Please welcome the amazingly talented author of Dante’s Awakening, Devon Marshall.
Author Topic: All About Inspiration
Hi, I’m Devon Marshall, author of ‘Dante’s Awakening’, and I’d like to talk today about what inspires me to write my fiction.
Winter. Quite simply, the winter season is what inspires me. Now, don’t get me wrong – I like to spend a summer afternoon lazing in the garden with a chilled beer as much as the next person does. In fact, it’s for this very reason I find summer downright distracting! Winter on the other hand, with its early darkness and stormy weather, is productive for me because I find it creatively inspiring. Fitting, since I write fiction with a decidedly dark tinge to it, populated by vampires, werewolves, Voodoo queens, and ex-hired killers. It’s easier to envision these things when there are low-hung, ghostly gray clouds scudding through a chill sky, a rainbow-ringed full moon, or rain pelting down so hard and fast it forms a near-solid silvery curtain, mist shrouding the low hills in a way makes you wonder what creatures might be capering within it…even that uniquely eerie bluish light into which the world cast on a snowy night inspires me far more than does the gauzy-soft pink sunsets of summer. In summer inspiration comes from the play of sunlight and shadow over the landscape, but in winter it is the sharp, crisp, even harsh quality of the light exposing this landscape at its brooding, ancient, magnificent best which inspires. From childhood, I was fascinated by many of the dark and often gory stories and legends of Scotland, Ireland, and Wales.
With such a landscape and such gnarly weather, it is no surprise that Scotland is awash in just such stories and legends of supernatural realms and the creatures which inhabit them. In the Northern Isles, a popular tale revolves around the Nuckelavee, a creature said to be half-man, half-horse, believed by some to be related to the selkie. The Nuckelavee has no skin; its veins and sinews and innards are visible in all their gory glory. It has red-glowing, madly staring eyes, and can emit a scream so terrifying it would freeze the very marrow in your bones. This horrible creatures travels to and from its supernatural realm via the fresh-water lochs which dot the islands, coming to our world at night during rainy downpours – of which there is no shortage during Northern winters! Any person unlucky enough to cross its path might be carried off to its watery lair and eaten. In some versions, the Nuckelavee is alleged to be particularly fond of carrying off those who might be having doubts on the eve of their wedding. The only possible way to escape its clutches is to make it chase you into the sea because it cannot stand to be in salt water.
My own vampires in ‘Dante’s Awakening’ might be modern-day Hollywood-gorgeous creatures, evolved enough to endure even the sunlight, but my dark leanings are satisfied within the story by their rivals, the evil and vicious Children of Judas, themselves creatures straight out of dark legend.
Inspiration can be something of a slippery creature itself. It needs to be fed and tended to with care, treated with the awe and respect it deserves. When we find something which gives us inspiration as writers or artists, we must appreciate it. Wherever, and in whatever form we find it.
Vampires of Hollywood #1
Genre: LGBT Paranormal/ Lesbian Vampire
Publisher: Untreed Reads
Number of pages: 194
Word Count: 65,898
Cover Artist: Ginny Glass & Untreed Reads
Dante Sonnier is a successful Hollywood agent. She is also a friend to the secret community of vampires living in Los Angeles, and occasionally she assists them when they have a problem that requires a human to handle it. The vampires are led by Voshki Kevorkian, a gorgeous, sexy female vampire, who has made it clear that she would like Dante to be her human. Dante, although attracted to Voshki, is wary of the possessiveness and jealousy involved in being a vampire’s chosen human lover and resists.
When the Children of Judas, a two-thousand-year-old sect of murderous, rebel vampires shunned by the main community, rise up under a new leader and threaten to topple Voshki’s leadership and expose the whole community, the vampires turn to Dante for help. Dante travels to a small town in upstate California where the Children seem to be active, in the company of Ellis Kovacs, another vampire sired by Voshki, and Voshki’s “right-hand woman.”
There, whilst investigating the Children and their leader Robin Shepherd, Dante succumbs to being seduced by the alluring Ellis. When Dante is kidnapped by the Children, Voshki decides it’s time to take matters into her own hands.
Hell hath no fury like a vampire scorned.
About the Author:
Devon discovered at an early age that she had a fertile imagination and a profound love for words which together led to her writing stories. She has published numerous short stories and articles in the LGBT and mainstream small presses.
Dante’s Awakening is her first published full-length novel and spent a week in the Amazon Top 100 in Lesbian Fiction #58
Her second novel, ‘Voodoo Woman’ is available in PB and on Kindle, and the novella ‘The Lives and Loves of The Modern Goddess’ is also available on Kindle.
Devon lives on a windswept and remote Scottish island where the ‘rat race’ is an event at the annual County Fair and the daily view includes boats, birds, and the occasional bottlenose dolphin. When she isn’t writing, Devon enjoys reading, watching TV, and spending as much time as possible with her dog. She is currently working on the next book in the Vampires of Hollywood saga and a stand-alone horror novel.
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