If you're Maggie Shayne. Yes you can.
It is exciting to hear how some of my favorite authors brought their characters into being. Each author has such an interesting reason for his or her concept of that character.
Today my guest blogger is, bestselling author, Maggie Shayne to tell you why she decided to portray her vamps as the good guys.
Back in October of 1993, my very first vampire novel, TWILIGHT PHANTASIES, was released, and my Wings in the Night series was born. I had no clue at that time that it would last as long as it has, or that it would eventually span five lines (Silhouette Shadows, Intimate Moments, Single Title, Harlequin Nocturne, and MIRA, as well as an Online Read at Eharlequin.com,) twenty titles, and eighteen years. Wow. It’s been quite a ride.
Back then, before I was published, all I was thinking about was writing a vampire romance. I’d always loved vampire lore, even as a little girl, I never missed an old black & white rerun of DRACULA or one of its endless sequels. My only issue with the films was that the monster didn’t get the girl. I found Vlad far more appealing than Jonathan Harker. So I wanted to rewrite my old favorite classic vampire flicks in a new way. I wanted the vamp to be the hero, the good guy.
There was one other author who beat me to the punch. Lori Herter, whose trilogy, OBSESSION, POSSESSION, and CONFESSION blew me away. I was bummed I didn’t get mine out first, but utterly relishing every word of her books.
About the time I was finishing my first vampire romance, Silhouette books announced a new line: Silhouette Shadows. And I was thrilled. I submitted my story there, knowing it was just the place for me.
And it was rejected. :( The problem was with the hero Eric Marquand’s best friend, Roland de Courtemanche. He was simply in the book too much. This was a category romance line, and as such, the focus of the story needed to stay mainly on the hero and the heroine.
“But I love Roland,” I whined.
Save him for the sequel, said the wise editor, Melissa Senate (now a bestselling author in her own right. Her novel, See Jane Date, was made into a successful film.)
And at those words, for the very first time, I saw my vampire world as more than just one book. I saw a sequel. My dream then became, maybe two books. Or even three.
While I was doing the revisions, I submitted another novel, this one a romantic suspense, to Silhouette Intimate Moments, (a line whose name has now changed to Harlequin Romantic Suspense) and that book, RECKLESS ANGEL, became my first sale.
And when the revisions were done, TWILIGHT PHANTASIES was bought as well.
If I had known then, that the series would span twenty stories, I would have started a database, and filled it with every detail on every character, for easy reference. But as it turns out, I was all the way up to book 7 before I realized this series might keep going for awhile. In fact, after book 3, TWILIGHT ILLUSIONS, I was told to stop writing vampires altogether. The Shadows line, I was told, was folding. (I will always believe it was ahead of its time, and I think the current market trends prove me right.)
Upon receiving that news, I did three things in quick succession.
1. Bawled my eyes out.
2. Got really pissed off.
3. Wrote another vampire novel--in 8 weeks flat.
It was the fastest I had ever written one. Editors, take heed. If you want to hurry me up, tell me not to write the book. :) It was published as a Silhouette Single Title, BORN IN TWILIGHT, and it kept the series alive. Or undead.
After that Harlequin/Silhouette’s single title division, MIRA Books, was finally ready to let my vampires invade their pages, and I’ve been publishing them there ever since.
The main problem with the series has been people finding it recently, who desperately want the backlist, and cannot find them in print. But the recent advent of Epublishing has solved that problem and opened the books to a whole new audience. Harlequin has even released a special edition “Twilight Bundle” that includes the first five books in the series.
My full vampire title list is available at my website, by email, and on my Facebook Fanpage under Notes.
Thank you, Maggie, for taking your time away from your work to give us this great insight into you and you characters.
Links to Maggie's sites. Go visit her.
Click on the links below to order or preorder Maggie's Books.
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April 19th 2011