Our lovely paranormal author Jessica Sims stopped by XOXOAD to chat about her experience writing her latest book, BETWEEN A VAMP AND A HARD PLACE. So while you’re trying to adjust to 2016 (happy New Year everyone!), consider just how difficult it was for Jessica to get in the right mindset of someone who lived 600 years ago…
One of the most challenging – and exciting! – things about writing is finding a new spin on a familiar story. When I decided to write BETWEEN A VAMP AND A HARD PLACE I knew that I wanted to write about vampires. But what could I say that I haven’t already said in other books? Or what could I offer to readers that would be different?
I decided to make my vampire…vintage. Like the antiques that the heroine Lindsey falls in love with, Rand isn’t from this time. He isn’t even from the Renaissance! He slept through all of it. Originally a Crusader, he was a vampire for two hundred years before he was staked and put to sleep in a coffin. Six hundred years later, he’s discovered by the heroine and the entire world has changed.
It was so much fun to write things as Rand discovered them, and to show his reactions to the reader. For one, Rand grew up with a very different mindset. To him, people are there to be used, and women aren’t equals. As a result, he orders Lindsey around and calls her wench, and she has to teach him that a modern woman isn’t his property! Along with the mindset of a six-hundred year old knight comes the juxtaposition of setting him in this reality. What will he think of how the modern world is? What will he think of cars? Phones? Will he dismiss them as nothing or will he think a postcard is the most marvelous thing he’s ever seen?
I set the story in Venice because even for a crusader, Venice was old. I wanted there to be another juxtaposition in the story – that of place if not time. Lindsey’s not from Venice and to her it’s strange. Rand knows Venice – the Venice of 600 years ago – but everything he remembers is old and crumbling. They’re both strangers in a strange land, and that’s part of what brings them together.
I sincerely hope you enjoy the read! I know I loved writing it.