Hi Folks, I continue the vampiric theme of this weeks posts with a bit of a behind the scenes look into the workings of my brain. Don’t worry, there won’t be any pictures of said brain, so nothing to be squeamish about.
So, as you know most of what I write is light hearted, contemporary and all about the romance and hot sex. So it beggars the question why did I decide to write about vampires?
I blame the werewolves.
No, really. I was wandering along, minding my own business when I saw a call for submissions at Total-e-Bound for werewolf stories. At first glance I decided it wasn’t for me and carried on carrying on. But then an idea struck and it wouldn’t leave me alone and Moon Shy was born.
But I’ve always been more of a vampire fan and so once I’d seen to my werewolf I knew I’d have to hit up a vampire sooner or later and then I remembered…
I was traversing the moors to Whitby by carriage (okay, bus but that doesn’t sound so romantic) earlier in the year. It was both beautiful and scary. The landscape stretched on for miles and miles. I imagined what it’d be like to walk through the heather and stiff grass and how easy it’d be to twist an ankle.
I imagined a young woman doing just that and calling out for help even though she would know it was a fairly pointless exercise being in the middle of nowhere and having not seen a living soul for hours. But my imagination (as it often does) provided a man to come to her rescue. In my original plot he was a farm hand with his tractor. He whisked off said young lady to relative safety…or did he?
I was on the outskirts of Whitby and my daydream ended with him exposing his fangs and munching on her neck.
Then I got off the bus and went about my touristy business.
So when I thought of writing a vampire tale that is where my mind went once again. Now anyone who’s read The Point will recognise the scene I’m sure, even though it changed quite a lot in my actual written account. After all Hugh cannot be mistaken for a farm hand in his frock coat and he doesn’t use a tractor to save Elizabeth, just brute strength. But here’s a snippet from the scene for you to enjoy:
Standing up, she wiped the crumbs from her trousers and picked up her rucksack. She checked her map and realised if she nipped down the side of the next field she could cut twenty minutes off her walk. It would be a little naughty, but the field didn’t contain a crop and there was just a scrub of wild flowers and grasses. There weren’t any trespasser signs so she squeezed through a gap in the bushes, cursing her big hips and ample bosom with every scrape of the thorny branches…
She felt a cool breeze on her shoulders and looked up to the sky. A huge black cloud was on its way over. If she picked up her pace, she’d be safely in the warmth of her little tent by the time it broke. She stepped forward determinedly and yelped as her foot fell an inch lower than she’d expected and she tumbled over to the side, her foot still wedged in the hole.
“Ouch,” she cried. “Fuck, damn it!” She pulled her leg gently out of the offending pothole and winced. She’d twisted it. She could feel her toes and wiggle them, but the ankle was swelling up already. It was definitely sprained.
She took off her trainer and dragged off the sock to discover a bruise already beginning to form, the ankle much wider around than it should be. She yanked her bottle of water out of her backpack and poured it onto her sock until it was wet. It was not as cold as a frozen pack of peas but it was cool so it would have to do. She wrapped it loosely around the stupid ankle to soothe it. It was then she wondered how she would get back to her tent. She was still a good mile from the site, and the thought of walking all that way pained her. She was in the middle of a field with no helpful stick or person to lean on. There was no way she could hobble across this uneven ground without doing herself another damage. She had no phone and no way of contacting anyone to help her except by the old-fashioned and embarrassing way. She sighed, took a deep breath then yelled at the top of her voice.
“Help! Help! Please help me!” And she hoped to the heavens that someone was in hearing distance as the first cool drops of water splashed on her arms.
* * * *
“Help!” Hugh heard the shout as loudly as if it had been called from inside his home.
“Help! Please help me!”
He concentrated and determined that the voice came from somewhere in his field, out beyond the garden. He never did anything with the field, not needing its nourishment himself or its money. He’d pretty much forgotten about it. It wasn’t part of his life. A black cloud rumbled overhead and a bright crack of lightning was followed a few seconds later by a loud clap of thunder.He couldn’t leave the poor woman out in this. He let out a disgruntled sigh and walked out his back door. He didn’t bother locking it behind him.
No one dared to walk over the threshold into his home.
The voice yelled out again then whispered some colourful swear words almost under its breath. The damsel in distress certainly wasn’t a well-bred lady using language like that. He crossed the long garden in a blink and opened the concealed gate, remembering the days he would come down here as a child to play with the farm kids and watch as they brought in the harvest. He shook his head to rid himself of the image and carried on, impervious to the heavy drops of storm rain, until he found the young lady who sat directly in the middle of his field.
“Can I help?” he said, and she jumped. She had obviously not heard him approach. “Oh, sorry I didn’t see or hear—I didn’t expect—yes, I’ve sprained my ankle, and I need to get back to my tent at the campsite up the road. You know it? I’m sorry to ask, but I’m kind of stuck.”
Hugh bent down, slipped an arm under her legs and braced the other around the bottom of her back. “What the hell do you think—” She didn’t finish her sentence as Hugh lifted her as easily as if she’d been a fallen lamb. “My bag,” she called weakly as Hugh turned and carried her back towards the house.
“It’s still back there.”
“I will return for it later,” Hugh said in a voice that brooked no argument. The young lady’s mouth snapped shut, and her hands grasped firmly to the back of his neck. Her scent was light and zesty with a floral hint that reminded Hugh of a rose garden when it was early in bloom. Her brown curls were flat against her head, and her face was paler than his. Her eyes were downcast, and she nibbled at her plump lower lip. He sensed her blood was good and strong, and he worked hard to erase images of ripping into her tender neck from his mind.
So where did the rest of it come from? Well, I couldn’t have a hero who killed people just to eat. It’s not something that sat well with me so I had to figure out a way of getting Hugh his blood without actually killing any humans. It was then the idea of orgasmic blood being stronger and more full of life came to my mind and the ten second rule was born. It’s far sexier to have a Vampire bring their partner to orgasm then feed on them for just ten seconds than the alternative.
And The Point came about because I needed Hugh to be somewhere she could find him. I knew Hugh was a proactive kind of guy and it made sense to me that he would have passed on the news of his discovery to other vampires in an attempt to make the world safer for the humans he loves. And So the night club was born. The Point wasn’t born until I finished the piece completely and I told my Husband of my plight. He came up with the Bar name and therefore the name of the book and the whole series!
But that’s a tale for another time. For now remember you can pick up The Point and Stopping Point from Total-E-Bound and all other good ebook retailers (pick your favourite and search for me, baby!) and The Vampire’s Choice is coming very, very soon. In 11 days in fact!