Monday, August 13, 2007

"Behind the Book"

Last month, THE ULTIMATE BITE was featured in the Orange County Chapter of RWA's newsletter. Now that it's been published, I can share the contents with you here. It's just a bit of background about the the book, but at press time I didn't know that I'd be writing the sequel (which is called BOUND AND BITTEN for now). Enjoy!

As some of you know, I’m a vampire gal.

Strange, because I was first published by Silhouette Special Edition, which doesn’t exactly feature those creatures of the night. In fact, the “home-and-hearth” stories aren’t anywhere near what I also write today—urban fantasy for Ace Books and “steamy” romance within the Harlequin Blaze line.

So how did I get from Special Edition to vampires? To make a long story short, I’d always loved horror, and my writing evolved along those lines. So when it came time to pitch a new project to Brenda Chin, Blaze editor supreme, I decided to “go vampire” with a bloodthirsty hero named Stephen and a feisty would-be Van Helsing heroine named Kimberly.

But there’s a slight twist to the hunter/prey scenario: Kimberly has already been bitten by this particular vampire, and it was the freakiest, sexiest, hottest thing that ever happened to her. She just can’t get over it. And, one grand night, he comes to her again for another bite. Of course, she welcomes him back into her arms…or neck, actually. And then? Whoops. She realizes that Stephen doesn't remember biting her. At all. You see, he’s a vampire of great experience, so all his seductions sort of meld together. Still, the heroine can’t believe he has forgotten, since that bite pumped up her carnal confidence and turned her from an unfulfilled, rather mousy girl into a woman who turns heads when she enters a room. Being such an unforgettable bite offends her and makes her question the sexuality she thought she possessed.

Hence, our heroine sets out to seduce Stephen into believing that she’s the "ultimate bite," while at the same time proving to herself that she’s truly the sex kitten she’d come to perceive herself as. This book belongs in Blaze because it centers on the romance, the hot stuff, and the growth of the characters. The hero is more traditional than my usual vampires, but there’s a touch of LOST BOYS and highwayman in his world. My heroine was just as exciting to create, because she works with an Internet-based amateur “vampire hunting” group. She’s a fangirl geek, too—into comic books and pop culture, and that made for an amusing slant to her character.

THE ULTIMATE BITE is the first published vampire-centric Blaze, and that’s the reason it’s under the “Extreme” flash. (“Extreme” tells the readers that this is a Blaze story that isn’t quite the same as most others. Past plots have featured a superheroine who has lost her powers as well as a female assassin who might have to kill her lover.) There have been paranormal stories within the line before, but no major vamps.

In the end, I had lots of fun writing this one, and there are many more stories in this world to tell….


Yolanda Sfetsos said...

Thanks for this post, C! Very cool. You know, I'm still waiting here in Australia... not sure if it'll be October or November... but still looking forward to reading it. :)

And I'm with you on the vamp thing. I'll always be a vampire girl. If I read the main character, or even someone else, is a vamp, I totally buy the book. Can't help myself. And I've always loved horror. I think it's a bit obvious in everything I write. Lol.

I totally LOVE your vamp books, BTW.

Long live the vamps. ;)

Crystal Green's Blog said...

Still waiting? It *is* coming out there though, right? (You're my excellent source, Y, LOL.)
And thank you so much for the compliment. :) :) :)