It’s with great pleasure that I introduce you to my guest to the blog this week, Susannah Sandlin, Author of Redemption. Don’t forget to check back this afternoon for my review of Redemption! You won’t want to miss it Also don’t forget to sign up for the giveaway at the bottom of her post!
Want a challenge? Take a tried-and-true favorite and look for a new spin on it.
I love vampires—specifically, romances with vampire heroes—and I’d always wanted to write a paranormal romance with vamps. But the vampire genre is so crowded that finding a distinctive spin was challenging.
Which vampire tropes did I want to keep, and which ones should I reject? Those became important questions as I began writing the Penton Legacy series, whose first book, Redemption, just came out.
I decided to keep some of what I consider the traits that make a vampire. My vamps can’t tolerate daylight; they are made vampire, not born that way, so they had human lives; they are difficult to kill (beheading, heart removal); they feed on human blood; their saliva can anesthetize and heal; they are inhumanly fast and strong. And, well, yeah, they’re kind of beautiful.
Some tropes I decided to get rid of: my vampires are not “undead” but evolved—they don’t quit breathing and die when they go into their daysleep, but they can’t be awakened, either. They aren’t abnormally pale—whatever skin tone they had when they were turned in what they keep, so they’re able to mingle with humans as long as they keep their fangs hidden. They have no reaction to holy water or religious symbols because they’re not damned, or at least they don’t think they are. They breathe, and their hearts beat—albeit more slowly. And they certainly don’t sparkle!
But the vampires of Penton still needed a twist or two. Normally, vampires are at or near the top of the food chain. They’re stronger, faster, often smarter, and always hard to kill—and pretty arrogant about it. But in the world of Redemption, the vampires’ place on the food chain has taken a nosedive. The vaccine created to battle a viral pandemic has left the blood of vaccinated humans poisonous to them. Suddenly, there’s a new, ugly way to die and a serious vampire food shortage.
The vamps don’t like this too much, of course, and are in a panic. Black markets for unvaccinated humans are springing up. Vampires are starving—which won’t kill them but will make them eventually too weak to feed even if food wanders within fangular reach. The vampires’ ruling body is freaking out, and rogue vampires are scouring rural areas looking for unvaccinated humans from whom they can safely feed. You might say it’s a looming apocalypse, vampire-style.
The humans, of course, are clueless since they don’t know vampires exist. Except for the humans willingly bonded to my vampire heroes…and one human doctor who suddenly finds herself a pawn in a brewing vampire civil war.
Was it a challenge to find a different spin on the vampire romance? Sure. But it also was a lot of fun, and in the process I met a lot of sexy vampires!
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About the Author:
Susannah Sandlin is the author of paranormal romance set in the Deep South, where there are always things that go bump in the night! A journalist by day, Susannah grew up in Alabama reading the gothic novels of Susan Howatch, and always fancied herself living in Cornwall (although she’s never actually been there). Details, details. She also is a fan of Stephen King. The combination of Howatch and King probably explains a lot. Currently a resident of Auburn, Alabama, Susannah has also lived in Illinois, Texas, California, and Louisiana. Her novel Redemption won the paranormal romance category in the 2011 Chicago North RWA Fire and Ice contest, and is the first of three in a series that debuts this year.