Who wouldn’t want to be eternally young and strong? So many versions exist in literature about their capabilities; their potential weaknesses. I find them hypnotic.
What inspired you to write this book?
I write through the eyes of a dog. I had just published Luke’s Tale, and my publisher was hanging out with me. I’m big into dog rescue and had just placed a white husky with blue eyes named Snow in a “forever home.” My publisher was teasing me with the “What’s next?” question. Then, she smiled and said, “How about a vampire dog?” And, I said, “Named Snow … Snow Blood.” Next, I wanted to research the legends of how the first vampire was created. So, I went to the Vampire Bible for it.
Please tell us about your latest release.
Snow Blood Season 1, the first in a series, is my latest book. When Brogio, the original or first vampire, turns Snow, a beautiful white husky, in order to save the dog, a series of events are unleashed that reveal a sinister plot against the father of all vampires. Life and true death experiences bond the master vampire and his newly transformed vampire canine together as they unravel a conspiracy. When resolved, this conspiracy may return Selene, the love of Brogio’s life, back to him and set him free from the lonely existence that has plagued him for thousands of years.
Do you have a special formula for creating characters' names? Do you try to match a name with a certain meaning to attributes of the character or do you search for names popular in certain time periods or regions?
Honestly, no. Well, let me correct that. Sometimes it is by chance. Sometimes it just clicks for me. For instance, Luke in Luke’s Tale was patterned after my real dog, Luke. So, the name was inherited. But, I named a character Sara because that’s my second favorite name. I debated on naming my daughter Stephanie or Sara. I went with Stephanie, so now I have a Sara too! Oh, and you’ll love this. I named a character Ashlundt after a name I saw on a truck!
To get a little more specific, I named the wolves in Snow Blood’s pack to reflect their characteristics. Gaspar is a total guard. Chase is a hunter. Scrawny is, well, scrawny. Fergus is the wise one. You get the picture. All those names are related to their main characteristic. Brogio is short for Ambrogio, the original vampire from the Vampire Bible. Selene is related to the moon. If you read the story, you’ll know why.
Was one of your characters more challenging to write than another?
I found Brogio to be somewhat of a challenge. I wanted him to be strong, stoic, stubborn, handsome, yet full of loneliness and hiding a tender heart. I wanted him to reflect the utter loneliness of a man who has lived thousands of years without the fulfillment of the woman he loves.
Is there a character that you enjoyed writing more than any of the others?
Oh, I love writing the dog narrators of my stories the very best. I’ve worked with dogs for years, so it’s fun for me to incorporate what I have learned about them into my stories.
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 always start with character sketches. But for me, it is like what William Faulkner said, “It begins with a character, usually, and once he stands up on his feet and begins to move, all I can do is trot along behind him with a paper and pencil trying to keep up long enough to put down what he says and does.” And, that has been the way it has been for me. I have an idea, but the character usually takes over and writes himself/herself!
Did you find anything really interesting while researching this or another book?
Definitely. While reading the Vampire Bible, I found an origin to vampires that had never been pursued before. I used the mythology with the gods and expanded it throughout the book.
Can you tell readers a little bit about the world building in the book/series? How does this world differ from our normal world?
The book is set in winter. It’s cold, but vampires don’t feel heat or cold. However, they utilize the fireplace as a gathering place. They can’t feel it, but it reinvents the memory of it in their minds. I made Brogio a wine maker with a vast wine empire around the world so that I could move him and his coven anywhere I wanted to that has wine making! It’s set in modern times but I’ve tried to keep a little of the old world flair to it by always making the surroundings somewhat isolated.
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?
In Season 1, Selene is beautiful but dependent upon Brogio, Snow Blood and Kane. Her personality doesn’t begin to shine until Season 2. In Season 2, she becomes an incredibly strong, fast, head-strong creature. The books can be read as stand-alones, but why? I wouldn’t think of reading a book series without reading them all! That’s the fun of it!
Do any of your characters have similar characteristics of yourself in them and what are they?
Maybe Snow Blood has my independence and loyalty to those he loves in the direst of circumstances. Other than that, not really. After all, my mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives! (If you know where that quote derives, you’re my kind of person!)
Do you have any weird writing quirks or rituals?
I have a favorite font I like to use when I’m writing. I like the way it looks on the page. I always need my dogs in the room with me.
Do you write in different genres?
Yes, I wrote a memoir entitled, Riding Through It. That one is actually free on my Web site. And Luke’s Tale is a family drama with a bit of a twist. Of course, I’m doing the totally paranormal thing now, but I want to write a quirky tragedy-comedy at some point.
What are your guilty pleasures in life?
I love horses and chocolate, not necessarily together.
Other than writing, what are some of your interests, hobbies or passions in life?
I’m passionate about my horse. We compete in classical dressage together. He’s a 16.2 hand, black Friesian (like the horse Antonio Banderas rode in Zorro.) I’ve been doing this for about 14 years.
What was the last amazing book you read?
I finally got around to reading Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter. I enjoyed it. But, in the amazing category, The Art of Racing in the Rain. I’m reading A Big Little Life by Dean Koontz right now. (A fellow dog lover.) I’m in love with it. AND BTW, I've been so busy it is taking me forever to get this book read. I'm savoring it!
When will Snow Blood Season 2 be available?
I was aiming for this month, but that's not going to happen. So, I've re-adjusted and am hoping for this spring or summer.
Til Next Time!