I’ve loved reading for as long as I can remember, I loved it so much that once my father grounded me from reading in an effort to get me to do my math homework. Everything about sinking into a book and exploring a new world, or visiting a well-loved world, speaks to me. Books are my sanity and my escape and frankly they’re my hobby. People love to ask, “what do you do for fun” or “what do you do in your free time”, and my answer is always the same; I read.
Writing started as a way to express the ideas that were running around in my head, and it started almost as early as reading. My mom has a box of stuff from my younger years still in her house. It’s full of my childish attempts at story writing. I wrote about everything from factual stories about my dog to make believe stories about fairies and witches.
Story ideas came to me all the time, and in an effort to capture them I would write them on a scrap of paper and tuck them into my pocket. At the end of the day I would empty my pockets and put the story ideas into a drawer in my dresser. This story drawer was something I would go to when I felt the need to write. I would choose a scrap of paper, read the brief story idea, and begin to write. It was almost as good an escape as reading, and I was hooked. These stories never really took shape in any meaningful way. I think it may have been because I was waiting for a subject to really grab me. When I finally stumbled onto vampires, I found my passion.
Vampires weren’t on my radar for a long time. But somehow I got ahold of an Anne Rice novel, and I was hooked. I read everything related to vampires by any author I could find. At some point reading about them wasn’t enough, and I thought I might try my hand at being a writer. I was in college, and it had been years since I had attempted any type of fictional writing, but I had a job where the boss’ only request was that I look busy.
So I started writing, expecting that at the end of the first day I would just delete everything and start over the next day. I assumed that I would be so rusty that the writing wouldn’t flow. I was wrong. By the end of the first day I had written the first 3 chapters of what would become my first book, Hunting. I kept writing and revising, I worked with editor friends and forced everyone I knew to read my book. Then I printed it out, mailed it to myself, and put it under my bed. Years later my husband found out about the book, and picked at me until I got my act together and published.
Hunting was the start of my vampire world, and while I wrote it before the big boom of vampire popularity, I still had enough experience with the world of the undead, that I wanted to give my creations a unique creation story. Part of what I love about experiencing vampires is reading the creation stories. There are the biblical versions where the sensitivity to silver is related to Judas and his thirty pieces of silver, or a man who drank the blood of his enemies and became cursed, and hundreds of others. I wanted to add my voice to those stories, and create something unique. I also have a love for Egyptian mythology, so I wanted to fold that into my creation story.
I also wanted to give my vampires more power than normal. I wanted to let them be day walkers who were immune to silver. But a story with all powerful vampires would be boring, so I gave them a creation story that made them all-powerful, with a secondary curse that gave them a partial soul and weakened their powers slowly over time. The only way to regain their former strength is to find a vampire child born from human parents and share blood with the child.
***Creation Excerpt from “Hunting”***
Sekhmet, the goddess of war, fell in love with a mortal man. The goddess of beauty, Bastet, was in love with the same man and decided to seduce him. When Sekhmet came upon the two locked in a passionate embrace, she cursed their union. The child born of that union was the first vampire, and the pair named her Khalidah before they knew what she was to become. As Khalidah aged, she became more and more beautiful. She also became colder; as if she were dead, and yet she walked and talked, although her parents never saw her eat. One day Bastet took Khalidah to Sekhmet and demanded to know why her daughter was as cold as death, never ate and yet was still alive, and grew more beautiful each day. The goddess of war laughed and said she had placed a curse on the child. The child would grow more beautiful each day and would be immortal in the image of her mother. However, she would walk the earth without truly being alive, forced to steal life from others just as Bastet had stolen life and happiness from Sekhmet when she seduced the mortal man Sekhmet loved. Horrified at what her daughter was, Bastet cast Khalidah out. Sekhmet saw the child alone and afraid and felt pity. She took the child as her own and raised her, teaching her to hunt mortals and to steal part of their life without taking too much and causing them to die. Sekhmet also taught her many secrets known only to the gods and goddesses. Khalidah learned how to fly, how to shift forms, how to control others using her mind, and most importantly, how to hide what she was.
Hunting in the countryside one day, Khalidah encountered a powerful witch who had heard rumor of what Khalidah was. The young vampire was not afraid because she knew she could not be killed. Seeing Khalidah feeding on a mortal, the witch felt afraid and uttered a curse. The witch carried an Ankh with her, and used it to focus the curse. The power of the curse pierced the top of the ankh, creating a cross. From that point on, vampires could be injured or held at bay with a cross. The curse also gave mortals the power to kill Khalidah, and all vampires, by staking the heart. The witch also bound Khalidah out of mortals’ homes unless invited to enter by a home’s inhabitants. This curse, in essence, gave Khalidah some small piece of mortality. Along with this twisted take on mortality came the ability to bear children and the capacity to feel mortal emotions such as love and hate.
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Hunting (Hunting Saga #1)
In the war between humans and vampires… a child will turn the tide.
Thousands of years ago a goddess cursed a family, every 500 years a child of their bloodline would be born a vampire. This child would mean the survival or destruction of the vampire race. And each would do anything to find the child first.
Jade knew nothing of the curse, but when a vampire princess calls, you answer. Now she must do her best to help find the child and save it from the humans who would see it dead. And if that weren’t enough, the princess’ cousin, in an effort to show her unworthy to lead their people, is doing everything in his power to stop them. Even if that means killing them all.
Discovery (Hunting Saga #2)
There is a serial killer targeting young women in Chicago. The police assumed their suspect was human. When the evidence points to a vampire, Jade and Aldora are called in to work with the police. They must stop the killings and bring the vampire responsible to justice or risk a scandal that could cause the United States to rethink their position on the rights of vampire kind. Dealing with a rash of murders, trying to work with the human police, and raising a baby vampire…what could go wrong?
About the Author
I’ve always been an avid reader, but it wasn’t till sometime in my late teens that I picked up an Anne Rice novel.
We were spending a week at our lake cottage in Michigan, and someone had left behind a copy of Lasher. I read the whole thing in about two days and was hooked. From then on vampires were my book treat of choice.
If I’m not reading about vampires or werewolves, I’m reading JD Robb’s “In Death” or writing my own spin on vampires. And when I’m not doing all that, I’m hanging out with my husband, trying to guess what the little person growing inside me might be one day (right now I’m thinking soccer player).