Sunday, March 13, 2011

Guest: Lydia Dare

Hey all!  Please welcome Lydia Dare to VampChix!  My bad! I was supposed to get this post up earlier today.  I'll blame it on the time change.  That works, right?  :-)  Lydia's latest, IT HAPPENED ONE BITE is out in stores now.  And she is giving away a copy to one lucky commenter! (US or Canada only, please.)

Several years ago on my first trip to New Orleans, a friend of mine suggested we take one of the local haunted history tours.  I (the Jodie ½ of Lydia Dare) was up for anything. Since my friend really wanted to take the Vampire Tour, I went along for the ride – or rather walk, as it was a walking tour late at night in the French Quarter. I was struck by the amazing storytelling of our guide as he brought each tale to life as we passed the buildings where the stories were reported to have taken place. I still get chill bumps when I think about some of the things we heard that night.
One story in particular has stayed with me throughout the years – the tale of Jacques St. Germain.
In the court of King Louis XV, Comte d’ Saint Germain has the feel of a real life Portrait of Dorian Gray. A handsome, wealthy man with many friends who never aged a day. In fact, the comte claimed to possess the elixir of life. And though he was always at the right functions, with the right people, no one ever saw him eat as much as a morsel of food. He did, however, often carry around a wine glass from which he sipped fairly regularly. After tiring of court life, the comte moved to Germany, where it was reported that he died. However, many people throughout Europe claimed to have seen him years after his “death.”
Flash forward to New Orleans in the early 20th Century. A handsome, wealthy man by the name of Jacques St. Germain claimed to be a descendant of the popular comte. And like his ancestor, St. Germain knew all the right people, attended all the right functions, and never ate a bite of food – though he did love to sip wine from his glass as reported by anyone who knew him. Jacques took up residence on Royal Street in the heart of the French Quarter and in addition to being one of the city’s elite, St. Germain was a true ladies man, always in the company of one woman or another… Until one night when a paid companion screamed at the top of her lungs and then leapt from the second floor balcony of his home to the street below in her haste to escape the gentleman. She told those who rushed to her rescue as well as the authorities that St. Germain attacked and bit her.
By the time the police arrived at the home on Royal Street to ask the gentleman some questions, St. Germain had vanished. However the investigators found some peculiar items left in his residence – rugs on the hardwood floors that all covered curious red stains and bottles upon bottles of wine mixed with human blood.
Jacques was never brought to justice, but there are still apparently sightings of the fellow in the French Quarter from time to time.
There is something about that story that I love. I will freely admit that it may have something to do with standing outside the residence on Royal Street as I heard the story and probably something to do with the flare with which the story was first told to me. And though I would never like to meet the comte or Jacques or anyone else in the St. Germain family, the tale does have a bit of mysticism to it. A creature reinventing himself every so many years and starting over.
When Tammy and I decided to write Regency era vampyres, we were able to do the same thing with our heroes. James Maitland, Baron Kettering, in IT HAPPENED ONE BITE and Matthew Halkett, the Earl of Blodswell, from IN THE HEAT OF THE BITE, have both reinvented themselves many times over the centuries. James is from the Elizabethan era and Matthew was a knight from the crusades. To hide the fact that they never age, they spend one lifetime in London and one at the respective country estates. They play both the role of both father and son for each generation, always keeping their fortunes and titles in safe keeping.
We loved creating these gentleman vampyres who are too noble to ever bite a lady without being properly introduced. And we loved setting them squarely in the middle of Regency England with balls, carriage rides, and witches who are their equals.
Which era do you think would create the most interesting vampires? And what would you most like to ask them about their lives?


Seduced By Books said...

OMG - Love me some Lydia Dare - I've read all the Wolf books (4 in total) and I tell you I eat them up in one day. I love the world she has created. For vamps, I think the current time is too cool for the vamps - the blend with their old ways and our modern society is so hot. I would want to ask them what they ENJOY about living so long. They have so many heartaches and 'cons' about outliving the rest of the world.

Rhiannon Mills said...

I think that vampires created around the 15th century or so would be the most interesting (to me, anyway) because it was somewhere around that time that the US was being formed and American history was NEW and just beginning. All walks of life from other countries and such were coming together -and fighting together and against each other- over land and a lot of new inventions were coming about. Also, I know that travel was difficult for people back then, particularly international traveling. I can just imagine what a vampire who had lived through it would have to tell me about his or her traveling ordeals. For a vampire to live through any sort of voyage and watch others be tossed to sea from sickness and things (cause a lot of folks died aboard ships) had to be quite difficult if for no other reason than because if people were dying all around them on a ship, they couldn't feed either...I would ask them what it was like during this time period for the families that immigrants left behind in Europe. I'd also love to know how on earth they could reinvent themselves over and over and not get confused from one made up life to the next. If I ever had the chance to ask these questions, I'd probably prepare myself with an entire book full of things I've often wondered about - I'm a nerd like that lol. I'd love to know EVERYTHING they could tell me about history and the world. The biggest thing I often wondered is how a woman could walk comfortably in a corset all the time, though...

StacieDM said...

I think a vampire created in ancient Greece or Rome would be interesting. They saw these historical events first hand and would know what really happened. Plus they have been around for centuries so they wouldn't get caught up in the very human hurry up mentality. They would have witnessed humankind building itself up and tearing itself down over and over again. I think it might make for a cynical vampire but they would be wise too. Possibly a vampire philosopher.

user1123 AT comcast DOT net

Jane McCarthy Lefler said...

I tend to like the Vamps of the late 1800's myself. They have that certain gentleman flair of their time which appeals to me.

Lydia Dare said...

SBB ~ That's a great question. I bet you'd get a variety of answers to that.

Rhiannon ~ Being a history buff myself, I am right with you. I would love to what the truth about so many things.

Stacie ~ I think you will love Lord Blodswell in IN THE HEAT OF THE BITE. He is almost exactly as you described. He's not quite as old as ancient Greece or Rome, but he was a knight in the crusades. And he is very laid back because he has seen it all. Getting him flustered is next to impossible.

Jane ~ It sounds as though Count Dracula is your guy. Victorian age vamp and he definitely had a flair.

BADklv said...

This books looks delectable! I think vampires in the medieval time period would be so interesting. The medieval time period because I flock to that more often than not. I think it would have been fascinating to live in that time period. I think I would ask them what I would ask any vampire, "how were you created?" I think that question can make or break a vamp story.

Lydia, I haven't read any of your books...YET! he he!

Great Post!

Bron said...

Already bought the book and read it - fabulous. A historical romance and vampires in the same story. How good is that.

Johanna R Jochum said...

I love the Regency era the best but I could see some hot sexy male vamps walking around in heels and wigs from the Georgian era! Thanks for sharing with us!


Barbara E. said...

I'm not sure which era would create the most interesting vampires, because every era has interesting events going on, and vampires from really early times would have time to learn everything later vampires would know. But I'll pick the Victorian era, because it's one of my favorites.
I'd most like to ask them their story - how they became a vampire and what they've done with their life.


Lydia Dare said...

BADklv ~ A medieval vampire would be really cool. :)

Bronwen ~ Oh, you're so sweet. I'm so glad you enjoyed the book!

Johanna ~ LOL. Have you read this book yet? The hero is actually in Georgian clothes at the beginning, since he was captured by the original Coig in 1797.

Barbara ~ I think you're right. Thanks to Bram Stoker, the Victorian Vampire seems the quintessential vampire. :)

Kalex said...

All eras have interesting parts, but I think a Celtic would be interesting.

I would ask them what they thought of the cultural changes throughout the ages.

booklover0226 said...

I think during the reign of Ramses II in Egypt would be quite intriguing.

To read how vampires would interact during the building of the pyramids and Ramses' many campaigns would be interesting.

Tracey D
booklover0226 at gmail dot com

Lydia Dare said...

Kalex ~ A Celtic vampire would be cool. Maybe we could get the truth about what Julius Caesar really wrote about the Roman's British invasion.

Tracey ~ Ancient Egypt would be very interesting. That vampire would have witnessed the birth of more than one civilization.

SandyG265 said...

I think I'd like to see a vampire story set during the tiem of imperial china. I'd like to ask him about how they invented gunpowder.

sgiden at

meggerfly said...

I like vampire stories from the late 1700's so I could learn more about the times when the US was born.

Teresa K. said...

Oh I have to say having a Vampire would be great in this time. I would love to ask him or her about all the differnt things they have seen in there long life time. I could sit for hours listening to them telling me about the history of this world.

Finding out how they went about ajusting to the times. What an amazing thing to be able to witness.

Looking forward in reading this book. Hi Michele.

Teresa K.
tcwgrlup41(at) yahoo dot com

June M. said...

I would love to read more vamp books set in the Regency era. I love historicals and vamps so the two combined is just GREAT! I would have to ask them what some of the most interesting things they had seen/experienced were.

manning_j2004 [at] yahoo [dot] com

Amber said...

I'm partial to the Civil War era so a vampire in that time period would be interesting to me. The Renaissance era would work too.

I would ask them what the hardest part of their lifestyle is.

Amber M.