Never Say Never
I have to admit that I disliked vampires. I never liked Angel, True Blood doesn’t interest me and I’d still rather gouge my eyes out than read Twilight. The only problem being is that vampires, courtesy of said sparkly tween fiction, are terribly popular at the moment. Everyone is writing vampires. Well, not me. Nuh uh. I wasn’t going to bend to the trend, jump on the bandwagon. Not me. I was never going to write vampires.
When you’re a writer never say never.
Because the thing is, inspiration can come from anywhere and often when it’s least expected. For me, the turning point came whilst watching Sanctuary. The characters off to rescue self-proclaimed “vampire genius” Nikola Tesla (yes, that one – it’s complicated), have this conversation:
“Whatever happened to the good old stake through the heart?”
“What about all those movies like Buffy?”
“Misinformation propaganda spread by the vampires themselves – confuse the enemy, preserve the race.”
“What about exposing them to sunlight or garlic?”
“All you get is tanned vampires with bad breath.”
The idea of vampires creating their own mythology appealed to me. Of course, simply transferring it to fiction would be cheating and an infringement of copyright. As I’m not that sort of person, I had to think about how I could springboard off the idea and make my own world.
Eleanor’s Heart is set in Victorian Britain, with the setting divided between Chester (unnamed) and Stonehenge. The central character – Eleanor – is a poor young woman eking out an existence on the streets. As I needed a reason for this, I did some research into illnesses of the blood. Well, I was writing vampires! But her illness had to be a driving force, not just in terms of an inciting incident, but to carry her through the entire story.
With my heroine established, I needed a hero. Enter Jefferson Park, one of the last Vampires that inhabit my world. He comes from a race that’s an offshoot of Homo Sapiens, going back thousands of years. A race that is intelligent and had made huge leaps in technology before a cousin race – the Sanguisuge – began to flourish. It’s this sub-species that the legends spring from, but the original vampires are tainted by association and hunted to near extinction.
Like the vampires of Sanctuary, he can go out in the sun (though he doesn’t sparkle) and is impervious to traditional weapons. He’s not immortal – just very long lived – and he can be killed if one knows how. In deference to the vampire that made me love vampires again, he is intelligent, stylist and more than a little arrogant.
Having created an alternative world and a mythology, I needed a fix and that came in the form of a magical gem. Since I had vampires, I decided on a ruby for it’s blood colour, which also led me to its name – the Heart of Ishra – and that gave me the rest of the plot.
And that is? Oh, I can’t tell you that now, can I? No, you’ll just have to read the book.
ELEANOR’S HEARTDying of a rare blood disease, Eleanor Franklin needs laudanum to ease the pain, often driven to steal in order to buy more. But when she steals a ruby she has no idea that the gem will tip her into the midst of a deadly species war.
Saved by Jefferson Park, she discovers a man with an even darker past than her own: he is one of the last true Vampires fighting to stop the eradication of his kind.
But the Sanguine aren’t the only problem as Eleanor finds herself falling in love with Jefferson. It is a relationship she cannot commit to, as she knows her time is limited, and she will not risk breaking his heart.
Coming 1st July 2012 from Champagne Books
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