Guest Blogger: Nancy Haddock
The winner of Nancy's book is: Kerry Nelson! Congratulations, Kerry. Send me your contact information and I'll pass it along to Nancy. Thanks to everyone who participated!
I write a paranormal mystery romance series for Penguin/Berkley starring Cesca Marinelli. Cesca is a 228-year old vampire who was born in St. Augustine, Florida in 1780, turned in 1800, then buried in a coffin in a half-basement and forgotten for over 200 years. When Maggie discovers Cesca during the restoration of a Victorian house, Cesca has a second shot at afterlife, and lot to learn to catch up to the 21st century.
You may surmise that my series is not dark or edgy, and you would be right!
After La Vida Vampire was released, several readers asked me why I didn’t have werewolves (or tigers or leopards, etc.) in my books. Several more asked why I killed off the werecreatures entirely.
The short answer is I didn’t want Weres in my story world. Not because I don’t like werecreature characters – oh, no! Far from it! I’ll read stories with Were characters all day long, be they the throat-ripping bad guys, the sexy good guys, or a mixed bag. Weres are an integral part of the paranormal and urban fantasy genre I love.
But let’s face the facts, folks. We have werelions and weretigers and werebears, oh, my! We have wereleopards, werewolves, werepanthers, wererats, and about any other werecreature an author wants to create.
Given that, where and when do Weres wear thin?
I did consider including Were characters during the early stages of my world building. After deliberating the pros and cons, I thought it was enough of a risk to write a vampire book when so many authors already wrote vampires so very well. The same applied to werecreatures. So many authors wrote them well – and so many populated their books with both Weres and vampires – I figured I didn’t need to go there. I “killed off” Weres for my story world, partly to take care of the question in the reader’s mind. I also made that choice so I could highlight the difference between lycanthropes and my magical shape-shifting character, Pandora, the Florida Panther.
As the time has neared for Last Vampire Standing to be released, a sneaky, savvy, darling reader pointed out that I killed off the Weres in the US, but made no mention of them being wiped out world wide. Might I, the reader asked, ever write a story line in which Weres from Europe trickle into town?
Hmmmm. Now there’s a fun possibility. And, since I’ve learned never to say never, who knows what may show up in future stories to challenge Cesca’s “normal” afterlife?
That’s a question for later. For now I hope that readers will embrace the old and new characters in Last Vampire Standing. Triton, Cesca’s first love from her girlhood, makes an appearance in the new book, and, of course, Maggie and Neil, Saber and Pandora figure prominently. Jo-Jo the Jester, the wannabe stand-up comic, was a scream to write for the sequel, and a paranormal investigation geek is also introduced along with a few more vamps in Daytona Beach.
What is your reading pleasure in paranormal and urban fantasy – the more supernaturals the better, or do you prefer a cast of fewer? Which kinds of supernaturals do you most like to see Weres paired with – vampires, witches, other Weres? Do you like to see new supernatural characters and elements brought into sequels, or do you like all the ingredients in the soup from the get go?
I’d love to discuss these questions, so please leave a comment. If you’re a published author and leave a comment, please also leave your web URL or title of your last or upcoming book! I like sharing the stage!
Nancy is giving away a copy of Last Vampire Standing, but you must leave an answer to one of the questions to be entered. For more opportunities to win a book, see the Beach Party page on Nancy’s web site – www.nancyhaddock.com. The winner will be posted here on Tuesday evening. Check back to see if you won!