I actually became interested in vampires after watching the movie Lost Boys as a teen, about the same time I started writing romances. I suppose what intrigues me most is the same thing that intrigues many other people, the idea of immortality. It gets to the very root of human existence which is a desire to survive above all else. And yet, when you really start peeling it apart, vampires are some of the most troubled immortals out there because they aren't in some afterlife or another location like the ancient gods of Olympus. They're still here, on Earth, only with hundreds or thousands of years of emotional baggage to carry around. That makes them interesting to me and gives me all kinds of fodder for my stories.
Please tell us about your latest release.
When I started writing in the Sons of Midnight world for Harlequin, I envisioned a place where vampires are created from a virus which mutates the human body into something different (not unlike what happens in real life, because once you have a virus, you can’t ever be rid of it). While it was one thing for vampires to be willingly changed via the virus, it was quite another when it became mixed into the national blood supply and people who had no intention of a vamp-my-lifestyle makeover were being changed.
That’s kind of where the story begins. Dr. Rebecca Chamberlin is a Doogie-Howser style geneticist and biochemical engineer. Everyone she cares about, including her best friend have in one way or another fallen victim to the vampire virus and she’s out to correct this little catastrophe of nature by creating a vaccine that can prevent, or possibly even reverse the effects of the vampire virus. But as in the case of science, it is often a process of trial and error, and the good doctor ends up turning into a vampire herself. She’s assigned a mentor, a Spartan warrior named Achilles Stefanos, to guide her through her transition and teach her what she needs to know to be able to function until she can turn herself back with science.
The problem is these two, as mentor and fledgling, begin to imprint with one-another. (Which involves not just a mating bond, but a more physical sharing of each other ‘s powers, thoughts, physical sensations and even pain.) Achilles does everything he can to avoid imprinting with her, and by the time she’s figured out the key to the virus, she’s put Achilles and all the older vampires in danger of being turned to bone dust. Everything she thought she knew isn’t at all what she thought it was.
Do you have a formula for developing characters? Like do you create a character sketch or list of attributes before you start writing or do you just let the character develop as you write?
I do all kinds of strange things to find out more about my characters. The first thing I do is “run the numbers” on a character’s name using numerology to quickly nail down what truly drives the person, what they think about themselves and how others perceive this person. Then I move on to taking the numbers I get from that and pair them up with character archetypes found in The Complete Writer’s Guide to Heroes & Heroines. If I get stuck from there sometimes I’ll do interviews just to uncover something more about the character and understand why he or she is motivated to make the choices they do. Sometimes my research will impact my character’s background or their dialog, but it rarely changes who they are, how they see life and how other people react to them.
What is the most interesting thing you have physically done for book related research purposes?
The most unusual thing I’ve ever done to research for a book was when I traveled down into the Capuchin catacombs in Palermo, Sicily. Seriously interesting mix of creeping and fascinating. Thousands upon thousands of mummies are down there, in all periods of dress, because up until the 1880s that was “the” place to be buried.
Can you tell readers a little bit about the world building in the book/series? How does this world differ from our normal world?
If you’ve read any of the books set in the Sons of Midnight series (The Vampire Who Loved Me, The Truth About Vampires, or even the novella Salvation of the Damned) you can tell I’m fairly into world-building. My characters are not just plunked down street side in Seattle and letting their little lives unfold. There’s so much more going on that we only see snippets of here and there. And the reality is you’re going to see a whole lot more. The vampire culture is only one segment of the Sons of Midnight world (but I’m getting ahead of myself).
I wanted to make sure, while writing about this vampire society, that I really understood all the implications of what happens to people who do and don’t follow the rules. What happens to them? Why are those rules there in the first place? What are the consequences to others in the society? It’s those kinds of questions that swirl around in my head when I’m thinking up scenes or what happens next in the story.
What’s great about the series is that you can show these different elements of a society through the stories of the individuals. And not all of it has to be in one book. While each story stands on it’s own (because it’s fundamentally about the relationship between that hero and heroine), it’s also a little greater insight into the whole world of the Sons of Midnight mini series.
With the book being part of a series, are there any character or story arcs, that readers jumping in somewhere other than the first book, need to be aware of? Can these books be read as stand alones?
All the books can be read as stand alones. Will you get a little more out of it if you read the others in the series? Of course! That’s my way of rewarding my readers. There are continuing characters, such as Eris, the goddess of Chaos, who thrives on the misery and angst of any kind of being, Roman Petrov, who’s the laird of the Cascade Vampire Clan, and I occasionally will have characters who’ve had their own books do walk-on or secondary character bits in other books in the series. But each book is written with the idea of keeping it a little slice of the world you can enjoy all by itself. It’s really up to you if you want to eat the whole cake. J
Do you have any weird writing quirks or rituals?
Moi? Weird writing quirks? I don’t’ think they’re all that unusual, but they my normal perhaps isn’t everyone else’s normal. I try to involve as many of the senses as possible when I write because that naturally taps into your subconscious mind (which is the seat of creativity). Things like a soundtrack I create around the book and only listen to while writing that book, a scent of candle I only burn while writing on a particular book, all help.
Do you write in different genres?
The short answer is yes. I write steampunk (Victorian-set sci-fi) with a romantic twist and set in the Wild Weird West. I write YA books both paranormal and straight contemporary and I write urban fantasy with dark fae. I’ve also written historical romances and contemporary romances.
Do you find it difficult to write in multiple genres?
Actually, I find it very liberating. When my Gemini brain tires on one thing I can hope to something else. The only time it gets tricky is when I’m deep in one series and have to jump out of it to complete edits on a quick turnaround on a totally different series set in a different world.
Other than writing, what are some of your interests, hobbies or passions in life?
I like to sew and design clothes. No. Seriously. I’ve been designing things since I was about nine. Mostly Victorian-style gowns. My mother taught me how to sew first by hand, then on the machine when I was very young. I sewed my first dress from a pattern, for her, when I was eight. All through high school if I wanted a formal gown for a dance, my mother would buy me all the supplies, but I had to sew it myself. I even sewed my own gown for the Junior Miss pagent when I was 16. Today I end up repairing items for the kids, sewing my own costumes for steampunk conventions or Halloween, and occasionally do something like sew curtains or a tea-cozy for the house. I think in our current society, it’s kind of a disappearing art. I also like to garden, bake, can fruits, veggies, jams and soups for my family and make blackberry wine each summer.
Where is your favorite place to read? Do you have a cozy corner or special reading spot?
For reading I cuddle up on the loveseat in the living room where the wood stove is located, with the windows that face south at my back so I get all kinds of natural light over my shoulder. That way I get a toasty fire, lots of light and a cushy place I can put my feet up and usual a feline or two who melted in a sunbeam.
What can readers expect next from you?
Right now I’m currently in edits for book three for the Sons of Midnight series for Harlequin, The Half-Breed Vampire, that’ll be out in spring 2012. It’ll be a slight expansion of the current world because we get to see how the Cascade vampire clan clashes with the Wenatchee Were pack when a vampire isn’t everything he seems.
I’m also writing my second steampunk paranormal romance, The Slayer, for my Book of Legend Chronicles series with Kensington that’ll be out in 2012 (the first, The Hunter, is out this Nov.) It’s a switch from the straight vampire world because I get to go back to my historical romance roots and write in the Wild West, only it’s the Wild Weird West. The series features three brothers, named after their father’s favorite guns, Winchester, Remington and Colt, who fight supernaturals, kind of like if you plunked down the Winchester brothers from the television show Supernatural in the West and gave them some really cool steampunk inventions for fighting. It’s part Indiana Jones, part Wild Wild West, and part Supernatural.
In addition, I’m also working on a new urban fantasy romance world featuring dark fae that takes four sisters who can see the fae and get draw into their world to save each other and mankind. The first is a novella called Shadowlander, that will be out in Oct. from Entangled Publishing.
Where can readers find you on the web?
The best place to find me is my website www.theresameyers.com however I’m also a frequent flyer on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Theresa_Meyers and post now and then on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TheresaMeyersAuthor
Would you like to leave readers with a little teaser or excerpt from the book?
For a moment Beck had a high school flashback, only back then there was no way she would have been alone with a guy this hot in the school gym—or anywhere else for that matter. She’d been the science geek. Unfortunately, this hot guy’s sole purpose was to make her hot and sweaty in a totally unromantic way.
“Now that you’ve transitioned and your powers have emerged, it’s time for me to train you,” Achilles said.
“Just a heads up, Achilles. I was lousy at sports, P.E. and everything else athletic. I don’t think I’m going to do any better at vampire boot camp.”
Achilles grinned as he pulled at the hem of his black T-shirt, yanking it off over his head in one fluid movement. Beck had only imagined what he’d looked like when she’d felt the rock hard strength beneath his clothes. But clearly her imagination wasn’t all that good. He looked even better. She sucked in a startled breath.
“I don’t have to take off my shirt, too, do I?” she asked, her voice nearly squeaking, her mouth dry as cotton.
His eyes glittered in a way that spoke of pure male interest. “It would be better if you didn’t. We have lessons to focus on.”
Beck nodded but she wasn’t paying all that much attention. She’d always been a sucker for a great set of shoulders and muscular arms. Achilles had both in ample amounts. “Fine. You were saying something about moving faster?”
* * *
Achilles rolled his shoulders to take the edge off. It did no good. Being in the training gym with her was a heady experience. Her hair was pulled back in a ponytail, exposing the elegant length of her neck and enticing curve where it smoothed into collarbone. The T-shirt
she’d borrowed from Kristin outlined her breasts, dainty waist and the womanly flare of her hips, while the shorts gave him far too good a view of her long silky legs.
Gods, she’d make a glorious vampiress.
His ichor moved in a quick rhythm through her veins.
Her eyes dilated as her glance bounced from his torso to his eyes. The scent of her vampire pheromones shifted, the deeper jasmine scent becoming more pronounced.
“To move faster, push yourself into the movement with focus.”
“Kind of like materializing objects?” She nibbled at the side of her bottom lip.
An image of kissing her rose crystal clear in his mind.
He squeezed his hand into a fist banishing the image and tried to focus on her training.
“Correct with the same focus.”
“So then are you technically materializing yourself to a different place?”
“Must you analyze everything, woman? Can’t you just try it?”
“Yes, I must, and no, I need to understand it to do it.”
He leaned his head back and stared at the ceiling.
Patience. He needed patience and perhaps an entire tub of ice cold water. “The mechanics are basically the same. You’re phasing, but it’s not the same as transporting.”
“Gods!” In a blink he was right up against her. “Perhaps we ought to try it another time. Clearly you aren’t ready.” The truth was he wasn’t prepared for the assault her very presence waged on his senses.
She gave him a wicked smile. “Really?” In a blink she was standing on the top of the empty bleachers. Her grin was wide, and her eyes bright as she punched the air in triumph with both fists, then shook her butt in a mini touchdown dance of her own. “That was a rush.”
He nodded in approval. “Sometimes there is no time to think, only time to act.”
He watched her move toward him, but it was only because he was a vampire that he glimpsed her quick actions at all. She stood before him now, her full lips bent into a small teasing smile that made him hard.
Gods, preventing an imprint with her would be as easy as asking him never to drink blood again. In other words, totally impossible.
“Hey, I’m not even breathing hard.”
He brushed back a stray piece of hair that escaped from her messy ponytail and curled down the side of her face. “That’s because you aren’t breathing,” he said drily, releasing her hair.
He wanted to tell her that she was filling the air with vampire pheromones that were knocking him senseless. To tell her that all he could think of was hitting the showers with her in tow and rubbing her down with soap so he could feel the silky slide of it against her bare wet skin. But he didn’t dare. Control. Absolute control.
“You also aren’t aging.”
She slapped at his shoulder. “That’s not what I meant. I want to know what else I can do.”
“See the top of the bleachers?”
“Yes. I was just there.” She grinned with satisfaction and a bit of smugness.
“Let’s take a jumping lesson.”
He crouched, the muscles in his legs coiling. She glanced at him and followed his example.
She nodded locking her gaze on his, the hazel a kaleidoscope of changing greens and browns bright with excitement.
They straightened up and Beck let out a burst of excited laughter. “Okay, now, that, that was cool.”
“See? I told you being a vampire has its perks.”
She bounced up on the balls of her feet, enthusiasm vibrating in the air around her. “Can you imagine the implications of what this could do for people if you just knew what genomes were responsible? This could revolutionize medicine.”
Rebecca’s mind was as alluring as the rest of her. Her intelligence, her desire to know all the answers—no matter what the subject—fascinated Achilles. She was forever thinking, analyzing, prodding and probing. He’d only known one other woman this analytical, this focused. Rebecca was just like Ione in that way.
He shoved the insane comparison away. “Now let’s work on your hand-to-hand combat skills.” Gods. He was going to have to touch her for this. Touch her silky skin, brush against her soft breasts, position her sleek body…
Rebecca heaved a great sigh. “Seriously? When am I ever going to need to fight in hand-to-hand combat?”
He jumped down to the floor mats and she followed, but before she could straighten up from her crouch, he’d rolled her and pinned her to the smooth cold mats. Her hands were locked above her head and her hips were tucked beneath his thighs.
“You think another vampire isn’t going to fight you? There’re plenty more reivers where Vane came from. And they won’t stop because you’re a fledgling. Or give a damn that you’re part of the clan. They’re out to get what they want, no matter what.”
* * *
Beck was breathing hard, more out of the sexual hormones spiking in her system than because she actually needed the oxygen. She lifted her hips hard trying to dislodge him. No response. Nothing. Nada.
Well, that was if she didn’t count the rock hard erection she’d definitely felt. Even with her newly found vampire strength, she wasn’t a match for a centuries-seasoned warrior trained old school. But she had one thing he underestimated—pure twenty-first-century spunk. She watched his mouth as he spoke, wanting desperately to kiss him.
between them was unacceptable. Kissing him would only make her want more. Things he couldn’t give her.
He looked down at her, his face reserved except for his eyes, which smoldered with longing. “You can’t leverage me off you. Use what you have.”
“You’ve got my hands pinned. What do want me to do?” she asked with sarcasm. If she did reach up and kiss him, that would certainly throw him off balance.
God knew it had the last time she’d done it.
“What would you do if I were Vane?”
“That blond red-eyed jerk?” All thoughts of kissing fled.
Flick. Her razor sharp fangs descended and she whipped her head to the side to tear at his wrist with her mouth. He simply moved his hand and hers out of her range as if he’d anticipated the move.
“Good basic reaction, but you’re forgetting something. You’re a woman. You’ve got more muscle in your legs and hips than a man. Use it. Wrap your legs around me. Squeeze hard.”
She complied, bringing her thighs up and around him, pressing in against his hips, her calves and heels digging into his butt, pushing him right against her hot, wet heat. Let him bite on that.
“Good.” The edge of his voice wavered.
Sheer power radiated through her, making her skin tingle. Not as tough as you look, are you? Sure, it had started as merely a training exercise, but having her legs wrapped around his waist brought her far too close for him to remain the stoic warrior.
“If you squeeze hard enough you can pinch nerves in the spine.” Her hold on him softened, her thighs becoming more pliable rather than rigid against him.
combat?” She gave a slow roll of her hips. He growled low and deep. A feral sound that ratcheted up her own need.
“You forget yourself, fledgling.” His voice betrayed that his control was frayed at the edges.
She leaned down putting one hand on either side of his head, the sensitive tips of her breasts brushing against his bare chest, as she stared into his face. His eyes had darkened to emerald and his firm, sensual lips parted.
Just below his upper lip peeked the tips of his fangs. She leaned in closer.
“You know you want me,” she taunted. “I know I want you. We’re both adults. Both vampires. Besides…”
She reached forward, stroking his right fang lightly with the tip of her finger. Beck felt a half groan, half growl rumble deep from his belly beneath her thighs. The sound shimmered through her and torqued her own need up another notch. “Your fangs are already showing.”
“You have no idea what you’re doing to me.”
“Then show me.”
You can Win a Some Vampire Love!
Theresa is giving away a special Vampire Love Pack which includes a pair of high-quality customizable fangs you can use again and again, an autographed copy of The Vampire Who Loved Me and a luxury bubble bar from LUSH so you can soak your cares away in a truly movie-style bubble bath while you read.
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