Today I’m delighted to welcome back Rosemary A Johns to the blog.
Rosemary is the author of the best-selling Rebel Vampires series. Blood Dragons and Blood Shackles were published in 2016 and the eagerly anticipated third book, Blood Renegades, will be released on 13th June 2017. I’ve already pre-ordered my copy because Light is my favourite vampire of them all!
In this second interview Rosemary talks about her series and the inspiration behind it. You can read the first interview here.
Blood Renegades is the third book in the Rebel Vampires series featuring the rebel rocker vampire Light. How has the story developed since book one and where is Light now?
Firstly, thanks for having me on Margarita!
Light is the ultimate British anti-hero: a Rocker and a rebel Blood Lifer, with a talent for remembering things, a Triton motorbike and a love for the hunt.
The first book – Blood Dragons – is about a man losing his humanity and then discovering it again – through love.
Light is caught between his century old love for a savage Elizabethan Blood Lifer and his forbidden human lover in the 1960s London music scene.
In the second book – Blood Shackles – Light has become a slave to humans. Now the predators, are the prey because of the dark conspiracy of the Blood Club.
Light’s fighting for his species’ freedom. But he discovers love and family.
The idea was sparked by human trafficking and slavery. But what would happen if it was the Blood Lifers who could be trafficked?
The third book – Blood Renegades – is about the difference between freedom and terrorism – and is a passionate thriller, as Light discovers the meaning of home.
Light will be burnt at the stake in 14 days. He’s been branded a terrorist Renegade. Liberty is a relentless interrogator. She’s been trained to hate Renegades. Yet when her life converges with Light’s, she’s enticed by the dark and glory of his world.
Soon Light’s in a race against time to transform into the true leader vital to save his family, home and love. But will he be able to judge predator from prey?
Light must make the ultimate choice: to hide in the shadows. Or walk into the light…
What is your strategy for planning and writing a series?
Light’s a rebel anti-hero. This is his redemptive journey.
Each book has its own ARC, theme and is standalone. But it also stands within a wider ARC and contains characters from the series…building towards something truly thrilling.
Three is a magical number to Light. If the series will be longer than three books, then I plot it around trilogies within that series.
I leave some details open on each book because you also need that moment of passion to drive the writing.
What is your vision for the Rebel Vampires series?
The rebel, the loner, the misfit…we’re all individuals, different: ‘snowflake patterns’…
How does anyone – from autistic vampire, savant, the homeless, slaves, freedom fighters – live in this modern world? Find love, family or home? Create society, rise up against dictators or form a new world?
What does it mean to be human?
The idea for Blood Dragons was sparked by my autistic son, who has a photographic memory. Light – the Blood Lifer in my Rebel Vampires series – has one too. They’re both savants.
I wondered what it would be like to live through the centuries witnessing wonders and horrors. And remembering everything with the clarity of a photograph. Would it be a blessing or a curse?
My husband’s a police officer, and hearing about modern-day slavery from him led to Blood Shackles.
I was also fascinated by different types of freedom. Mental, as well as physical. How we give it up when we’re in love – or how love can free us.
Blood Renegades is written as an interrogation in a terrorist Inquiry. That feels more than real in modern Britain. The Blood Life Council (vampire equivalent of Westminster) believe Light to be the leader of the terrorist Renegades. The idea of fanatics and the line between terrorist and freedom fighter is compelling.
There’s always a balance of power between the humans and vampires, and at the end of Blood Renegades, Light has to make a choice that will change everything.
The Rebel Vampires series has really taken off in America. What have been your most successful marketing tactics?
Rebel Vampires has been a best seller in America; it’s also received fantastic reviews from places like the Midwest Book Review. It was winner of the Silver Award in the Wishing Shelf Book Awards, which is a UK award too.
The most rewarding thing as an author has been the impact on readers: it’s inspired a range of exclusive jewellery. Also a theme song called Forevermore, by the rock band Off the Realm. It’s fantastic to hear when my books have touched people, and I love reading reader reviews.
I have an amazing street team (Rosemary’s Rebels) and a VIP Email Newsletter with news of hot releases, promotions and the free short story All the Tin Soldiers.
I think it took off primarily because I was writing the type of book I love to read and so was utterly passionate about it in my marketing.
Also, the type of book I was desperate to discover: a vampire book truly for adults, written from a British vampire’s point of view. It offered a unique, immersive reading experience: an escape.
I also respected the reader by ensuring everything was the highest quality.
Everything else is details.
Are you planning any other fantasy series?
I’ve been invited onto a box set in America for Valentine’s day – so watch out for that!
For my own series…the next one will be Rebel Werewolves! Set in Oxford, it will do what Rebel Vampires does for vampires: reinvent the werewolf myth for the modern-day. I’m excited about this one!
Is there a book or series by another author that you wish you’d written?
Anne Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles. The writing dazzles.
I read them first as a teenager. Lestat is one of the main reasons I’m so drawn to anti-heroes. Anne Rice’s ability to make you love the beautiful monster – who knows they’re a monster?
I read The Vampire Lestat once in a frenzied blur. Then again trying to work out the trick. I recently had a reader tell me they did the same with my book. That’s the highest praise for an author!
When reviewers compare me to Anne Rice it’s a real buzz, remembering that young girl curled up in the dark unable to put down The Vampire Lestat, lost in Anne Rice’s world.
Thanks Rosemary, that was great!
Find Rosemary on-line
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