Frankly, my dears, I can find inspiration anywhere. In fact, sometimes the source is so deeply buried in my subconscious that it’s hard for me to consciously figure out where it came from. But I do know exactly where and when my Texas vampire universe was born.
Six years ago, my dear friend Brynda and I were chatting about one of our favorite subjects – vampires. We happily reminisced about our favorite heroes, heroines, settings, and plots. Then we started talking about we’d like to see vampires do.
“What I don’t understand,” said Brynda, holding a long, tall glass of iced tea in her hand, “is why nobody’s ever written any vampires in Texas.”
Vampires? Texas? In a flash, I could picture them. Texas cowboys, riding the range or sauntering into a saloon. Vacqueros, all in black and silver, deadly with knife or whip. The wide-open range that they ruled completely and the small towns where they were the only true law. More masculine than any namby-pamby, urban dude who ever swished a cape.
“Ooh, I’ve got to write those Texas vampires!” I crooned. “You don’t mind, do you?”
“Nope,” said Brynda. “You write them, I’ll read them. I’m a librarian, remember?”
But for Brynda, I had to do them right.
“Your mother’s family was here before the Alamo, right?”
“Uh-huh. What are you thinking of?”
“I want my vampires to be here before the Anglos came, before Stephen Austin – which would make it 1825 or maybe earlier. So we’re talking about a Spanish land grant – and a Spanish grandee.”
“Ooh, how sexy!”
Now all I had to do was write them, which meant (1) somehow find a way for vampires to thrive where there are fewer than two people per square mile, whether man, woman or child, (2) add a medieval Spanish knight, arrogant and high-principled, to lead them and make women go weak at the knees, and (3) toss in one modern heroine, who’s his nightmare and his salvation.
Almost immediately I saw in my head who the trio at the center were: Don Rafael, the knight with the size and strength of a Highlander but the warm coloring of an Arab warrior. Grania, tall and clear-headed, who he adored beyond reason, even when it endangered him. Beau, whom once Rafael had done his best to guard and guide but was now bent on murdering him. Beau, whose reasons for betrayal Rafael would never, ever understand. A trio equally balanced and equally passionate, their lives entwined across time.
It’s taken me all these years to build their world and write BOND OF BLOOD, the first volume of the Texas vampire trilogy. In it, you’ll meet Don Rafael Perez, a 13th century Spanish knight, and Grania O’Malley, a wildlife veterinarian. He’s arrogant, ruthless, and passionate – and in the fight of his life to keep Texas safe. Grania walks into the middle of this, with a strange combination of innocence, courage, and logic that he finds both irresistible and unexplainable. But in her, his enemies see the first real chink in his armor.
Thanks for inviting me here!
For more about the Texas vampires (including lots of excerpts), please visit http://dianewhiteside.com/