What first drew you to the genre of vampire fiction? What sort of novels first inspired you?
Thank you for inviting me over to the ZOVA Books Blog! I'm thrilled to be here.
The first novels that inspired me were Isaac Asimov's Foundation Series. I quickly fell in love with Asimov's works of science fiction. He was and still is considered a pioneer in the genre.
As a teenager I discovered Anne Rice. I can still remember seeing the paperback of Interview with the Vampire on the shelf of my corner store. I bought the book with my pocket money and never looked back!
Is this the only genre you've written in, or are there other worlds in your head?
I'm currently co-authoring a romantic comedy novel and we're excited with how the world is evolving. It's such a joy when a character rises to the surface and starts to feel real.
What do you think about the current trend, especially in YA fiction, toward more peaceable vampire lore?
It's been exciting to watch new fans find the vampire genre. There's certainly enough room for many different takes on vampire lore.
I'm particularly drawn toward characters with compelling personalities. To me what's attractive about vampires is their ability to have survived centuries and during that time travelled extensively, grasped several languages, and even have mastered an instrument or two, thus rounding out a character's compelling personality.
Would you rather be the vampire, or the vampire hunter?
I'd rather be a Vampire!
Although I write about vampire hunters, I sense there's an underlying lack of tolerance and prejudice when it comes to them, whereas vampires are very often misunderstood beings who are trying to make the most of their circumstances.
What drew you to set your novels in England?
Most of my characters appeared to me as British, so I suppose they were really the ones to decide that.
Having grown up in England and being exposed to its rich history, it seemed only natural to base the series there.
You now live in Los Angeles. Have you ever considered writing about the City of Angels?
Anything is possible. There may be a spin off book set in Los Angeles. Louisiana-born Vampire Zachary Harris may very well find his way to the City of Angels. ;)
As a writer, what are your habits, exercises, tricks of the trade that you use to push a novel from idea to finished manuscript?
I set myself a daily writing goal and do my best to stick with it. Writing in the morning is the most productive time for me.
Depending on the book or where I am with other writing projects, editing etc, will influence how much progress I need to make at each sitting. I'm usually very relaxed when writing the first draft and just follow the characters along.
A thrilling experience is when I read to the end of the chapter I've just written and wonder why the next page is blank, actually expecting something to be written there! That's a wonderful moment.
Writing to music inspires me with certain scenes and stirs the imagination.
My advice to new writers: Trust your character and trust your muse.
What's your favorite part of the writing process?
There's a moment when you realize everything you're writing is coming together, as though the words were always there and you just chipped away at them. Story lines cross and you witness characters evolving, their arcs occurring naturally. It's as though the book is a living, breathing entity.
Of all your characters, which do you sympathize with most and why?
Alex Artimas, Jadeon's younger brother, holds a special place in my heart. I'm looking forward to writing his story. Alex always seems so lost and misunderstood. So lonely. I want to reach into the novels and give him a huge hug.
The first two books in the series, A Vampire's Rise and A Vampire's Reckoning, can each be read independently of the other. Is the third book in the series also a stand-alone novel, or does it rely on the first two, and how much so?
Like the others A Vampire's Dominion can be read as a stand-alone novel.
Do you have a favorite passage from any of your books?
This is a passage taken from A Vampire's Rise. To me this expresses the frustration that Orpheus was feeling at trying to get his point across. Those last few words express his silent pain.
A feather from her cuff came loose and spiraled, and I watched it float to the floor. It appeared as though it had always belonged to the sleeve of that long, black chemise, and had never been ripped from the small body of a dead bird.