Author Denise Verrico was gracious enough to take the time out of her busy schedule to discuss all things vampires. More so, she spilled a bit about her book The Immortyl Revolution, and where she sees herself in 5 years!
What are your career plans for the next 5 years?
I want to keep improving my craft as a writer – there is always room for improvement. I’d like to build a loyal fan base; talking with readers in person is fun for me. Coming from the theatre, I’m an extravert. I have lots of ideas for books, including a Shakespearean inspired high-fantasy novel and a YA fantasy. My current plan for The Immortyl Revolution is a series of nine books told from the POV of three different characters. My dream is to become a full-time writer!
If you were your character Mia, what would you have done differently than she did in the book?
I’d never have taken-up with an older, married man as she did as a mortal; that relationship was doomed to failure. I can say that I wouldn’t have put up with being Ethan’s slave for thirty-eight years, but she didn’t have much choice. Buying into Brovik’s schemes wasn’t a good move either.
Why did you choose the characters of Mia and Kurt to be biological beings with no “magical” powers? Do you feel as creatures of the night, that they lose their mysticism?
Vampires are immortal and that alone gives them a god-like quality. Mia’s master Ethan takes a very Nietzschean point of view on immortality. I set-out to explore the question of what would cause vampirism and what would vampires be like if they really existed. I’m a skeptic by nature and a big fan of science. Nothing is more fascinating and mysterious to me than the workings of the natural world – it’s amazing that tiny molecules of DNA can become a human being with a capacity to learn, love, and create.
I explore how vampirism affects the human brain and body. I have a lot of the traditional vampire powers and handicaps; they can’t go out in the sun and they can drink only human blood. My vampires do have enhanced physical abilities and an ability to experience an empathetic response to a partner in a blood-exchange. The otherness comes out of the dark world they inhabit. I wanted to create a unique sub-culture that brings in elements of ancient cultures, but still differs from those of mortals. My mythology comes out of India – the adepts of the ancient arts in my third novel practice a form of tantrism. They are very spiritual and seek enlightenment through erotic rituals.
Where do you feel that your novel weighs in on the vampire bandwagon in this day and age, especially with popular book series such as True Blood and Vampire Diaries?
I don’t write paranormal mysteries, although I do enjoy reading them. I’m more of a throwback to the Anne Rice style of vampire with a nod to my favorite historical fiction writers, Mary Renault and Robert Graves. I love stories about intrigue and politics. I wouldn’t call the book a “romance;” Mia and Kurt’s relationship is romantic and an important part of their story. The others she becomes involved with only use her for sex and political intrigues. Cara Mia has its share of blood and gore. Recently, I read a comment where someone said Cara Mia reads like heroic fantasy. I think the science also sets me apart. I Am Legend is one of my favorite vampire stories.
Please tell our adoring readers what initially began your obsession with vampires:
The TV series Dark Shadows – I used to run home from school to watch this Gothic soap opera with my mom and some ladies in the neighborhood. This was in the late sixties or early seventies. I was a little kid who loved monster movies, and Barnabas Collins was the first sympathetic vampire I’d ever seen. I actually met the actor Jonathan Frid through a friend of mine back in the eighties; he did one-man Shakespearean shows. My husband and I are theatre folk, and we got the opportunity to watch him do a preview of one of these at his home in New York. He lived on Gramercy Park back then; I have Mia living on Gramercy Park at one point in the novel as a little tribute to him.