Wednesday 27 February 2013

Vampires, and Werewolves, and Writing. Oh My!

Hey guys I got to sit down today with the lovely and talented Nicole Fergusson  to talk about writing Vampires and Werewolves and all manner of unworldly creatures. Check it out:
About Me
Nicole has been writing for almost as long as she can remember. Her writing career started in grade four with Enid Blyton's *Naughtiest Girl in the School* fan-fiction and quickly spread across to problematically titled short stories about a group of school kids with super powers called *Twilight Zone*. (12 year old Nicole was unfortunately unaware that there was another popular series sharing this title...)

Her biggest inspirations were writers like Isobelle Carmody who had first novels published from an early age. At 24 years old Nicole had her e-book published and now, five years later, she has released the new novel *Gothic*, first in the 'Shadows of Melbourne' series.

Her books can be found on
 Amazon (kindle)

Barnes and Noble (nook)

And the publisher website
 Leap of Faith  

Currently Nicole has contracted the second novel in this series *Revelry,* with Leap of
 Faith Publishing, and is working on the third novel. Nicole works part-time in order to keep her head out of the books sometimes and to socialize with people who live outside of her head.

She lives in a townhouse in Melbourne, with two cats and a bottomless cup of tea.


Hello everyone!
Vicki has been kind enough to invite me to write a little something on her blog today, and I'm going to start the post with asking: What are the first things you think about when vampires or werewolves are mentioned?
For me, vampires brings to mind the writing of L. J. Smith that I devoured in my late teens, long before there was any Twilight or The Vampire Diaries on the TV. I think about love triangles, because the main protagonist in most vampire novels seems to be torn between two guys. I think about the future of this girl (because she pretty much always is a 16-ish year old girl) and how likely she is to have her human life taken away from her by the end of the series.
Werewolves brings about a whole different host of thoughts, probably because I was much older when I read my first werewolf novel, wherein werewolves were not merely featured as the two dimensional antagonist characters for vampires to fight against. Kelley Armstrong's Bitten and Stolen were fantastic explorations of werewolves, showing a strong sense of pack and brotherhood as well as werewolves bonding together against adversity. Kelley's main character fought against being a werewolf, again because this was not something she had chosen, but otherwise I found these stories to be both fresh and original.

But, of course, there are many other influences to be found in my stories, as I'll show below.
In writing Gothic and its follow up novel Revelry, I tried to subvert some of the things in a standard vampire/werewolf novel. The hero is still a girl, but I've deviated a lot after that point. For starters, Dahlia Noone is a 24 year old, mature age university student. She comes into the story already knowing about vampires and werewolves, because she was raised by a vampire after her mother died and her werewolf father defected from her life out of grief.

But Dahlia doesn't want anything to do with the supernatural world. Okay, this may have been inspired a little out of the beginnings of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (and Joss Whedon is a god to me forever), but this girl is not a supernatural. She doesn't slay vampires, she doesn't battle rouge werewolves. She just wants a normal life. Obviously, this means that she is not at all interested in either accidentally or in any other way becoming either a vampire or a werewolf. That's not what she wants, and she is not the type of girl to go weak at the knees when some hot guy walks up to her offering immortality.

On the aspect of romance within the standard vampire and werewolf story, I have made the decision to include a love triangle, but I wanted to tweak some things. Dahlia does not simply get together with one of the points of this triangle at the end of the first book. The tension is drawn out, not just for later gratification, but also because it aids the plot. Again, I might have spirited this particular idea from book one of Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson series.
Secondly, I made the decision early on that one of the points of this love triangle would be a woman. Dahlia, our main heroine, is an openly bi-sexual woman, reminiscent of the Showcase series Lost Girl.
Vampires and werewolves do hold an uneasy truce in my world. I've gone to great efforts to create a feeling of the wider world of Australia, detailing the reason that their truce holds, introducing the keepers of the truce, and the various powers to be found within both vampires and werewolf factions.
Have I plans to make Dahlia into a vampire or somehow into a supernatural succubus later on? Oh god no. Do I hope to continue writing original stories, inspired by some of the best paranormal fiction and fantasy stories that are out there but also bringing something new to the genre? Yes, why yes, I do believe that is the dream. ;)

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