You might say that my inspiration was multi-faceted, when I wrote my February 27th Dorchester Love Spell release, BLOOD MOON. I grew up in a home where both parents had wonderful libraries. My father’s bookshelves were filled with Zane Grey novels and wonderful mysteries. My mother’s shelves were filled with romance. She loved two things when it came to books and movies: romance fiction, which ranged from the confessions magazines to the works of the Bronte sisters, Jane Austen and Daphne du Maurier to name but a few, and classic horror—anything spooky—with werewolves and zombies and vampires heading the list. I had access to both my parents’ libraries at a very young age, and while I loved the Zane Grey westerns, I knew one day I would have to write romantic tales. They captured my heart…but so did the dark, mysterious allure of the vampire.
In those days, “Horror” (which is what werewolf and vampire tales were called back then), and tales of “Romance” were two entirely different genre. It wasn’t until much later, after the Gothic craze, that the Paranormal Romance was born. My mother, who has passed away, particularly loved the vampire flicks, so in the back of my mind there has always been a nagging prod to write a book she would have loved.
So you might say my mother was my inspiration to write BLOOD MOON.
Her favorite was the Bela Lugosi version of Dracula, and we would watch it every time it aired on TV. This was the purist form of vampire fiction brought to life on the screen—one that all who write chilling vampire tales begin with and one vampire purists demand.
So, you might say the Bela Lugosi version of Dracula was my inspiration.
My favorite vampire image was the sensuality that Frank Langella brought to the role. In my opinion, his was the most sensuous adaptation, paving the way for Paranormal Romance as we know it today, closely followed by Bram Stoker’s version. All at once it wasn’t simply “horror” any more. It was hot and sexy and dangerously romantic.
So, you might say that these two versions were my inspiration.
Then, there was Saberhagen’s take on the vampire legend—enough of the old to satisfy the purists, but with a twist. Some vampires could now be abroad in daylight, and some no longer were repelled by sacred objects, mirrors, garlic and the like. These concepts gave we who write such tales much more leeway in crafting out stories. Acceptance was good. Suspension of disbelief was eased a bit because these changes humanized the vampire a little for us, and we turned a major page in the process of crafting them.
So, you might say Saberhagen was my inspiration.
It wasn’t so much what he wrote, but the courage and the talent it took to take the most thrilling legend of all time and put his own stamp on it to make it his triumph and our legacy.
THAT was my inspiration—and a little bit of all the above. I wanted to write the book that would have delighted my mother. I wanted the pure essence of the original Dracula, but I wanted a different image than the billowing caped Lugosi adaptation. I wanted a different plot. I also wanted something so fresh and new it would delight both the vampire purists and the new kids on the block, as well. So I put all the ingredients in the pot, stirred it, and BLOOD MOON was born—a vampire tale with a fresh new twist.
If you’re looking for a cape-swirling vampire of Lugosi’s stamp, you won’t find him here. As gruesome as my villain Sebastian Valentin is, he is a slave to fashion, dressing in the clothes of the day, though they fit him poorly. Once a man of the cloth himself, limited to clerical attire before he was corrupted, he now delights in the elegancy of Regency costumes, when he isn’t taking other forms.
My hero and heroine, Jon and Cassandra, are everyday people, a young couple about to be married and begin their life together. Jon, the second son of an earl, has taken Holy Orders, and plans to settle with his bride on the living provided him in his home parish in Cumberland, when he and Cassandra are bitten by the four-hundred-year-old vampire.
Having no idea what is happening to them or what to expect sets them on a desperate journey to find help in the Vampire’s homeland, a remote village in the Romanian Carpathians. There they meet the enigmatic centuries old Gypsy vampire/vampire hunter, Milosh. Handsome still after four hundred years, Milosh tries to save them from Sebastian, and
from each other, when the madness of the blood and the passions of the heart collide, and the secret ritual of the BLOOD MOON that could free them, or kill them all, becomes their last hope.
But it doesn’t end there. My inspiration for BLOOD MOON spawned two others. THE BROTHERHOOD, the second in the BLOOD MOON series, will be released in September, followed by THE RAVENING in March of 2008. More are planned.
A little tip…keep your eye on Milosh, he appears in all three books as a central character. His romance is the subject of book
three, THE RAVENING, where you will see a hero like no other. All three books are dark, sensual and riveting, like nothing you’ve seen before. I hope you will enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them.