In the comments on the last post, Heather Rae Scott asked where the idea for the vampires came from. She sullied my website by mentioning Twilight, and I had my usual fit. I have a tendency to post truly rude things about those characters on my personal Facebook page. Just to clarify – I have no issue with the quality of the writing in Twilight. I just hate the angst ridden heroine. Someone just slap her and let’s move the hell on. I’m also appalled by the number of “mature” women who went goo-goo over the Edward or what’s his name debate. Seriously? If this were a bunch of fifty-year-old men drooling over a seventeen-year-old girl, most of these same women would be deeply offended and demanding to have them thrown in jail. Get a grip ladies. If you are over fifty you shouldn’t really be part of the debate on who’s hotter. I don’t care if you look – eye candy is good for you. I don’t care if you sit in your living room and talk about it with your granddaughter. In fact, I applaud you for that. But don’t embarrass yourselves by standing around and screaming when they appear in public or covering your Facebook wall with commentary on how “hot” they are. It makes you look a little desperate. Save that kind of adoration for the real men. Men like Sam Elliott.
Wait… what was I supposed to be talking about here?
Oh, yeah. The idea for Blood Link and the vampires. I’ve always liked the idea of vampires as characters. From the original Dracula by Bram Stoker to the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J.R. Ward, I’ve spent countless hours being entertained by the bloodthirsty critters. But I have to admit that I’d become a little weary of the new vampires that are so popular in romantic novels today. The man is always dark and brooding, living a life with some kind of tortured past, and almost always rich and lonely. I’m much more interested in the vampires who are doing something with their lives like being a bounty hunter or detective or something useful.
Rarely are there cool female vampires. Female vamps are usually depicted as all hot and gothic, and almost always way meaner than the men. Even the women writers seem to want to dress them in black leather, stiletto heels, and bustiers. That’s fine for a night out, but it’s damned uncomfortable as every day and every night attire. (Not that I’m admitting to knowing about that sort of thing.) I’m a bit more of a realist when it comes to character.
Why do people look at me funny when I say realist and vampire in the same freaking sentence?
The point is that I like to believe in a heroine, which could be why I love the Samantha Moon character written by J.R. Rain. She’s a former federal agent, wife, and mother who was attacked one night and is now learning to live with becoming a vampire. Mr. Rain has a unique take on a soccer mom with a minivan and a thirst to survive. Good stuff. (And no, I didn’t read these books before writing my own or naming my character Samantha. I just discovered J.R. Rain about eight months ago.)
Hold it. Where was I?
Oh, yeah. The beginning of Blood Link. My stylist Jennifer and I read a lot of the same things and then chat about them during my visits. I was complaining (bitterly) about two of the series that we were reading. I don’t know about you guys, but the problem with most romances is that the women do the most idiotic crap. It’s like watching those stupid horror movies when the woman knows the crazy psycho is stalking her and still walks down the alley. Stupid crap annoys me.
In one series we were reading, the heroine was just so freaking stupid at times that we both wanted to scream. If the hero (the vampire) hadn’t been so damn hot and well written, we’d have both chucked the book after the initial seduction scene. Instead, we bought two more. The fourth one was so bad (stupid heroine and plot holes you could drive a bus through) that I swore never to buy another one. Someone loaned me the fifth one and I quit after the first six chapters. I could feel myself losing intelligence with each page. The other series held up pretty well through the first five or six books, but had reached the point where the hot sex no longer made up for the plot and character issues. These were the books that I could predict what was coming and when it would happen. They were also full of all these male vampires who were hot and exciting, but at the same time, just as stupid as the heroine in the other series. I also complained that nowhere in the vampire novels we were reading was there a single character over thirty. What the hell is wrong with having a character with a little life experience?
After one of my many rants, I blatantly announced to Jennifer, that even I could do better. She basically challenged me to put up or shut up.
Much like the heroines and heroes in some of these books, I’m sometimes just too stupid to know when to walk away. I went home that morning and sat down to figure out what I was going to do. This was the first novel I’d ever seriously thought about writing. The only thing I was sure of going into this project was that they would be vampires.
In choosing a profession for them, I made them military because I had the crazy thought of why wouldn’t we want vampires working for us. Superior eyesight, hearing, and smell would be useful if you’re doing covert operations. Extra strength and speed would definitely help. And wouldn’t it be handy if you wanted to steal intelligence if you could hide in the shadows and maybe manipulate a human into not noticing you or giving up the password to the security system.
Once I had that idea, it just sort of took off and Blood Link was born. How the characters and their world evolved will be part of a later blog post.