Thursday, November 27, 2008

Karen Chance

Karen Chance is the author of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling Cassandra Palmer Series and other books and stories, including the recently released Midnight's Daughter.

About Midnight's Daughter, from the back cover:

Dorina Basarab is a dhampir—half-human, half-vampire. Subject to uncontrollable rages, most dhampirs live very short, very violent lives. So far, Dory has managed to maintain her sanity by unleashing her anger on those demons and vampires who deserve killing.

Now Dory’s vampire father has come back into her life. Her uncle Dracula (yes, the Dracula) infamous even among vampires for his cruelty and murderous ways, has escaped his prison. And her father wants Dory to work with the gorgeous master vampire Louis-Cesare to put him back there.

Vampires and dhampirs are mortal enemies, and Dory prefers to work alone. But Dracula is the only thing on earth that truly scares her, and when Dory has to go up against him, she’ll take all the help she can get…

From a Q & A with Karen Chance at Literary Escapism:
Dhampires haven’t played much of a role in vampire fiction lately; what made you feature this aspect of the vampire culture? What inspired you to give the dhampire a volatile temperament?

Actually, there are a lot of dhampirs around, just not in paranormal romance. But in fantasy, where my books are usually categorized, you find quote a few: Barb and J.C. Hendee’s long running series on the Noble Dead, Nancy Collins’s Stillborn, Poppy Z. Brite’s Lost Souls, etc. But I believe my take on the subject is very different from anything else out there.

As for the second part of the question, I have to point out that “volatile temperament” doesn’t really sum it up. Dory is insane, at least part of the time. As for why she has these psychotic episodes, it grew out of trying to imagine what the result would be of a human body paired with the vampire killing instinct. I also thought that the challenge of writing someone like Dory would be interesting—and it was.

A lot of your vampires are recognizable characters from history (Kit Marlowe, the Tepes brothers), why did you include some of these figures in the Vampire Senate and will we meet any others? Do their histories (both in your novels and in reality) have a special meaning to you?

I included them because I’ve never been able to understand why books that feature vampires, especially older ones who have lived hundreds of years, don’t do more with their history. I love imagining where they’ve been, who they’ve met, what they’ve done—it just makes the character so much easier to write when you know the experiences that shaped them. And taking larger-than-life figures for some of the leading vampires gave them a fascinating back story with a lot of potential. So yes, I think it’s safe to say that you’ll meet more historical characters, both vampire and not, in upcoming novels. As far as choosing the characters, I tend to go more by the needs of the story line than by personal preference.
Read the complete interview.

Visit Karen Chance's website.

Writers Read: Karen Chance.

--Marshal Zeringue