Today and tomorrow I’m running two related interviews with the new writing team of Patricia Rosemoor and Marc Paoletti. Their first book The Last Vampire will be hitting stores June 24th. First up in the interview que–Patricia.
Author of: THE LAST VAMPIRE
Super Power Most Covets: Being able to read minds. If the mind is the most powerful organ, that makes it even stronger…
Q.) First tell us about The Last Vampire.
P.R.) Deep in a Texas cave, the military unearths a five-hundred year-old corpse, its desiccated flesh teeming with mysterious DNA that can transform mortals into beings of unimaginable power. Captain Scott Boulder, leader of a Black Ops unit that has been endowed with these superhuman abilities, is among the first to benefit from the find. But when, with the help of a voodoo priestess, the creature is conjured to life, unleashing an ancient evil bent on reinstating its poisonous kind on earth, Scott knows he must return the monster to the grave. But this is no ordinary vampire. Once a brutal torturer in the Spanish Inquisition, it can bend the laws of science and magic in horrifying new ways.
Powerless to fight this evil alone, Scott grudgingly seeks the aid of reclusive anthropologist Leah Maguire, an expert in the mystical rituals of the past. To keep humanity from entering a new Dark Age, Scott and Leah will battle unspeakable horrors and will sacrifice everything they hold dear-perhaps even their own humanity-to destroy the last vampire.
Q.) Why the team thing? How did you meet?
P.R.) I teach Writing Popular Fiction and Suspense-Thriller Writing at Columbia College Chicago. Marc was a grad student in my classes. After that, we became friends, and we helped brainstorm each other’s writing. Marc suggested we try collaborating on a thriller. I at first wasn’t interested, then much later thought of something I’d always wanted to try–each of us writing our own characters’ scenes. And since he wrote horror and I wrote paranormal suspense, I thought it would be fun to write a dark fantasy romantic thriller with me writing the heroine and villainess, Marc writing the hero and villain. He agreed.
Q.) What benefits and challenges did writing as a team present?
P.R.) Two minds are often better than one. If one person can’t work out a plot point or character arc, the other person comes up with a possible solution. The challenge is to combine ideas coming from two different directions into a workable whole.
Q.) How did you work it—each write a POV, one write and the other revise, etc.?
P.R.) We write our own characters and send the scene to the other person for notes. We revise our own scenes.
Q.) What vampire traditions does The Last Vampire honor? Any you changed or left out completely?
P.R.) Andre is made from alchemy and blood magic, so he isn’t a Bram Stoker vampire. He can turn into smoke or lightning, he attracts and absorbs metal. He is strong, of course, and has the power of suggestion. He also needs blood to survive.
Q.) You both have individual careers too. Can you tell us a bit about those books?
P.R.) I’ve been writing romantic suspense and paranormal romantic suspense for Harlequin Intrigue for more than 20 years. My December 2007 book, WOLF MOON, was named Reviewers Choice Best Intrigue 2007 by Romantic Times BOOKreviews. My most popular books are part of The McKenna Legacy — all have paranormal elements.
Q.) You both have mystery/thriller roots, and Patricia also writes romance. How much of those genres show up in The Last Vampire?
P.R.) TLV is a thriller set in a dark fantasy world. It has a romantic subplot and uses historical scenes (from the villain’s history) as plot points. So it’s a combination of several genres.
Q.) Do you think readers who have read you individually will see “you” in The Last Vampire? How or how not?
P.R.) My readers will see this as a Patricia Rosemoor read inthat the hero and heroine are willing to sacrifice everything–even their souls–to save others. Also, I usually write about people with a dark past or present, and both Leah and Scott certainly meet that criteria. Protagonists without psychological problems would be no fun.
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? (answer individually, and if this changed when team writing)
P.R.) I’ve always been a plotter, but my plots are character-driven. I actually teach my students a method I call “Growing Plot Out of Character.” Early in my career, I started with plot and eventually developed the characters. Now I do the opposite. I start with a premise, figure out what characters would interest me and develop them, then go to the plot and figure out how my characters would shape it. That is pretty much how we developed TLV. We started with characters. Then we thought of situations that would be interesting and worked them into the plot.
Q.) Any new projects on the horizon (individually or as a team)? What would you like to try next?
P.R.) We have a sequel scheduled for January – The Dark Agent. Before discussing a possible follow-up, we need to see if the first book appeals to readers.
In the meantime, for Harlequin Intrigue, I am writing the last of the original The McKenna Legacy series, then will develop another branch of the family for more stories. It will be in the vein of a McKenna curse, though it will fall under the Legacy series. I’m also working on a big thriller set in Ireland and have an idea for another urban fantasy series.
Q.) Who do you enjoy reading? If someone were to compare your books to anyone else’s what author would you most like to be compared to? Why?
P.R.) I enjoy reading dark suspense-thrillers and urban fantasy. I try not to make my books like anyone else’s, so I hope not to be compared to someone else.
Q.) Where on the web can readers find out more about The Last Vampire and the books you have written individually?