Love, Greek gods, and rewriting the vampire and werewolf myths
Hi everyone… I’m Felicity Heaton and I’m here today to introduce you all to my latest vampire romance novel, Love Immortal, and the story behind it.
As a writer, I’m always looking for a new challenge and ways to make my story shine and stand out from the rest. I love to look at the myths surrounding things like vampires and werewolves, and make the species my own, bringing in new elements, or twisting something so they’re different to what everyone else has written. Normally I change small things, a tweak here and there, but this time I wiped the slate clean and started right from the beginning.
With my latest vampire romance novel, I’ve taken a new look at the origins of both werewolves and vampires, tying them in with Greek mythology. I was looking up ancient Arcadia one day and came across Lycaon. I read articles about him and realised that he would be perfect as the villain in my next novel. I really enjoyed having the opportunity to research the story behind Lycaon, a king of Arcadia who once tricked Zeus into eating human flesh. In response to this, Zeus cursed him into the form of a wolf. If he abstained from his cannibalistic ways for ten years, he would become human again. To me, this is the perfect start to the werewolf species and it got me thinking. What if Lycaon decided not to do as Zeus said, and instead embraced his wolf side and found a way to control it on his own? How would this transformation into a wolf affect him? The wolf side would give him power, strength beyond human, enhanced senses, and a thirst for revenge so intense that he was a slave to it.
The moon is always tied to werewolves and vampires, so I thought about other aspects of Greek mythology, such as the Titans. The Titans were the old gods, overthrown and replaced by the new ones that most people know—Zeus, Apollo, Artemis, etc. It made perfect sense to me that, in order to achieve his revenge, Lycaon might turn to the old gods and convince the former goddess of the moon, Selene, to assist him in his lust for vengeance. In my story, the Titans are all alive, and I gave Selene a daughter, Illia, who shares some traits with her parents, such as blood drinking. Politics come into play when Zeus discovers that Selene is working in secret with Lycaon to overthrow the gods and reclaim her rightful place as the moon goddess, and as punishment, Illia is sent to battle Lycaon and put an end to him. In homage to all the Greek myths I enjoyed in my youth, her mission is eternal, and if she dies, she will be reborn again in mortal form to continue her duty until she defeats Lycaon and clears her mother’s name.
Illia dies at Lycaon’s hand, but only after giving her blood to the dying commander of her Arcadian army, Julian. He is reborn as an immortal and carries Illia’s traits of super-human abilities and a thirst for blood. Julian is given the duty of finding and re-awakening each of Illia’s incarnations, restoring her immortality and powers by giving his blood to them when they reach their thirty-fifth birthday and die. Love Immortal starts three thousand years after Illia’s death and the battle is still raging, and Lauren is about to be pulled into it.
I have always been fascinated by Greek mythology and gods, so I really enjoyed having the opportunity to work it into one of my stories. It was fun to draw on my knowledge of ancient Greece, and to research it all, refreshing my memory and learning new things. There’s something entrancing about Greek mythology, and most readers are aware of it, even if they don’t realise it. We all know about things like Pegasus, and Zeus, and Olympus. I loved the idea of reincarnation for the heroine too, bringing her into modern times, and exploring how frightening it would be to know when you were going to die, even if you knew that you would come back. Love Immortal is a real rollercoaster ride of action, passion, and intense emotion.
When I was writing Love Immortal, I couldn’t resist twisting and changing the origins of vampires too. Julian and Lauren, the heroine in the long novel, aren’t strictly vampires, but there are vampires in the novel too, and Lauren has a hard time convincing them to help her, even when she is their queen of sorts.
I can’t write an article about what it was like to write Love Immortal without mentioning the supporting cast. The story isn’t just about Greek mythology. It combines people with god-like powers too. There’s a cast of characters able to wield electricity or control things telekinetically, a female demon that lives by sucking the souls out of her victims, and a recovering necromancer that could drop the strongest foe with just a charming smile. The story really involves the secondary characters to bring together an entire ensemble that will have you laughing, holding your breath, and even crying. I don’t normally write stories that involve supporting characters so deeply, but it was great to create a cast of what I like to think of as seven heroes and heroines!
Researching ancient Greece and mythology also sparked more ideas for a new series that I’m finally going to start writing this year. I have been planning it since 2008, so it’s about time that I finally wrote the first book in the series and finished world building and planning. The stories will be just as engrossing and action-packed as Love Immortal, with seven sexy gods to hold your attention, so keep your eyes open for them. In the meantime, you can sink your fangs into Love Immortal.
When you're searching for your purpose, the last thing you expect to discover is that you're the latest reincarnation of a goddess on a three thousand year old mission to defeat the original werewolf, Lycaon, before he can gain revenge on Zeus and Olympus.
Rescued from the claws of werewolves by Julian, a handsome and mysterious immortal, Lauren is pulled into a dark and frightening new world full of monsters out to kill her and an organisation of people with phenomenal abilities who want to protect her—Ghost. But the most frightening thing of all is that soon Lauren will need to drink Julian's blood in order to reawaken and regain her immortal powers.
Or she will die.
Julian isn't about to let that happen. He's never met anyone like Lauren and he's determined not to lose her. She's the perfect copy of Illia but is nothing like her or any of the incarnations. She is light to their darkness, and she breathes life back into him, but can he trust her with his heart and bring himself to believe that the feelings she shows him are real after everything he has been through?
Can Lauren succeed in defeating Lycaon when all of her predecessors have failed? Will she be able to crack the armour around Julian's heart and seize her happily forever after with him?
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Felicity Heaton is a romance author writing as both Felicity Heaton and F E Heaton. She is passionate about penning paranormal tales full of vampires, witches, werewolves, angels and shape-shifters, and has been interested in all things preternatural and fantastical since she was just a child. Her other passion is science-fiction and she likes nothing more than to immerse herself in a whole new universe and the amazing species therein. She used to while away days at school and college dreaming of vampires, werewolves and witches, or being lost in space, and used to while away evenings watching movies about them or reading gothic horror stories, science-fiction and romances.
Having tried her hand at various romance genres, it was only natural for her to turn her focus back to the paranormal, fantasy and science-fiction worlds she enjoys so much. She loves to write seductive, sexy and strong vampires, werewolves, witches, angels and alien species. The worlds she often dreams up for them are vicious, dark and dangerous, reflecting aspects of the heroines and heroes, but her characters also love deeply, laugh, cry and feel every emotion as keenly as anyone does. She makes no excuses for the darkness surrounding them, especially the paranormal creatures, and says that this is their world. She’s just honoured to write down their adventures.
Thanks for having me here today and if any readers have any comments or questions, please feel free to voice them and I’ll answer them as soon as possible.
If you want to know more about me, or want to get in touch, you can find me at the following places:
My website: http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/
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