The thought process behind State of Grace, et al, is both straightforward and convoluted.
I read Bram Stoker when I was a teenager, and Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire not long after. I grew up with the vampires in the Hammer House of Horror series, begging my parents to allow me to stay up to watch it, then I would go to bed in a fever of terror, cold with the frissons of fear that every shadow sent creeping down my spine. And then there came Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot.
I was no stranger to the concept of the undead, but I hadn’t read anything with vampires in for years. Until Twilight. I had to see for myself what all the fuss was about. Always a lady who preferred the written word to the film, I read her books. All of them, in quick succession. I don’t read YA – I prefer fiction aimed at grown-ups: the mindset of teenagers does not interest me – but I did find some enjoyment in these, even though the vampires of my youth were somewhat tamed and watered down, and sparkly. A friend pointed me in the direction of Charlaine Harris’ The Southern Vampire Mysteries, aka True Blood, and I was hooked on vampires once more. These were the monsters of my youth, but with a difference – they were sexy!
This got me thinking; none of the books on vampires that I had read (and at that point I didn’t realise just how much more was out there!), really satisfied my craving. I decided if I wanted a particular type of vampire, then I would have to construct him myself. And so a vague idea for State of Grace was born.
Not one for believing in the paranormal (there has to be a scientific explanation for everything, right?), I began to dabble in the ‘what if’. What if there was such a thing as vampires? How could they exist? Why would they exist? And from these musings the idea of vampires evolving alongside humans came about. After all, there are countless insects who drink blood, and then there is the infamous vampire bat. And let’s don’t forget that in some cultures humans ingest blood as part of their diet: the Masai with their cattle, and some Mongol tribes who bleed their horses. It was not such a leap to imagine a species who developed from us, and who drank our blood.
Being more active at night, when hunting humans was easier, was logical, but what is a vampire without all those extras that evolution couldn’t account for? I needed my vampires to be traditional in some respects – long-lived, charming, irresistible to humans (or most of them), incredibly strong and quick, and of course, scary as hell.
And with all this in mind, Roman was born, and I started to write.
State of Grace was originally going to be one book, but it just grew and grew, until I had enough material for two quite large books. Two didn’t seem right, so I split the story into three, and the trilogy came to life.
Elizabeth is generously giving away a digital set of the Grace series~ STATE OF GRACE, AMAZING GRACE, & SANCTIFYING GRACE to one (1) lucky commenter. What vampire really snagged you for life? Mine was Comte St. Germain brought to exquisitely tortured life in various time periods by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro. Do tell, we’re all ears! As an aside, I’ve been seeing a lot of this cover model since I read an anthology of UK writers a year or so ago. Now it’s like he’s everywhere! I’ll be reviewing STATE OF GRACE sometime in the coming months (& it’s currently free @ Amazon, just follow the link!) so I’d love to share thoughts when it’s posted. 🙂
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Twitter : @bethsbooksk