"An ambiguously coded figure, a source of both erotic anxiety and corrupt desire, the literary vampire is one of the most powerful archetypes bequeathed to us from the imagination of the nineteenth century." ~ page 2 introduction to Blood Read: The Vampire as Metaphor in Contemporary Culture
Intellectual Vampire Quote
"If the vampire is an other, he or she was always a figure in whom one could find one's self...the despicable as well as the defiant, the shameful as well as the unashamed, the loathing of oddness as well as pride in it." ~ Richard Dyer
I confess, I love Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Anne Rice when she still wrote vampires, and (I can admit it) The Lost Boys. I was mystified by Dark Shadows but then when my mom watched it, I was young; when the SciFi channel came around and reran it, I couldn’t get into it. My mom and aunts don’t understand my mystification given what I write, but there you have it.
To steer away from the vampire thing so I’d be differed from the mold, I created my Druids series. It’s a funny thing how I started with my Druids: I created a master list of everything I could possibly think of that was paranormal. I love the paranormal and unexplainable and all the little twists you can throw in when you have this type of story.
I had a great time thinking up the list, everything from werewolves and vampires, to gods and goddesses, Viking spirits, you get the point. And I did write a vampire story; it just so happens to be in a Christmas anthology: Merry Sexmas. I know, I know Christmas and vampires? But this seems to work for me. Rather, the story worked well with Christmas: memory loss, past loves, and yes, vampires. I’d like to write a longer sequel to it…someday.
I also wrote a werewolf story, which will be out in October in The Wild Rose Press’ Got Wolf? Anthology. World War II, German wehrewölfes, and eugenics. It was a contest, the only requirement being werewolves. I placed first! I was so excited; I probably looked more than a little silly jumping up and down in front of my computer. Luckily, no one but the monitor saw me.
As for my Druids, I’ll share some of my process. The first was what hasn’t been done? Or not done a lot at least.
I picked Druids out of my list and thought: Should I go back in time to ancient Gaul or Rome? Medieval Ireland? Or maybe a modern take on it? Wicca’s and such? Or hmm, maybe switch it up a little, change things around. In the end, I decided to set it in the Victorian Era. I know, you’re probably thinking, huh? But I love that era! Aside from it being very lengthily in time 1837-1901, and things changing as they do with over 50 years in fashion, politics, beliefs, etc. but the Victorian Era also offered a unique dichotomy in culture.
Most people think Victorians are prim, proper, laced up cameo wearing individuals. But what people also don’t know is that there’s a seedy underbelly to Victorian society. Much of what’s considered Goth today came from the Victorian Era. Steampunk? Originated back then.
Perfect! I thought. That’ll work for me!
Then I had to figure out how to incorporate the paranormal and work it into the Victorian world. So I chose to make it a slightly alternate history. What do I mean by slightly? Everything that happened in history up to 1882 when the series begins, happens. Except I added a new element where society knew of their past with Witch Hunters and Magickers. My world started earlier: The Spanish Inquisition is now The Purification of witches. In 1666, during an outbreak of the black plague and the Great London Fire, there was Purification where my Magickers went into permanent hiding.
I then used that as the history for my universe and went from there as to how it affected my characters in their present day. The Witch Hunters resurgence happened and I ran with it. It’s wonderful how creating your own history allows for conflict with your characters. Ordinary and not so ordinary conflicts can be mixed together into my universe.
Ignoring the view from his windows, Mac watched her reflection as she slowly approached him. Her hair was still disheveled, now hanging loose about her shoulders and back. The dressing gown she wore was summer-light and pale in the mirrored gas light.
“You’re always at the window,” she said in a low voice. “What do you look at?”
“The world,” he said, turning.
Cocking an eyebrow at his no doubt less-than-satisfactory answer, she closed the distance between them. Her hips swayed under the fabric, and his fingers itched to feel her. When she touched him, her hands were warm on his bare chest, her hair soft as it glided against his skin.
Pressing her head against him, she wrapped her arms around him to stroke his back. Her fingers traced the exact patterns the whip made. He didn’t know how she remembered such an intricate design, but she touched them every chance she had. The pads of her fingers smoothed over the silver welts of old scars.
“It’s raining,” she whispered, pulling back to look at him.
Mac nodded. The rain was only a faint sound behind him. Parting the fine silk of her dressing gown, he exposed creamy shoulders to his hungry gaze.
Restraint proved nonexistent around Raven. Exercising whatever control he retained, Mac cupped her face to kiss her. Her soft lips opened under his, and her nails scraped down the length of his scarred back.
“Malcolm,” she breathed, and broke the kiss.
A streak of lightning illuminated the room, highlighting the paleness of her skin, the richness of her hair. Swallowing, he shook his head, tried to clear it, but it was no use.
Growling, Mac lifted her against him. Felt her legs wrap around his waist, arms wind around his neck. Her mouth on his, as hungry for him as he was for her.
“What have you done to me?” he demanded, his mouth crushing hers.
I can’t tell you how wonderful a time I had writing this series! I hope you’ll check it out. I’ll be giving away one PDF download of the first book, Dark Desire of the Druids I: Murder and Magick to a randomly drawn commenter.
Thank you, and if you have any further comments, questions, whatever, please feel free to email me: firstname.lastname@example.org