When I was young, I was called the “artist”. I drew on everything, including walls and sidewalks. The walls I got in trouble with—especially when I used my sister's favorite red lipstick. And I probably was in trouble for the school's sidewalks too, only they had no proof it was me that had done it!
I did not discover writing was so much doggone fun until I got into my senior year in high school and took a creative writing class, taught by our English teacher. Once I realized that writing a scene was much easier than doing the cartoons I had been drawing, I traded the colored pencils for a lead one.
When I expressed my desire to become an author to my English teacher, she merely looked down her nose at me and told me to choose some other profession because my spelling sucked, and my grammar was even worse—not in those words, exactly.
Did that devastate me? Well, it did, but it did not dampen my spirit. I worked on both areas. But that was rather hard because we didn't have spell check back then. But I wrote and wrote and wrote—and read a number of vampire and horror novels. I gave up social life. I hated when people called asking me to go do something with them. Damn pesky people anyway!
At some point in my early teens I became interested in vampires. I think I can give the original soap opera Dark Shadows the burden of blame, because I absolutely loved it. I ran home from school to watch it, or came in on the summer day from playing to watch it. I also watched horror flicks on late night TV too, and was considered “weird”. Anything that had to do with vampires, I had to watch, read or look at it. Back then people were NOT into vampires, and if you were you were definitely among the 1% who were—which included a lot of writers, actors and directors. So, I was in good company!
Another reason I became interested in vampires/the undead, may have been because death touched me when young. My mother died of lung cancer the summer before I turned 12. My younger brother and I did not have closure—we did not go to the funeral. I don't know if it would have been better, or made a difference, but I do know that I spent a year believing she would walk through the back door looking fine.
This one moment in my life is part of the reason I included in my Sabrina Strong Series that her mother also was dying of cancer when she was 11. It was my little secret revision of my own personal history.
These books are vastly different from my very first attempts at a vampire novel many decades ago when first I decided to pen one. Suffice it to say, it took me 5 years to develop and then write the first one, Vampire Ascending. Not one vampire is a cardboard character. Nor are the elves, shiftchanger, or my villain(s). I'm going to surprise you, give you cliff hangers and change the rules. Although there is romance in this book I will not hook Sabrina up with the most likely candidate. There's more than one guy who is likely to be her love interest. This is basically urban fantasy but with a blend of mystery, adventure and romance.
Also, I did not want to write about a kick-ass heroine, because I can't really relate to them. Seems that there are a lot of books written which have a woman being turned into a vampire, too. Sabrina doesn't get turned. But she does get bitten by a werewolf. And that is only the beginning of Sabrina's strange, and at times dangerous initiations into the paranormal world. This becomes her challenge, too, as the series progresses, as well as dealing with vampires and all the other paranormal stuff that goes on around her—which brings her into more danger—while she tries to hide it from her “normal” brother. The general public doesn't know that vampires, werewolves, elves and so forth live right under their noses. But Sabrina was already aware of it. She remembered the beautiful man with large eyes, long black hair who visited her one night... and bit her. She hopes to find him through Tremayne's underground world.
Art may have been my first love, but writing has become my everlasting love.