Thursday, February 14, 2013

Vampire Bite Blog Hop

Velcome! And no, I don't want to drink your blood lol

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!


  1. Vampires are just great aren't they. I've been in love with them ever since I saw The Lost Boys as a teenager. These days I collect vampire movies, even the really bad ones :).

    While I have to agree, your vampire choices are very tasty, I have to say my favourite vampire is Michael from Underworld (is it cheating to go for the halfbreed? ;)). He's just so incredibly sexy and different.

  2. My first vampire was Barnabas Collins. I have been in love with them since.
    debby236 at gmail dot com

  3. I remember The Lost Boys! Good pic!

    My favourite vamp would have to be Eric from the Sookie Stackhouse series.

  4. Oh Mick St. John... that's when I first loved Alex!

  5. oh im so a classic vampire girl so Dracula is my all time favorite. but i'm in to twlight to so yay vampires.


  6. I covered similar ground on my blog. My first had to be Bela Lugosi and Christopher Lee. But I think I have seen every vampire movie since then.

    Great post!

    The Other Side

  7. I prefer reading vampires than watching them on-screen, though I will do either :P
    My fave at present is Wild Bill, the vampire in Jordan Castillo Price's 'Channeling Morpheus' series.

    corieltauviqueen (at)

  8. I too love Barnabas Collins!

    Popped in from the Vampire Bite blog hop ~

  9. I never could get into the old style vamps but some of the new twists on them are cool. I am all about taking stuff folks know and coming up with new angles to create stories. I adore finding creative new authors with great stories, interesting movies, and other fun lore to enjoy. I am right there with you on some of the newer shows being too teenified but man some of the actors are just gorgeous. Mmmmmm.... droolworthy. Lol

  10. It's so sad about Bela Lugosi. One of the earliest recordings of prescription drug addiction among celebs, I would think. As far as TWILIGHT, I tried reading the first book, but I hated it. The movies, on the other hand, I LOVE. Maybe more because of the romance than anything else. Meyer's vampires are stupid. She makes them sparkle under the sun, not because she was trying to be unique but because she never read a vampire book before Twilight. (At least that's what I think. She admitted she hadn't read a vampire book before Twilight - not even Stoker's.) Your vampire book sounds cool. Don't sit on it. Go indie and self-publish. Self-publishing is not like it used to be. It's no longer considered a last resort. Traditional publishers are suffering.

  11. Barnabas Collins, the original not the Johnny Depp version. Used to rush home from school to watch.

  12. Barnabas Collins all the way. I used to rush home from school to watch reruns of Dark Shadows and thought it was the best show on television. So many great actors passed through that serial at one point. And give me Jonathon Frid as Barnabas; I did not like Johnny Depp in the role at all.

    1. They did reruns? hmmmm, I watched it first run. Missed out on some of it as I got a job after graduation and there was no TV there. Thoughtless of them.

  13. Does Angel count?

    I just love the whole bunch of them, except for the ones who morph to something atrocious as in 30 days of night, or whatever it was called. I did enjoy Blade, but again they became so creepy sick.


    Nice to meet you via the hop!

  14. I still love Count von Count, because I'm a Muppet freak and easily spooked (though there was that Sesame Street where he hypnotized waiter Grover into bringing him nonstop hot dogs for him to count).


  15. Ah, Gary Oldman is such a delicious bad guy... My vampire crush though is James Marsters and Spike. Love his attitude. "I may be love's bitch, but at least I'm man enough to admit it." Sigh.

    authorangelicadawson at

  16. Vampires are a very appropriate obsession in my opinion :) I used to be terrified of them, screamed the house down when our babysitter let us stay up and watch (the beginning) of Dracula (the 1979 version with Frank Langella). Then, at age 15 (this is dating me), I saw The Lost Boys and that was it, life long love affair ever since.

  17. Would have to be Lestat in the Vampire Chronicles series. He is more of an anti hero than anything but is one of the most complex characters I have ever read.


  18. My favorite is Donte in Z A Maxfield's Notturno series. I'm patiently waiting for the third in the series. It's difficult to pick a favorite because most on the vampires being written today are all great. Donte just has a little something special because of how sweet and self sacrificing he is.

  19. I love reading books with vampires and watching movies with them too. I like the modern vampire more than the ones from years ago. I really don't have a favorite though.
    sstrode at scrtc dot com

  20. Eric from True Blood. He's sexy, dangerous, charming, and just all around one hell of a vamp. Plus, I love Alexander Skarsgaard.