A part of me likes to believe I was into the whole "vampire" thing long before it became popular. A friend of mine sent me the first three books of the Sookie Stackhouse series before anyone had heard the term “True Blood,” and I devoured them before patiently waiting for the next one’s release. I had never really been one to purchase romance novels before then, and actually hadn’t imagined legitimate, royalty-paying publications printing the sort of raw, explicit, sexy material I enjoy reading. I first encountered erotica through the art of fan-fiction, and naively believed the realm of explicit fiction solely reserved for the Internet. It makes sense now, of course, years and many, many, many books later that the phrase “sex sells” applies to all media. Of course, I knew about romance novels, but I hadn’t thought the sexual encounters would be anything more than clever allusions to the act itself. And while this has been the case with a handful of authors, this misconception was at the blame of my own obliviousness until I started reading.
I’ve been a huge vampire buff for about ten years now, therefore I began devouring every vampire romance I could get my hands on. After Sookie Stackhouse, it was Lynsay Sands, Christine Feehan, Amanda Ashley, and Sherrilyn Kenyon. I’d spend hours in a bookstore, buying more novels than I could read. Even today, I have a healthy collection of books I haven’t cracked open. I tell myself I’ll get there eventually, but the stack keeps growing by the year. Point being, I loved a good paranormal. I’d read werewolves and demons on occasion, but vampires were my poison. It was actually around the time Twilight took the world by storm that my interest in the paranormal at last began to wane.
I’m not talking in terms of writing. I’ve written paranormal romance for so long that writing anything else seems strange and unpredictable to me. My world might change from project to project, but some staples remain the same. Yet over the past year, my reading library has expanded from strictly paranormal to mostly contemporary, with perhaps a paranormal title thrown in there out of habit. I likewise have entertained more contemporary ideas (one I’m very excited about) and even more I will likely never get around to writing. Still, when it comes to the sort of stories that motivate me in terms of creativity, it has monsters…more than likely vampires.
My current project is no exception. The main world-focus contains angels and demons, which is something I’ve never touched, but my hero is a vampire. This world will likely be expanded in further series, as I’ve fallen in love with the premise and have enough side-characters that their story, including Lucifer’s, will need to be told down the line. I plan to include shifters and other paranormal aspects the more it grows, but vampires have always been my first paranormal love, and paranormal heroes have always been my writing preference. There’s just something about a larger-than-life hero that gets my engine going.
Still, while my creativity seems to be led by the paranormal, I keep selecting contemporary romances for my bookshelf. I’ve published two to date, and have another in the works, and I do feel a sort of accomplishment upon drafting a new non-paranormal. I hope to expand my personal writings in that direction, as well.
At any rate, I definitely won’t be short for ideas anytime soon.