Okay, so that last post was a real downer, but hey, sometimes I’m that. So I’m going to follow it up with something happy-making: 5 reasons why my books are amazing and you should read them.
5) The Talbot Trilogy is my love letter to paranormal / supernatural and horror fiction, both in literature and media.
I was influenced in the beginning by Twilight for parts of the love story, Salem’s Lot, The Lost Boys and Interview with a Vampire for my Big Bad, Practical Magic for my witches, and Lost Girl for my shapeshifters, as well as my main witch, Rayvin. But I’ve got shout-outs to other works as well — the classic Dracula, for example, and Nora Roberts’ paranormal romances — and in the eight years it took me to complete the series, I poured in everything I love about the genre to make it a story I would love to read myself.
4) It’s an argument against (or alternative world) to Twilight.
I adore the Twilight Saga, sparkly angsty vampires and all, but I can also firmly critique it for its flaws. When I started the Talbot Trilogy, I had a general idea but no real direction, not until I fell in love with Stephenie Meyers’ work and the film adaptations. Immersing myself pretty thoroughly in the fandom for a few years gave me the impetus to develop Wind and Shadow and its prequel novella Mist and Midnight as a kind of alternative, back-to-basics story about bloodthirsty creatures of the night, with the potential of a love triangle similar to that of Twilight, but taking the characters into different directions and different choices than those of Bella, Edward, and Jacob. Highly satisfying, that.
3) The Talbot Trilogy is a steamy romance that builds from a more conventional structure into taking risks and including LGBQT material by the third book.
I love a hot romance novel; I love fire, and sizzle, and temptation, and vivid imagery. I want reading to be an escape from the everyday, heating up an afternoon or night and leaving a smile on my face. So I put that in, too. And it’s funny, I never intended for the second or third books to delve into queer theory, but it happened anyway — the characters led me there, and trying to write them otherwise just didn’t work. If that’s not your cup of tea, it’s easy enough to skip around those parts. But for me, writing a compelling love scene isn’t just about describing body parts and actions. It’s about the challenge of revealing intimate relationships, and keeping the sexy stuff fresh instead of predictable and repetitive.
2) The setting is unconventional and familiar at the same time — an homage to one of my childhood hometowns in Northeastern Ontario.
It’s not often that Canadians get to read exciting or romantic stories that take place in this country, although they do exist. I chose to adapt a real town, Cobalt, for these novels because it’s a place with which I am familiar, it suited the story perfectly, and I wanted to share how awesome it is with the rest of the world. Talbot has many of the same features as Cobalt: old mining tunnels running under (and occasionally collapsing) the streets, relative isolation from major city centres with a corresponding quietness and clean surroundings, beautiful in any season with charismatic architecture and a history unique to North America as what used to be a major silver producer, before the market fell. There are many ghosts in Cobalt. The main reason why I changed the name was so that I could play with it a little, but most of the landmarks are recognizable enough that a dear childhood friend who read Mist and Midnight knew what it was, right away. You might think of the Talbot Trilogy as a virtual field trip, of sorts, into a corner of the world that not many people get to see or experience.
1) The characters of the Talbot Trilogy are not perfect people — therefore it’s both painful and fun to watch them squirm and very satisfying to see them win.
Rayvin, Grant, Jason, Charlotte, Pike, Marcy, Siobhan, and the rest of my cast are developed from real and fictional people I love. What they say and do usually came from me thinking about how so-and-so might react or retort in a given situation. I find that like my readers, I’ve got a love-hate relationship with most of them, a complicated understanding like many of us have with individuals at home and at work, and thus I became highly invested in their futures. And from the many reviews I’ve had in the last three years, so have my readers.
So, I invite you to step into my fictional world in this dark month of November. Look for e-copies of my work on the Melange Books website, in Amazon and B&N and Kobo online bookstores, or order a paperback copy. I’m interested to hear your thoughts. They say a writer is fed by reviews and feedback, after all.