Hide your garlic! Night has fallen, and the vampires have arrived in New York City. Turn up the volume and check out the first two chapters of Bloodbound, the newest addition to the Choices library! This time around, we're mixing things up at Inside Choices -- here to talk about Bloodbound is the brainstorm team behind the book:
Give me the lowdown on Bloodbound. What is it? And what genre does it fall into?
Andrew: Bloodbound is a sexy urban fantasy, which means it’s got a bit of everything: there’s plenty of steamy romance but also thrilling action, freaky monsters, and sinister conspiracies. It’s set in a world where a council of elite vampires secretly runs New York City, and follows a young woman who’s just gotten a job as the executive assistant to a billionaire CEO… only to discover his dark secret.
Without giving too much away, can you talk about the brainstorm process for Bloodbound? What did that journey look like?
Andrew: The most fun part of the Bloodbound brainstorm was coming up with how our vampires worked. There’s just so much to draw from that we really got to pick-and-choose our favorite tropes and create our ideal bloodsuckers. We even had a big whiteboard covered with things like “CAN TURN INTO A BAT – NO” and “SUPER STRONG AND FAST – YES.”
Chelsa: The brainstorm process for this book was one of the most fun ones I've ever been involved in, I think because we're already pretty good friends even outside of work. The only downside was that sometimes it got hard to stay on track and remember we have a book to brainstorm!
As you can tell from our Bloodbound sneak peeks, there's quite a few major characters, all at the head of different vampire clans. What was the inspiration behind this?
Andrew: One of my favorite things about vampire stories is all the byzantine power struggles between these ancient families, with secret councils and rival factions and backstabbing and all that. It also lets us create all kinds of awesome supporting characters, like The Baron, a brutal vampire crime boss, and Priya, a fashion designer as hedonistic as she is dangerous.
Owen: Yeah, we wanted to take these supernaturally powerful characters and make them powerful in a whole new way, on a whole new level, which makes the stakes higher, and the villains that much scarier.
And of course, the people must know: Can you date a vampire?
Chelsa: Do you really think we'd give you a vampire book without giving you the chance to smooch up on some vampires? I think (hope) we did a good job in creating a vampire love interest for everyone! I also hope that nobody gets too mad at us that you can't date certain characters because unfortunately... everyone in this book is hot.
Andrew: There’s Adrian Raines, a billionaire CEO. Then there’s Kamilah Sayeed, a vampire queen, and one of the oldest and most formidable vampires in the world. Next, there's Jax… I could tell you more about him, but, SPOILERS. Of course, it’s not ALL vampires. There’s also Lily, your roommate and a genre-savvy gamer with some serious tech skills.
Is there anything about the Bloodbound story that you're extra excited about?
Emi: I'm most excited for everyone to explore this world. These vampires have rules and a society and extensive histories that have shaped who they are. I especially can't wait for everyone to meet Gaius Augustine and learn more about the mysteries surrounding him.
Andrew: There’s a mechanic in the book where you can collect tapestry fragments, and each one unlocks a cool historical flashback of the vampires in earlier times. These ended up being super fun. You get to see whole new facets of the characters and amazing historical outfits.
Do you have any personal favorites when it comes to vampire movies, books, and tv shows? Or paranormal fantasy in general?
Emi: I'm a huge sucker (yay, vampire puns!) for the original Dracula by Bram Stoker. It's one of those books that gets new meaning every time I pick it up and obviously it shaped almost all vampire stories that we have today. I have a soft spot for the Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie and What We Do In The Shadows as they always manage to make me laugh.
Jessica: I quite liked Carmilla (the web series, not the classic novel), or at least the ten episodes I watched before I got too scared to continue. Also, The House of Aunts by Zen Cho is a great piece of vampire short fiction. I like stories that explore the human side of vampirism. After all, the first rule of monsters is that they embody human desires.
Owen: I enjoy vampire fiction where action is a big focus. The Lost Boys, the Blade movies... Oh, also "Stakes", the Adventure Time miniseries about Marceline.
If you could choose, would you rather be a human or a vampire?
Owen: A human, because what good is it to achieve immortality if we must forfeit something essential of our humanity, of our soul? ...Also I like McDonald's breakfast too much to be nocturnal.
Jessica: Vampire. I want to strike fear in the hearts of my enemies, and win at all arm-wrestling matches.
Chelsa: I'd rather be a witch.
And that's it for Inside Choices! Be sure to check out Bloodbound, and let us know what you think!