Why vampires? It’s Keanu Reeves’ fault.

It all began with Bram Stoker’s Dracula in 1992. I was 12, and apparently very impressionable. I went to see the movie with my best friend at the time, thinking that Keanu Reeves was the hot guy draw.

Now, I’m not saying that Keanu isn’t an attractive man. By no means. He is, in fact, quite a looker and has only remained very good-looking as he’s aged. His kindness and humanity, known both on and off set, only make him more attractive (to be honest).

However, I went into Dracula thinking that I was getting my fill of Keanu Reeves. I was a fan of Bill & Ted as well as Point Break, so the idea of seeing him on screen when I was the ripe young age of 12 was a huge deal. I was so incredibly excited!

Then a sans-makeup Gary Oldman came on screen, and hubba hubba, my teen heart went into overdrive. He said all the right words, portrayed the angst of long lost love, and dove into that character like Michael Phelps into a pool.

Where had Gary Oldman been all my young life? He was dead sexy. Did I care that he was really a crusty old man (once they put the makeup on)? Nope. He was romance personified, and I wanted to find someone like that for myself one day. Swoon.

Then vampires became my ‘thing’. I watched so many movies and tv-series: Blade, The Hunger, The Lost Boys, Dracula 2000, Kindred the Embraced, Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust, Dark Shadows… The list just grew and grew. But none of it was as sexy or romantic as Bram Stoker’s Dracula. None of it made me feel the way that Gary Oldman had, and no other movie or tv-show exuded the same desperation to be with your one true love and to spend eternity with them in your arms.

Do I get turned on by seeing him bite her or drink blood? Not necessarily. But you’ve got to admit there is a closeness in the act, an intimacy. Would I do it? I’m a romantic realist – as much as I want my own Gary Oldman/Dracula vampire, I’m not drinking someone’s blood.

But a playful nip wouldn’t hurt. 😉

So there you have it: Keanu Reeves led me to my love of vampires. I’d love to hear if you have a love of vampires and what led you to them. Email me at info@shannacrobillard.com or post a comment here!

Who is Cecelia “Celie” Moore?

Cecelia “Celie” Moore is an everywoman. She is quirky, fun, sarcastic, cute, and capable of bravery at the darkest moments. She is the antithesis of the typical heroine in appearance but her abilities throughout the book make her someone to reckon with.

Here is a sample from the book:

“I crawled back onto the couch and sat wrapped up in my soft green IKEA throw, my long auburn hair draped around me. Closing my eyes, I inhaled the lingering scent of dragon’s blood incense I had lit hours ago and then slowly exhaled. I didn’t know exactly how to meditate, but I had the gist of it and thought I would give it a shot. After some deep breathing, I tried to feel the energy of the earth flowing into my root chakra and my stress flowing up and out of my crown chakra. Breathe in, breathe out. Breathe in, breathe out. I did this for 5 or 10 minutes, waiting for my anxieties to leave me and for answers to come flooding in. Eventually the only thing that had left me was the feeling in my left foot. I wound up stomping around the living room, trying to get the feeling back while looking like a dancing Neanderthal.”

Celie has dark green eyes, long auburn hair, pale skin, and a button nose; just an innocent face. Did I base her off of myself? Maybe some of her traits, but I wanted you to envision her in your own way.

Her family history is muddy, with deep secrets that even she is unaware of. She also has psychic abilities, ones that lend themselves to the story in unexpected ways. Love her or hate her, she is the protagonist of the story, and I am incredibly proud of her story arc.

Who is Michael Hawkins?

Michael is a nearly 300-year-old vampire. That’s the simple answer. But in all honesty, he’s so much more than that. A lover, a fighter, a swordsman, a runner, a soldier: the list of attributes for him is extensive. It would be a disservice to him to call him just a ‘vampire’ and nothing more. The book explores his past, his doubts, his fears, and his ability to love and protect the woman he has fallen for. 

Physically speaking, this is how Michael appears to our main character: “He was a man. Emphasis on the ‘man’ part. Not a boy or a guy, but a tall, perfectly proportioned MAN. He looked to be at least six foot four, broad shoulders under the jacket of his suit, his stance casual, and perhaps my age? Early thirties? His long, straight hair was the color of fresh coffee, and it was pulled back in a ponytail secured with a strand of leather. His eyes were bright grey, like silver, and his face was both strong and soft in all the right places. I stared with my mouth watering at this incredible specimen of masculinity, feeling immensely insecure and aroused all at the same time…” 

I was intentionally ambiguous about his ethnicity or skin color to avoid isolating anyone from finding this man attractive. I want everyone to see him with their own eyes, with their own pre-conceived notions about what a vampire should look like. I only provided some subtle attributes to encourage the reader to view some of the man I had envisioned Michael to be.

How do you see Michael? Are you able to picture him? 

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