Friday, June 17, 2011

Interveiw with Theresa Meyers

I’d like to welcome our guest today, Theresa Meyers. It’s a pleasure having you come back to visit us at Much Cheaper Than Therapy, where chocolate is plentiful and advice is free. So grab some chocolate and a lounge chair. Your therapy session has begun.


I’m thrilled to be back! Chocolate is one of my favorite things and you seem to always have so much of it lying around here!


I understand you have a new release out called The Vampire Who Loved Me. Can you tell us a little bit about your fabulous new book?


Sure! It’s the story of two very different people who go from sworn enemies to forbidden lovers. Dr. Rebecca Chamberlin hated nothing more than the vampires who had turned her loved ones into creatures of the night…until she became one herself. Now her experimental vaccine has become more urgent than ever, and has made her the target of vampire security chief Achilles Stefanos. Built like a Greek god with golden hair and an irresistible allure, Achilles awakened part of her the way no mortal man had before. Beck could no more deny her craving for him than she could the hated bloodlust in her veins. But when her vaccine fell into the wrong hands, Beck has a difficult choice to make—one that challenged everything she’d always believed…..


The Vampire Who Loved Me is a very interesting title. How did you arrive at that name?


Would you laugh too hard if I told you it came from a long holiday weekend spent watching a James Bond marathon? I think other titles that came from that were The Vampire with the Golden Fang, From My Vampire With Love, Being Vampire is Not Enough and Vampires are Forever. I’m still working on those books! LOL. The title seemed to fit the story for me. Dr. Rebecca Chamberlin was actually out to create a vaccine that would allow people to change back into their human form if they’d been accidentally exposed to the vampire virus in the blood supply and been turned into vampires unwillingly. She actually has a strong personal distaste for vampires, but when testing for the vaccine goes horribly wrong, and she begins to turn into one herself, she’s assigned the Cascade Clan’s security leader, Achilles Stefanos, as her mentor. What neither of them understand until further into the story is that the imprint forming between them is centuries old. Achilles has loved her before, and that makes what has to happen now, and the fact that Rebecca wants to stay human, even more torturous for him. Because of their shared past, he is the Vampire who loved her.


What made you decide to write in this genre?


Actually I’d have to blame that on my mom. She was always doing things to bolster our sense of the magical in the everyday. For instance, when I was about six she read me the story of the Shoemaker and the Elves. Just about the time she finished reading she acted like she heard something outside my bedroom window and told me to listen. I could hear little tiny voices talking. The next morning I woke up to find my room was clean. My mother suggested that perhaps it was the elves that lived in the big stump in the back yard and that I should bake them some cookies or make them something to wear as a thank you (which of course, I did with her help). I didn’t find out until I was in my twenties that she’d put a tape recorder under my bedroom window with a long gap of silence at the beginning of the tape so she’d have time to finish reading the story.

As I’ve gotten older, I still tend to see the world through that lavender colored lens where there is magical in everyday things, whether it’s the changing of the seasons or the opening of flowers or the frogs announcing at night that spring is coming. I try to be sensitive to my sixth sense and feel things just as much as I hear, see, taste, touch or smell them. I guess in many ways paranormal is my kind of normal.

Where did you get your idea for this particular book?


For me the story of The Vampire Who Loved Me was just an natural extension of what started in the first book in the Sons of Midnight mini-series, The Truth About Vampires. In The Truth About Vampires, humans learn that vampires are real and have been living among us. In The Vampire Who Loved Me, we see the backlash to that sudden knowledge.


What are your favorite paranormal research books or sites, and why?


Actually some of my most favorite research books have nothing to do with paranormal things, so much as history. To date the two I’ve used the most have been The MacMillian Illustrated Encyclopedia of Myths & Legends and D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths. I feel that one important element in this series is looking at how history repeats itself and finding ways to bring those threads into the story of my couple falling in love and the obstacles they face.


Which character did you like writing about the most, and why?


Achilles of course! He was just so magnetic from the first moment he stepped onto the page as a secondary character in The Truth About Vampires that he practically demanded his own book. He’s a Spartan warrior who became a vampire through the original ancient cult in the ancient world. The problem is while he’s a warrior and a vampire, he’s also a Halfling. He bonded with his mentor, which in my vampire world means more than an emotional attachment. A bonded pair share not only each other’s powers, but each other’s pain and a love that lasts past death and can be reborn again. But his mentor, Ione, was killed during the Inquisition, which left him tortured and unable to truly feel emotions. Without the clan, he’d go insane. He tries so hard to joke around and tease feelings out of other people because he can’t experience those emotions himself.


He’s the ultimate tortured hero, who sees his past repeating itself as is terrified of it. I found the song “Wake Me Up Inside” from Evanescence perfectly described him and I ended up playing it over and over again as I wrote scenes in Achilles’ point of view.

Tell us about how you develop your characters. Do you create character sheets, do interviews, that sort of thing? How does your research and/or world affect your character development?


I do all kinds of strange things to find out more about my characters. The first thing I do is “run the numbers” on a character’s name using numerology to quickly nail down what truly drives the person, what they think about themselves and how others perceive this person. Then I move on to taking the numbers I get from that and pair them up with character archetypes found in The Complete Writer’s Guide to Heroes & Heroines. If I get stuck from there sometimes I’ll do interviews just to uncover something more about the character and understand why he or she is motivated to make the choices they do. Sometimes my research will impact my character’s background or their dialog, but it rarely changes who they are, how they see life and how other people react to them.


How do you go about building your world if you use one? Do you use maps, charts or drawings?


For more complex worlds, I’ll develop a map for myself. For most of the work I do I use contemporary maps because the stories, while paranormal, are still set in real places that already have maps of them! Sometimes I’ll use a book I have that has historical maps, especially if I’m writing steampunk with a European setting and I want to know what countries were where during a specific decade. Since the Victorian era spanned from the 1830s to the 1900s, an awful lot changed! To keep my vampire world straight I have a continuing series notebook where I add factual information as it appears in the stories (such as which emotions correlate with which scents since my vampires can smell those things.)


Do you have any authors that inspired you?


I really enjoy reading paranormal and action adventure as much as I love writing it. Give me a book by James Rollins, Yasmin Galenorn, Cherry Adair, Jessica Andersen, Kim Harrison, Alyson Noel, and I’m a happy camper.


What do you feel is the most effective promotion you have done for your book?


Good question. For now the most effective thing has been blog tours with Bewitching Book Tours. They’ve been fantastic about get a schedule put together and keeping me on task. I also spend time just chatting with folks on Twitter a lot, and while I have a Facebook author page, I only go on once a week or so. I find giving classes is also something I really enjoy and helps give readers an incentive to want to purchase the books because they have a great time.


What do we have to look forward next?


My next book out in Oct. will be a novella called Shadowlander, from Entangled Publishing. It’s the start of a new urban fantasy romance world featuring dark fae that takes four sisters who can see the fae and get drawn into their world to save each other and mankind.


Then in November, my first steampunk romance The Hunter, will be released from Zebra. The Legend Chronicles series features three brothers, named after their father’s favorite guns, Winchester, Remington and Colt, who fight supernaturals, kind of like if you plunked down the Winchester brothers from the television show Supernatural in the West and gave them some really cool steampunk inventions for fighting. It’s part Indiana Jones, part Wild Wild West, and part Supernatural.


After that will come the third book for the Sons of Midnight series for Harlequin, The Half-Breed Vampire, that’ll be out in spring 2012. It’ll be a slight expansion of the current world because we get to see how the Cascade vampire clan clashes with the Wenatchee Were pack when a vampire isn’t everything he seems.


Also coming out in spring 2012 will be The Slayer, the second book in my steampunk Legend Chronicles series, featuring the oldest brother Winchester and his efforts to steal back the second piece of the Book of Legend with the help of a vampire Contessa.


In late 2012 there will also be the release of the first full-length novel for the Shadow Sisters series, Shadow Hunter, as well as the next Sons of Midnight book for Nocturne.


It’s going to be busy, but you’ll have lots to read between these three different series!

Thanks, Theresa!


Thanks so much for inviting me over for chocolate! By the way, are you going to finish that? (no. Here you go! KW)

To celebrate her book release, Theresa is offering a free copy of The Vampire Who Loved Me to one lucky commenter on today's blog. (please check the blog Monday night to see if you won. Chances of winning determined by the number of entries.)


She will be around all day today. I'm sure some of you have questions or comments for her, so please ask away...


A professional writer since 1993, Theresa Meyers started her career in newspapers, moving on to freelancing for national magazines. Eventually she delved into the world of corporate and agency public relations for more than fifteen years landing coverage for her clients in places such as the “Wall Street Journal”, “Good Morning America” and “LIVE! With Regis and Kelly”. She launched her own public relations agency focused on the publishing industry in 2001, and eventually transition from full time publicist to full time multi-published fiction author herself, writing paranormal romances for Harlequin Nocturne, Steampunks for Kensington’s Zebra line and urban fantasy for Entangled Publishing.

Check out author’s website at www.theresameyers.com

or find her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Theresa_Meyers

Buy http://www.eharlequin.com/storeitem.html?iid=23780&cid=2577

14 comments:

Kim Watters said...

Good morning Theresa. Thanks for joining us again today. Your latte and chocolate will be ready as soon as I wrestle it away from the kids. The chocolate that is. I love the title of your book and with the Bond marathon, I can only imagine the fun you had coming up with the title. I'm also thinking what a twist it would be if James had been a vampire himself. Looking forward to sinking my teeth into this one. :) Enjoy your day with us.

CrystalGB said...

Hi Theresa. Great interview. Your book sounds good. Nice cover. :)

Carol Webb said...

Hi, Theresa. Your series sounds fantastic. I've been hearing steampunk is the new black. LOL. I can't wait to start reading it!

catslady said...

Wow, great interview. It always amazes me as to how much goes into writing a book. You have so many different genres and stories going on - do you ever get them or the characters confused? Although you do sound very organized lol. I love variety and you seem to have such original premises. And kudos to your mom for surely she got that imagination within you a great start!

Theresa Meyers said...

First, thanks Kim for inviting me today!

CrystalGB, appreciate the the feedback on the cover!

Hi Carol! Yeah, just got the ARCs for it last week and it looks so cool (ok it really helps that the hero, Colt, look like a blend between Dean Winchester and Mal Renolds from Firefly). Picture of it is up at my author FB page www.facebook.com/TheresaMeyersAuthor

Catslady - you would think I would be confused all the time with so many different characters in my head and different series, but it's more like just having a big extended famliy or mom's you know from school, you kind of know them, but you don't "really" know them until you start writing his or her story. Then you find out all kinds of interesting things! Thanks for stopping by today!

Na said...

I love how you got your inspiration for your novel from a James Bond marathon. Puts me in the mood to do a marathon myself, only it'll of horror movies. Can't resist those. Your book sounds great. It'll be interesting to see how the lovers overcome their obstacles and find love.

Na said...

**I meant to add I love how you got your inspiration for the TITLE from James Bond movie =)

Estella said...

Interesting interview.
Your series sounds like good reading.

Theresa Meyers said...

Na, Thanks for stopping by. Personally, once I get the current book I'm writing done, I feel a serious Supernatural marathon coming on. I love that TV series! (Oh, and James Bond, of course.) ;)

Estella, I appreciate you coming by! If you get a chance to read it, let me know what you think. I always love to hear from readers what they'd like to see next.

Kim Watters said...

Hi again Theresa. Roz Fox couldn't get in to blogger to leave a comment but she wanted to say hi and congratulations on your new book. :)

Connie Flynn said...

Theresa, Your vampire book sounds fascinating and I also saw that you're writing a steampunk series. What a busy girl. Thanks for showing up on Much Cheaper Than Therapy. It's true, don't ya think, that thin about the therapy?

Connie Flynn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Theresa Meyers said...

Hi Roz and Connie! Good to "see" you here!

Yes, actually my favorite forms of therapy include chocolate, tea with my friends, bubble baths when I can get them, good books, sewing, smelling the flowers out in the garden, digging in the dirt...all kinds of things!

Shelley Mosley said...

Theresa, I am so happy for your success!!! This book looks great!