The Fun of Series
One of the things you have to love most about writing is getting the opportunity to dig into the stories of your secondary characters and that’s part of the reason I really enjoyed writing The Vampire Who Loved Me. From the moment Achilles Stefanos popped into the living room of my hero in The Truth About Vampires, and asked if the heroine was take-out, I knew he needed his own story. He was just bigger than life. It turned out so was the heroine’s best friend, Dr. Rebecca Chamberlin (who goes by Beck, if that gives you a sense of her personality.)
Sure, they were totally wrong for one another, but that only goaded me further in deciding I was going to drag both of them along into a story of their own.
Now if you’ve read The Truth About Vampires, or even the novella Salvation of the Damned, you can tell I’m fairly into world-building. My characters are not just plunked down street side in Seattle and letting their little lives unfold. There’s so much more going on that we only see snippets of here and there. And the reality is you’re going to see a whole lot more. The vampire culture is only one segment of the Sons of Midnight world (but I’m getting ahead of myself).
I wanted to make sure, while writing about this vampire society, that I really understood all the implications of what happens to people who do and don’t follow the rules. What happens to them? Why are those rules there in the first place? What are the consequences to others in the society? It’s those kinds of questions that swirl around in my head when I’m thinking up scenes or what happens next in the story.
What’s great about the series is that you can show these different elements of a society through the stories of the individuals. And not all of it has to be in one book. While each story stands on it’s own (because it’s fundamentally about the relationship between that hero and heroine), it’s also a little greater insight into the whole world of the Sons of Midnight mini series.
Sometime characters do their own thing. And when they do, usually the story is better for it. Now I happen to be a fan of the British television show Top Gear. They did an episode where they were testing the fastest cars in the world and one in particular made Achilles sit up and take notice. It was a Bugatti Veyron. Sleek, ultra low, sinful looking even. It was him to a T. And when I went to go look it up for research, I found out they actually had a Sang Noir edition of the car (literally black blood – which is the color of my vampire’s ichor.) Really how could I not let him have one? Especially when I could special order it with a blood red interior?
Okay, SPOILER ALERT, SKIP TO THE NEXT PARAGRAPH IF YOU HATE SPOILERS. Sorry, didn’t mean to scream, but wanted to get your attention. The last scene in the book almost didn’t make it in. My editor was very concerned that it would make Achilles seem less sympathetic. Really I think it makes him look more sympathetic. See, I know what my own husband was like when I was at home with a mid-wife with both our kids. (yes, I did home-birth, and yes, it was amazing.) I couldn’t see a better illustration of how totally blended these two individuals had become as a result of their imprint than to have to have them go through a birth experience together. The whole epilogue was one of those character detours.
With each book I’m discovering more and more about the world of the Sons of Midnight mini-series. It means I have to keep copious notes. What the different emotions smell like to the vampires. What rules they have. How the hierarchy in their clan system works. Names, dates. I tell you it’s like a book itself!
But I hope that it makes a more vivid reading experience for you. Because in the end, that’s why I do what I do. I want to share a story that engages you.
So, have I done my job?
Theresa Meyers Bio:
Raised by a bibliophile who made the dining room into a library, Theresa has always been a lover of books and stories. First a writer for newspapers, then for national magazines, she started her first novel in high school, eventually enrolling in a Writer's Digest course and putting the book under the bed until she joined Romance Writers of America in 1993. In 2005 she was selected as one of eleven finalists for the American Title II contest, the American Idol of books. She is married to the first man she ever went on a real date with (to their high school prom), who she knew was hero material when he suffered through having to let her parents drive, and her brother sit between them in the backseat of the car. They currently live in a Victorian house on a mini farm in the Pacific Northwest with their two children, three cats, an old chestnut Arabian gelding, an energetic mini-Aussie shepherd puppy, several rabbits, a dozen chickens and an out-of-control herb garden. You can find her online on Twitter, Facebook, at her Web site or blogging with the other Lolitas of STEAMED!
This guy was a vampire. As much as she hated
to admit it, if anyone knew what to look for in the signs
of a person changing into a vampire, it would be one.
Which meant she’d be pretty stupid to send him away,
especially since the pain wasn’t abating.
“For once in your life, Beck, stop trying to have a
game plan for everything and just go with this until we
can be certain what’s going on,” Kristin urged.
Beck sighed. Desperation won out over indignation.
She sure didn’t want to die, but she didn’t want to become
one of them, either. “Fine. But I’m only doing it as a favor
The tension coming through the phone from Kristin’s
side instantly relaxed. “That’s good enough. Call me if
“Sure. Night.” She stared for a second at the phone,
then handed it back to the stranger in her room.
He took it, scrupulously avoiding her touch as he did
so. “You didn’t believe that Kristin sent me.”
Beck cocked her head to the side. “If a strange man
entered your bedroom, in particular a vampire, would
you trust his word?”
“Right. Then cut me some slack.” She latched on
to the anger burning in her chest formed partly at her
own inability to stop the virus and partly at her needing
assistance from the very beings she detested. She needed
something to help her focus past the pain she felt. She
sighed, shoved her crazed curls out of her line of vision
and peered intently at him.
He had a thin faded scar that bisected his right
eyebrow, the stubble on his chin seemed just as golden
as his hair, but a shade darker.
This was the first time she’d really gotten to analyze
a vampire up close. Beck had to mentally switch off the
scientific section of her brain that was ready to go into
full investigative mode. “So you’re a vampire, huh?”
“So I’ve been told.” He gave her a playful grin that sent
heat spiraling down to her toes. The scent of rosemary
that tinged the air changed slightly, now underlined with
the smell of warm ocean. If she’d closed her eyes she
could have pretended to be on a strip of sand gazing out
at the azure water. But there was no way she was going
back to sleep with him in her house.
“Look, before we get into this too far, let me tell you
that I’m really against becoming a vampire. And I’m not
into being a donor girl, so don’t even ask. Are we clear?”
Of course even as she said the words, her curiosity about
him spiked further. Up until now her observations of
vampires, with the exception of Kris, had been from as
far a distance as possible while she formulated a way to
reverse the virus.
Did vampire fangs get in the way when you kissed?
Beck wiped her hand across her forehead. Wow. Maybe
she was sicker than she thought. There was no way,
absolutely no way, that she should even be contemplating
kissing a strange bloodsucker, no matter how gorgeous
he was, no matter how real the fantasy in her dreams
had been before she’d awoken. After all, she reminded
herself, no matter how normal he seemed—okay, who
was she kidding, he was way better than normal—he
was still one of them.
“Crystal clear. My only mission here is to protect you
and to mentor you through your transition.”
“Oh. Good. Glad we got that all straightened out.”
She finally lifted a hand out to him. “My friends call
He grasped her hand lightly in his, then brushed a
skimming kiss against the back of it sending an electric
arc zinging up her pulse points. “Yes, but I like your given
name.” His eyes glittered as the pad of his thumb stroked
the soft underside of her wrist. “Rebecca…Rebecca…
Rebecca.” Her name came out a soft, seductive whisper
said so slowly, so deliberately, that it sounded like a
She yanked back her tingling hand. “Stop saying
She fidgeted, bunching the comforter more solidly
around her. “It just sounds wrong when you say it like
that. It makes me…uncomfortable.”
A killer smile lit up his face and made her heartbeat
stutter step. “That’s even better.” He was teasing her.
Beck whipped her body away from him so quickly
that a few of her annoying curls bounced, but at least she
could hide the tightening points of her breasts from his
view. “I’m not sure this mentor thing is going to work out
between us. I might need to see about getting someone
He chuckled, but it held a sad, hopeless edge to it.
From the corner of her eye she watched him crook his
finger at a wooden ladder-back chair she kept by her
dresser. It seemed to hover across the room and plant
itself on the floor behind him. She pulled up the bed
covers and tucked them securely under her armpits, then
twisted to face him again.
“That’s funny to you?”
He smiled in a good-natured way that seemed completely
at odds with his ass-kicking appearance, then
relaxed back into the old wooden chair. It creaked in
protest. “No, it simply shows how little you truly know
about vampires. Once you’ve been given a mentor, that
mentor is yours until one of you dies.”
Curling her legs close to her belly helped with the pain.
It did nothing for the nausea or the growing hunger that
had her cramping stomach growl annoyingly. “Hardly
likely given you’re undead.”
He slanted her a mild look. “Precisely.”
“So I’m stuck with you if I turn into a vampire.”
He leaned, tipping back in the precarious chair and
propped big booted feet up on the edge of the bed.
“That’s right, sweetling.”
With a sweep of her arm, she knocked his boots off
her bed. They landed with a heavy thud on the floor and
he arched a dark blond brow at her.
Beck ignored the look then got up and strode with
all the confidence she could muster in her semi-dressed
state toward her closet where she grabbed a pair of jeans
and yanked them on. She glanced at the clock. Five in
the morning. With any luck there’d be no one to bother
her until 7:00 a.m. and she could make some progress
in figuring this mess out before she couldn’t think at all.
Anything was better than staying here with a massive
vampire brooding over her with a gaze that was too
intense for her liking. “Good. Then it won’t be too long,
because I’m not becoming a vampire.”
He deliberately placed his boots back on her bed,
blocking her path to the bedroom door. “Where do you
think you’re going?”
She glanced down at his legs, then stepped over them.
He stretched in the chair, spreading out his arms that
had bulging biceps. He managed to take up even more
of her bedroom, if that was possible. Then he relaxed.
“I’ll go with you.”
Beck turned and pinned her best no-nonsense glare
on him, the one that usually cowed the most persistent
interns at the lab. “No. You’re not. I’m going to work.
You don’t work there.”
“Aren’t you the least bit interested in playing doctor
with me?” He grinned, showing normal, even, very
white teeth. The effect of his killer smile would have
been devastating to any normal woman. For Beck is
was catalytic. She hadn’t had a date in so long because
she’d been too focused on her research. She’d managed
to forget how the air in the room could shift and change
in an instant, wrapping around you like a heated blanket
when a guy as virile as this was close by. Okay, being
truly honest, she’d never dated someone like this. Not
even close. Why would she? He was a vampire. Oh, why
on earth had Kris sent him?
The intensity of him vibrated in the room. She felt
like a hydrophilic molecule to water, helpless to resist
him and that sensation took her aback for an instant. She
couldn’t feel attraction to a vampire. After all, look what
it had apparently gotten her mother. It wasn’t logical. Her
common sense scrambled trying to come up with some
fact she could fixate on instead of the rush and tumble
of sensations crashing around her insides. There was no
way she was going to answer his question.
“I thought vampires had fangs.” How she managed the
words when her mouth was so dry, she had no idea.
He leaned forward resting his thick forearms on the
tops of his black jean clad thighs. God, she bet his butt
looked spectacular in those jeans. Snap out of it, Doctor.
Remember there’s an us vs. them at work here and unless
you want to start playing for the other team, you better
freakin’ pull yourself together.
“Wanna see?” His eyes glittered.
Beck shook her head pressing her fingertips to her
throbbing temples. “Yes. No. I mean I don’t need you
to show me anything.”
“But you’re curious.” The teasing tone of his voice
was seductive enough to make her nipples pucker.
He’d definitely taken her mind off the pain that was
lessening now. A dull aching throb she didn’t like, but
could ignore if she concentrated. “No. I’m a scientist.
Any interest is purely out of a desire to bolster my current
He glanced at the platinum Rolex on his thick wrist.
“It’s 5:00 a.m. I give you four hours, maybe five, max.
By then you’ll be so hungry you’ll be begging me to help
Beck huffed and started walking out of the bedroom.
She stopped midstep and leaned back past the edge of
the doorjamb to catch his intense green gaze. Ask help
from a vampire? Ha! That would be the day. “You might
want to make a note. I don’t beg. Never have. Never will.
See you.” She wiggled her fingers, grabbed her purse and
streaked toward the front door as fast as her wobbly legs
would take her.
If she’d learned anything from her mother and her
own experience as a woman in a highly competitive male
dominated profession, it was that a man like that was
trouble with a capital, neon-outlined, throbbing T.