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.
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New Blog: Marie Treanor’s Romantic Theme Party
The debut of a seductive new contemporary series of vampires, lust, and revenge.Read excerpts from Blood on Silk, first in the Awakened by Blood trilogy.
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.
Buy Blood on Silk.
Pre-order Blood Sin, available April 2011.
Watch out for Blood Eternal, available October 2011.
The Hardest Part: the ScienceWell, 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.
How 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!