Each year I donate an interview to the Brenda Novak Diabetes Auction, and each year I get to know about a completely unique book or author. Past interviews have featured Angie Fox, Delilah Marvelle, Jesse Petersen (with whom I did a video interview), Dianne Venetta, and Kim Boykin.
This year, I'd like to introduce you to D.B. Reynolds, who writes paranormal romance, and has a brand spanky new book out. Aden, a vampire romance, is part of a series in progress, Vampires in America.
Thank you to D.B. Reynolds for supporting Brenda Novak's annual effort to raise funds to kick the ass of juvenile diabetes, and for her willingness to answer all manner of questions for this interview. Let's begin!
Sarah: Tell me about your book! What do you love best about it?
D.B. Reynolds: What I love most about Aden is what I love about all of my Vampires in America books, and that’s the vampires themselves.
I started writing Raphael, the first book in the series, because I was disheartened by the prevalence of sad, tortured vampires in romance literature. These were self-hating vampires who only drank human blood if they absolutely had to and then with horror at what they’d become. And they spent way too much time brooding about their dismal fates.
My vampires are in the more classic vampire mode. They’re violent, aggressive and territorial. They relish the taste of human blood, and the power it brings them. But they’re also the ultimate bad boys of romance. They’re hell on their enemies, but they’re just as intense when it comes to loving their mates. They’re protective and horribly domineering, but they love a woman who fights back, and they have absolutely no mercy for anyone who dares to threaten the ones they love.
Sarah: What part of the vampire mythology did you find most interesting?
D.B. Reynolds: There’s an air of danger to vampires, a sense that you’re never quite sure what they’ll do next. One minute they’re having an urbane conversation, and the next they’re ripping out your throat, eyes gleaming as they watch you die.
And I love the idea of such a powerful creature standing in ferocious defense of his mate.
Sarah: What scene was your favorite to write – and why?
D.B. Reynolds: There are two. One is the very first time Sidonie sees Aden across the ballroom, and he, in turn, sees her. I always enjoy those first impressions, the first time I see the characters through each other’s eyes.
But the other is when Aden finally reaches the end of his patience and shows his enemies the true breadth of his power at last. He’s a very complex guy, very tightly controlled, and I loved writing that moment when he finally gets angry enough to let go.
Sarah: What types of powers does Aden have? How deadly is he?
D.B. Reynolds: All of my vampire lords are very, very powerful, not only physically, but in a magical, paranormal way, too. But each of them also has a power that's unique to himself.
Aden's power is consistent with the forces that shaped him. He has a very bitter past—he was born a slave and was betrayed over and over again by those he trusted. In fact, he was made vampire while soaked in the blood of one of those who betrayed him, and that's what drew his vampire mistress to him.
His unique power as a vampire lord is very dark, almost like that of a reaper. In the midst of battle, he soaks up the energy of the death around him. As he slays his enemies, their living energy becomes his, so that he grows stronger rather than weaker as he fights. It's a powerful ability, but Aden recognizes its dark potential and so uses it only sparingly.
When we meet Aden, he's in the middle of a challenge for rule of the Midwest, so he's seeing a lot of battle.
Sarah: What will readers find in your books? Dark and ferocious heroes or sardonic and witty characters? What types of stories do you most like to tell?
D.B. Reynolds: I like stories with a strong plot and a relationship at the center of the tale. It's also important to me that my stories be rooted in reality. I want my readers to believe vampires really could exist, that they could be running the bookstore down the street or living in that big mansion on the beach.
As for my vampire lords, they're definitely on the dark side, but there's dry humor in the books, too.
My vampires and their lovers aren't at all broody and doom and gloom. It varies because my vamps are unique individuals and very different from one another, but Lucas, for example, sees the humor in almost everything, while Rajmund is the most casual and easy going with the people he trusts, and Raphael is only fully relaxed when he's alone with his mate, Cyn.
In Aden's case, he doesn't trust easily at all, and he starts off fairly unapproachable. But Sidonie slips under the radar and surprises him into caring, and even manages to squeeze out a laugh or two.
Curious? Thinking about vampires? D.B. Reynolds has offered up three copies of her book, winner's choice, in print or digital format.
Standard disclaimers apply: I'm not being compensated for this giveaway. Void where prohibited. Open to international residents where permitted by applicable law. Must be over 18 and somewhat toothsome. Winners will be selected at random on Sunday 8 December at 12 noon ET.
Also, Belle Books is also running a 7-day giveaway to celebrate the new covers for the Vampires in America series, plus the new release of Aden.
Curious about the book? Here's more info:
Chicago, Illinois . . . the windy city. Home to football greats, dinosaurs named Sue, and, when the sun goes down . . . powerful vampires battling for the right to rule the city and beyond.
Born into slavery, Aden is one of the most powerful vampires in North America, waging war on others of his kind in a struggle to become the next Lord of the Midwest. But in the midst of the deadliest fight of his long life, the ghosts of his past have come back to haunt him. Slavery still exists, and Aden is hellbent on destroying it and the vampires who profit from it.
Sidonie Reid is an investigative reporter in pursuit of the biggest story of her career, until that story costs the life of a friend and Sid realizes she has to do much more than write about it. Intent on bringing down the vampires and their slave network, Sid gains entry to the highest levels of vampire society, where she finds herself confronting the raw sexuality that is Aden.
Caught up in a dark passion that neither can resist, Aden and Sidonie join forces, determined to defeat the old regime and everything it stands for. The dangers are beyond calculation, but the ultimate reward is worth the risk. If they survive . . .