Mar 2, 2009

Meyers - Interview

update: the contest portion is closed

Today please welcome Theresa Meyers author of Salvation of the Damned, part of the Silhouette Nocturne Bites line. Salvation is available at www.nocturnebites.com

At the end of the interview will be information about a very special contest.

Welcome Theresa, and thanks for taking the time for this interview.

PVN: What fascinates you about vampires? How did that fascination begin?

Theresa: I think everybody has a fascination with immortality. If people didn't, why would there be so many religions in the world? As characters, vampires interest me because you have someone who is the total embodiment of irony. The are afraid of death (hence why they want to be immortal), and yet they are in essence dead, and in most mythologies must cause death to "live". I also like the fact that they have perspective. Most vampire tales have vampire stories have characters that are hundreds of years old. You can't live that long without learning a thing or two! It makes them more interesting and galvanizes their character. My introduction to vampires began when I watched the movie Lost Boys as a tween in the early 80's. Loved it!

PVN: Tell us about the characteristics of your vampires?

Theresa: My vampires came about because I asked one simple question. Why is it you never hear of vampires that are thousands of years old? They are always hundreds of years old. If they are immortal, why is that?

The more I thought about it the more it became apparent to me that there had to be some biological reason. Bacteria and viruses can bring down even the most powerful predator. I've always had a bit of a fascination with Minoans, Crete, the Etruscans - basically the cultures in the Mediterranean that settled before the Greeks. Their worship of bulls, and the use of blood sacrifice to appease these gods, made me think of vampires.

My vampires are afflicted with a virus that only becomes activated and deadly to them once every thousand years. Without the sacrifice of the right mortal, they all risk turning their true chronological age in 48 hours. When somebody goes from looking 25 to looking 2,500 years old in 48 hours, it's not pretty! My vampires still need blood to survive (although a lot of them find alternative sources rather than fresh feed and they often do eat more than just the blood - see spider note below). All their senses are amped up beyond normal human capacity. Their senses, vision, hearing, taste and touch are far more sensitive than the average human, as is their strength, which has certain benefits as well as repercussions.

They can go into the sun, but choose not to, first because their pupils are so sensitive bright light gives them horrible headaches (ever had your eyes dilated at the eye doctor's?), and their skin is sensitive to light (can you say sunburn with spf 50)? Not fun. They also can crush things like cannon balls with their bare hands, so having a vampire handle a human in the midst of an intimate moment can get dicey, if you want the human to survive. My vamps also have venom (rather like snakes have in their hollow fangs), which has an almond flavor, and that's what's actually deadly to humans. It starts a kind of liquefaction process like spiders do to ingest insects. Again that biology thing.

PVN:
What changes have you noticed about how vampires are portrayed over the last few years?

Theresa: There's been a trend recently to portray them as more humane, as real people vs. monsters within series like the Twilight books, the House of Night books, and the Sookie Stackhouse books that spawned the television series True Blood. They have wants and needs, thoughts and desires, loves and prejudices, and just happen to have a specific diet. I think it's interesting because as a society in the United States we are being forced to reevaluate our prejudices toward the "other" all the time and realize that there really isn't an us vs. them, but instead a we, as in We, the People. There's no doubt the mythos is changing and growing. Some work has even done away with the formal story constraints of sunlight, stakes, garlic, holy water, etc. as deadly or harmful weapons that used to be in the vampire mythos.

PVN: Do you like (or not) what is happening in the genre?

Theresa: I think it's a good change. It opens up more opportunities for the genre to explore the vampires as real characters with hard choices to make. They aren't just brainless predators in search of their next meal, they are beings that just have extraordinary abilities and needs to contend with. In the end it makes them more "undead" for me as a reader if that makes any sense. In the end while you'll always have the classic style vampire tales, I think the new trend in vampire stories is helping them stay fresh when they could be easily becoming old news in the paranormal genre.

PVN: In your Salvation of the Damned you touch upon the theme of reincarnation concerning the female character. Is this a theme you would like to pursue in other works?
Theresa: If given the chance I think it'll come up again. I've always been fascinated with the concept. I mean how can fifty people all have been Cleopatra? Somebody had to be the roman slave. How exactly does that work? What happens? Those are the kinds of questions that make for great story ideas.

PVN: What are you working on now?

Theresa:
Currently I'm working on a new faerie series. There is a family that can see them in our world. Not your mother’s cute little Tinker Bell types, all sunlight and sparkles, but the deeper darker fae that are more akin to creatures of the night like vampires and demons, whose shapes vary from black slickness, to blue devil that morph and change—the ones that are dangerous to humans and will stop at nothing to reclaim the world they believe we’ve stolen from them.


PVN: Please describe your writing day and writing environment.

Theresa:
Good question. My writing day is always different depending on what else is happening in life. Usually I'll get up and I'm at the keyboard from 6-7 am, sometimes earlier, then I have kids to get ready and off to school. Once they're on the bus, I take care of the day job, interspersing it with 15 to 30 min. writing stints as I'm able. Sometimes, if the schedule allows, I'll take a whole day off of the day job and write for 4 to 6 hours straight or until 3 PM hits and the kids get home and the mommy job takes over. I also substitute teach so when I have teaching days, writing gets put in at lunch break and after school. If I'm on deadline, I'll often go back into the office at 9 PM and write until I meet my page quota for the day, usually that's 10 to 15 pages and can go as late as midnight or 1 am.

I have an office at home that doubles as both my writing space and the place for my day job running Blue Moon Communications. I live in a Victorian style house and the office sits in the base of the turret so it's kind of an odd shaped room but has five windows with a view of the woods and the horse pasture. I'm a complete bibliophile, so I've got book cases crammed full on every spare inch of wall space, inspirational sayings tacked up where I can see them and some fabulous red paint on the walls around the windows to keep me fired up. My desk occupies almost the middle of the room (because of lack of wall space), and it's usually overflowing with stacks of paperwork, research books, spiral notebooks and printouts of various materials and always a cup of tea ( I don't do coffee).

PVN: Are there any paranormal favorites on TV or in the movies?

Theresa: I love Supernatural. Of course, that's partly because I was addicted to watching Jensen Ackles when he was on Dark Angel (which was a must watch for me). My all time favorite movie is currently Stardust, but I've got other movies that my husband and I'll will quote to each other at random, including all the Harry Potter and Star Wars films (my son is addicted to those), Matrix, Men in Black 1 & 2, Lord of the Rings, Total Recall, Independence Day, Ghostbusters, the Narnia movies, and I already mentioned Lost Boys. Basically I really can't do horror films. Action, adventure, romance, I'm there, but I don't want to really see the super scary stuff, it doesn't do it for me.

PVN:
What books have influenced your writing?

Theresa:
When I was little my mom read to me all the time. We read all the Narnia books, the Tower of Gebburah and all the Madeline L'Engle books. All of those were fascinating to me because it pushed you to look at the world and realize that just because it looks like it does, doesn't necessarily mean there isn't something else to it that you don't see. I've also been influenced a great deal by reading stories from writers like Victoria Holt, who did gothic romances. As a teenager, I loved them and they really got me hooked on the romance genre. They've influenced me to always seek out a happy ending for my characters. I know I don't want to spend several days on a book only to be miserable along with the characters at the end, so I don't do that to my readers either.

PVN: Do you have a favorite fictional vampire character?

Theresa: Right now my current favorite is Alice from the Twilight series. I like her snark and her way of looking at the world. She's happy to be who she is and takes care of those she loves, but isn't afraid to try knew things. She's "new" enough that she doesn't possess some of the biases of the older vampires you see in fiction who've become so jaded that they don't want to really live anymore, they merely exist.

PVN: Would you tell us a bit about your "day" job and Blue Moon Communications?

Theresa:
In the beginning I wrote stories. But that wasn't a major in college. So I went to college and got a degree in Mass Communications and worked from there for newspapers, book publishers, corporate public relations departments and large public relations agencies.

I tried for a very long time to keep the writing and the PR job separate. But then I met Cherry Adair in 2003 and became a critique partner with her. She's a force of nature, truly. She asked me to help her with promotion on her next book, and I couldn't tell her no. Within the space of a week she'd told several other published authors I was running a pr agency that would work with fiction authors ( a lot of them won't because it's such a hard sell to the media), and I had the start of an agency.

I specialize in working with fiction authors and publishers doing things like pulling together book tours, pitching clients for interviews on radio, television and in print publications, working on getting them reviews, speaking engagements, giving them media training, writing up website copy, newsletters, and book discussion guides for them, sending out materials to fans, book clubs, libraries and the media, and much more.

The largest project I've had to pull together was a 50-city book tour for an author. The oddest thing I've done is pitch media for an Author's At Sea cruise. Blue Moon Communications is best known for getting two of our clients picked for the total seven selections that were made by the Kelly Ripa Bookclub on LIVE! With Regis and Kelly. If you're still curious, you can always check out the website, www.bluemooncommunications.com.

Once again, Theresa, thank you for this interview!


Now for the contest information:

*The contest will run from March 2 through 11:59 March 4.

*Comment on any subject from the interview. Each comment on a different subject counts as an entry.

*Ask Theresa a question. Each question counts as an entry.

*Link this interview to Patricia's Vampire Notes and send me the URL. Each link counts as an entry. (This includes a website or any social network you belong to - Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc.)

*Be sure to include your email information so that I will be able to contact you.


*The contest will run from March 2 through 11:59 March 4.

*One lucky winner will receive an electronic copy of Salvation of the Damned and a $20.00 gift certificate to WickedWinesOnline.com, where you can find Vampyre Vodka and Dracula Syrah and Chateau Du Vampire Bordeaux.

*Everyone who comments will also be entered to win two more prizes to be selected at random from all comments: an additional $20.00 gift certificate to
WickedWinesOnline.com Vampyre Vodka and Dracula Syrah and Chateau Du Vampire Bordeaux, or a pair of customizable chrome fangs. These contest are sponsored by Theresa, and she will pick the winners. Winners of these additional prizes will be announced April 1, 2009.

42 comments:

Kate said...

Ms. Meyers,

Thanks for your interview. It was interesting to look at vampires through the "biological" lens in addition to the psychological and historical ones. The genre is evolving which is a great thing. I look forward to reading your work.

Thanks also for sharing how you navigate among your different roles as writer, mother and PR consultant for fiction writers. As a multi-hat wearer myself, I enjoyed getting a glimpse of how you do it all.

My best,
Kate Sanner
http://VivacityNow.com

Indigo said...

I was reading through the interview when I read your theory on never hearing about Vampires being thousands of years old, what an intriguing observation. When I thought back on it, your right...your vampires make perfect sense.

I love the fact you watch Supernatural too. It's almost like a guilty pleasure for Thursday nights. I just wish they would put out more current shows, less repeats. They have such a wide spectrum of possibilities to feed off of, it doesn't make sens they can't produce more new material.

Thanks for the opportunity to be entered for this book! Indigo

ravensquietscreams@gmail.com

Ruth Schaller said...

I've nominated your blog for the Fabulous Blog award check out the post: http://ruthiesbookreviews.blogspot.com/2009/03/my-blog-is-considered-fabulous.html

Theresa Meyers said...

Hi, Kate.

Thanks for stopping by! Half the time I think multi-tasking is part of being creative, the other half of the time I think it's just the way my brain works. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one.

Best Regards,
Theresa Meyers
www.theresameyers.com

Theresa Meyers said...

Hi,Indigo.

I was really glad to hear that they renewed Supernatural for a fifth season. The only problem is the creator said he'd never go past a fifth season...makes you wonder what he has planned. Guess we'll just have to find out!

Glad you liked the insights on vampires.

Best Regards,
Theresa Meyers
www.theresameyers.com

Rachel said...

Great interview! Thanks for being at PVN. Patricia you always have the neatest guests! I am looking forward to reading your work. ;)

What's next on the horizon for you?


Rachel from Bitten by Books
racoo.smith at gmail.com

Theresa Meyers said...

Hi Rachel,

Thanks for stopping by! Right now I'm working actually on some dark faeries who have the qualities of shape-shifters. I'm hoping my editor at Harleqin likes them as much as my vampires! If you'd like to read an excerpt of Salvation of the Damned, go by my website www.theresameyers.com and look under the Books section.

Best Regards,
Theresa Meyers
www.theresameyers.com

Valorie said...

The Lost Boys. <3

My question is: how much historical research did you do? Did you include a lot historical detail, or does the historical backgrounds of your characters serve as only minor details that are largely unexplained?

I blogged this contest:
http://www.morbid-romantic.net/2009/03/02/book-giveaways-0302-0308/

Valorie
morbidromantic@gmail.com

Pat White said...

Theresa,
Your office sounds awesome! I want it!
So excited about your first release. I can't wait to read it!

Pat White
www.patwhitebooks.com

Theresa Meyers said...

Hi Valorie,

Because it's a short book, I couldn't include all my research, but I tried to give it due consideration. My favorite research book for historical mythology is The MacMillan Illustrated Encyclopedia of Myths & Legends.

Thanks for stopping by!

Best Regards,
Theresa Meyers
www.theresameyers.com

Theresa Meyers said...

Hi Pat!

I hope you enjoy the book!

Best Regards,
Theresa Meyers
www.theresameyers.com

Jeanmarie Hamilton said...

Hi Theresa,
Thanks for the fun blog. Love your take on vampires. Can't wait to read your ebook. Thanks for the tip on historical research.
Congratulations!
Jeanmarie

Theresa Meyers said...

Hi Jeanmarie,

Thanks for stopping by! I'm glad you like my style of vampires. They're a little different, but I hope in a good way.

Best Regards,
Theresa Meyers
www.theresameyers.com

K Giardina said...

Hello! I can't wait to read your book.

It sounds as if the many hats you wear make for long and interesting days. You are obviously WAY better at time management than I. :o)

Continued success with your writing and promo business - sounds like the perfect match!

Thank you for the contest!

Cheers,
Kim

kim[dot]giardna[at]gmail[dot]com

Theresa Meyers said...

Hi Kim,

See, that's the part that always interests me. Doing multiple things at once just seems normal and I find it fascinating that other people aren't wired that way. Maybe it's because I'm gemini?

Thanks for stopping by!

Best Regards,
Theresa Meyers
www.theresameyers.com

Mary Buckham said...

Theresa ~~YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!! On a great sounding story and even more fun ideas down the road. Dark fae? I can't wait and who knew you don't drink coffee.
Kudos on your release and may all the writing fairies [not the dark guys] sit on your shoulders!

Fantasy Dreamer said...

Love vampire books, like the different spin you are putting your vampires with the virus. I'm looking forward to reading Salvation of the Damned. And you definitely have my curiosity piqued on the book you are working on now, about the dark fae. Books on fae are a new fascination for me lately.

-Blog'd this interview
-Tweeted on Twitter

Helen Scott Taylor said...

Hi Theresa,

I like the way vampires are becoming more humanised. Your vampire's virus idea sounds interesting and original. I'll have to check out Salvation of The Damned. Being a biology graduate, I like to know the biology behind things, even when they are imagined.

I have a living vampiric fairy in my fantasy series. (For him biting is more a pleasure akin to sex rather than for feeding.) I decided to model him on real vampiric animals that are alive rather than on the myths.

I certainly agree that people are fascinated by immortality and also long life. I include immortal fairies in my books, but they are my own imagined creation, not vampires.

In your fairy research, I expect you've found the same thing I have. There are so many myths and legends about fairies they can be vampires, shape shifters, immortals or have any type of magical power imaginable. They are wonderful to write about!

Interesting blog!

Helen

olympianlady said...

Wow. I swear we must be related or something. If I had interviewed myself, most of these answers would be exactly the same. According to your interview, we have the same opinions about vampires and vampire lore (and the freshness of the new trends), virtually all the same favorite movies (Stardust is genius), tv shows (I had Dark Angel on my must watch list too), and books, and even the same favorite vampire (Alice is SO cool). This is the first time where I've sat and read an interview and found myself agreeing with everything the person said. I like the sound of the series you're working on now too. I think I need to go ask my mother if she had a family member given up for adoption or something, because this is seriously spooky. Seriously though, thanks for giving the interview, it was really enjoyable.

tiffanyak1986(at)hotmail(dot)com

Theresa Meyers said...

Hi Mary!

Good to see you! Thanks for the congrats.

Actually, when I described my office, I didn't happen to mention what was overhead. I have four faeries (all by artist Amy Brown) earth, air, fire and water suspended on fishing line so they look like their flittering in my office. So I kind of do have faeries looking over my shoulder. ;)

Best Regards,
Theresa Meyers
www.theresameyers.com

Theresa Meyers said...

Hi Fantasy Dreamer,

Thanks for stopping by. I'm glad for a seasoned reader of vampire books that you like the new twist in my story. And thanks for the feedback on the dark fae. I think they'll be a lot of fun. Thanks also for the tweet and the blog. I appreciate it!

Best Regards,
Theresa Meyers
www.theresameyers.com

Theresa Meyers said...

Hi Helen!

*waving to a fellow American Title sister*

Wow! Now that I think about the research I've done, you are right. Dark Fae could easily be a form of Vampire.

Can't wait to read your books! Thanks for stopping by.

Best Regards,
Theresa Meyers
www.theresameyers.com

Theresa Meyers said...

Hi Tiffany (Olympianlady),

Well, I am a gemini, which is the sign of the twins. . . ;)

Yea, a fellow Stardust lover! See, we all think we are so original, then we find out there are other people just like us and realize that we're all connected by these etheral slender threads.

Hey, you don't happen to live in Washington do you? Just asking because I live near the Olympic mountain range and saw that in your name . . .

Thanks for stopping by!

Best Regards,
Theresa Meyers
www.theresameyers.com

Marie said...

I especially liked reading about what influenced you as a writer -- particularly the books that you enjoyed as a child like Narnia. I have a daughter who wants to be a writer as well and she loves Narnia -- as well as almost every other book imaginable! :-)

vmlay@artsci.wustl.edu

Theresa Meyers said...

Hi Marie,

My daughter is a book lover too. She's already read through all the Twilight books, the Uglies series, Narnia, Little Women, The Hobbit, all the Eragon books, all the Harry Potter books, and she's in fifth grade.

But if there's one splurge I'm happy to make, it's buying books for my kids to read!

Be sure to encourage her to write down her stories now. You're never to early to begin telling stories. A few books you might want to look into to help her with her writing (if it's fiction) are Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight V. Swain and How to Write a Damn Good Novel by James N. Frey. Both give some really specific ways to make your writing better, especially when you are beginning.

Tell her I'm rooting for her!

Best Regards,
Theresa Meyers
www.theresameyers.com

mindy said...

i like the way you have the vampires more mainstream and human like than creatures thanks for the giveaway

Theresa Meyers said...

Thanks, Mindy! I'm glad you stopped by.

Best Regards,
Theresa Meyers
www.theresameyers.com

diesel51 said...

Even authors have a favorite character, in this case a vampire.

Jennifer Roland said...

I'm so excited to come across another fan of Supernatural--I love that show! I also read a lot of the same books as you during my formative years.

Thanks for visiting with your fans and connecting with them on such a personal level. I love when authors do that.

Jennifer Roland

Theresa Meyers said...

Hi disel51,

I like all kinds of paranormal characters. But vampires are very popular right now.

Thanks for stopping by!

Best Regards,
Theresa Meyers
www.theresameyers.com

Theresa Meyers said...

Hi Jennifer R.,

I'm seriously thinking of feeding my Supernatural addiction by purchasing the DVDs of the first four seasons...glad to know there are other out there who like it too!

I appreciate you stopping by!

Best Regards,
Theresa Meyers
www.theresameyers.com

Theresa Meyers said...

Hey everyone,

If you're interested, I'm also blogging this week at http://makebelievemondays.blogspot.com on the importance of imagination and what my creative space (office) and schedule are like.

And don't forget to stop by my brand new redesigned website to take a look at the fun extras there (I've got a youtube video on there that answers the question what would happen if you crossed Vampires with Brittany Spears and a Punk Goth clothing designer.)

Best Regards,
Theresa Meyers
www.theresameyers.com

CrystalGB said...

Hi Theresa. Salvation of the Damned sounds good. I like the characteristics that you have given your vampires. Your new fairy series sounds good too.

Theresa Meyers said...

Hi Crystal,

I'm glad they both sound interesting to you. Writers often wonder if the things that interest us will resonate with anyone else. :)

Thanks for the comment!

Best Regards,
Theresa Meyers
www.theresameyers.com

Meljprincess said...

Hi Theresa,
I enjoyed reading what fascinates you about vampires. I'm very attracted to the vampire. There's something erotic about biting the neck. The romantically tragic figure of the vampire, cursed to haunt the night, hunts or seduces his quarry seeking to quench the eternal thirst. Then at last, that moment of surrender when the tender neck is submissively revealed and the victim's willingness to be possessed, body and soul, ends in a climax with penetration and blood. This sensuality is what attracts me to the vampire.

Ooo! I love talking paranormal movies and books. I love PRACTICAL MAGIC and HELLBOY 1 and 2. And my favorite paranormal book is BLACK BODY by HC Turk. I'm reading tons of paranormal books now. Tons!

I'd look really good in the chrome fangs. Would save me time and money for a dentist to file them down to sharp points. *g*

My favorite fictional vampire character is Barnabas Collins from DARK SHADOWS.

Theresa, you're a very busy lady! You're vampire world sounds fabulous!

Mel K.
Meljprincess AT aol DOT com

flip said...

Thanks for the interview.


Would you ever be interested in writing a gothic novel like Victoria Holt?


flip (at) tetonvalley.net

Theresa Meyers said...

Hi Meljprincess,

I think vampires have lots that makes them irrisistible to us. Thanks for the comment!

If you like the chrome fangs, check out the others they have. There's quiet a selection!

Theresa Meyers said...

Hi Flip,

Thanks for the question. I grew up reading Victoria Holt and absolutely loved her. But now that I'm writing my own stories, most of the time I don't tend to be gothic in my style. My writing is more direct and up front.

Still, I never say never. Writing is a strange business sometimes!

blackroze37yahoo.com said...

i would love to be enter in this contest~!

blackroze37yahoo.com said...

and i love nocturne lines. im looking forward to your book theresa!

bohemiangypsy said...

Interesting interview. I have never really given it much thought about a vampire not being older than a couple of hundred years. Neat take on it. Now if you are a Highlander that is another story. They can live a long time; unless they get their head cut off. I enjoyed the interview, and I know that I will enjoy reading the book. Thanks for the giveaway.

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