Author Susan Krinard, from werewolves to vampires!March 3, 2008
Everyone seems to be writing vampires these days. For years I’ve written about my shapeshifter “werewolves,” beginning with my 1993 novel Prince of Wolves .. . one of the very first romance novels to feature a werewolf hero (and, I believe, the first in the genre to present one who wasn’t “cursed”).
When I decided to venture into vampires–or, as I call them, “strigoi”– I decided to try something different … a setting that has hardly been used in romance, the Roaring Twenties. The series began with Chasing Midnight, about a high-flying vampire flapper and the straitlaced werewolf who falls in love with her. It was set against the exciting background of bootleggers and mobsters, where our hero and heroine fall in love while fighting to keep the evil head of the vampire mob, Raoul Boucher, from bringing chaos down upon the city of New York.
One of Raoul’s enforcers was a mysterious vampire named “Dorian Black” … a man who, in spite of his profession, had a moral sense that wouldn’t allow him to surrender completely to his dark side. Dorian became the hero of my new book, Dark of the Moon … a tormented soul who, every dark of the moon, becomes the very creature he most fears. Only his growing love for reporter Gwen Murphy, who is investigating the presence of vampires in Manhattan, can possibly save him.
Dorian is one of my favorite characters. As a hero with a dark past and much to atone for, he has a long way to climb. He must constantly battle his darker instincts in order to be with Gwen and begin to accept her love; he knows he’s a danger to her, and his increasing desire to make her a vampire like himself becomes almost too strong to resist. But when she’s threatened by a cult of strigoi bent on killing her and destroying the entire vampire race, he begins to realize that her hatred is a small price to pay in exchange for her life.
Gwen, too, was a very fun character to write … the very image of the plucky girl reporter who, in spite of the discouragement of her male colleagues, will stop at nothing to get her story. I was inspired by the movies of the 1930s, where heroines portrayed by actresses like Bette Davis and Barbara Stanwyck “always get their man.”
Though Dark of the Moon is set in a period unfamiliar to many readers, I think it provides a colorful and unique backdrop for a vampire story. The Twenties were a period of transition, caught between the morals of the Victorian Era and the exciting new ideas of the Twentieth Century. The conflicting pressures of both worlds tells strongly on our characters, who have their own challenging transitions to make in an uncertain world.
I hope readers will enjoy Dark of the Moon, and look out for my next werewolf book, Come the Night, in October.