Today, I’m proud to host a dear fellow author, Denise Verrico, on my website for an interview. She’s promoting the latest installment in her Immortyl Revolution series, a compilation of short stories called Annals of the Immortyls, showcasing her central vampires, Kurt, Mia, and Cedric.
Talk to us about the genesis of your central vampires, Mia and Kurt.
Cara Mia deals with Mia becoming a vampire and her struggle to survive as a modern woman in an ancient culture. Mia was a New York actress in the 1950’s, when her master Ethan discovers her. Ethan trains Mia to be his “Bird of Prey”, an assassin skilled in seduction. Ethan is pretty much a control freak. Mia was obsessed with Ethan, but never felt on equal footing with him.
Kurt was imprisoned as a teenager in a concentration camp during the Holocaust. He becomes the Immortyl slave of a powerful elder, Brovik, but he enjoys the privileges of a lover. Kurt begins to resent his status and doubt his master’s motives in the race to harness the secrets of Immortality.
When Mia and Kurt first meet, their destiny becomes clear. Both are dissatisfied with the hand eternal life has dealt them and are ready to break free of their masters. Their initial romance has an element of forbidden love, since they are slaves in Immortyl culture.
When I created Mia, I wanted to tell a vampire story from a uniquely female perspective. She starts out a young girl who makes big mistakes, but struggles to make things right as she matures. In Kurt she finds a soul mate, another survivor yearning for freedom. Not to say they have a fairytale romance—I portray them as real and very flawed people.
Why vampires? What is their allure for you?
When I set out to write Cara Mia my first Immortyl Revolution novel, I read a lot of books on vampire legends. I’ve always been attracted to the figure of the vampire. The all-powerful vampire appealed to me as a kind of dark superhero. Although I decided to go with a more biological than magical take on vampirism, I do play around a little with the well-known myths in my books and try to give them a biological basis.
What has been the most rewarding aspect of being an author?
Meeting and talking with readers and other writers. It’s always fun to meet some reader who says your work has touched them in some way, or some author who shares pearls of wisdom. I love going to the sci fi conventions the best! The fans are fun and the panels are interesting.
What interview question have you never been asked but have always wanted to be asked? Then answer that question for us!
Why don’t your vampires “sparkle”?
I believe vampires, even the “good” ones, are a metaphor for humanity. Human history is dark and bloody. The vampire is a reflection of our darker self, the other. I like them to be menacing. Blood is an addiction. I want my good guys to struggle with the craving and fall off the wagon sometimes. They need to realize what a Faustian bargain they’ve made to survive.
I made my vampires biological beings and don’t give them “magic”, because I wanted to make the struggle visceral, gut-wrenching. They must drink human blood. Even if they don’t always kill to get it, they ache to experience the thrill of taking life.
They are human in many aspects, but we are far from perfect creatures. Vampires can love, laugh and nurture their own, but they, like us, are predators by nature and often behave as such.
Okay, enough with the serious stuff. Did I mention the snarky humor and sex?
What is it like having a family of parrots to share your home with? Do they ever influence your creative writing muse?
Noisy! I love my little guys, but they can challenge the concentration at times. However, they are very social, intelligent creatures. I can talk to them when I’m thinking aloud. I’m waiting for the day they can give ne advice. So far, no luck there. I love all kinds of birds, and they figure in my books a lot. Mia is called “The Bird of Prey”. The chief elder of the vampires keeps parrots. The heroine of another urban fantasy book I’m putting through critique has a female eclectus parrot, a gorgeous red and blue bird. The bird figures in the plot. In the new fantasy book I’m writing, the heroine has a ground parrot, based on the kakapo of New Zealand, and the hero is able to summon spirits in different animals and birds to do his bidding. Rooks, a bird in the crow family, are especially important in this book.
Tell us a little about what inspired your latest composition of short tales with Kurt, Mia, and Cedric from your Immortyls series.
I wanted to offer something free to readers, and I’d had these stories fermenting for a while.
I’d written Mia’s tale as a chapter in Cara Mia, but it digressed too much from the main story. However, it had a nice arc about how Mia begins to pull away from her master Ethan. I reworked it and made it stand on its own. It’s set on Italy’s Amalfi coast and goes into how Ethan and Mia would con rich men out of money and then kill them.
A lot of readers are intrigued by Kurt and his experiences during his captivity in Dauchau during the Holocaust. I’d included some of this as a flashback in book two, but back-story is a killer and I realized I had to let it go. Yet, I wanted to tell his story in an active way, as Kurt experiences his imprisonment, abuse, subsequent rescue and give it a twist ending. Kurt’s deep. He keeps his own counsel, so I decided to tell his story in a close third-person narrative, rather than first person like Mia and Cedric.
Cedric’s tale is a precursor to a new series I plan to write about his adventures as a fighter in the revolution. Cedric is—well—he’s Cedric, vain, irreverent and devastatingly sexy–dangerous, in love and war. Resist him at your peril.
Finally, what can you tell readers about regarding other projects or endeavors that might be on the horizon for you?
Aside from another urban fantasy project, I’m writing an alternate world fantasy set in an eighteenth century technology. I’d call it picaresque in tone. The world is somewhat inspired by colonial New Zealand and the magic by Maori mythology.
Feona Carmodi, the main character, is a seventeen-year-old actress of mixed blood who secretly practices native magic and attracts the notice of an amorous nobleman, but she fancies a straight-laced schoolmaster named Tom, who shows tantalizing hints of magical powers. This leads to all kinds of trouble for the would-be lovers.
Tom’s wealthy friend Rafe hates their provincial island and longs for a fashionable life at court and sets out to take everything he can get from a powerful Duke, but finds himself under the spell of this secret mage, who trains the young man in magic.
The fates of these characters entwine and produce cataclysmic results. It’s a lot of fun for me, since I love stories of magic and because I get to draw upon my theater background and write lots of what I hope is witty dialogue.
I have other short projects in the works, but my first task is to complete these two novels.
Send Denise an email at [email protected] and she will email you a link and free coupon code for an Epub and Mobi Pocket ebook bundle of her new trio of short stories, Annals of the Immortyls.
Thanks for appearing here today, Denise, and I wish you all the best in the continuing development of your Immortyl Revolution series!
Servant of the Goddess and Denise Verrico Links:
Denise’s Website: http://bit.ly/JhW2sw
Servant of the Goddess Excerpt: http://deniseverricowriter.webs.com/excerptbookfour.htm
Immortyl Revolution Trailer: http://deniseverricowriter.webs.com/apps/videos/videos/show/12715998-immortyl-revolution-trailer
Denise’s amazon Page: http://amzn.to/K3NhVS
Servant of the Goddess Trade PB: http://amzn.to/K8uwPb
Servant of the Goddess Kindle: http://amzn.to/J0R2Id
Barnes and Noble:
Servant of the Goddess Trade PB and Nook: http://bit.ly/IIz7ru