Behind the Book: How a Story Came to Be

- by Chris Marie Green

When you write about vampires, sometimes there’s a feeling that it’s all been done before-and done very well by masters of horror and romance alike.

So when it came time for me to plot a story arc for the second trilogy in my Vampire Babylon series, it was a challenge. How would I try to make the vampire society as acceptable to readers as the first one in Hollywood? How could I come up with a premise that would provide followers of the series with the twists and turns they’ve come to expect?

I decided to write what fascinated me, and hopefully that would solve my issues.

a-drop-red1 And what fascinated me at that time turned out to include fairy tales, Europe, and vampire lore, all rolled into one. I had picked up a book called The Trials and Tribulations of Red Riding Hood, edited by Jack Zipes, and that got my juices going. The compilation features essays about the themes of this particular fairy tale, its evolution, and sociological musings regarding the story’s effect on females. It inspired me, and the brainstorming ball started rolling.

I’d also talked to my editor about possible locations for this new Underground that Dawn Madison and her vampire hunting team would be pursuing, and she suggested London. Having been there before, I knew I loved this city-its haunted alleys and well-preserved past thrilled me, so I adopted it as my next setting. I mentioned in a previous NINC post about how I traveled there to flesh out scenes and the plot at large, but I can’t stress enough how this trip shaped the new London trilogy (A DROP OF RED, Vampire Babylon, Book Four, comes out today; THE PATH OF RAZORS, Book Five, and DEEP IN THE WOODS, Book Six, to follow). If you’re interested in more details about how I used my “vacation,” you can click here.

Next, I dove back into that good old vampire lore, mixing legends and historic alleged vampires with my own fictional society of creatures. I also wanted to use my own version of fairy tales to provide character detail in book five, so I studied the genre (the old dark stuff-not the Disney versions) and set to work on creating original tales for my vampires. You’ll see those in book five when it comes out in August.

I’m hoping that this new vampire Underground world and the hunting team’s pursuit of it will be a lot of fun. It was great to put my heroine into this new situation while, at the same time, staying true to the elements of the previous trilogy. IMHO, writing a series is different from doing a continuity, which I define as using a continuing world to feature the stories of new characters who might’ve been featured in previous stories (as, say, a “series” that features a new romantic couple each book). To me, a series pushes the boundaries of the same core characters, developing them, challenging them, driving them to places no one-not even the author-thought they would go.

Thank you for reading, and Happy Hunting, you all!

One comments

  1. nice story