Welcome Lara Adrian to VampChix today! Her latest, SHADES OF MIDNIGHT, is in bookstores now. So go get it! Lara will give away a copy of the first book in her Midnight Breed series, KISS OF MIDNIGHT, to one lucky commenter. Winner will be announced Wednesday, so give Lara some love in the comments!
What Once Was (Un)Dead is New Again
As we ring in 2010, SHADES OF MIDNIGHT, the seventh title in my Midnight Breed vampire series is (hopefully) being unpacked from shipping boxes and placed on bookstore shelves across the country. It's a bit surreal for me to think that ten years ago, I was just beginning my career as a published author--not writing about vampires (which I have both loved and feared since I was a kid), but penning medieval romances for Ballantine Books under the name Tina St. John. Back then, while historical settings were going strong, there were precisely two things that just about every romance publisher in New York City declared to be dead-on-arrival: anything paranormal, and anything young adult. My, what a difference a decade makes!
I enjoyed writing medieval romances, but to anyone who knew me personally, it was an odd fit. My entertainment choices always ran toward the dark and contemporary. It's no surprise, considering I grew up reading Stephen King, John Saul, Dean Koontz, and Anne Rice. Historical romance was fun, but it lacked a certain . . . bite. (Pun fully intended.) So, in the summer of 2005, when the opportunity presented itself to try something different, I grabbed on with both hands and never looked back.
No question, when it came to my own paranormal world, it had to be centered around vampires. Not the cape-swirling, melodramatic, I-vahnt-to-suck-your-blood types, but rather the kind of larger-than-life, modern-day, rock-n-roll bad boys who brought the sexy to films I love, such as: The Lost Boys, Blade, and Underworld. Oh, and one more thing. They had to have a pulse. As much as I love the classic undead vampires, necrophilia is a tough sell for me in a romance. So, I gave my fanged heroes (known as the Breed) a science-fiction origin that also embraces many of the traditional elements of vampire mythology, including fatally photosensitive skin, preternatural speed, strength and ESP abilities, and the need for blood as their sole sustenance (no convenient animal substitutes or blood banks here, only fresh Homo sapiens red cells, taken from an open vein). The Midnight Breed world is a dark, dangerous one, and not everyone comes out of it unscathed, but for me as the writer--and hopefully for my readers, too--that's what makes the ride worthwhile.
If you ask me, there's never been a more exciting time to be a romance author--especially paranormal romance. Publishers are thirsting for inventive new ideas and twists on familiar mythos, and most seem willing to let authors walk the razor's edge between urban fantasy/horror and the breathtaking, pulse-pounding emotion and sensuality--the happy-ever-after--that we count on in a romance novel. This freedom to invent and create, to play in more complex, gritty story worlds, has given rise to an amazing crop of talented new writers and universes chock-full of all manner of paranormal beings. Personally, I'm not sure what can top a sexy, brooding vampire, but I'm willing and eager to find out!
I, for one, look forward to 2010 and the decade ahead as one of infinite possibilities--both as a writer and a reader. So, here's to the New Year, and here's to all the books and fresh new talents just waiting to be discovered. Thanks for reading!
With best wishes,
Here's the blurb for SHADES OF MIDNIGHT...
IN A FROZEN WILDERNESS STEEPED IN DARKNESS, THE LINES BETWEEN GOOD AND EVIL, LOVER AND ENEMY, ARE NEVER BLACK OR WHITE BUT DRAWN IN SHADES OF MIDNIGHT . . .
Something inhuman is stalking the frigid Alaskan wilds, leaving unspeakable carnage in its wake. For bush pilot Alexandra Maguire, the killings stir memories of a horrific event she witnessed as a child and evoke in her the inexplicable sense of otherness she has long felt but never fully understood . . . until a darkly seductive stranger with secrets of his own enters her world.
Sent from Boston on a mission to investigate the savage attacks and stop the slaughter, vampire warrior Kade has his own reasons for returning to the frigid, forbidding place of his birth. Haunted by a secret shame, Kade soon realizes the stunning truth of the threat he faces--a threat that will jeopardize the fragile bond he has formed with the courageous, determined young woman who arouses his deepest passions and most primal hungers. But in bringing Alex into his world of blood and darkness, Kade must confront both his own personal demons and the even greater evil that could destroy all he holds dear. . . .