Update - Using Random.org the selected winner of Bond of Darkness is christyjan
Please contact me with mailing information at firstname.lastname@example.org
It's wonderful to have Diane Whiteside author of the Texas Vampires series with us. Book three of the series Bond of Darkness: A Novel of Texas Vampires was published October, 2008.
Welcome Diane! Thanks for joining PVN today.
PVN: Please tell us about the universe of the Texas Vampires?
Diane: Texas is full of wide open spaces. I wanted a universe where vampires could survive where there are less than two people per square mile – and that’s every man, woman, and child.
The Texas Vampires’ universe is based on modern science not folklore, modified by only a few what-ifs. (For example, what if people drank blood to survive?) Everything else follows from those what-ifs.
In the end, their world is rural and gritty, with elements of gangster lore and medieval strongholds.
PVN: What is it about Moorish Spain that fascinates you?
Diane: It’s the only time and place where Christians, Jews, and Moslems lived together for generations in peace (more or less). The art, music, agriculture, and commerce were incredible, drawing upon the strengths of all three peoples. The more I learn about it, the more fascinated I become.
PVN: What attracts you to vampires?
Diane: Vampires live forever and their life is in the blood, making for powerful metaphysical implications. If they get a love relationship right, then it lasts forever. So my characters are playing for the highest of stakes. They can’t change their minds later, unlike somebody in another world. It’s a wonderful knife-edge for an author.
PVN: Don Rafael is a strong presence in the Texas Vampires series. How did you come up with this character?
Diane: I wanted the Texas Vampires’ leader to come from Spain, since those were Texas’s oldest roots (from a white man’s perspective.) I was also interested in a reluctant vampire, who was making the best of his situation and didn’t whine. The patriarchal implications of the Texas Vampires’ rural atmosphere pointed me toward a knight and I immediately loved the ongoing conflict he could have between medieval ideas of honor and the modern world.
I went through that thought process really fast, as in a few days.
The next thing I knew – hello! Don Rafael walked into my brain and took it over. Medieval Spanish knight from their most legendary court, who loved his wife for seven centuries. Captured and tortured into becoming a vampire. Member of one of the greatest knightly orders, who has difficulty resolving his duty as a knight with his existence as a vampire. Holder of an enormous land grant from the last Spanish king of Texas, a monarch whose name is barely mentioned in Spain.
Ruthless enough to kill any woman who’s a threat to his beloved Texas but won’t change a woman into a vampire because she’ll probably either die or go insane.
PVN: I love the tough state trooper Steve (Stephanie) in Bond of Darkness, who wants a family and a house with a white picket fence. Tell us about her.
Diane: Steve comes from a long line of cops and has totally dedicated her life to that job. On the other hand, she’d love to be a wife and mother, thus giving herself the family life her own mother denied her. But no man has ever been able to cope with her as a woman. (Hey, how many men can snuggle up to a woman who can outshoot them? Or lifts how many pounds? Just not good for her love life.)
So Steve has focused on her job, never quite realizing she has to become comfortable with herself as a woman, too.
PVN: How did you research the locations where your stories take place?
Diane: I’ve visited many of them, especially in the U.S. For example, I’ve worked in New Orleans. I also have books; I’m especially fond of driving guides to an area. (A friend sent me a collection of historic ones for the Texas Hill Country which are awesome!) Texas Highways magazine is priceless for anyone writing about Texas, whether historic or contemporary.
PVN: You are such a prolific writer. What other projects are you working on?
Diane: Kisses Like A Devil, the next generation of my Devils, comes out in February 2009. Brian Donovan (the son of William Donovan from The Irish Devil) meets his match in a feminist college student in 1900 Europe, who’s stolen the plans for the era’s ultimate weapon.
CAPTIVE HEARTS, the sequel to CAPTIVE DREAMS, comes out in November 2009. Alekhsiy, Mykhayl’s younger brother, comes from Torhtremer to a Con on modern-day Earth. Unfortunately, the sorceress who can destroy his world is also the one who’s saved his life times without number.
PVN: Where and when do you write? Describe the ambience.
Diane: I have a full-time job so I write at night and on the weekends. The littlest bedroom in the house became my office. We crammed three bookcases along one wall and they overflow with books. My desk fits into one corner under the big window. I always do aromatherapy and lots of CDs – instrumental music for when I’m writing but period music when I’m delving into my characters’ psyches.
Since I suffer from what Erma Bombeck called “the mayonnaise jar syndrome” where I’d rather read anything else – including a mayonnaise jar label than write – I try to keep my office as neat as possible. I do try, with more or less success.
PVN: What books or authors most influenced you?
Diane: The The Lord of the Rings, by JRR Tolkien, Elizabeth Lowell, Linda Howard. The trilogy’s structure was strongly influenced by The Lord of the Rings.
PVN: When you aren’t writing, what do you like to do?
Diane: I enjoy spending time with my family and pets, garden, and travel.
Bond of Darkness: A Novel of Texas Vampires
Book trailer for Bond of Darkness
Diane has graciously donated a copy of Bond of Darkness for a contest.
One lucky commenter will win a copy of Bond of Darkness
For a chance to win do one (or more) of the following:
*Comment on any subject from the interview. Each comment on a different subject counts as an entry.
*Ask Diane a question. Each question counts as an entry.
*Link to Patricia's Vampire Notes and send me the URL. Each link counts as an entry.
Be sure to include email information so that I will be able to contact you.
This contest ends at 11:59 pm November 11, 2008.
Winners will be announced later in the week.