Inspired by True Blood – A Revenant Hero
I blame my husband for my addiction to vampire-like heroes.
He was the one who suggested I watch the hot new HBO show TrueBlood, and, of course, I was hooked immediately. The attraction between Bill, the 173 year-old vampire and Sookie, the small town waitress who could hear people’s thoughts was mesmerizing. They seemed destined to be together and yet doomed to failure. And everywhere I turned that year, people—mostly women—were talking about Sookie and Bill and Eric, the other vampire who lusted after Sookie. Every woman I knew seemed to be in one of two camps: the Bill fans or the Eric fans.
Suddenly, vampires had become the new hero in novels.
Was it their super human strength or their old world charm or their bad boy past?
For me, the vampire as hero was perfect because when a woman hooks up with a vampire, there’s little or no hope of a future—which means instant conflict. Sorry, I’m a writer. But in the case of True Blood, the relationship between Bill and Sookie—that destined to be together part—also spoke to me.
I was schooled in the Michael Hauge screenwriting philosophy. Hauge, a famous Hollywood scriptwriter, travels the country preaching that what solidifies a romance between a hero and a heroine is more than just physical attraction; it’s the reader’s belief that the hero and heroine are made for each other. That belief hinges on the moment when the hero and the heroine can see each other for who they really are.
In True Blood, Bill warns Sookie that she can never have a relationship with a human man because her ability to hear his thoughts will always get in the way. Then you see the scene when Sookie feels a perfect peace with Bill, and you know he’s right. For Sookie, she’s one of the few humans who can see Bill as a man, separate from his vampire persona, someone who’s still capable of love.
As a writer, I was immediately inspired to come up with a storyline that was as compelling for my novel Wild Point Island. But I wanted to invent a new kind of life form, a life form that had some of the same features as a vampire but one who wouldn’t have the same need to kill their victims and drink their blood. I’m a bit squeamish that way.
I called my new life form a revenant, which means one who comes back from a long journey or from the dead. And then I needed to create a 400 year-old backstory, rooted in an actual event—what historians refer to as The Lost Colony of Roanoke—the greatest mystery in American history.
But let me explain.
In 1587 English colonists settled on the Island of Roanoke, off the coast of North Carolina. Then the mother ship sailed to England for supplies, leaving about 100 colonists behind. When she returned, the entire colony had disappeared. Most historians believed that the colonists died of starvation or drought or were massacred by the native population, but a few historians speculated that the colonists may have relocated somewhere else.
That’s the theory I followed. I created a mythical island—Wild Point Island—and decided that the colonists went there, then survived by eating a local plant called Euphorbia Candelabra, a plant which transformed them physiologically into another life form and granted them immortality, but at a price–they were confined to the island and needed to continue eating the plant, the Euphorbia Candelabra, to survive.
I wanted to write a story about two people who fall in love but can’t be together. Even though Ella, my heroine, has developed a magic elixir so revenants can now leave the island, Simon, my hero, who is a revenant, can’t leave Wild Point Island without the ruling Council’s permission. If he helps Ella, my heroine, who is half revenant and half human, rescue her father, he’ll sabotage his own chances of leaving the island and being with Ella.
Ella has the same problem as Sookie. She lives among humans, but she’s had to hide her true identity all her life. This secret has made it difficult for her to find love. When she returns to Wild Point Island and meets Simon, she can finally be herself because he sees her for who she is. Likewise, when others doubt Simon’s intentions, Ella sees him as someone who can be trusted.
With little or no hope for a future, Ella can only be successful if she is willing to accept who she is and reach for the future she desires.
Wild Point Island was fun to write, and as Ella explains to Simon at the end of the story, “We were drawn to Wild Point Island, as if called by sirens, entrapped, and realized too late that there was no escaping our fate.”
Ella and Simon, even today, live a sheltered life.
This is the only photo of Simon that has surfaced.
He is onboard a boat, off shore from Wild Point Island. I love this photo because it captures the raw energy of the man.
About the Author
Kate Lutter believes she was born to write. She wrote her first novel when she was in eighth grade, but then almost burned her house down when she tried to incinerate her story in the garbage can because she couldn’t get the plot to turn out right. Now, many years later, she lives in NJ with her husband and five cats (no matches in sight) and spends her days writing contemporary paranormal romances, traveling the world, and hanging out with her four wild sisters. She is happy to report that her debut novel, Wild Point Island, the first in a series, has just been published by Crescent Moon Press. She is busy writing the sequel and her weekly travel blog entitled Hot Blogging with Chuck, which features her very snarky and rascally almost famous cat.
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