A Blood Seduction: Q&A about Vamp City with Pamela Palmer
MADELINE IVA: Pamela, what a bold choice to create this tormented, and (literally) dark world! Were you nervous about having floggings, torture, and human slavery in this new series? Are there other urban fantasy authors out there who inspired you to get so grotty? ;>
PAMELA PALMER: LOL. I wish I could blame it on another author, but no. It’s all my doing. : ) Things got dark when I went searching for what made MY vampires different from everyone else’s. There are so many vampires out there now and every writer puts his or her own spin on them. It occurred to me that my vampires didn’t feed solely on blood, but also on emotions. And that’s what set the path. After all, vampires aren’t likely to feed on joy and laughter, but on fear and pain. And pleasure. The situation in Vamp City is worse than it should be and Arturo and Quinn will eventually figure this out. I can’t say more or I’ll give away spoilers!
MADELINE IVA: As you mentioned, the vampires in this world can literally feed off pain and fear, not just blood. In Vamp City how are the vampires created?
PAMELA PALMER: Vampires are sired, just as in most traditional vampire tales, but it takes a conscious act by the siring vamp to make it happen. Much like Ann Rice’s vamps. There are no accidental vampires. And in my world, most humans don’t survive the transition.
MADELINE IVA: You’ve got some other interesting characters lurking out there in the darkness surrounding the city as well–can you tell us a little about the other creatures of the night in your series?
PAMELA PALMER: There are werewolves in Vamp City. And at least one werevamp (a werewolf who was long ago turned into a vampire). There are a couple of sorcerers and a sorceress (our intrepid heroine). And other things, which will come to light as the story progresses. ; )
MADELINE IVA: Vamp City was made back in the 19th century and seems more “period” than our modern world. What was it like having to do historic research for an urban fantasy novel? Did mixing history and the contemporary ever tangle you up as you were writing the series?
PAMELA PALMER: I had a blast researching 1870 Washington, D.C. Fortunately, I live in the D.C. suburbs, so I have easy access to the real place. But I collected old photos, history books, old maps, etc. to really understand what D.C. was like at the time of the Civil War and shortly afterward. (There was little infrastructure (no sewage lines, and of course no electricity or phone lines) The streets hadn’t even been paved! They were still dirt.Then I used my imagination to figure out what a duplicate of that world would look like if left to rot and decay in the dark for one hundred forty years, its only caretakers the vampires who resided within. Especially since those vampires had access to the real world. I figured some would take advantage of modern inventions and bring in generators, televisions (with DVD players), vehicles, etc. Other vamps would cling to the old ways and what they knew. With dirt streets and and no gas stations, horses would still be the transportation of choice. I’m still figuring out all the interesting little idiosyncrasies of this place. And I’m having so much fun doing it!
MADELINE IVA: I REALLY want to ask you about the vampire that your heroine ends up knocking boots with. Their situation is certainly complicated. He’s a sometimes bad guy, sometimes protector who could conceivably turn into a hero one day–but in A Blood Seduction he seems like he’s got miles and miles to go before he can become a “good guy” we root for. What I really want to ask you is: did you flinch while creating this guy as a love interest? It’s just such a bold move–did your agent flinch on your behalf? ;>
PAMELA PALMER: Ha! Actually, no, I didn’t flinch. Because I know the whole story. ; )A Blood Seduction is only book one of four or five (I still don’t know which). In many of my romances, the hero is more anti-hero than hero during the first 20-25% of the book, especially toward the heroine. (If you’ve read my Feral Warriors book, think Jag with Olivia. Or Paenther with Skye.) At the beginning of the romance, the hero is very much his old, flawed self. It takes his clashing with the heroine…and his starting to care about her…for him to wake up to his flaws. Arturo is no different. Throughout book 1, he remains loyal to his vampire master even when it becomes harder and harder to do. And while I don’t want to give away spoilers, at the end of book 1 he does something that’s a bit disloyal. And it changes everything. Book 2 is written and I can tell you Arturo is changing, though it’s not easy for him or anyone around him. Quinn, too, is changing. Ultimately they’ll earn their happily ever after, but they have a long, difficult, exciting road to travel before they get there.
MADELINE IVA: Overall, I have to say that the book has really stayed with me. The more I think about it, the more I like the rich complexities you’ve created — it’s my favorite book of yours at this point!PAMELA
PALMER: I’m so glad, Madeline! Thank you. : )
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