Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Vamping it up for the holidays
We're excited at the Playground today because we have a two-fer -- Maureen Child and Caridad Pineiro, authors of Holiday with a Vampire from Silhouette Nocturne. I'd blogged last week about holiday romances and Caridad commented about my Christmas lights and well... y'all know I'm not afraid to ask someone to guest blog.
We're huddled around the Playground campfire today, wrapped in fuzzy blankets and wearing thick socks cause baby it's cold outside! So please make room by the fire for Maureen and Caridad.
When I was asked to be in a Christmas vampire duet with Caridad Pineiro, my first reaction was Woo Hoo! I love Caridad’s work, and I’ve always wanted to try my hand at a vampire story.
I love all things paranormal. My Irish grandmother used to tell me stories of Pookas and Banshees and the Little People and Fairy Rings. Ghosts are seen regularly in my family and the ‘other side’ is accepted as being just as real as the ordinary world.
But writing my story in HOLIDAY WITH A VAMPIRE was a new challenge for me. My first foray into the world of fangs! Since this was a novella length story and a Christmas story to boot, I decided to make my hero, Grayson Stone, a vampire unhappy with his existence. I wanted him to long for an end to the immortality that means nothing to him anymore.
His heroine, Theresa Franklin, is living a lie. Hiding from an abusive ex-husband, she risks everything when she welcomes Grayson into her home. And together, they find the Christmas miracle neither of them expected.
Writing a novella is a little tougher than writing a longer book. You don’t have much time to introduce your characters and your situation. You have to cut down on descriptions while keeping your scene setting compelling enough to hold your readers. You have to compress every thought, every conversation and make sure every scene counts. And hopefully, when you’re through, you have a story your readers will remember.
I had been lucky enough to do an online novella – DESIRE CALLS – for the Eharlequin.com site, but while doing that novella, I discovered that I really really loved writing these shorter stories. Wanting to do another one, I pitched the idea of an anthology to my editor who came back and asked, “What about a holiday vampire anthology?”
A holiday anthology as in a Christmas anthology? I wondered. It was February and I was thinking about Valentine’s Day. Plus, we had been having warmer weather and I was looking forward to watching spring greens sprout. Instead, I found myself thinking about how I could combine the darkness and sexiness of vampires with all that I thought important about Christmas. A difficult mix it occurred to me.
After a lot of thought, I decided the vampire had to not only be the Scrooge in my tale, but also had to have some really good reasons for why he detested the holiday and the bell-ringing Santa that was virtually camped out on his doorstep. I ended up doing a lot of historical research for this novella because I created a complex history for Hadrian – the vampire elder who is the hero of FATE CALLS, my contribution to the HOLIDAY WITH A VAMPIRE anthology.
Hadrian had been a good man who was turned during a Saturnalia holiday in Rome. Over the course of his over 2000 years of existence, he had suffered through the murder of his family and defeat in a war against humans. Both had occurred around the time for the Christmas holiday. It is these wounds which remain alive in Hadrian and which make him detest the yuletide season.
Of course, the heroine – Connie Morales – is intent on bringing the joy and spirit of Christmas into those around her. She is also determined not to listen to the devastatingly handsome man who is insisting that she stop ringing her bell.
When Connie refuses, Hadrian uses his elder power to imprison her and what follows is a battle of the wills which ultimately exposes Hadrian’s history and brings Hadrian and Connie close together.
Ultimately, both Connie and Hadrian come to understand what is truly important about Christmas. The ending of this novella was extremely uplifting for me and reinforced what I think is special about Christmas, namely that love and small acts of kindness can overcome almost anything.
I was also happy to be able to work in a new rule in the vampire mythology that I’ve created for THE CALLING novels. This new addition to the mythology brings about a very special ending to FATE CALLS and also provides for some new possibilities for some of the more popular characters in THE CALLING. I’ll be posting the rule shortly on the website at http://www.thecallingvampirenovels.com/.
I hope you all will enjoy this sexy and inspiring holiday vampire story! Happy Holidays to all of you.
EDIT: We had to take the video out cause it was messing up the sidebar. You can access it from her website. The URL is below.
Caridad is giving away a copy of HOLIDAY WITH A VAMPIRE to a lucky commenter. For another commenter, Maureen is giving away a copy of HOLIDAY WITH A VAMPIRE and an ARC of her March book from NAL titled A FIEND IN NEED. In her words, it's "also a paranormal, but a funny one!"
You can visit them at their websites: http://www.caridad.com/ and http://www.maureenchild.com/