On Monday we announced the start of Harlequin TEEN’s blog tour for Covetby Melissa Darnell, book 2 of the Clann series. Today, we have a guest-blog from Melissa where she answers the question, “How did you go about creating the ‘rules’ of your paranormal world?”. Don’t forget to check out Monday’s post for a Covet giveaway, too!
When plotting out the world of the Clann Series, I knew I wanted a Romeo and Juliet love story with real reasons why the teenaged lovers shouldn’t be together other than feuding families. Then I thought, “What better reason for their families to want them to remain apart than their being natural born enemies who pose life threatening danger to each other?” Vampires and witches immediately came to mind because then the hero and heroine could be equally powerful and equally dangerous to each other. But it’s too easy for the vamp to simply abstain from biting the person they love, especially if they can find blood elsewhere. Time to raise the, er, stakes, lol. And what could be worse than being unable to kiss the person you’re in love with without hurting them? That’s how Savannah’s line of vamps became part incubus/succubus. To explain that demon/vamp hybrid history, I did some research into vampire lore and kept running across stories about Lillith, the rumored true first wife of Adam who turned away from Adam and God and became a demoness after consorting with demons. She became the perfect mother of my line of vamps.
I also knew I wanted my line of vamps to be daywalkers who still had their souls so I could play with their underlying fears of having to face afterlife consequences for losing control to their vamp instincts. Otherwise why would any of them even bother trying to be a good vamp? So this meant my vamps aren’t affected by religious items or locations. The garlic thing always seemed a little silly and arbitrary to me, so I also tossed that out as a threat to them. The result? Daywalker vamps with the ability to kill with a bite or a kiss who can only be killed by fire, decapitation, or a stake through their heart.
For the Clann, I knew I wanted their magic to be independent of any tools like wands or potions, and more energy based like druids. However, energy magic would naturally come with its own checks and balances, so their handicap is that sometimes they have to deal with too much energy buildup (especially during times of emotional stress and when they are first learning how to control their abilities), and when they cast spells, they have to sacrifice some of their energy in return and can be left weakened and vulnerable. The upside is if they can drain off excess energy, they can also draw energy from the earth to replace what they use. This makes them the perfect temptation for vampires, because all that extra energy racing through every descendant’s veins along with the already tempting bloodflow would be powerfully attractive to vampires who are always short on energy and only able to obtain it from others.
Finally, I wanted my heroine to be caught between both these worlds, accepted by neither and feared by both. So I made her the first dhampir (half human, half vamp) known in existence in her line of vamps. Better yet, her parents were the first Romeo and Juliet forbidden lovers, her mother a descendant in the Clann, and her father not only a vamp but also a member of the vampire council of leaders. This added a nice circling effect where the past is repeating itself, tempting Savannah to ask, “If my parents did it, why shouldn’t I?”
There are more rules, for instance how the Keepers work, but I won’t go into that here in case some readers of this post haven’t read Covet yet (don’t want to give away any spoilers here!). Don’t worry, though, the additional world rules are explained in detail in the books.
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