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Elisabeth Staab | Ancient Vampires Make for Awesome Angst

June 12, 2014

Elisabeth StaabHUNTER BY NIGHT
I’ve loved all my characters. I’ve loved getting to know them and torturing them, getting to watch them fall in love, and seeing them tested by all the roadblocks in between. I love characters when they have huge flaws, because I love people when they have huge flaws. None of us are perfect, and fiction to me is like life with the volume cranked up.

I think the two things I love most about writing vampires are the bond characters create when they share blood, and the extended lifespan. The latter, because so much of what shapes a story and the push-pull between two imperfect souls falling in love has to do with the lifetime of baggage they bring to the table.

The older the vampire, the more the baggage, I figure. Or maybe it’s the bigger the hero, the bigger the baggage?

Lee, my hero in HUNTER BY NIGHT, has been around for more than seven hundred years. That’s a helluva lot of baggage. Fun baggage.

I don’t mean fun like he makes balloon animals and tells witty jokes at cocktail parties. But the kind of fun that allows for delicious tension between him and his heroine? Oh, hell yes.

She’s a human. He hates human. Why does he hate humans? Well, it goes back to the great plague, and a time in history when humans used to come after vampires with torches and pitchforks. To a deeply held pain, because for so many of us anger and hate is really more about hurt.

Seven-hundred years of hurt. Or, as I like to think of it, good angst.

Sizzling, heart-wrenching, sexual-tension inducing angst.

So Lee wants Alexia, but doesn’t want to want her because of everything she represents. Alexia wants Lee, but thinks he’s an oppressive, alpha jerkface who’s too attached to his gun. They’ve spent the entirety of the Chronicles of Yavn series dancing around each other and denying their attraction. Conflicting pasts, conflicting species, and an ongoing supernatural war have all come between them.

Can this romance be saved?

Not without getting the jerkface alpha male to put down some of his centuries-old baggage, certainly. Also not without getting the feisty human to trust that the big alpha male isn’t actually quite such a jerkface after all.

Once you set fire to all those centuries of baggage though, boy are there ever fireworks.

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