Friday, January 7, 2011

Guest Author – Marie Treanor (with giveaway)

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marietreanor
I am very pleased to have  Scottish writer Marie Treanor as a guest today.  Back  in September I had selected her saucy sexy cover of her paranormal romance Blood on Silk as my pick of the month. She is here today to tell you about the Awakened by Blood trilogy and the world-building behind it.

For readers unfamiliar with her work we also have a giveaway of two copies of Blood on Silk to be won by lucky readers (more details at the end of the post). To enter leave a comment for Marie or answer the question,  “What kind of vampires do your prefer, good or evil, and why?”

ABOUT MARIE TREANOR:
Marie Treanor lives in Scotland with her eccentric husband and three much-too-smart children. Having grown bored with city life, she resides these days in a picturesque village by the sea where she is lucky enough to enjoy herself avoiding housework and writing sensual stories of paranormal romance and fantasy. Marie is an author of mainly sensual paranormal and futuristic romance. As well as a string of ebooks published by Samhain, Changeling Press, Ellora's Cave and The Wild Rose Press, her first New York published book was released in September - a vampire romance called Blood on Silk, first in the Awakened by Blood trilogy.

Marie’s website: www.MarieTreanor.com.

Connect with her on Facebook.

New Blog: Marie Treanor’s Romantic Theme Party

Blood on Silk design 2.indd
The debut of a seductive new contemporary series of vampires, lust, and revenge.

Scottish academic Elizabeth Silk is spending the summer in Romania researching historical superstitions for her PhD. While she is tracing local folktales, one subject in particular sparks her imagination. His name is Saloman, legend's most powerful vampire, a seductive prince staked centuries ago. Now, in the ruins of a castle crypt, Elizabeth discovers the legends are real. Her blood has awakened him. Her innocence has aroused him. But Elizabeth unleashes more than Saloman's hunger.

An army of vampire hunters has amassed to send Saloman back to hell. Sworn to help - yet fearing Saloman's deadly blood lust - Elizabeth seeks to entrap him, offering her body as bait. But something stronger than dread, more powerful than revenge, is uniting Elizabeth to her prey. Caught between desire and rage, Elizabeth must decide where her loyalties lie...and what the limits are to a yearning she can no longer control.
Read excerpts from Blood on Silk, first in the Awakened by Blood trilogy.

Buy Blood on Silk.

Pre-order Blood Sin, available April 2011.

Watch out for Blood Eternal, available October 2011.

Welcome Marie!

The Hardest Part: the Science

Well, okay, science it definitely isn’t, but in my world of fictional vampires, it comes close – in my own head, at least!

I’m often asked, “What was the hardest part of writing this book?” and with BLOOD ON SILK, I have to admit I struggled for an answer. The characters and the story all came pretty easily, shooting out of a scene in my head where the (apparently) stone sculpture of a man rises and advances on my terrified yet perversely attracted heroine. They really made their own story.

Funnily enough the answer struck me while looking at the title of this Blog. I enjoy sci-fi; I’ve even written a little sci-fi romance, although my science may be considered “soft” by hard-core fans! Nevertheless I finally realized that what was actually hardest about BLOOD ON SILK – and the whole AWAKENED BY BLOOD trilogy – was developing the background “science” that makes the whole thing “work”. This was what slowed me down, prevented me just blithely creating any circumstances that popped into my head. Yes, I’m god of my own world, but to make it realistic for myself let alone for my readers, I had to pause and answer some pretty basic questions.

BloodSinHow did vampires come to be? What’s the source of their physical strength and supernatural power? How do they survive and die? How do they procreate? How do they communicate with each other? What authority do they acknowledge and why? Who hunts them, why and how? What effect does the sun have on them? What do they smell like? What do they eat or drink? What…?

Well, you get the general idea! I had to make a believable and consistent science – oh, all right, mythology, then!

In my world, there have always been vampires. Their species evolved before humans, closer to nature and with different qualities which were regarded by humans as magic. They could even revive their own dead to give the chosen ones immortality and the accompanying responsibility to preserve their ways throughout the generations. Saloman, my hero, was one of those so chosen. In the beginning, the Ancients lived among humans, whom they protected, although as religion and society developed, their involvement grew increasingly secret.

So much stronger than humans, why didn’t the Ancients become the dominant species? Because contact with humans brought about disease that gradually wiped out the live members of the race. And as numbers dwindled, the undead Ancients began to succumb to loneliness-induced insanity and either committed suicide or were put out of their misery. Only the very strongest adapted with the ages, until the last of the Ancient undead, Saloman, was betrayed and staked in the 17th century.

However, Saloman was far from the only undead in the world. As the Ancients began to die out they “turned” a few humans – who then “turned” anyone they liked. Strict Ancient rules were lost, and modern, much more bestial vampires roamed the world at will.

Which is when the secret, world-wide hunter organization was formed to protect humanity from vampires. The hunters have moved with the times. Although a stake through the heart is still their best weapon, they now have sophisticated tracking devices, attuned to vampire body temperatures and biochemistry. Being a hunter is hard, but there are compensations: like vampires, they absorb the strength of their undead victims at the moment of the kill. Modern hybrid vampires are much easier to slay than Ancients – a stake through the heart turns them instantly to dust. Which is another plus for the hunters: no mess to clean up.

An Ancient vampire, however, can hold his physical form and his spirit together, despite the stake. He can’t move, seems to be asleep, and as time passes his cold body takes on the appearance of stone. In fact, given the enchantment of peace by his own people, he is, to all intents and purposes, dead.
Saloman, however, was never given that enchantment. He has spent three hundred years with the physical agony of a stake through his heart and the emotional torture of knowing he was betrayed by those he loved best: his vampire “child” and his human lover. He’s had a lot of time to be angry, to plot his revenge and plan fool-proof world domination. Should he ever be awakened.

Which, of course, he is, by my unwitting heroine, Elizabeth Silk, who’s rationalizing vampire myths for her PhD. She’s finally found the resting place of the legend who won’t fit her thesis, and she’s bleeding from a thorn in her hand. A drop of her blood gives him enough strength to move, to take more, and then Saloman is back.

Of course, there’s another catch – thus awakened, an Ancient vampire needs to kill his awakener to reach full strength. A neat trick of nature to ensure that once killed, an Ancient stays dead. You wouldn’t bother to waken someone who’d immediately do his best to kill you. So Elizabeth’s life has just changed forever, and by releasing a vengeful Saloman on the world, she’s endangered far more than herself.

Anyway, that’s the potted mythology behind the AWAKENED BY BLOOD trilogy, born out of my struggles! I’d give you more details, but I feel you should read the books for those. I don’t want to spoil the story.


Thanks for joining us today Marie and we look forward to Blood Eternal in April!



51 comments:

  1. Hmm, I prefer both kinds of vampires, good and evil! I like the idea that just because you meet a vampire doesn't mean he or she is evil. And just because you know a lot of good vampires doesn't mean they all are.

    Morning Glow

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  2. Hi Marie!

    I prefer both types of vampires, each has their own 'strong' points. Evil vampires (especially the ancient ones) seems so much more like the vampire mythology I grew up with, so I could never tune them out of my reading/viewing pleasure. I love a good evil vampire bent on destruction. But, I also have a soft point for the vampire out to prove that all blood takers are bent on destruction, the so-called 'vegetarian' vampire (those who live on other sources than human, or those who don't kill their human prey, just take a little blood from multiple donors). I love this new type of vampires, turning them into good guys, usually with an evil background they're trying to appease. I love them all, vampires are an enduring paranormal creature that I hope the reading/viewing public never tire of.

    Dottie :)
    gymmom_027@yahoo.com
    Tink's Place

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  3. i love a vampire when he's evil, but becomes good! changed over by one of his victims LOL!

    stampitchick at yahoo dot ca

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  4. I am a sucker for a good vampire...They tend to be sexy and romantic, and all things yummy. And they will always be my preference...even the bad boys...

    However, there are stories that thend to be better when the vampires are evil...the one where evil is thier very nature...the ones with no humanity left in them... and it is human against vampires....

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  5. First of all, many thanks to Doug for having me here today, and Happy New Year to all SciFi Guy readers!

    Hi Amanda! I agree, we need them all! And I get many shades of good and evil vamps into the Awakened by Blood books :)

    Thanks for your answer, Dottie. There are so many vampire "types" now and each has an appeal in the right story.

    Tina, I like your thinking :). Good storyline!

    Hi Lori! I agree your favourite of the moment has to depend on the story. On and did you intend the pun (sucker for a vampire)? :)

    Marie

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  6. I like both types. The good vampire should have a dark side.

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  7. I love good vampires, however I remember the BAD vampires more and adore seeing them appear in multiple books.

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  8. Hello, Marie.

    I like both kinds of vampires but I do enjoy reading about the evil ones who redeem themselves and become good.

    Thanks,
    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

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  9. I love a good vampire. The evil vampire villians just don't do it for me.

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  10. I think that I like my vampires good with a touch of evil/bad boy in them. They are vampires after all.

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  11. I prefer my vamps good nowadays but every once in a while I'll run acorss a book where they are evil and it's a nice change of pace :-)

    smaccall @ comcast.net

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  12. Hi Michael! I'm all for a dark side or two as well :).

    Thanks for your comment, Robin! I think there may be more room for a memorable character among the at least partly bad vamps...

    Hello, Tracey! I can see redemption of some kind is appealing.

    Hi Sara! A complete villain would certainly be an uncomfortable companion :). Which makes him hard to relate to as a hero! On the other hand, I don't like my vampires to behave TOO much like humans either.

    Exactly, Barb! A touch of evil works for me :)

    Marie

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  13. I like both vampires, good and evil.It depends on the storyline.

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  14. I like them both. But my favorite is the vampire like Spike from Buffy The Vampire Slayer. He thinks he's such a badass but down deep he's not such a bad guy.

    forwhlz at gmail dot com

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  15. Good and evil. I like a mixture.

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  16. I actually prefer both kind of vampires. Good vampires kind of restore the moral order to things, but the bad ones are really interesting and the author has a chance to really go wild with their imagination.

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  17. I like the "good" vampires only!!
    Can't wait to read this series, it looks great.

    mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

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  18. Evil with a conscience I think. (ie. Angel, Damon Salvatore).
    The Bad Boy with a hint of good :D

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  19. Hi, Marie,

    Your book sounds great, and the cover is gorgeous!

    I love vampires of all kinds -- good and evil -- whatever is appropriate for the character. They're all fun. :)

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  20. Hi Elaing8, I'm hearing that a lot, and I think it's true! Whatever works for the story.

    Hello, Sandy! Spike was a great character - I loved his humour :)

    Hi Cathie! Mixture is good, makes for a more interesting character, sometimes!

    I think your right, Stephanie - writing the bad guys can be a lot more fun :). But again, I suppose it depends on the character and the story.

    Thanks, Martha! My hero, Saloman, isn't entirely good - at least by human standards. He's a vampire, after all, and no one ever forgets that. He lives by his own rules, not ours. But on the other hand, he's sexy and charming and has a sense of humour - and just occasionally betrays a hint of vulnerability. So I hope you'll give him a chance to prove himself :).

    Vickie, Bad boy with a hint of good works for me - or even good boy with a hint of bad :).

    Thanks, Karen! And of course, you're right, whatever our favourites might be, they're all fun and we want more :).

    Marie

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  21. Hi Doug & Marie :)
    Thank you for the interesting post.
    And the chance to win!
    I prefer the good & evil vampire character, like Lestat - a perfect example of both in one.
    :)
    All the best,
    RKCharron

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  22. I'm a fan of good vamps but I like them to have a bad side ie. taking out the bad vamps. :)

    This new series sounds fabulous!

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  23. I think any vampires can be okay, when reading about any of them they can either make my jaw hit the floor or get on my last nerve, really easily!

    Then there are those that try for the world domination (True Blood), and his enemies either good or bad, that try to stop him and prove that not all vampires are bad

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  24. honestly, I prefer the good vampire, because there are no books with bad vampires as heroes...
    greetings, Ina

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  25. I like vampires that are good, in a bad type of way.

    meredithfl at gmail dot com

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  26. I prefer a "good" vampire. But let's be honest, they aren't very "good" if they don't have some Badazz" in them!

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  27. It depends on what kind of story I'm reading. I usually enjoy "good" vampires - as the protagonists of the book. I recently read Vampire Empire:The Grefriar - that book has some pretty mean and nasty vampires, and I loved the book - they were just what the story called for.

    Barbed1951(at)aol(dot)com

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  28. I don't mind either. Evil can be fun for a change but the good ones tend to have a bit of personality with them too. Although I guess evil ones can too depending on the writer! Basically my answer is BOTH!

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  29. I love vampires, but I think I prefer them to be good or at least not be totally evil.
    lynnflagler@yahoo.com

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  30. I prefer both bad and good...it's just makes the plot more interesting. You have no idea which one you're dealing with..

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  31. Thanks for all the replies!

    RK- you're welcome! Glad you liked the post. Lestat is one of my favourite characters too - although I always had a soft spot for the more humane Louis as well, probably because I was so blown away when I first read Interview with the Vampire!

    Thanks, Jess! The series has been great fun to write.

    Hi Richard! I like surprises too, and I'm all in favour of a bit of world domination - which is my Saloman's speciality :)

    Ina, I see your point! It's a question of balance - how much good or bad is "good" in a vampire hero? Of course if the vamp is the villain, he can be as awful as you like :)

    Meredith and YzhaBella, I hear you :)

    Thanks, Barbara - I haven't read that one yet. Must get to it!

    Hi Jessica. Both is good :)

    Lynnette, I agree totally evil is a bit off-putting, unless he/she's the villain. Though ahint of bad can be intriguing!

    Hello, Tanya! I like to be kept intrigued and guessing like that too. And in fact, I think I keep people guessing about Saloman :)

    Marie

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  32. Hi, I generally prefer good vampires...those who don't kill to feed. Thanks so much for the giveaway!
    maddiemb (at) comcast (dot) net

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  33. I like a Vampire that is a "bad boy". He's not really good, but not evil either.

    cbandy10(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  34. I like my vampires to be a little good and a little bad ;-)

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  35. I prefer both kinds of vampires. Without either type, there would not be as many stories to tell!

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  36. Hi Shala! Thank you - and you're welcome :).

    Cindy and Chelsea, I think you like to be kept intrigued and wondering too :)

    Thanks, Amy - I think you've hit the nail on the head!

    It's great hearing all these shades of opinion and preference - thanks, everyone!

    Marie

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  37. I like to have both types in the same book. It makes things more exciting.
    marlenebreakfield(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  38. I like "good" vamps; I think Angel set my preferences. "Good" vamps can have bad days... but they need to be basically good.

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  39. Thanks, Marlene and Lindalou!I'm all for excitement, and I did like Angel... his brooding was good too :).

    Marie

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  40. Humm, I think, doubts here, that I like "Evil" the most. But "Evil" with a master plan!

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  41. Hi Thierry! Evil with a master plan is good! My Saloman certainly has a master plan, although he isn't evil by his own standards, at least :)

    Marie

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  42. I have always felt that a good character is never wholly good or wholly evil.

    I like ones that are good, but have a huge self serving streak to them, like Harris' Eric Northman.

    Lane

    moiraethefates(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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  43. I like both kinds of vampires, it just really depends on what the story is about and how the author spins everything, but I definitely love good vampires!

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  44. Thanks for your comments, Moira and Jeanette. Character layers and story layers are important to me too - make all the difference!

    Marie

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  45. Like many here, I like both kinds of vampires. It just depends on the vampire. some examples for me from some tv show vampires - Spike I prefer evil. Mick St. James I like as good.

    The series sounds great!

    cheleooc at yahoo dot com

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  46. Both kinds have their alluring qualities. It would probably have to depend on the kind of story and the other characters.

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  47. Both kinds have their alluring qualities. It would probably have to depend on the kind of story and the other characters.

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  48. Yes, the general consensus seems to be that there's a place for both, depending on the story. Thanks both for replying, and Daelith, thanks for your kind words about my series :).

    Marie

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  49. I must admit, I like my vampires a little bad. My daughter has recently discovered Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She's an Angel fan, I adore Spike. (She's coming around to my way of thinking.) What you see is what you get with Spike. That's the thing about being a little bad. It's hard to deny, so why not just accept the dark side, and live with it. Makes for a great deal more fun.

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  50. Hi Tarah! What I liked about Spike was the humour that came with his badness :). And that inspite of all his badness, he cared for odd, damaged beings like Drusilla. Great mixture!

    Marie

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For bloggers comments are like water to a man (or woman) wandering in the desert. A precious commodity. I love to hear from everyone and do my best to respond to every post.