Please welcome Sherri Lackey author of Vrykolakas Deviation.
Sherri will be awarding a $25 GC from Amazon to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, and a $15 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn host.
The Vrykolakas Deviation
by Sherri Lackey
What or who inspired you to start writing?
Two things inspired me to start writing. One was an overactive imagination that I had as a child playing in the back of my parents’ place of business. I had no neighborhood friends to interact with and so I invented imaginary characters in my mind who became my playmates. The second thing that inspired me was Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books which I read and re-read starting in the first grade up until junior high. From that point on I wanted to write my own stories.
How did you come up with ideas for your books?
Ideas for my books spring up from various places. Sometimes I’m watching a movie and a single scene from that movie might spin off into something else entirely in my head, giving birth to an idea for a book. The Vrykolakas Deviation came about in a different manner.
Vampire stories have been of interest to me since I was a child. Their popularity in general has increased exponentially since the Twilight series came out. Everyone is writing vampire novels. My novel came about as I sought to find a new vein for this old subject matter. I began doing research and along the way I stumbled upon an old vampire legend that has a Greek origin. They are called vrykolakes, or vrykolakas if the subject is singular. Legend has them originating on the island of Strongili, or Santorini as it is known today. I decided my vampires would be vrykolakes and my story took off from there.
I think what intrigued me about vrykolakes is that they are not the typical blood imbibing sort of vampire. Legend has them sitting on their victims, basically suffocating them. I tweaked that idea a bit and my vrykolakes drain the life from their victims by an energy or electrical type of transfer.
What would you want your readers to know about you that might not be in your bio?
I actually did a blog post on this just for fun not too long ago. In the blog post I included things about myself that aren’t ordinarily in your typical author’s bio.
You should also know that my feet get icy cold in the winter. When I moved to Montana I soon perceived that wool socks are a must. I had never worn wool socks before and I must say, it was a most pleasing experience the first time I slipped a pair on. But I didn’t stop with just wool socks. Soon after that my obsession with socks began. I stumbled upon a website that satisfies my endless need for socks. It’s called Sock Dreams and it’s for other sock obsessed people like me. I never knew the world of socks that was available to me until I found their website. My new motto is: Life is too short to wear boring socks! My latest acquisition is a black and gray pair of socks called Birds on a Wire. Oh, what joy! What rapture! I do love a good pair of socks!
When it comes right down to it, I’m just plain quirky. I don’t like to settle for ordinary. As I mentioned before, I didn’t want to write just another vampire novel. There are plenty of those available on the market, both traditional and non-traditional. I wanted something different.
As far as your writing goes, what are your future plans?
I plan to keep writing all of the stories I have floating around inside my head. I have several manuscripts sitting on my hard drive waiting to be edited and published. My biggest problem is deciding which ones should receive top priority. That problem has been temporarily resolved for the moment. With the release of The Vrykolakas Deviation, my main goal is to release book two, The Darkness Below, in August of 2013. It’s in the editing stage right now.
Do you outline your books or just start writing?
I always begin with an outline. It helps me keep track of where I want the story to go. I deviate from my outline at times when alternate paths come to mind. Sometimes a story seems to want to go in a different direction from where I first thought it would go. These alternate routes don’t usually take me too far away from my original outline. When they do on occasion, I simply change my outline.
In The Vrykolakas Deviation I stayed true to the outline almost all the way to the end. One thing presented itself to me as a surprise however. In my book, my main character, Keeva, wants to know what she is. I had something in mind but the ultimate answer to the question came as a surprise even to me. I had an “a-ha” moment. I finally realized what Keeva was at the end of the story. I encourage you to read it so that you will find out too.
Do you have any hobbies and does the knowledge you've gained from these carry over into your characters or the plot of your books?
I like to crochet and I like to make jewelry. As of yet, none of my characters crochet or make jewelry, though jewelry sometimes plays a minor role in some of my stories. I have often thought it would be fun to fashion a piece of jewelry based on a piece of jewelry mentioned in a story of mine.
I also like to go hiking and camping in the mountains when it is summer in Montana. I think these trips to the mountains have definitely found their way into some of my writing. Exploring nature is beautiful and exciting. It can be a little scary at times too. Especially when the trees and bushes close in around the hiking trail and you don’t know what might be waiting around the next bend. In Montana you know that a grizzly bear might be waiting around the next bend. So far all the bears we’ve seen have been shy and run away in the opposite direction.
In one scene in The Vrykolakas Deviation, Keeva and her younger brother, Egan, get lost in a forest. They encounter something in the forest that night, and it’s not a grizzly bear.
Do you have an all time favorite book?
That is a hard question to answer as so many books are favorites of mine. The one book that always stands out in my mind, even though I read it years ago, is The Paradise War by Stephen Lawhead which is part of his The Song of Albion series. I enjoyed the whole series as well as many more of his books, but that book sparked my interest in the fantasy genre like none before it. I liked how he blended the real world with a fantasy realm located through a doorway inside a cairn or mound. It was a definite, shaping influence for The Vrykolakas Deviation now that I think of it.
Have you started your next project? If so, can you share a little bit about your book?
The Vrykolakas Deviation is book one of The Narcissus Legacy. As I mentioned before, the next book, The Darkness Below, will be ready, hopefully, by August 2013.
Book two will pick up with the story of a new character, Kaie, who is Keeva’s daughter. In The Darkness Below I explore a new realm with Kaie called Subtenna. It is a realm where the sun never penetrates to the surface of Subtenna, a realm where the dokkalfar, or dark elves, live out their existence isolated from other realms. Isolated because Subtenna is their prison, fashioned long ago for them by the aes sidhe. Keeva’s young daughter, Kaie, mistakenly enters their realm not knowing that there is no escape from Subtenna once you have arrived there. Kaie refuses to believe that she is trapped there forever and vows to either find an existing doorway or fashion one for herself in order to return to her family.
Do you have any family traditions or recipes you might like to share?
Our family of five has pizza night at the beginning of each month. I make homemade pizzas with the recipe I got from my mother-in-law. The key ingredient in my pizza is New Mexico green chile. We are natives of New Mexico and green chile is an absolute staple in our cooking. We have friends who buy fresh roasted green chile for us down in New Mexico. They freeze it for us and we pick it up from them when we go visit in the summer. I use it in burritos and green chile stew, but mainly I slather it on our pizzas when we have pizza night. So, on the first Saturday of any month, you will find us piled on top of each other on our sectional sofa with our plates of pizza watching a movie.
Can you tell us a little about the black moment in your book?
No, I can’t, not without giving too much away. I will say that it takes place after a fire destroys her home and shortly before Keeva finally figures out what she is.
If you were a casting director for the film version of your book, who would play your lead roles?
The leading man in my novel is Severin, and if I were casting the film for my book the choice would be simple. When I was writing the book, each time I was writing a scene with Severin in it, I pictured the actor, Ian Somerhalder, from the two television series Lost and Vampire Diaries. I haven’t ever pictured a specific actress in my mind for Keeva however. I suppose Nina Dobrev, also an actor from Vampire Diaries, would be a good choice for Keeva since they are both petite and brunette. Added to that, Ian and Nina, already have a certain chemistry between them in that television series.
Anything else you might want to add?
I would like to encourage all your readers to go to my website sherrilackey.com to keep up with the latest news of all my books. They can also follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest.
Thanks for having me here today!
Keeva lives her life on the run, changing identities and personas. She is running from monsters she has never seen - vrykolakes, vampire creatures her father, Sandor, has told her stories about all her life. She had almost convinced herself that these monsters had all died in a volcano eruption on the island of Strongili long ago.
But when a vrykolakas named Severin kills Mandy, her best friend, she discovers the vrykolakes are alive and well. Keeva knows about Severin from her father’s stories, and her first impulse is to kill him and rid the world of the evil vrykolakas. She feels drawn to him however, and takes him prisoner. She hopes to better understand the vrykolakes and perhaps better understand herself. She is over two thousand years old. She doesn't know who or what she is, but she wants to find out. In order to do that, she has to discover her past. Severin might be the place to start looking for a connection to the past. Or, he could be the worst mistake Keeva has ever made.
"Why? I am a vrykolakas and that is all that matters," he said harshly. "You are not a vrykolakas. You are nothing, less than nothing, daughter of Sandor. You are nothing but a freakish aberration, a mistake yet to be remedied – erased."
This conversation was not going in the direction I had hoped it would go. "And yet," I said, "here you are tied up in this room. This less than nothing aberration managed to drag your practically lifeless body back here and tie you up. That is something to think about isn't it?"
He gave me that cold smile again. "You are such a naïve little girl. How have you survived this long?"
I suddenly felt foolish. I clearly was not on top of my game here. I was failing miserably and his last words cut me deeply. I walked out of the room slamming the door behind me. I was frustrated by my failed first attempt at interrogation. On top of that, I couldn't think clearly with him around.
That night, I was restless again. At times it seemed I was in some realm of being half asleep and half awake. At one point, I thought I woke up to see Severin standing over me, looking down at me with that wolfish grin. I came more fully awake. He was not there, but his distinct odor was pervasive in my room. I got up and got a drink of water from the kitchen. I listened quietly outside his room and heard nothing.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Sherri Lackey, born in Carlsbad, New Mexico, now lives in Montana where the cold northern climate inspires her to write. She writes science fiction and fantasy with dashes of speculative fiction, a pinch of steampunk, and a touch of urban fantasy. She lives with her husband, Paul, and their three children. She also has a faithful dog named Raymond who likes to sit by her side while she writes.