Saturday, October 30, 2010

Why a Vampire? by Wendi Zwaduk

I was asked one time not too terribly long ago, why in the heck did I want to write a vampire story. I believe the phrase used was, “why did you jump on that bandwagon”? And since one  of my favorite characters happens to be a vampire, I thought I’d answer this question today.
Why did I write a vampire story? Truth is, I didn’t start out that way. Nope. I started out writing a suspense story with a half baked, Sam Spade type character who happened to be about five-eight, chiseled and easy on the eyes. That’s really where I started. I wanted to create my own Bogart. Hey, back in the day, he had a presence.
Anyway, I started the story. It seemed to roll along ok. Not great, not earth shattering, but ok. That was my first clue that something wasn’t kosher in the state of Ohio. So, I sent it to a critique partner. “Yep, it’s a nice story.” Translation: it’s ok, but I know you can do better.” I’ll be honest. At that point, I wasn’t exactly sure what was wrong.
So I twiddled and edited and worked on it.
What you must know, is that my characters love to perch on my shoulder—or in the case of Storm Richardson—dig his bony jaw into my shoulder. Trust me, he’s easy on the eyes, so I wasn’t complaining, but I couldn’t understand why he was so interested in being right there.  So we had a conversation.
“This is an interesting story, but where am I going wrong?”
“Well, you could make me a tad taller. I’d love to know what it’s like to be taller.”
“Smart aleck. If you grow, then I’d better be able to.” (I’m stuck at 5’3” and yeah, I want to know what it’s like to be taller, too.) “What’s missing in this story?”
“I can tell you, easy. Hon, I’m a vampire.”
Can you picture my combination of shock and interest? Let me tell you, it was a revelation and not a bad one.  It was like everything clicked into place. Honest. Now don’t think I’m not observant. I am. But I chalked the being up all night and sleeping all day to being a private investigator. His fantastic observational skills? Again, he’s an investigator. He’d better be observant. But really, it did click into place.
And let me tell you, it was like a whole new world opened to me. I liked being able to use a mind/blood link. I liked following the characters where they wanted to go. And I loved being able to try something new. 
I didn’t jump on the bandwagon, as my friend suggested. Nope, I let the character direct me and I think it turned out pretty well.

Want to know more about the book? Here’s a blurb:
What’s a girl to do when she finds out the man of her dreams is a 340 year old vampire?
Run like hell or offer her heart.
Being a vampire hasn’t been easy for Storm Richardson. He’s not programmed to kill or harm, unless he needs to feed. When he meets Stephanie “Stevie” Persing, he knows he’s found his mate. But if he crosses the line between work and play, he risks losing the only person who matters—her.
Stevie’s been in love with Storm since the moment she laid eyes on him. He’s brooding, intense, and her one weakness. But is her heart too steep a price to pay for his love, especially when she discovers his deepest secrets?

   This book contains minimal scenes of rape in a flashback. Includes smokin’ hot sex in a hot tub, a pickup truck, and the shower.
Want an excerpt? Sure!
“Storm, we’re working the Chatty Catty Club tonight to catch Bruce Tripp in the act. Edie’s ready to rip me apart because we haven’t produced any damning pictures. Doesn’t your friend Falco bounce there?”
Storm frowned and glared out the window at the illuminated main drag of New Haven, Ohio. The neon highlighted the front row of stores and the silvery sidewalk stretching into the distance, but he didn’t need the enhanced lighting.
Being a vampire hyper charged his senses. He could see things at great distances, feel the tiniest pinprick on his supersensitive skin, and hear every conversation in a crowded bar. He didn’t need the work as a private investigator—being immortal gave him a lot of time to save up his resources. Then again, to stay under the radar, he didn’t stick to one profession for more than a few years. Blending in worked just fine, until he met Stevie.
Stevie managed to whip his sense of smell and taste into warp drive. The sweet scent of her fear knotted his insides. He didn’t want her to be afraid when they were on the cusp of catching yet another cheating spouse. What was the true reason for her apprehension? He yearned to climb into her mind and help ease her fears.
For the night to go smoothly, he needed to pull his thoughts away from Stevie and continue mentally prepping. Their current client, the ever-exciting Edie Tripp, was just that—a trip and a pain in the ass. She made his brain ache. She suspected her husband of cheating with his secretary and wanted Storm and Stevie to catch him in the act, or as close to ripping the sheets as possible.
He needed something to get his mind off the pesky woman and the lousy way he was about to spend a perfectly beautiful Friday night.
“So, will Todd be there?” Stevie asked, her voice tinged with annoyance. “You didn’t answer me.”
“Yes, sweetheart. Todd’s the bouncer, and yes, he’ll be there.” Storm smirked. His friend and fellow vampire, Todd Falco, could crush iron with his bare hands.
At the traffic signal, Stevie screeched to a halt. She turned to him and rolled her eyes. “You know what I meant, Storm. Do you think he could get us through the line faster? I hate to wait in heels. Then again, you know how much I hate working in heels to begin with.”
Storm rubbed his jaw, blotting out a smile. She hated anything but comfy sneakers or good old socks. Unfortunately, clubbing required sexy clothing and footwear. Whether she was comfy or not, she looked darn cute jacked up four inches in knee-high boots.
“If we cut in line, honey, then we’ll give ourselves away. The point is to blend in, so don’t worry about the heels. You’ll be able to sit at the bar. Allan’s waiting on you to give you the scoop about our clients.”
Like it was possible for him to disappear in the crowd; he was a freaking vampire. A bloodsucker and damned sex fiend.
He couldn’t blend in if he tried.
Women clung to him in droves, claiming they liked his raw sex appeal. He never understood the draw. When he looked in the mirror, all he saw was a monster in expensive clothing longing to regain his humanity.
Stevie stuck out her bottom lip in a pout and distracted him from his pity-party. “Fine, but this time, you’d better act like you want to be there with me. The only attention I got Tuesday night came from the tacky bartender and what he wanted was a better tip. Fortunately, Allan’s more of a gentleman. Still, we aren’t acting like a convincing team when you pretend I don’t exist.”
Storm frowned. Oh, she existed and blocked out the image of every other woman in the room. She inhabited his dirtiest fantasies each time he closed his eyes. In his latest dream, he wanted to throw Stevie against the nearest wall and make love to her until they both screamed with delight.
He couldn’t tear his eyes away from her. But then Stevie never saw that because of the never-ending line of women dogging his heels. What would she say if he finally told her the truth? She had an open mind. When he asked her about ghosts, she claimed to believe they existed.
Vampires were people, too…
Storm clenched his jaw. His heart thudded and fear thundered through his veins. The reason he kept his identity secret was the sheer terror of knowing she’d run screaming into the night if she knew.


Wendi Zwaduk said...

My font is too dark. Pooey on me.

Tabitha Blake said...

I was able to read it if i highlighted the words. I love the cover art and the story really drew me in.

Wendi Zwaduk said...

Thanks Tabitha. Yes, if you want to read it, right click and highlight, until I can get it fixed.

And Tabitha, glad you liked the cover. When I saw his eye(s), I was drawn in. Enjoy!

Linda Henderson said...

I enjoyed the excerpt, it sounds like a great story.

seriousreader at live dot com

Jean P said...

I enjoyed the excerpt, once I figured out how to read it. Sounds like a great storyline. The cover is easy on the eyes.

skpetal at hotmail dot com

Wendi Zwaduk said...

It's a little complicated, but thanks Jean and Linda for stoppping by! Glad you liked the excerpt. Hope you enjoy the book.

Virginia said...

I was just about to notify Annie when I couldn't see the words, LOL. But then I highlighted. I hope others take the time to do the same. :)

Wendi Zwaduk said...

Thanks Virginia. I know. I have to be different apparently. :)

Maria said...

Took me a few tries but I finally figured out how to be able to read your post- interesting back story on your character and yes I'm short too (actually only 5 feet tall) and I would so love to be able to grow


elaing8 said...

Great excerpt.Thanks for sharing.I love that cover.

Wendi Zwaduk said...

Thanks Maria an elaing8. Glad you like the cover and sorry about the black on black.

I'll say it's my way of being SPOOOKY! :)

Jessica Subject said...

I'm glad I read the comments to find out how to read the post. What a great excerpt!


Wendi Zwaduk said...

Thanks Jessica. Glad you liked the excerpt. Hope you like the book.

Annie Nicholas said...

Sorry about the invisible ink. It's never boring on PR. :)
All fixed now.

Jennifer Mathis said...

oh this story sounds fab

Judy said...

I really enjoyed the excerpt. This does look very good. And the cover is gorgeous!!!


Wendi Zwaduk said...

THanks ladies, especially Annie for fixing the post.

Judy, Jennifer, hope you enjoy the book! I love the cover, too. The cover faery was very good to me.

kimmyl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kimmyl said...

Great excerpt.I would so love to read this story.

Cathy M said...

Great excerpt and I love the name of the club.

caity_mack at yahoo dot com

Kim S. said...

Happy Halloween everyone!

Fun and interesting post Wendi! And I loved the blurb and cover!! Can't wait to read this one!

thewildtwo @ gmail [dot] com

*yadkny* said...

Hi Wendi!
I love the cover and the excerpt... definitely going in the wishlist! Storm is such an awesome name:)


Sherry Gloag said...

I love that your character put you right and it all then fell into place. Great cover and excerpt.
sherrygloag at gmail dot com

Carlie Angelus said...

Look, you don't have to convince me. You had me a vampire + hot sex!

Loved your blog!


ladydi6497 said...

I love stories with intrigue. You have caught my interest.

Thanks for sharing.


Lil said...

I am strictly a reader. I guess that is why it fascinates me so much to know that a character has announced himself to the writer.

joder said...

Love the sound of this story. Sexy excerpts and the characters will be smokin' hot together. I love vamp stories and can never have too many of them being written.

joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com


Good post. I like the book.


Rae M. said...

Wow it must get pretty noisy between you and the characters when you're writing!

And I hear you on the whole 5'3" issue, the only way I'll see above that height is if I have on heels or am using a stepstool!

Thanks and Happy Halloween!


Annie Nicholas said...

contest is closed