30 Days of Vampires – Interview with Maria Lima, urban fantasy author

November 13, 2008 | Author Interviews | 40 comments

30 Days of Vampires Schedule

Basic Facts:
Author of: Blood Lines series
Favorite Candy: Scharffen Berger chocolates…or any premium choccy, actually :)
Super Power Most Covets: Time Turning
Favorite Vampire: Eric Northman, from Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series

Blood Bargain, urban fantasyQ.) First can you tell us about your Blood series?

M.L.) The series is set in the Texas Hill Country, a place both of beauty and starkness.

Q.) What about your take on vampires, do you stick with tradition or tweak it a bit?

M.L.) I love to tweak tradition and make it work in a physical setting. When I first started writing the books, I considered the various legends and chose what made sense if vampires really did live today. If I could make the legend sensible (outside of the whole walking dead thing), then I used it. My vampires can be religious, can see themselves in mirrors, and aren’t allergic to garlic. However, they still need to avoid the sun and prefer the night. They can eat and enjoy regular food, but need blood to survive. Food is a taste thing only–they can’t garner nutrition from steak.

Q.) If you were given the option, would you be turned?

M.L.) Probably. As long as I’d be assured of weath. ::g::

Q.) What would you do if you met a “real” vampire? Would you be a vamp groupie or would you dash for the nearest stake?

M.L.) If it were one of mine, I’d probably be a groupie. If it were a more traditional vamp, I’d run for the hills.

Q.) Who makes the best hero–slayer or vamp? Why?

M.L.) Depends on the context, but if the vamp is someone who despite their challenges can still be heroic and help others, then go team Vamp!

Q.) Ultimate fighting challenge, vampire, werewolf or witch/wizard–pick your opponent and explain your choice…

M.L.) Ooh, this is a toughie! I think I’d rather go up against a vampire, because as long as I can stay alive until the sun comes out, I can perhaps win. A werewolf would be really hard to kill, and a witch/wizard, if they were dark, yikes! Not someone I’d want to meet in an alley.

Q.) Are you a plotter or a pantser? Character-driven or plot driven?
Ever try to be the opposite? Do you have a set method you use when starting a book?

M.L.) I’m utterly a pantser. I’ve tried really hard to be an organized outliner, working out the kinks, geting the storyline set down before I flesh it out, but it’s not yet worked. In fact, when I did try this, I ran into a major block, because my brain was convinced I’d already told the story. When I first start a book, I do a lot of thinking about the underlying theme. What it’s about (other than the main plot), where it’s set, what’s the main challenge for my protagonist and what needs to happen by the end. Then I start writing.

Q.) What is the smartest thing you’ve done so far as advancing either your writing or your writing career? What is something you wish you had done differently?

M.L.) Smartest thing: I didn’t give up after my original publisher flaked out and disappeared off the face of the earth. What I wish I’d done differently: Had 20/20 hindsight and waited before committing to the flakey publisher.

Q.) Can you describe three things in your writing area that tell us something about you?

M.L.) A photo of Johnny Depp wearing a white tank, sitting at a piano. A Middleman button from ComicCon 2008. A Baby Dracula VooDoo Baby doll.

Q.) Any new projects on the horizon? What would you like to try next?

M.L.) I sold an essay to BenBella books for an upcoming anthology on the TV show, Supernatural. The book, In the Hunt, will be out in March 2009.
I’m currently working on the 3rd book in the Blood Lines series (the last in my contract) and honestly, I have no clue what I’m going to try next. I’m considering a couple of ideas, but nothing concrete.

Maria Lima
BLOOD BARGAIN, ISBN 978-0809573059, November 2008
MATTERS OF THE BLOOD, ISBN 978-0809557905, March 2007
Web site: http://www.thelima.com
Blog: www.marialima.com

Order Matters of the Blood
Order Blood Bargain


  1. Deidre

    I love Eric Northman from the Sookie series too. Maria, what do you think of the actor’s portrayal of him in the show TrueBlood?


  2. Maria Lima

    Deidre – good question – I do think Alexander Skarsgard is an excellent choice for the part. Unfortunately, he’s not gotten to do much yet. I hope that will remedy itself in season 2.

    Overall, I’m enjoying the show immensely.

  3. Lou Gagliardi

    Nice little interview. I loved this series, picked up the first book on a whim and loved it.

    I just wish I knew why authors stick to the “vampires can only be out during the night” thing? Perhaps Maria, or even Lori, you can explain your own personal logic behind that one?

    Not saying its wrong, I mean authors are allowed to make up their own rules, but early myths and even novels like dracula, had vamps out during the day but their powers decreased.

    Heh. Guess I’m more of a traditionalist than I thought.

  4. Pamk

    Nice cover and I loved the interview. Will defintely have to check out your books.

  5. Mel K.

    Hi Maria,
    The first thing I noticed was that your Blood series takes place in the Texas Hill Country. Why did you choose that setting? I’m from Lubbock, btw. Today’s your lucky day, Maria. You’ve met a real vampire. ME!

  6. CrystalGB

    Great interview. Maria’s series sounds wonderful. I love the cover of Blood Bargain.

  7. Kara

    Great interview – I love meeting new to me authors and adding to my TBR list!!

  8. Elora

    the interveiw was great I can’t wait to read more in the series !! have a great day/night !!! ~smile~ -Elora-

  9. Lori

    As to Vampires in the day…I’ve read books where vampires could go out in the day– a lot of them. And I have to admit I haven’t read a lot of the older vampire fiction, but I have read the history of the myth. And a lot of people who actually believed in vampires thought they came out of their graves at night. Some included stories of seeing people who were supposed to be dead and buried in the day too, but (at least in the stories I’ve read) the night was a lot more common.
    So far as writing a story about using the night only thing, it adds a weakness that the vampire has to overcome. More threat and conflict for the vampire character. I guess that’s what I like about it.
    There are some fictional vampires today that aren’t vampirey at all–they are just super attractive and super strong, sometimes they don’t even drink blood. I prefer a bit of angst and not being able to walk around in the daylight adds to that. IMO.
    Which isn’t to say I wouldn’t read a book where the vamp could day walk. Just explaining why I chose to make mine in Holiday with a Vampire a night-only walker.

  10. ShootingStarsMag

    Nice interview! I like that the vampires can eat and actually enjoy regular food. that’s cool.

    and ohhh johnny depp. what a nice addition to ANY writing space. :wink:


  11. Colleen

    Great introduction of a new author to me! Loved all the tidbits! Thanks for sharing! :D

  12. Lou Gagliardi

    And that’s all I asked for Lori. See if a writer can make me see their world, and see how it works–even in the book..and EXPLAIN (without an information dump) why the character does what he or she does, then it makes sense.

    Your explanation made total sense and made me agree with what you said, at least from a writer’s POV.

    From a researcher, and readers, point of view however..I know of stories where the vampire can only be up and about during the day. Take Poland and Russia for example, their stories say that the vampire is up from dusk to dawn, like a normal person instead of being nocturnal.

    But, again, I c an see your point and definitely agree. Hehe. you should interview me for this monthly long event ;) I’ve studied the creatures of the night for a long time now.

  13. flip

    Nice interview. I enjoy the different versions of vampires.

  14. Cathy M

    Interesting interview, Maria. You write about the kind of vampires I enjoy the most, and I will be sure to check out this series.

  15. Jennifer A. Ray

    Your Blood Lines series sounds intriguing!

  16. Wendy

    Hi, Maria!

    I totally agree, Eric from Sookie’s series is one of my favorite vampires. :D

  17. Popin

    I love the cover and great interview! I love when authors change up the vampire myth and make it their own. It makes for a more interesting read. I can’t wait to read this book.

    ~ Popin

  18. blackroze37

    im looking forward to reading your storys, your books sounds wonderful!

    love finding new author and new books

  19. Dena

    I enjoyed the interview Maria. I loved the Sookie books but have been disappointed with the show since episode three. I pictured Eric a lot different and hopefully in season two he will grow on me too. I like the tweak on tradition in Vampire books as well. Your cover is so cool, I love it.

  20. Carmen R

    I have not read any of your books but I’m going over to amazon to add your books to my wish list.

  21. Pam P

    Great cover and interview, Maria. I like all kinds of vamps. Checking out more about your book now, and saw your heroine has a Viking brother, sounding even better.

  22. Cara

    I enjoyed the interview and have added your series on my list for next week. I can’t wait to read it.

  23. Debbie

    Great interview! I’ll be adding your books to my TBR list.

  24. Karin

    Great interview. I like your take on using bits and pieces of various vampire legends to make them what makes sense to you. I’m looking forward to reading your books.

  25. Maria Lima

    Lou – when I was deciding which characteristics to keep for my vampires, I chose to keep them night walkers because it’s so sunny in Texas. This adds a bit of a challenge for them.

    Mel – I set my series in the Texas Hill Country because I lived in and around there for most of my life after age 15 (that is, until I moved to the DC area). It’s gorgeous, close to cities, yet isolated enough that a large family group of supernaturals could conceivably live there and not be discovered. Plus I still love it!

    Thanks, everyone for the great comments! I enjoyed doing the interview and thanks to Lori for inviting me.


  26. ReadingIsSoMuchFun

    Hi Maria! It’s a pleasure to see you here on Lori’s blog. Great interview.

    Your Blood series sounds very good. I already have them on my Amazon wish list.

    That is a fantastic cover for Blood Bargain love it :-) I look forward to reading your books :)


  27. Sidhe Vicious

    I am definitely adding your books to my wishlist! I too have a TV & book crush on Eric Northman. I also hope to see much more of him in season 2. And I’m really hoping that he and Sookie hook up for real in the next book!
    A Johnny Depp in a tank top poster? I could get motivated to write with one of those too. :wink:

  28. Margie

    Your book sounds wonderful! I’m always looking for new authors to read!

  29. Stacie McClellan

    Nice interview. I, too, like Eric Northman. It’s great that you have moved your vampires away from the traditional. I like that they can eat.

  30. annalisa

    Your Blood series sounds great! I love the cover for Blood Bargain – it’s gorgeous. :D

  31. Caffey

    I love urban fantasy and paranormal romances! I had recalled reading a 2:1 chapter each book and yours was in it and after reading the chapter, I knew I had to read the rest NOW but it wasn’t out! That was your book a few months ago and its exciting its now out! And too now I understand even more about the series. With working on the 3rd book now, do you anticipate that you will conclude the series with the 3rd book Maria, or will you be leaving it open to pick up possibly again? Thanks!

  32. Debby

    Wow a new author for me. I loved reading the interview. HAve another book for my list

  33. Debbie Kaufman

    Now I’m intrigued. This 30 days of Vamps is going to keep me at the bookstore. I’m learning about authors I wasn’t familiar with before.

  34. Maryelizabeth

    Um, Maria, there’s vamps in them thar hills … at least in TX! LOL!

    Q.) What would you do if you met a “real” vampire? Would you be a vamp groupie or would you dash for the nearest stake?

    M.L.) If it were one of mine, I’d probably be a groupie. If it were a more traditional vamp, I’d run for the hills.

  35. Maria Lima

    Caffey – good question. The 3rd book, as yet untitled, is the final book in the current contract. It is intended to be the final book in the current major storyline, but that doesn’t negate the possibility of there being other books in this world. There are so many stories that can be told!

    Again, thanks all so much for the great comments!

    — Maria

  36. Margie

    Nice interview! I look forward to reading your books.

  37. Danielle

    this book looks good… ill have to check it out… :D

  38. Pan Zareta

    Nice interview. Sounds like a fascinating book!

  39. Brooke

    Great interview, now I’m off to find out more about this series! :)

  40. Kimberly B.

    Sounds like a great series! I think one of the cool things about vampires is how everyone can add a different spin on the myth, and use or reject beliefs from different places and eras.