It’s an unfortunate fact that an embarrassingly large number of books are published every month, especially in the English language. It also true that a good number of these are vampire fiction of some kind. For the indie author, it can be virtually impossible to rise above the rest.
When I first had that dream of waking in a strange bed with a strange man that answered to the name and description of Dark, I hadn’t actually written anything for three years, except for two pieces of fan fiction solicited by my best friend to help her website out.
It’s really to this former best friend that I owe these books. We had been in a fandom together for several years and ran the ‘official’ website for one of the principal cast, a very lovely English actor who always kept us up to date and gave us our own private bow from the stage of a musical he starred in at the time. I even got to go backstage to meet him at one point, but that’s another story.
My friend eventually became engulfed in the fandom of one of the popular vampire series on TV at the time, and gradually, because I didn’t particularly share her love of this series (I never liked the actress) she spent less and less time talking to me online. Of course I was sad because we’d gone to conventions together; shared hotel rooms together and met the English actor together. Everywhere we went online, it was known we came as a pair. I felt that this new fandom had stolen her from me. And I believe that somewhere, in my disordered little brain, that resentment helped me conceive of a world of vampire fiction as markedly different from her obsession as I could make it.
I’d always sworn off writing vampire fiction – or any fiction, come to that – unless I could do something a bit different. There are already so many stories of human/vampire romances and vampire/werewolf romances and angels and witches and the like that I didn’t think anyone needed me to write another one, especially as I’m about as romantic as a plank! My long-time boyfriend and my ‘song’ is “Fatal”, from the Blade Trinity soundtrack, and we like to turn it up loud and open the windows whenever we drive through a populated area, so that perhaps gives you an idea of how unromantic.
But this has left me with a problem. There is definitely a romance central to the series, or what passes for one in my mind, anyway, so I don’t want to play up the horror aspects and alienate the romance readers. Likewise they’ll be people who like the idea of the story and aren’t particularly interested in romance, and I don’t want to turn them away, either. Not only does it leave me in a quandry when it comes to promotion, but it’s made me deeply unsure of how to approach the rest of the series and the short stories.
Alpha is turning out to be very dark indeed, so much so that I’m starting to question myself a little. It is almost entirely the story of a young Dark and the unspeakable experiences that made him what he is, and I have to warn you, I’m not pulling any punches. He doesn’t want me to. And I’m worried the romance fans won’t like it. But on the flipside, Out of Egypt and its subsequent volume has a heavy focus on the relationship and how they have to rely solely on each other, and the horror fans might get fed up with that. At every step of the way I’m trying to maintain a balance, but it’s hard. I guess I’m asking everyone reading this to bear with me, because I’ll never abandon one element for the other. There’ll naturally be times when one has to take centre stage over the other, but I’ll always come back, in the end.