Well, maybe later :)
When I saw the opportunity to participate in this blog hop about vampires, how could I refuse? I couldn't! Even though I have another one going on the same day, for Valentine's Day. But double your pleasure, right? So now, on to my second Blog Hop! Stay tuned to find out how to win! And don't forget to check out the other participants of this fun blog hop here!
So, let's talk about vampires, shall we?
I have had a love affair with vampires ever since I read Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and watched the Bela Lugosi classic film version of the book. I thought he was intense and very sexy. When the film first came out, back in the 30’s, so did a lot of women. Bela had the perfect voice and accent to play the Transylvanian count. He came from Hungary, where he was actually a very successful and renowned stage actor. He came to Hollywood with high hopes, but things didn’t quite work out as he hoped, owing in large part to the very thick accent he could never lose. This was compounded by a drug addiction gained after surgery, which haunted the rest of his life, forcing him to take less than stellar roles, as many actors are forced to do to make a living. He died only a couple of days into the shooting of his last film—Plan 9 From Outer Space—and it shows. Low budget to begin with, they replaced him with somebody’s dentist, who was taller than Lugosi, and had him spend most of the film with his cape drawn over his face. The plot was almost non-existent, and ridiculous, and this rates as one of the worst films I’ve ever seen.
But I digress.
I also fell in love with Barnabas Collins, the tragic vampire from the long-ago ABC soap opera Dark Shadows, which was certainly unique in its use of the supernatural in a daytime series. I devoured the books, and drooled over the star, Jonathan Frid. There’s a story told in my family that I scared my little brother (who is seven years younger than I am) with tales of my vampire friends. So badly that he hung a crucifix from his bed for protection. Nice story, but patently untrue, and only told years after the fact. I’d be willing to swear my brother never possessed a crucifix. We never went to church, even.
But I loved vampires. Very much. So it was only natural that my first book should feature one. Originally, his name was Derek DeVille. I chose DeVille because that is the pseudonym that Dracula uses when he goes to London, in the novel. Derek was the name of a friend of mine’s young son, and I liked it. The two names fit. Derek he stayed for a long time. But back when I wrote it, there were no e-books, and getting published was a lot harder than it is today. So Dark Love was put aside for other pursuits. One of those was role playing, in games at such venues as Live Journal, Greatest Journal, and now Insane Journal.
For one of those games, I needed to make a vampire character. I couldn’t think of another name, so I used Derek DeVille, which was familiar to me. I figured what the heck, it’s still my character, and nobody would ever make the connection. Except that a strange thing happened. The role playing Derek took on a life and character all his own. One distinctive from the book Derek. And I decided he needed a book of his own.
Fast forward a bit. I’ve begun to be published, and I ask myself: what about Dark Love? I dust if off and think about submitting it. But I realize I can’t do it with a second Derek DeVille, not when I want to use the other one. So I need a new name. The first name I came up with was Gabriel Brandon, and I tried that, but it didn’t feel right. I finally settled on Eric Vargas, and I really liked that. So Eric he became and Eric he is.
Eric is blond, with long hair, usually tied in a tail at the nape of his neck. I love long hair in men—no lie. I find Eric very sexy. So does my heroine, Samantha Kane. Samantha is the name that would have been given to my son Chris, had he been born a girl. And as he was the last, I’ll never have a Samantha, except in this book.
I set the story in St. Louis, because I live there. The museum doesn’t exist, except in my mind. I used actual settings for parts of it, including the old Chain of Rocks Bridge. I gave Samantha my interest in vampires, and the Tarot, and my red hair.
Parts of the book were hard to write. In fact, there’s one chapter that even I have trouble reading. But sometimes you just have to go where the characters take you. Sometimes, too, it’s awesome how things work out when you write. I was stuck on the ending, not sure where to go, when something that was in the news at the time kept demanding my attention, and my brain put things together, and wrote an ending. Only after it was written, did I realize that it had been foreshadowed earlier in the novel. I just love when things work out like that. I won’t tell you what it was, that would be spoiling, and I try not to do that.
To this day, I still love vampires and love to write about them. I have other vampire characters to love and explore. And werewolves too. It’s a lifelong love, I’m sure.
Dark Love was published in January 2011, but late last year I pulled it from the publisher, and am currently seeking a home for it.
I’m still fascinated by vampires, in film and books. I’ve read all the Twilight books (and refuse to watch the films because the casting for Edward was so atrocious, plus the previews I saw looked like a bad made-for-TV movie). I’ve read some of the Vampire Diaries books and was talked into watching the series. I have to say this about that – I really don’t care for the series. There is only one reason why I even bother to watch, and his name is Damon Salvatore, aka Ian Somerhalder. He is sex on legs, and to die for! He is my avatar on FB, and incredibly gorgeous! He is also my dream casting choice to play Judas in the film version of Revelations. If he ever leaves the show… well, the show will die, so it doesn’t matter.
Another show I loved that featured a vampire was Moonlight. Mick St. John was to die for! How criminal that the show only ran for one season - which I happen to own, I might add. Good thing Alex O'Loughlin is in Hawaii now, shooting Hawaii 5-0, although I still miss Mick.
And of course, I'd be remiss at not mentioning the vampire whose actor stole my heart almost twenty years ago! I'm sure you'll recognize this very handsome face!
That’s enough about vampires for now, I know you have lots of other authors to visit, so have a great time! Oh wait, the giveaway, right?
I will give two readers their choice of my books. If you want to play, tell me who is your favorite vampire and why. Don't forget to leave an email address, otherwise I have no way of reaching you! Have fun!