How Do You Make a Vampire?
This question was at the heart of my early building of the Night Runner series. As Sydney Kildare, Alaskan daredevil and vampire courier, is fond of saying: “All those rumors about vampires, all of them, are true.” My vampires cannot cross a threshold without an invitation, and sunlight is deadly to them. All other attributes – from turning into mist, to passing as human – vary by individual. My vampires have a few other specific characteristics not so commonly found. To reduce the chances of death by fire, they migrate. They follow the winter to Alaska for a good part of the year and stay in the southern hemisphere for a few months. Nights aren’t as long in Santiago, Chile as they are in Alaska, but there’s a second, more practical reason for their migration.
I didn’t want my vampires to be rare, or inexplicably wealthy, or skulking about the fringes of the world. They needed to be an integrated component of society. In the Night Runner world, vampires are economic powers. They didn’t get that way by hoarding wealth like dragons but rather by discovering and developing natural resources – oil, metals, minerals, and gemstones. Why let those enhanced senses go to waste when humans will pay top dollar for fossil fuels and shinies, right? It also gives them leverage – humans are less likely to burn vampires out if they contribute, and governments are more willing to sanction and even protect vampires if they provide a steady flow of tax dollars.
So that’s the nuts and bolts of the vampire/human relationship, but it’s not why I chose to write about vampires. It’s easy to romanticize the vampire – I’ve been doing it for decades. They’re inimical to humanity. But they are still people – at least, in these stories they are – with the same capacity for emotions, rationality, strength, weakness, and insanity. The same capacity, but with more force behind their tendencies. When they are protective, they will do anything for their loved ones or their hives. When they’re strong, they’re fearsome. And when they go off the rails, it can be cataclysmic.
In Falling from the Light, Sydney finds herself caught at the intersection of these three things: love, power, and insanity. It’s not a comfortable place for a human. It’s not a safe place. It is, as a writer, an interesting place. I hope that readers will agree.
Thank you so much for hosting me!
Falling from the Light
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Number of pages: 250
Word Count: 94,500
Cover Artist: Croco Designs
All Sydney Kildare wants is a minute in the slow lane, some time to decide where she’s going with her vampire lover, Malcolm Kelly. But after sitting out the last battle, the powerful Master Bronson is giving orders again, and he isn’t above blackmailing his former courier to get what he wants.
With Mal sent to track a vicious killer, Syd is forced to infiltrate a pharmaceutical company responsible for a drug that turns vampires into real monsters. She’s unprepared and alone, but fiercely determined. If her investigation doesn’t satisfy the Master, Malcolm will pay the price. A wrong turn throws her into the middle of a vampire power play. Caught between twisting forces, with their freedom at stake, she’ll have to decide what’s more important: love, power or revenge. But choosing what feels right might turn out all wrong.
I turned to find Thurston staring, like he’d been focused on the back of my head. “When met Chev on the way in,” I said. “The owner of the casino. She said that you can ask the front desk for…uhm…for when you get hungry.”
“Should I go now?” he asked, uncertain.
“If you want,” I muttered, distracted by a sudden rush of warmth. I drifted toward the door as Mickey started speaking to Thurston in Spanish. She was her usual enthusiastic self. His responses were brief and tense. I opened the door and leaned against the frame as Malcolm walked into view.
He wore a thin, brown sweater over a bright white t-shirt, and the cuffs of his dark pants were red with dust. Petr shuffled along beside him, his limp more pronounced as he pointed something out on the armful of paperwork he carried. Mal raised a hand to wave him off and, anticipating it, Petr shoved a couple of pages into his palm before falling back.
“Of all the hallways of all the prickly vampire hotels in all the world, you walk into mine,” I said. “Whatcha been doing?”
Faint lines crinkled around his eyes and his dimple emerged as he smiled.
“Communing with scrub brush and cacti. It’s therapeutic, and pointy. What are you…” His smile faded as he stared past me. I turned to find Mickey holding a pair of tighty-whities in one hand and plaid boxers in the other.
Thurston slumped in the armchair in front of her, glowering up from beneath heavy eyebrows. Mickey tsked and gave me an exasperated look.
“Tell him he has to choose one.”
“What? No. I’m not telling him that.”
“He can’t go without.” She shook them at Thurston. “You cannot go without.”
Malcolm backed away.
“Don’t you leave me here with this,” I hissed.
“As if I’d leave a lady in distress.” Malcolm’s arm snaked around my waist and he swung me against his side. “Come on. Let’s see if we can find something to erase that scene from our memories.”
“Are we going to drop acid?”
“I was thinking dinner, but do what you need to.”
About Regan Summers
Regan Summers is the author of the romantic urban fantasy Night Runner series. As a native Alaskan, she’s used to long, cold nights but thinks they’re better with a helping of sexy vampires. Don’t Bite the Messenger, the first in the series, was a finalist for the 2013 EPIC eBook Awards in the paranormal category.