Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Seeing Life Through A Vampire’s Eyes… by Joey W. Hill

Seeing Life Through A Vampire’s Eyes… by Joey W. Hill

Lyssa wanted a meal. Preferably something muscular, a man whose long, powerful body would serve her well as she took his blood…

Gives a whole new spin to the term “Happy Meal”, doesn’t it? Chuckle.

Writing a blog about a book sometimes reminds me of English class, where you had to choose an aspect of the story that interested you and write an essay on it. Actually, I always thought that was one of the more appealing exercises, because you were able to choose what interested YOU about the story. And hearing what other people chose about the same book gave you some 20-30 different perspectives you didn’t have, providing a deeper appreciation. I suspect that was where the idea for book clubs was born…only they improved on the idea significantly by allowing wine and chocolate and curling up on the carpet and sofas in someone’s living room, versus sitting in hard desks in symmetrical rows…

If you were over a thousand years old, would you have desires like those of us limited to less than a century of life? God, I hope so. It would be terrible to think that if we exist into eternity in one form or another, that the thrill of falling in love, riding a roller coaster, smelling a flower or giving and receiving a hug would pall. It’s a thought I considered in-depth when I wrote Lyssa’s character, my thousand-year-old vampire queen in The Vampire Queen’s Servant.

When you write a romance, while you may switch POV between your two main characters, there’s usually one of them your readership will identify with the most. That said, in romance, the other half cannot be entirely beyond the reader’s understanding, because essentially when we read, we’re trying to find a connection with the characters. That’s how we get pulled into the story.

So when I considered the question, would she look at life in a way with which we mere mortals could relate – and more importantly, would readers believe it if I portrayed her as doing so – Lyssa answered the question for me herself.

“Just because I’m as old as I am doesn’t mean I’ve reached this state of all-encompassing wisdom where I just sit on the top of a mountain soaked in enlightenment. Good for you, too, because you’d go insane with the inactivity.” When Jacob chuckled in response, Lyssa closed her eyes at the thrill it gave her to feel him vibrate against her body again. “I know a lot of things by experience humans will never live long enough to understand, including yourself. But one thing I’ve learned is we don’t overcome our nature. It’s so much a part of us, I’d say it’s maybe half of our souls.”

When Bran raised his head, she looked at the dog, wishing she could have his simple acceptance of life. “If our nature is to want to love and be loved,” she said softly, “we don’t overcome that, get past it. On the same note, I could live ten thousand years and not understand why we do the things we do to each other.”

Will she have perspectives and experiences we haven’t? Absolutely.

“I’ve seen things, Jacob. I’ve met Chinese dragons whose whiskers feel like feathers when they brush them across your face. I’ve seen wars begin and end. Seen people do so many things I didn’t expect, and many things I did expect, and dreaded. That is why the Ennui does not affect me. Terrible things always outnumber the good, but the overall power of a single good thing is so much greater.”

Now thinking about this from Jacob’s perspective, here he is, a thirty-year-old man who has made the monumental decision to bind his life to that of a dying vampire queen. He is a modern-day warrior, a former vampire hunter, and he lives a great deal by his gut. He has moments he feels entirely outclassed by her wisdom and experience, but on the emotional field, he picks up what she needs by intuition and acts on it, not questioning himself.

He wasn’t certain if he was cut out to be a human servant. What he knew for certain was he was meant to serve her.

And here again I received confirmation of the answer Lyssa had given earlier, only when I saw the thread picked up by my other main character, it told me as the author that I was on the right track with the story. For authors are very aware when the storyline we’re writing is made of foam board versus foundation stone. That’s why when I see a line like the one above come flowing from my pen, I’m delighted to put my handprint in the wet concrete and say “ha!” like a happy child who has made the most beautiful mudpie ever.

Jacob understands that it doesn’t matter how long she’s lived; the need to have someone with whom you feel connected and whole, accepted and unconditionally loved, never ages. If that wasn’t the case, the need for religion would have died out centuries ago. And to me, the love we discover with one another is a spiritual link to that. It’s why we never stop looking for it, if we want to keep our hearts growing. It’s certainly why I love writing romance.

He would stay because she needed him, but more than that, he would stay because he was in love with her. Perversely, Jacob realized that was what had caused his doubt. Because he loved her with everything he was, he’d finally gotten beyond himself, the need to prove himself, to what she needed. While he was sure that there were many others who could be a better human servant to her, his gut told him in his inability to leave, she needed him. How or why wasn’t important. He was going to be here for her.

So, it’s July 3rd and The Vampire Queen’s Servant is now available!! I hope you’ll enjoy my mudpie…er, Jacob and Lyssa’s story.


Blogger Deidre Knight said...

Awesome post, girl!!!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007 at 2:34:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Joey W. Hill said...

Thanks, Deidre! It's always interesting to delve into the minds of characters with fellow readers and writers! Just put family members to sleep when I do it at home (lol).

Tuesday, July 3, 2007 at 5:44:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

OMG!! Joey - Vampires are never my first choice to read but I know for certain that reading one of your stories with a 1000 year old vampire in it will be like nothing I have ever read before.

I am sooooo looking forward to reading this book as I have never reread so many stories as I do with your stories. If I wasn't so anal about keeping my books in great shape - I would highlight all the aaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh parts and there are many of them.

Anxiously awaiting the arrival of VQS.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007 at 12:36:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Denise Rossetti said...


Believe me when I say I have NEVER gone to sleep reading one of your books!! Not the first time or the second - or the fiftieth. *LOL*

And that's not just because of the sumptuous language, which I love, but because you truly enter into your characters' hearts and minds. I've seen you do it with vampires and mermaids and angels and ordinary folks and the way you get under the skin never ceases to fascinate me.

I cannot wait for VQS to hit Oz! Roll on the happy day - I've already ordered my copy.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007 at 4:12:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Joey W. Hill said...

Debbie, I go in just the opposite direction with books. THe more I love them, the more I underline favorite quotes, dogear the pages that have my favorite scenes, re-read it while eating chocolate and sitting on the porch so there are chocolate smudges and occasional accidents involving my clumsiness with diet soda...sigh. Which is why when I get my hand on print copies of Denise's current work, they will likely look like I've run them over by the car in no time! Thank you both for such great comments. I hope you won't be disappointed, Debbie - let me know if you are.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007 at 5:23:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course I am gleefully awaiting delivery of VQ because you wrote it. Reading your excerpts, blogs and other publicity has made the wait all the harder (don't stop, though!!). As an english major, once upon a time, I lol at your comparision of blogs to theme papers. Please know that having read every paranormal story I could get my hands on, for years and years, I actually had reached a saturation point: especially w/ vamp story lines. Your take seems different and refreshing enough though, that I am excited again about the sub-genre. So thanks for that!!

Thursday, July 5, 2007 at 3:38:00 PM EDT  

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