I’ve been promising it and it’s finally here, the finalized cover for Blood and Hunger. Much love goes out to designer Melody Simmons of Ebook Indie Covers who took my concept and brought it to life beautifully. I couldn’t be more thrilled. Melody, I can’t thank you enough.

( Click on the picture to enlarge the image. )

Blood and Hunger 4x copy

I absolutely love villian origin stories. I’m ashamed to say it but I still havn’t gone to see Wicked yet. At this point I’m going to have to find a copy of the broadway show online or something, because the chances of my ever getting to see it live grows markedly more slim every day. Thankfully there’s a new bad girls’ club origin story in town. Maleficent.

I was so excited when I first saw the previews for this movie. There may or may not have been some high pitched screaming and a happy dance involed when Angelina Jolie’s razor sharp cheekbones flashed across the screen. Seriously, you could cut yourself on those things. The votes were in and it was unanimous, Maleficent was going to be the girl’s night out movie of the week. We weren’t disappointed.

Why do I love the origin stories of all the classic Big Bads? Because it turns them into PEOPLE. Complex, messy, really people. When you’re creating a villian it’s so easy to say, “This is the bad guy becuse he’s a bad guy and so likes to make bad things happen.” But when you do that you end up with flat empty charicatures of people. The villians that I’ve always loved the most are the ones where you can’t help but feel a little disgusted about the fact that part of you kind of understands where they are coming from. When they hit close to home and make you really think about your values and ideals and you wonder if you had to go through some of the horrors that they did would you be able to say without a doubt that there is no chance you wouldn’t have taken a similar path.

That’s why I loved this movie so much, it had me rooting for the “villian” the whole time. Heartbreaking, vindicating and utterly satisfying, just the way I like my bad guys. Complex.

When you spend your nights chasing down psychopathic vampires it’s really important to keep fit. Vampires = vampire strength, and if you aren’t making sure to you hit those weights, you = vampire snack.

A killer workout calls for killer workout music, something high energy and motivating to keep you pushing through the pain even when all you want to do is cry, pass out and soothe your shattered ego with a pint of rocky road icecream. Or is that just me?

This is a song that I’ve come back to over the years time and again to get me pumped. Throwing punches, doing crunches or just pushing through writer’s block, this song makes it physically impossible for me to quit. So you KNOW Vanessa has this song somewhere on her iPod too.

Drowning Pool – “Bodies”

When I first started writing this book I had one heck of a hard time trying to figure out what genre it belongs in. At first I was sure that it was paranormal romance, you know: Kick ass girl meets hard nosed guy and they become attracted and then, oh look, it’s Dashing-Man! Bring on the love triangle! Smelled like a paranormal romance to me. But the more I wrote the more the story began to evolve in ways I never saw coming and that still continue to surprise me.

“Blood and Hunger” is becoming a much heavier story than I ever anticipated. Pain, loss, violence, fear, it’s all there. The one thing that I truly believe is that just because something is “fantasy fiction” it doen’t mean that it can’t be “real”.

I recognized that this story was truly urban fantasy when I realized that the story isn’t about the main charaters’ romantic relationship. “But Vanessa’s a succubus!” you cry, “Isn’t the story all about sex?”

Well no actually, it’s not.

Is there sex in it? Yes. Is there a love interest? Yes. But if you take out the story line of “boy meets girl” the rest of the book can stand on it’s own. And that’s why this book is not a paranormal romance. ¬†Because this book isn’t just about THEM, it’s about EVERYTHING. It’s bigger than them. There is much more ¬†important things going on in their world than if these people end up happily ever after.

Now don’t get me wrong, of course that’s a wonderful part of it. That’s pretty much my favorite part of ANY book. I’m the first one to start screaming “Just kiss her already!” at anything I read. But it’s also nice to know that if I happen to pull a Joss Whedon one night and kill off a beloved main character just because I can the show will go on.

And that’s what makes urban fantasy so exciting. The fact that literally ANYTHING can happen.