So here they are, in no particular order...
1. Vampire single dads. Some of my very favorite scenes EVER to write have been those that featured Conrad and Damian struggling with parenthood. I don't know why that is, exactly. Perhaps it's because they're two deadly vampires, not to mention two hot and sexy, stubborn alpha males. Perhaps it's because NOTHING that's ever worked for them up until now works at all in this scenario. Perhaps it's because the twins have them wrapped around their tiny little fingers right from the start. Perhaps it's because, after one hundred and thirteen years of stubbornly not speaking to each other, they are finally forced to remember how to work as a team. And they do. And I love them for it.
2. Time travel...well, sort of. I love that this series lets me go back in time. Yes, the 'travel' consists of writing scenes from my characters' pasts. I'm not actually going anywhere but into their memories...and those memories are totally made up! But, for several of the books--one, three and four, so far--the years I'm re-visiting are years I actually lived through. Playing the music that I might have listened to then, recalling the mindset, the morals, the fashions, the socio-political mood of the times, it's been like a mini-vacation. I haven't always wanted to come back. (except, hello? internet!)
3. Holidays. I love writing books and scenes that are set around holidays. I have no idea why that's such a powerful draw, but almost ALL my books have some holiday reference somewhere--a fact I really hadn't thought about until I started writing this post. As a matter of fact, now that I think of it, quite a few of them have more than one holiday. Since my vampires have been around for awhile, it's not surprising that most of the Children of Night books have multiple holidays too. For Now Comes the Night and Ashes of the Day (which started out life as one book and then got split in two when it grew too long) there are many, many MANY New Year's Eve celebrations. Together, the two books span forty-something years of New Year's Eves...although, thankfully, I don't detail ALL of them.
4. Cookies. I honestly don't know how it started, but my vampires love to bake. Well, to be accurate, Damian loves to bake. Julie might like it too, for all I know. And Armand is occasionally talked into it. So far, the rest are pretty neutral about the whole subject. But, again, watching these hot, sexy, usually completely in charge tough guys fall apart in the kitchen...well, lets just say that writing scenes like that just about makes my day.
5. World building. There's always a certain amount of world building that goes on in most books. This is especially true for those that are not straight-up contemporary stories. It's been a lot of fun creating my own particular vampire rules--deciding what they can and can't do. After awhile, it becomes so real to me that when I read someone else's vampires I sometimes forget that they don't have to follow the same rules as mine do. Even better, of course, is when readers accept my world-building so completely that they start to question other authors' rules if they differ from mine. Bwahahahaha! I do try to keep the power from going to my head, but it's not always easy.
Home is where the heart bleeds.
Children of Night, Book 3
Growing up, vampire-born twins Julie and Marc Fischer were taught one simple fact of life: you can choose your food, but not your family. Six months after moving to San Francisco, though, the new challenges and choices each are facing are a Gordian knot of complicated.
Marc must decide whether to stay with Conrad and Damian, the only family he’s ever known, or embrace his destiny and the unexpected family—the ferals—that comes along with it. Meanwhile, Julie is forced to deal with the unpleasant realization that the man she loves isn’t necessarily the man who’s best for her.
For Conrad and Damian, the holiday season is stirring up bittersweet memories, and neither can keep from revisiting past passion and pain.
Faced with new mysteries to solve, new alliances to forge, new secrets to keep, and old relationships to rebuild, it’s no wonder the Fischer-Quintano vampires long for the good old days—when food was food and family was all that mattered.