Today we have paranormal romance author Kerrelyn Sparks joining us. Kerrelyn has a new holiday vampire tale out right now.
Author of: How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire, Vamps and the City, Be Still My Vampire Heart, The Undead Next Door, and All I Want for Christmas is a Vampire
Favorite Candy: Hershey Chocolate with Almonds
Favorite Cartoon Character: Bullwinkle Moose
Super Power Most Covets: Teleportation
Favorite Vampire: The one I’m currently writing about.
Q.) First can you tell us about All I Want for Christmas is a Vampire?
K.S.) The vampire hero is Ian MacPhie, who was trapped for 500 years with a 15-year-old body and face. In the previous book in the series, The Undead Next Door, Ian found a way to age. Now he looks like a full grown man, so he’s ready for love—and looking in all the wrong places.
Q.) How about your other vampire books, are they connected?
K.S.) Yes, they’re all part of the Love at Stake series, which started with How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire. Each book features a different hero and heroine, so the reader can enjoy a new love story. Also, each book is designed to stand alone, so a reader can jump into the series at any point without getting confused. But all the books take place in the same Vampire World with the same cast of characters. The reader gets to see what’s going on with the previous heroes and heroines. For instance, you’ll see Roman and Shanna from the first book have their baby in the third book.
K.S.) My vampires are traditional in the sense that they are dead during the day, and they would die painfully if exposed to sunlight. It really adds to the suspense when they have some vulnerabilities. At the same time, they have some great powers—super speed and strength, super senses, mind control, and the ability to teleport. They still need blood to survive, but I’ve tweaked that since I felt a truly heroic vamp would not want to bite people. So the good Vamps drink synthetic blood, while the bad ones still feed and kill humans.
I also have fun with the Vamps, giving them stuff like Vampire Fusion Cuisine and the Digital Vampire Network. With Vampire Fusion Cuisine, the Vamps enjoy drinks like Blissky (synthetic blood mixed with whiskey), Bleer (blood and beer), Bubbly Blood (blood and champagne for those special vampire occasions), Chocolood, (blood and chocolate) and Blood Lite (for those who drink too much Chocolood). On the Digital Vampire Network, they watch celebrity talk shows like Live with the Undead and vampire soap operas like When the Vampire Turns and General Morgue.
Since the hero from the first book, Roman Draganesti, is a scientific genius, he invented synthetic blood, Vampire Fusion Cuisine, and the drug that enabled Ian to age. He also came up with a way for the Vamp men and their mortal wives to have children.
Q.) In the past you wrote historical romance, now you write contemporary
paranormal romance. What if anything do you think the books have in common?
K.S.) They all have Scotsmen! Apparently, I am unable to write a romance without a Scotsman in a kilt. And everything I write gets afflicted with the same crazy sense of humor.
Q.) Why vampires?
K.S.) They’re sexy and fun! Vampires get to do all the things our moms told us never to do—They sleep all day; they party all night; and they get to play with their food!
Q.) What would you do if you met a “real” vampire? Would you be a vamp
groupie or would you dash for the nearest stake?
K.S.) I would do the Interview with a Vampire thing. I’d ask a bunch of questions for research. And I’d whip out a mirror to see if they really don’t reflect. And I might offer them a slice of garlic bread just to see how they react.
Q.) Matchmaker dilemma, you have a choice of a vampire, a werewolf or a witch/wizard as a date for your sister’s wedding. Who do you choose?
K.S.) A vampire cause he’d be a great dancer, and he’d look great in a tux. If I didn’t like the guy my sister was marrying, I would bring a wizard so he could turn the groom into a frog.
Q.) Are you a plotter or a pantser? Character-driven or plot driven? Ever
try to be the opposite? Do you have a set method you use when starting a book?
K.S.) I’m a pantser. I have a rough idea how the book will start and end, but I usually have no idea how to get from the start to the end. My books are definitely character-driven, so I just let the characters make all the decisions on how to get to the end.
Q.) What is the smartest thing you’ve done so far as advancing either your
writing or your writing career? What is something you wish you had done differently?
K.S.) I think the smartest thing was getting published with Avon. (I had offers from several publishers, so I had the luxury of choosing). Avon has given me the best covers and marketing that a writer could hope for. And my editor is super!
Q.) Can you describe three things in your writing area that tell us something about you?
K.S.) Right now, I have a vase of beautiful flowers that my editor sent me (did I say she was super!?) I have a wooden stake that one of my critique partners made for me out of the handle of a toilet plunger. And I have a big, green, comfy chair that I like to sit in when I write. (I write a scene in longhand first, then type it up).
Q.) Any new projects on the horizon? What would you like to try next? And
where can readers find you on the web?
K.S.) I’ve been real busy with the next two books in the Love at Stakes series which are coming out back-to-back in April and May 2009. The April book is Secret Life of a Vampire, starring vampire Jack, the illegitimate son of Giacomo Casanova. The May book is Forbidden Nights with a Vampire, starring vampire Vanda and my first werewolf hero, Phil. For more information, please visit my website, www.kerrelynsparks.com. There are excerpts to read, book trailers to watch, and sometimes a contest to enter. In the Vampire World section of the website, there are vampire games to play and a Forum where readers can chat with me and each other.