Last month I got the pleasure of reading Delilah K. Stephans’ vampire novel, The Envoy. I posted the 4 star review, and thought how fun it would be to interview her, now that the book is out. I hope that all of you enjoy the interview, and her new take on vampires. Her book is available now, through lyricalpress.com
Highland Hussy-What made you write about vampires?
Delilah K. Stephans-I’ve loved vampire novels since 1981 when a friend introduced me to Chelesa Quinn Yarbro’s Chronicles of Saint Germain. When I decided I wanted to make the move from writting for myself to writing for publication I decided to combine my love of Romance Novels and Vampires.
HH-When creating your vampire world, did you want to keep the normal vampire stigmas? or did you go in a completely different direction? How do you distinguish your vampires from others out there?
Ds-I’ve read so many vampire novels I made a list of each type of vampire’s stigmas, strengths, weaknesses, etc. Once I had that list I went through and decided which made sense to me as a writer. The one thing consistant is vampires drink blood – however the amount of blood varies. I decided that given the fact that my vampires are dead, they needed the blood but it didn’t make sense to me to have vampires having to kill the food source, that led to deciding a wine glass full of blood a week. So, I guess I went my own structured direction. I did a couple of things with my vamps to make them unique. 1. Raw foods (foods uncooked like sushi, salads, yogurt, extremely rare steaks) can replace blood but it’s fast food to blood’s gourmet meal. 2. Aversion to religious icons. That one never made since to me, what if the individual turned had been Pagan or Atheist or Buddhist or Hindu… why would a Christian Cross affect them? So moved that into the up to the individual vampire – like there are a lot of people are afraid of spiders but there are some that their phobia is so strong seeing a spider incapacitates them. 3. My vampire society has a governing body of their own and also work with government officials to protect their citizenry.
HH-The cruentas was a great concept…what made you come up with that?
DS-Vampires are stronger and faster than humans. I needed something to level the playing field an uncontrollable blood thirst was the answer.
HH-When you write, is there anything you absolutely need? For me, I need music. Always, and a cup of coffee 🙂
DS-Not really anything physical. I more need an “itch” in my fingertips.
HH-Can you tell us about the other books you’ve written? I know you write with a partner-how does that work?
DS-The first book I published was a Time Travel. Where a modern woman is stuck in the past – but she went back in time by choice. I have two more in the editing stage and one in the submission process I’m superstitious so don’t like talking about them until closer to release. As for writing with a partner, which I did on Black Velvet, for me it was easy. Antonia Tiranth and I have been writing buddies for 7 years, while we each have our own style for some reason when we write together both our styles morph until they become a single unique voice. We can also pretty much figure out where the other is going with only a short peek of whatever we are working on.
HH-When you write, do you find yourself a plotter? or a pantser? I know you’ve said your characters speak to you (mine do too!) but some people just have to have that magic outline all planned out.
DS-I’m a complete and total pantser. I usually start with a visual of a specific scene, where that scene falls within the book is sometimes in question. I once outlined a book – it was a beautiful outline – and it never got written. There is no right or wrong way to write. Some writers have no problem jumping later in the book if they are stuck at one point. I have to write it in order page 1 to THE END. So, if you’re reading one of my books are surprised by a plot twist – trust that I was just as shocked.
Danger and passion stalk the cool southern nights.
When Diana Matthews waited on Francisco Bolle at Electronic Avenue, she never imagined the dangerous world of vampires was more than mere myth. Nor did she imagine one would come to her rescue when three thugs confronted her after work. Fascinated with his old world charm, Diana can’t resist being drawn to Francisco even though his true nature is as frightening as it is fascinating.
Francisco Bolle is intrigued by the feisty, petite sales clerk. But when an old enemy returns to challenge the laws of Vampire society, danger and death might come between them. Diana had just started to accept what he is when the worst side of himself surfaces.
Can Francisco and Diana survive the danger? More importantly, can they survive their love?
An hour and ten minutes later, Francisco pushed open the door to the restaurant. Diana waited
beside the host’s podium, arms crossed, her foot tapping angrily.
“Forgive my tardiness.”
“I was about to leave.” Her eyes were not flashing, so he knew she wasn’t furious with him.
“And I would have understood.” He looked at the hostess. “Table for two, non-smoking.”
He returned his attention to Diana. “The statement took longer than I expected.”
“If you’ll follow me.” The hostess gathered two menus and started through the restaurant,
weaving between tables filled with diners, not waiting to see if they followed.
Seated, orders placed and drinks in front of them, he found himself the subject of Diana’s
intense scrutiny. He had met with heads of state throughout the world but none had made him want to shift in his seat as much as the lovely sales clerk.
“I am assuming you wish to know why the statement took longer.” A raised eyebrow and
tilt of her head indicated that she did. “One of the gentlemen ended up with two broken bones
in his right forearm.” He expected she might be offended at the violence and was unprepared for
“I wish it had been his neck.” She mimed breaking something with her hands. “Not really.
Thank you again for being outside, and I apologize for chewing you out. I was just angry…”
“Dare I hope you held some small concern for my safety?”
Her face flushed with color at his question.
The waiter placed their orders on the table and refilled their glasses in the silence that
descended between them.
“Yes, a little,” she answered, lifting her glass when the waiter had moved away. “I’ve never
seen you in the mall before, are you new to town?”
Francisco noticed the deliberate change of subject and allowed it. “No, I have lived in Mobile
for many years now. I rarely come to the mall though.”
“That explains it.” She cut into her grilled chicken. “I’m here forty plus hours a week. What
do you do for a living?”
“I am a liaison between D. C. and H. and the local government.”
“Ah, a lawyer.”
“I was once. Now I am a liaison.” He leaned forward, looked around the restaurant quickly,
then crooked a finger at her. She sat forward, eyes searching. “That means I do less actual work
but I am paid more.”
He smiled when Diana bit her lip trying to hold back her laughter, then reclined against her
seat, her shoulders shaking with suppressed mirth.
“Can I have your job?”
“I am afraid the position is not available. It also has some very specific job requirements that
you do not meet.” He thought for a moment. “There is an assistant’s position open, but I would
prefer not to offer it to you.”
“Because you don’t know me?”
“D. C. and H. has a very strict no dating policy for executives concerning their assistants.”
He placed his napkin beside the plate of half-eaten steak and pushed it back. “I find, Ms. Matthews, that I very much wish to become better acquainted with you outside of the professional