Welcome Julie Lynn Hayes – Win A Copy!
Posted December 12, 2011on:
Greetings! Welcome to Rawiya’s.
I have had a love affair with vampires ever since I read Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and watched the Bela Lugosi classic film version of the book. I thought he was intense and very sexy. When the film first came out, back in the 30’s, so did a lot of women. Bela had the perfect voice and accent to play the Transylvanian count. He came from Hungary, where he was actually a very successful and renowned stage actor. He came to Hollywood with high hopes, but things didn’t quite work out as he hoped, owing in large part to the very thick accent he could never lose. This was compounded by a drug addiction gained after surgery, which haunted the rest of his life, forcing him to take less than stellar roles, as many actors are forced to do to make a living. He died only a couple of days into the shooting of his last film—Plan 9 From Outer Space—and it shows. Low budget to begin with, they replaced him with somebody’s dentist, who was taller than Lugosi, and had him spend most of the film with his cape drawn over his face. The plot was almost non-existent, and ridiculous, and this rates as one of the worst films I’ve ever seen.
But I digress.
I also fell in love with Barnabas Collins, the tragic vampire from the long-ago ABC soap opera Dark Shadows, which was certainly unique in its use of the supernatural in a daytime series. I devoured the books, and drooled over the star, Jonathan Frid. There’s a story told in my family that I scared my little brother (who is seven years younger than I am) with tales of my vampire friends. So badly that he hung a crucifix from his bed for protection. Nice story, but patently untrue, and only told years after the fact. I’d be willing to swear my brother never possessed a crucifix. We never went to church, even.
But I loved vampires. Very much. So it was only natural that my first book should feature one. Originally, his name was Derek DeVille. I chose DeVille because that is the pseudonym that Dracula uses when he goes to London, in the novel. Derek was the name of a friend of mine’s young son, and I liked it. The two names fit. Derek he stayed for a long time. But back when I wrote it, there were no e-books, and getting published was a lot harder than it is today. So Dark Love was put aside for other pursuits. One of those was role playing, in games at such venues as Live Journal, Greatest Journal, and now Insane Journal.
For one of those games, I needed to make a vampire character. I couldn’t think of another name, so I used Derek DeVille, which was familiar to me. I figured what the heck, it’s still my character, and nobody would ever make the connection. Except that a strange thing happened. The role playing Derek took on a life and character all his own. One distinctive from the book Derek. And I decided he needed a book of his own.
Fast forward a bit. I’ve begun to be published, and I ask myself: what about Dark Love? I dust if off and think about submitting it. But I realize I can’t do it with a second Derek DeVille, not when I want to use the other one. So I need a new name. The first name I came up with was Gabriel Brandon, and I tried that, but it didn’t feel right. I finally settled on Eric Vargas, and I really liked that. So Eric he became and Eric he is.
Eric is blond, with long hair, usually tied in a tail at the nape of his neck. I love long hair in men—no lie. I find Eric very sexy. So does my heroine, Samantha Kane. Samantha is the name that would have been given to my son Chris, had he been born a girl. And as he was the last, I’ll never have a Samantha, except in this book.
I set the story in St. Louis, because I live there. The museum doesn’t exist, except in my mind. I used actual settings for parts of it, including the old Chain of Rocks Bridge. I gave Samantha my interest in vampires, and the Tarot, and my red hair.
Parts of the book were hard to write. In fact, there’s one chapter that even I have trouble reading. But sometimes you just have to go where the characters take you. Sometimes, too, it’s awesome how things work out when you write. I was stuck on the ending, not sure where to go, when something that was in the news at the time kept demanding my attention, and my brain put things together, and wrote an ending. Only after it was written, did I realize that it had been foreshadowed earlier in the novel. I just love when things work out like that. I won’t tell you what it was, that would be spoiling, and I try not to do that.
To this day, I still love vampires and love to write about them. I have other vampire characters to love and explore. And werewolves too. It’s a lifelong love, I’m sure.
Blurb: Samantha Kane and Fowler McHenry have been friends since childhood, and sweethearts some time after that. Fowler is also the redhead’s employer, but it isn’t your ordinary place of employment, nor your typical job. Fowler and his brother Barry own the McHenry House of Horror and Museum of the Supernatural. Samantha is their resident vampire expert, as well as being their Tarot reader. Sybil McHenry, mother of the two men, holds seances, along with her assistant, Medford Poole. Gaylinda is the rather slutty receptionist with the hots for Fowler McHenry something fierce – what she wouldn’t give to replace Samantha as his one true love!
The trouble is, Samantha is finding it hard to commit any more – and has yet to give Fowler an answer to the BIG question – the will you be my wife, etc etc question. Her cards – and her heart – tell her that something is waiting for her. Or is it someone? Enter Eric Vargas, Fowler’s new European investor – blond and gorgeous and quite mysterious – attended by his manservant, Raymond. Add to the mix one flambuoyant vampire hunter and one defrocked priest, and you have quite a situation. Suddenly, people are dying, mysteriously drained of their blood. Is there really such a thing as vampires? And if so, who can it be?
Welcome to the world of Dark Love – St. Louis will never be quite the same again!
My blog: http://julielynnhayes.blogspot.com
My facebook: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=527332074
Romance First Publishing: http://romancefirst publishing.blogspot.com/
Dreamspinner Press: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=55_222
Julie Lynn Hayes was reading at the age of two and writing by the age of nine and always wanted to be a writer when she grew up. Two marriages, five children, and more than forty years later, that is still her dream. She blames her younger daughters for introducing her to yaoi and the world of M/M love, a world which has captured her imagination and her heart and fueled her writing in ways she’d never dreamed of before. She especially loves stories of two men finding true love and happiness in one another’s arms and is a great believer in the happily ever after. She lives in St. Louis with her daughter Sarah and two cats, loves books and movies, and hopes to be a world traveler some day. Currently unemployed, she continues to write her books and stories and reviews which she posts in various places on the internet. Her family thinks she is a bit off, but she doesn’t mind. Marching to the beat of one’s own drummer is a good thing, after all. Her published works can be found at Romance First Publishing, Dreamspinner Press, and Silver Publishing.