When a fantasy writer sets out to create a series (especially if it’s urban fantasy where the supernatural is slap-bang in the middle of our ordinary world), then they have to create something unique. Gripping. An idea, which arcs across books, even if they’re standalone.
When I was writing Rebel Vampires, I knew the heart would be this: were vampires the hunters, or the hunted?
In Blood Dragons, Light the dark anti-hero of Rebel Vampires, starts as the apex predator:
‘Ruby and I swaggered through the shadowed streets, towards the promenade and Palace Pier – her in crimson silk, me in military Great Coat – two creatures from another world and time, unnoticed by these petty First Lifers because we weren’t painted in the colours of their tribe. We twirled each other round, dancing in the carnage and the flames.’ (Blood Dragons)
Yet Ruby – Light’s Author – teaches him to fear humans, showing him a stuffed gorilla in the Museum of Death, as a warning that they’d be next, if First Lifers ever discovered their existence.
In the second book Blood Shackles, Light has been transformed to prey. Ruby hadn’t been wrong to fear because Light has now been enslaved by the human Blood Club.
‘ ‘You really don’t know anything about us Blood Lifers, do you? How we evolved or–’
‘I know enough.’
Surprised, I drew back. ‘As in, only good Blood Lifer’s a dead Blood Lifer?’
You shot me a sharp look. ‘You wouldn’t be here, if that’s what I thought.’
‘Alright then, as in, only good Blood Lifer’s one in shackles?’
Your mouth tightened into a thin line. ‘And what about humans? Do we come in small, medium or large?’
‘In America you can supersize.’ I grinned, but you didn’t return it: some birds have no sense of humour. Of course, Ruby would’ve clocked me for that comment. ‘Look, that’s not who I am now. I’ve been on blood abstention for fifty years.’
Your voice was so cold it could’ve given frost bite. ‘Good for you.’
‘Not asking for a medal, sweetheart. I just wanted you to know I don’t… Not First Lifers. Not for a long time.’
‘Makes no difference to me.’
‘It does to me. You’ve no idea how much.’
‘OK.’ You turned back to your laptop, opening it with an air of indifference. Then there was that blasted clack clacking.
I listened for a moment in silence. Then I couldn’t hack it any longer. ‘What does?’
‘What?’ You didn’t stop typing or look away from the screen.
‘Make a difference to you?’
You didn’t even pause. ‘The profit margin.’ ‘ (Blood Shackles)
In the third book in the series – Blood Renegades – which is released this June..? You’ll have to wait and see, but maybe it won’t be as simple as First or Blood, hunter or hunted. Maybe working out who’s the predator and who’s the prey? That’ll be part of the game…