I’m almost ashamed to say it but I’ve never really taken the time to sit down and listen to Adele. I know, I know,  I’m so terribly behind the times on this one. But I have to say that I do completely understand why her music is so loved. She is AMAZING, and I’ve started taking the time to listen to as much of her music as possible.

This is one of those songs that I can’t help belting out at the top of my lungs when it comes on no matter where I am. I can be standing the frozen foods section of the grocery store for all I care, that’s not about to stop me at ALL.

So here I am at 2am and singing my heart out to…

Adele – Rolling in the Deep

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 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.

Ahhhh music, it’s amazing the way it sets the mood. There are some songs that I listen to when I write that really help to facilitate the process and the scene, spuring me on and allowing the words to pour out of me. And then there are those songs that I listen to when I write because they are super high energy and I expect them to really get me going, unfortunately I barely get a bloody word down because I’m too busy singing along and using my hands to do kick ass air drum solos instead of, oh you know, actually writing. So here you have: Paramore – “Misery Business” Cue rockin’ air drum solo! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCyGvGEtOwc

The thing that I love most about being a writer is the absolute freedom  of creativity that it allows me. There I am banging away at my keyboard day in and day out when *WHAM* I get smacked upside the head with the unexpected awesomeness that is cover art! I never gave much thought to it before now nor realized just how much fun I would have when it came time to start puting a concept together. Oh how blind I was.

I have become completely addicted to designing my book covers.

There is no feeling like that first rush when you come across a model that looks exactly like how you see your main character in your head. I’ve always heard about how rarely that happens so I’m glad to have lucked out. Months of writing and then *BAM* there she is.

I have finally narrowed down the cover concept that will span the entire Vanessa Kensley series and I can’t wait for them to be put together and share them with you.

The other night I was at home writing out a scene taking place in a dance club. As I wrote, Cibo Matto’s “Sugar Water” played on a continuous loop in my head. I’ve loved this song ever since I first heard it on an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer years ago. I love how slow and sultry it is. So here it is for you to enjoy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EN9auBn6Jys

Everyone loves a vampire, but what the heck is a succubus?

In medieval lore a succubus was a female demon that came to men in their dreams in the shape of a human woman desiring to have sex with them, drawing on the man’s energy in order to sustain themselves. From the Latin word ‘succubare’ meaning “to lie under”, these creatures were often the scapegoats for monks needing a reason to explain away the phenomenon of wet dreams and sleep paralysis.

In some legends the succubus was a shape shifter, able to transform into her male counterpart the incubus so as to transfer the stolen male seed into an unknowing human woman. Children born with deformities and defects were said to be the result of these unnatural pairings as an explanation for their abnormalities.

Over time the legend of the succubus evolved to include powers such as hypnotism and mind control, as well as allowing them to take physical human form to seduce men while they were awake. They were able to convince men to commit unholy and unnatural acts, leaving them with cravings for what were seen as all kinds of deviant sexual behaviors.

“It’s not me, the succubus made me do it!”

Because of her need for sexual energy in order to survive the succubus can be likened to a sexual vampire, which is why I have made the succubus trait in the Vanessa Kensley books to be a type of lesser known cousin to the more common sanguineous (blood drinking) vampire, upposed to a dream walking demon.