I could have a paranormal power (or talent depending on your mindset) would be to communicate with those who have passed to the other side.

    • Amy, I’d say that’s a talent, for sure, and one that few people possess.

      I love what your mother said. My mum would say much the same thing — she’s the one who instilled in me this fascination with the unseen.

      Thank you for helping me celebrate today. So pleased to hear you think the book sounds great!

    • Amy, how interesting about your long-term interest in the paranormal!

  • flchen1 says:

    Wow, happy congratulations, Vanessa! Good for you (and good for us readers!) for persevering in face of those naysayers!

    Hmm… a paranormal power? Teleportation seems like it’d be useful, especially if I could also bring others with me–maybe the carpool thing wouldn’t take nearly as long! Or being able to play with time–that could be useful too!

    Is This Is Your Afterlife appropriate for younger teens? And how is it related to the following book?

    Thanks for introducing us to your writing–looking forward to reading more!

    • Flchen1, thanks very much for the kind words!

      Lol to saving time in the carpool! You’d also be conserving fuel, wear and tear on your car… Yep, I’m totally on board with teleporting.

      This Is Your Afterlife is aimed at teens aged 13 and up. There are a two or three profanities (in keeping with context and character). A teen reviewer described it today as a light, fun read, so I hope this sounds like a book you’d like to share with the teen/s in your life. 🙂

      Thanks for asking about the follow-up book. Planning is in the early stages, but I can tell you it contains most of the characters from This Is Your Afterlife. They’ve got some new challenges to face and it’ll take them to distant lands.

    • Fedora, I’ve been so looking forward to introducing Vanessa and her work to the Banditas and Bandita Buddies!

  • Hi Vanessa and Anna
    Congratulations Vanessa, I am so thrilled for you on your release day for THIS IS YOUR AFTERLIFE. I can’t wait to read it! Having read some of your other stories, I know how wonderful a writer you are, and congratulations to Bloomsbury Spark for recognizing your talent. (And we know who they published after many rejections…) Paranormal power? I think the ability to fly might top the list. Good luck with the launch!

    • Thanks so much for your kind words and years of support, Kandy! Ah, wouldn’t it be wonderful to soar away like a bird? Great choice!

      Three cheers to Bloomsbury — I’m thrilled to be one of their authors. I can only hope for a smidgen of JK Rowling’s success!

    • Kandy, isn’t it great to think of Vanessa and J.K. Rowling having so much in common? Squeeee!

  • Mary Preston says:

    Great to meet you here today Vanessa.

    My power would be to manipulate time. There are just not enough hours in the day.

  • Helen says:

    Hi Vanessa

    Woohoo and huge congrats on the release I do love the sound of this one 🙂

    If I had a magical power I would like to snap my fingers and be anywhere I wanted to be I could travel the world and meet so many people

    Have Fun

  • Minna says:

    I would definitely love to teleport! There are so many places where I could go!

  • Hey, Anna and Vanessa! Lovely interview and I’m so thrilled for you that your release day is finally HERE, Vanessa! My copy of THIS IS YOUR AFTERLIFE is safely tucked into my PC Kindle-y thing – can’t wait to sit down and meet Kiera and Jimmy and Dan.

    As for a supernatural power… I think I’d like to be psychic… but it’s a gift that comes with responsibilities and challenges I would think!

    • Oh, Sharon, I really appreciate you buying This Is Your Afterlife! You’re a terrific friend. Have fun getting to my know my friends, Keira, Jimmy and Dan. 🙂

      I agree that being psychic would be tricky! Maybe I could deal with being ‘gifted’ for one day. Long enough to get the winning Powerball numbers in advance. 😉

      Thanks so much for swinging by!

    • Sharon, I”ve got THIS IS YOUR AFTERLIFE tucked up on my computer too. Can’t wait to read it.

  • Anita H. says:

    Hi Vanessa and Anna!

    Congrats on the release of your book! If I had a paranormal power, I would say I’d love to have the power of teleportation. It would make things so much easier to just flash from one place to the next and avoid traffic lol Driving around takes way too much time, time I don’t have!!

    • Thank you, Anita! I’m glad you could stop by.

      Traffic can be a nightmare, so I’m totally with you on teleportation! We need to find someone who can make this happen in our lifetime.

    • Anita, love that everybody is picking teleportation (or nearly everybody!). Couldn’t we have some parties if we could all just get together at a snap of our fingers?

  • Erika Kelly says:

    I love your call story, Vanessa. I, too, have enough rejections to wallpaper a large home, but I think it makes it so much sweeter to get the call when you’ve fought so hard for it.

    Is being able to eat whatever I want without consequence a superpower? No? Okay, then I’ll go with teleporting. The older I get the meaner I am about traffic, long waits, and icky public transportation bathrooms!

    • Hi, Erika! So fabulous to see you here. And what’s even more fabulous is that you’ve prevailed over those rejections and landed a book deal, too. I’m so looking forward to reading your work!

      Wow, I want that power to eat whatever I want without consequence. How great would that be? I say this having just overindulged at my celebratory dinner…and lunch before that…

      Teleporting is an excellent choice. Time-saving, environmentally friendly, convenient — what’s not to love? 🙂

    • Erika, I think I prefer your eating super power. I now declare it a valid super power! And I want it!

  • sandyg265 says:

    I’d choose invisibility because sometimes it’s nice to be able to just get away from everyone.

  • Mozette says:

    This might sound stranger than fiction; but I’ve had a paranormal power.

    When my Grandmother passed away, I dreamed about her on the evening of her death (she passed away that morning). She told me some big secrets about herself and the family I didn’t know; and asked me 3 things to accomplish. I have since done these things.

    However, I thought that was it; that was all that was going to occur in my nocturnal hours of slumber. Boy! Was I wrong! I since dreamt of walking my late-Nanna to meet up with her late husband at an art class. I had to walk her through a large parking lot to a park… my Pop was a real looker aged 25; she was younger too.
    Then, one of my friends took almost a year to find me after she passed away. I went to sleep one night only to dream about Paris (no, I’ve never been there)… and she came running up to me, telling me that all the phone calls I had which were hang-ups when she was in hospital was her Dad trying to contact me (this was true) but her Mum kept following him. She had been on her last breathes asking for me… but her Mum wouldn’t get me… when I asked her Mum about it, she denied it, but her Dad said it was true. I’m just glad my friend’s at piece now… and in life she was in a wheelchair.

    Then, there’s the dreams where Death has told me when people are going to die… Jeez… I didn’t want to know this… but he told me.

    And then, there were the dreams of famous people… like Heath Ledger and Patrick Swayze… now those two were very troubled people. But Heath told me exactly what lead to his death; and no, he didn’t do it on purpose.

    Patrick? Well… he was angry at first. But he is definitely coming back here to rock our socks off again. 😀

    But since the Aztec Calendar has finished up, the dreams haven’t been as vivid or as strong. Death doesn’t come talking to me as often; for this I’m pleased as having all this additional information is exhausting; and my shrink thought I was either making it all up or having a mental breakdown… otherwise, I’m getting a few of the dreams once in a while, but not very often.

    • Wow, Mozette, that’s pretty creepy! Actually I don’t think I’d want people telling me when they’re going to die.

      • Mozette says:

        Actually it wasn’t people telling me when they were going to die, it was the Grim Reaper himself – the Horseman himself – telling me when people’s numbers were going to be up…

        He’d tell me about 3 days before…I mean, exactly what was I supposed to do with that information? 🙁

    • Mozette, those powers would freak me out! That’s kind of how my heroine felt when she saw her first ghost, Jimmy. I’m sure if you’re a fan of the TV show ‘Medium’, but Allison the clairvoyant’s visions always came to her in dreams. I think they freaked her out, too.

      Thanks for sharing your story!

      • Mozette says:

        You know to start with, I thought I was losing my mind – honestly I did. But fortunately, I have some friends who are open-minded and they invited me to a meditation afternoon in the city, and a few people could see how I was ‘picked out’ by spirits to come and talk to me in my sleep.

        I have been told by witches and palm-readers that I have an aura like no other, that spirits will just gravitate towards me – and if that’s not creepy enough – the townhouse I currently live in was haunted when I moved in. The former owner wouldn’t leave it, so she freaked out anyone who tried to live here – until she met me.

        And like I said, I don’t get the dreams as vividly as I used to after the Aztec Calendar closed down… I’m kind of happy about that because getting them was very exhausting.

  • Elisa Beatty says:

    WOOT! Vanessa, I’m so thrilled to see this day come for you!! The book sounds fabulous…and I think my copy just got delivered to my Kindle! Really looking forward to reading it!


  • Kat Smith says:

    I would Like to have teleportation too – I would be able to pop over to see my Boys in the UK, Mum and Dad in Spain… I don’t mind flying as there is plenty of reading time! but I hate the cost so it would be a very handy trick LOL
    congrats on the book Vanessa and see you in May at our book signing 😀

    • Kat, I’m not a great traveler – I’m great when I get there but jet lag hits me like a ton of bricks, even for relatively short flights. I think teleportation (as long as there was no jet lag) would be a wonderful super power to have!

    • Thanks very much, Kat! Teleportation is such a popular idea, and for good reason! So handy. My family is also spread out around the world, so I totally agree with your choice.

      See you in May!

  • Elizabeth Langston says:

    Hi Vanessa,

    Congratulations! We’re so happy for you. Can’t wait to get my hands on your book.

    If I could have a power, I would want to be able to tell if someone were lying or not. I wouldn’t want to read minds (ewww, creepy) but I would like to know if I could trust the words they were speaking.

    • Ooh, Elizabeth, that would be a super super power. As you say, reading people’s thoughts sounds like too much trouble but knowing if they’re speaking the truth? Now, that would be useful!

    • Thanks so much, Elizabeth!

      I know what you mean about reading minds — that would be way too confronting for me! But, yes, definitely, the ability to tell whether or not someone’s lying would be a great power.

  • Pintip says:

    My dear, dear friend,

    I am so proud of you and so very thrilled that the rest of the world can now read your beautiful writing. Lots of chocolate and champagne and sushi are in order.

    If I could have any paranormal power, it would be the ability to stop time. No question. There just enough hours in the day!

    And fabulous interview, Anna!

    • Pintip, isn’t it fantastic that the world will get to read Vanessa’s stories and not just a lucky few like you and me? I squeed so hard when she told me she sold, I think you probably heard me in the States! Glad you like the interview – I had a wonderful subject! 🙂

      • Anna, I was in a soundproof recording booth when I phoned you with the news, but I think people could still hear me screaming!

        Can I just say thanks again to you and the Banditas for having me here today? It’s been such a fun day, and I love reading everyone’s paranormal power wishes!

    • Ohhhh, thank you, Pintip! I just wish you and Anna** could teleport here right now and share in my bounty of chocolate and champagne! I’m so grateful for your help during every stage during the making of This Is Your Afterlife!

      The ability to stop time — yes! I need that!

      **Anna, btw, in case you were wondering about where your cabana boys are, I had them teleport to my place.

  • Anna Sugden says:

    Just popping in to say a huge WOOOHOOO Vanessa! We’re all so thrilled for you here in the Lair!

    Definitely would like the ability to wiggle my nose, like Samantha in Bewitched, and make anything I wanted happen!

  • tinabeckett says:

    Congratulations, Vanessa! The book sounds great!

    If I had a supernatural power, I’d love to teleport to a warm sandy beach whenever the stress gets to be too much!

  • Happy release day, Vanessa! This is Your Afterlife sounds fabulous, and the cover really sets the tone.

    If I had a superpower, I’d love to be able to fly.

  • Vanessa – Major, major squee moment – I’m so thrilled that you’re on the blog as a DEBUT author. I’m very, very proud of you.

    Your book sounds phenomenal. I love paranormal and am drifting back that way myself. It’s just so incredibly creative. Wishing you incredible success and great sales.

    Oh – and as to a superpower. I’d love to have several, please 🙂 I’d like to fly (but without getting cold, wet, or pecked to death by geese), would like to be able to be invisible on command – wouldn’t that be cool. Would like to be able to time-slip into the past. Cool way to escape. But I’m just normal ordinary me chained to this laptop working away 🙂

    • Donna, I laughed at the fact that you’re so super, one super power just wouldn’t cut the mustard! How true! And isn’t it fantastic to be hosting Vanessa to celebrate the launch of her debut published book? So excited!

    • Oh, Donna, you are far from ordinary! Thanks so much for the good wishes and for having me on the blog today!

      As I said to Anna earlier, you might’ve noticed the cabana boys are missing. They teleported to my place. Don’t worry — they’re in great hands. They’ll return to the Lair as soon as we figure out how to teleport them back…

      I love your superpower choices. There’s no way I could pick just one either. I’d love to fly as well, but you make a good point about the geese. Wonder Woman got it right with her invisible jet.

      Good luck with your foray back into the paranormal! It’s a great place to be!

  • Sharon Wray says:

    Congratulations, Vanessa! I love to see my GH sisters doing so well! I also loved your call story. As someone who’s’ been writing for years with tons of rejections, stories like yours keep me going. 🙂

    As for a favorite superpower, my son and I have this discussion all the time (seriously!) I would choose laser eyes so I could just blast people away. But my son thinks there might be moral issues with that one, so he wants the ability to stop and manipulate time. That one sounds like fun too. But he doesn’t drive yet. He has no idea what a tired mommy driver could do with laser eyes. 🙂

    • Sharon, that’s a fairly scary super power to choose. I’m going to be EXTRA nice to you if ever we meet in person!!!! 🙂

    • Sharon, I laughed so hard at your laser eyes wish! You’re so nice, though, so I’m sure you wouldn’t really laser people…would you? 🙂 I’d like to zap weeds. Or rejection letters! Yes, laser those rejection letters. Although, someone once told me to wear those rejections like a badge of honour because when you finally get the Call, it’s a million times sweeter. She was right! Don’t let the Rs haunt you.

      So great to see you here — thanks for stopping by!

  • bn100 says:

    to fly, so I can get somewhere faster

  • June Love says:

    Congratulations, Vanessa, on your release! I love the premise of This is Your Afterlife. I wish many sales for you.

    I’m not sure what power I would want. Does it have to be just one? 🙂 I’d like to be able to twitch my nose like Samantha on Bewitched. Just think of the time I’d save cleaning house and doing laundry with the twitch of a nose.

  • Adria says:

    I would choose telekinesis or perhaps control over the elements. I think it would be great to be able to move things with my mind or control the elements.

    • Adria, I actually think I’d be even lazier than I am if I had telekinesis as my superpower! I’d never get up off the couch!

    • Adria, telekinesis is a great pick, as is the ability to control the elements. I’d have to be very with telekinesis as I’m sure I’d overuse it on trivial things. There’s a lot of chocolate in my kitchen and I’d love to have it float over without me lifting a finger!

      Thank you for coming by!

  • Phyllis Lamken says:

    I love ghost stories. One of my favorite ghost is the teen boy killed in a car accident in Turtle Moon by Alice Hoffman. Congratulations on your new book. I look forward to reading it. I love YA and so does my 15 year old.

  • Sheryl says:

    This book sounds so good. I would chose time travel

    • Sheryl, cool choice. I don’t want to live in the Regency (no rights for women and the medical/dental thing would kill me literally), but I”d love to visit for a week or so!

    • Thanks so much for saying so, Sheryl!

      Time travel — what a cool choice! I do like my 21st-century creature comforts, but I would love to take short time-travel breaks. Both forwards and backwards!


    A supernatural power – I would like to be able to read people’s minds. Especially my husband’s, as he takes “man of few words” to an extreme! (I usually don’t mind, because from our first meeting, we were kind of in accord on stuff.)

  • SecretNinja says:

    Ohh superpowers, I’d love some. It’s hard to pick just one…I don’t know what it’s called but maybe some all-inclusive power that lets me do multiple things. Like change clothes with a wave of my hand, teleport from one place to another and be invisible if I want to be? 🙂

    Congrats on your release, Vanessa!! Sounds like a great read!


    • Ada, had to laugh! You and Donna have something in common – a desire for super superpowers that do everything! Hey, why stop at one?

      • SecretNinja says:

        Anna, I can’t help but be a bit selfish. It’s just too hard to choose because there are so many upsides to each ones! And like Vanessa said, anything that helps make the mundane tasks easier, right? That and sometimes I can be super lazy hehe

    • Secret Ninja Ada, thanks for your kind words! Like you, I wouldn’t be able to choose just one — I’d want them all! Bwahaha! I’d be happy with any superpower that would get me through life’s more mundane tasks.

  • Becke says:

    What a compelling story premise! Congratulations on your debut. I love YA and only discovered them a few years ago. I think I like the action-adventure within them. They just feel “fun.”

    Paranormal powers? Ewwww. Since I sometimes “know” things, I don’t think I’d want the power. It’s frightening to get one of those connections. Thank goodness, mine is not a constant so I try to stay in denial.

    • Becke, my mum had that sort of paranormal power. We used to call it her ‘witchy’ feeling. It was erratic though and never told us things like the winning Lotto numbers!

    • Hi, Becke! Thanks so much for the congrats. I’m so glad to hear you’ve fallen in love with YA. There really is a LOT to love about this genre.

      I’m kind of envious of your ability to know things, but I totally understand how this can freak a person out. Sometimes you just don’t *want* to know, right?

  • Vivi Andrews says:

    Congrats on the release, Vanessa! The book looks SO GOOD and the trailer is fantastic! I can’t wait to start reading. 🙂

    If I could have any paranormal power? Hmm… usually I say the ability to fly, but today I’m thinking maybe to heal – both myself and others. That would be beyond kickass.

    HAPPY RELEASE! I hope this is only the tip of the iceberg of awesome things coming for you!

    • Vivi, it’s such an exciting time for Vanessa, isn’t it? I must say I’d like to fly – I think it would be the most wonderful feeling!

    • So fab to see you here, Vivi! Thanks for the release day wishes. I’m glad you like the trailer. I LOL’d when Anna said my Dan was a bit of an alright.

      Wow, the power to heal yourself and others — I think you’ve just nominated my favourite superpower! LOVE that!

  • Tamara Hogan says:

    Happy release day, Vanessa!

    I’d love the ability to be invisible at will. I’d walk down dark streets at 3:00 a.m. without concern for my physical safety, eavesdrop on the President, and go to any sold-out concert I wanted to without needing a ticket. 😉

    Those cemetery pictures are GORGEOUS.

    • Tamara, I just love the pictures Vanessa gave me to illustrate this blog. That one of her cat is really quite haunting! In all senses of the word.

    • Tamara, let’s say you do acquire the power of invisibility…you’ll cloak me somehow and take me to a Duran Duran concert, won’t you? 🙂

      I’m glad you like the cemetery photos! It’s a really creepy place. Close, but not too close, to where I live.

      Thanks so much for visiting me here!

  • Nan Dixon says:

    Vanessa – I am so happy for you!!
    It’s funny we talked about paranormal powers at our last chapter meeting. I chose to be the woman who could identify pedophiles. There was someone else in the room who would destroy them for me.

    Happy Book Birthday! Enjoy the ride. I have to go BUY now!

  • Calloo callay!! It’s the gorgeous and talented Miss V! So delighted to welcome you and your debut to the lair, Vanessa. I have fond memories celebrating your sale in style. You’ve put in so much hard work to get where you are. What a shining example of hard work and determination. Finally the market was right! The very best of luck with THIS IS YOUR AFTERLIFE.

    As for a paranormal power, I’d love to be able to teleport myself anywhere, instantly. As you know, living in Australia, you’re so far from everywhere. I’d love to be able to zip over to England for a quick research trip.

    • Christina, can I teleport with you? Bats eyelashes in becoming way. Oh, right, I forgot, my superpower is being invisible. You can’t see me. Sheesh!

    • It’s the gorgeous, talented, and woman of extremely good taste, Christina Brooke! Thanks so much for your good wishes. Can’t tell you how excited I am to actually be in the Lair with you on release day!

      I am completely sold on the ability to teleport wherever and whenever! It takes 24-26 hours to get from Australia to England. I’d rather spend that time roaming around London, thank you very much!

  • Donna Flint says:

    I’m a brand new fan. I can’t wait to read this. I hope I can win an ecopy. 🙂

  • Amy Medeiros says:

    Congrats on the release of This is Your Afterlife! I would love to have the power to see the future or read minds. Love paranormal everything 😀

    • Amy, great choices in superpowers! Although I think there would be a lot of dross in reading minds. I know a lot of rubbish makes its home in my mind – not sure anybody would be interested in reading it! 🙂

    • Thank you, Amy! The power to see the future would come in so handy when mulling over a big decision, as would reading minds. Great choices!

  • Happy Book Birthday my Dauntless Dreamweaver sister! My copy of THIS IS YOUR AFTERLIFE showed up on my Kindle this morning, and I’m so excited to read it! I think I’d like to be able to know what other people are thinking, but not *all* the time. Just when I choose to know. Fun party!

    • Amy, my beautiful Dauntless Dreamweaver sis!!! I’m so happy to see you here for this celebration. How exciting to know This Is Your Afterlife popped up on your Kindle today. I really appreciate you buying the book!

      I’m with you on the selective mind-reading power! 🙂

    • Thanks for swinging by, Amy! It’s been lovely having so many new faces here today to celebrate Vanessa’s debut release!

  • Late, but I had to stop by to celebrate VANESSA’S DEBUT !!!! I am SO excited about this book !! HUGE CONGRATS and MUCH SUCCESS, my fabulous friend!

    I would love to be able to time travel !! Visiting Regency England would be amazing (so long as I am back in time to take a nice hot shower!)

  • Wow, a huge day in the lair! Thanks so much to everyone who swung by to comment. And thanks to Vanessa for being such a great guest. Vanessa, we wish you all the best with your debut release THIS IS YOUR AFTERLIFE.

    Don’t forget to check back to see who won the $20 Amazon Card and the download of THIS IS YOUR AFTERLIFE. Good luck!

    • Thanks so much for inviting me, Anna! Thank you, Banditas, the Golden Rooster, and the Cabana Boys! Thank you to everyone who took the time to comment! You all really know how to make a girl feel special on her book birthday. 🙂

  • elise hayes says:

    Happy release day, Vanessa! LOVE the title of the book and it sounds fabulous. Can’t wait to read it

  • YES!!!! Congrats, Vanessa, and great interview, you two!!! I can’t wait to read this!!! Off to buy!