The Dupres have been Savannah's guardians, appointed by a band of root doctors and hoodooists, for nearly two hundred years. They've all grown...complacent. Now, the Arcos brothers, who've long been entombed at Bonaventure, have been inadvertently freed by a group of teenagers horsing around in the cemetery. Determined to take revenge on the city who entombed them, the Arcos' gather strength in the city's youth. Within the moon's full cycle, the gang's quickening will be complete--they'll become vampires. Newlings, out of control and craving human blood will ravage the city. The one thing the Arcos' didn't count on was the powerful love of a sister. Riley Poe will stop at nothing to get her brother back. The one thing Riley didn't count on was the powerful love of a vampire. Eli Dupre will do anything to get her. Follow Riley, Eli, and the vampires of the Dupre House into the shadowy, underside of Savannah.
- How much research did you do before starting to write Afterlight?
Thanks for having me here! Research...the story is written in Savannah, Ga, which is my home town. I grew up here and had to do very little research on the city. I did research the Goth/Punk culture, their clothes. I seriously researched the art of tattooing. I visited a tattoo shop, took a mini-course online involving tools and products and such. And I did some research on Romanian vampires!
- How long did it take you to write it?
About three months for the first draft. Then it goes through the editing process, which I look forward to! I try to write about 10 pages a day, and the earier in the morning I start, the better! I'm totally a morning person!
- How many books are there going to be in your series?
As of right now, three. But it will depend on how well Afterlight does. It all goes by sales!
- What are you working on right now?
Right now I'm on deadline for book three, EVENTIDE. The books are a continuous series. In other words, each book starts out where the last one left off. It's really like one long, giant book broken down into three books!
- What can you tell us about Afterlight?
Oh yeah! Set in my city, Afterlight is the first book in The Dark Ink Chronicles. The story revolves around the protaganist, Riley Poe, who was a stinker of a kid. I'm talking troubled teen to the nth degree. Drugs. Sex. Gangs. Fighting. Juvy. Jail. It wasn't until an obsessed boyfriend murdered Riley's mother--whom Riley found, strangled in her bath tub--that kicked Riley into gear. Along with her brother, they were left to be raised by her mother's employers and closest friends: a Gullah root doctor and his wife who owns a potions shop on River Street. (Gullah is a culture of folk descended from the African slaves who escaped to the barrier islands off the coast of southern Georgia and South Carolina) When Riley's kid brother gets involved with a prank at Bonaventure Cemetery, and inadvertently set free an entombed pair of evil strigoi vampiric brothers, the city's youth become the target of a vampire uprising. Unbeknownst to Riley, a family of "guardians" have resided in Savannah for nearly three centuries. The Dupres, vampires theselves, made a pact with the Gullah to keep the city safe in return for "humane nourishment". Now Riley's brother is in the "quickening", soon to become a bloodsucker, and Riley must join forces with the Dupres to save him and the other teens from becoming the living dead! Riley, though, has wicked-drugging blood to a vampire, and her Gullah "grandfather" has been keeping it masked for years to keep her safe. When Riley encounters the Dupres eldest son, Eli? Sparks fly and sizzle! And so begins the first book!
- Are all your books going to have the same narrator or does each of them have their own?
The three contracted (Afterlight, Everdark, Eventide) all have the same protagonist--the heroine, Riley Poe. She is a kick-ass tattoo artist who overcame a terrible childhood (drugs, sex, gangs, fighting, jail, and her mother's murder) to become a successful business woman. She raises her younger brother, Seth, and are content. Until the vamps are set free!
- Who and what exactly are the Dupres?
The Durpres are Savannah's guardians. They are a family of vampires whose father, after being bitten and turned centuries before in France, did not want to live without his beloved family. So, he turned them all. They moved to the US to settle and try to start a new life. They encountered a culture of people (the Gullah) who were African slaves who'd migrated to the barrier islands off the coast of Savannah. Along with their African magic, they taught the Dupres how to humanely survive, and not kill. In return, the Dupres became Savannah's guardians.
- Why were the Arcos brothers entombed? And what are the differences between the Dupres and them?
The Arcos brothers were entombed because they had no intentions on becoming humane. They like the hunt, love the kill. The Gullah entombed them, physically and with magic, to keep the city safe. The Dupres like to be humane. They simply wanted to remain a family.
- What can you tell us about the heroine, Riley Poe?
Riley is amazing. She takes no crap off of anyone, yet is a very loving, caring person. After surviving her mother's murder, and a childhood of rebellion where she quit school, got into drugs and punk gangs, in and out of juvy jail, she finally got her act together with the help of her mother's employers and good friends, a pair of elderly Gullah who owns a potions shop. They helped Riley get on her feet, go to art school, open her business.
- Can you tell us a little about the world Afterlight is set in?
Afterlight is set in a world that I've grown up in. Part of it is picture-book, post-card historical Savannah. One of the original colonies, it has survived fire, wars, and was spared alot of its construction. It retains that old world feel. The other part is a world Riley was once a part of--the underground. Seedy nightclubs where anything goes. Punk. Goth. Alternative. Introduce a bad seed of vamps and it becomes a killing ground encased in Spanish moss and horse-drawn tourist carriages. :)
- What is different about the vampires in your books?
I suppose the Dupres are different in that they are a close-knit, true family. Mother. Father. Three brothers. Younger sister. While they indeed are capable of changing into hideous beasts, they do so only to protect and fight for what is theres, or to keep their loved ones, and Savannah, safe. They don't like to feed. They have morales, and they prefer to be humane. They get their nourishment from the Gullah, who has endless supply of their own Red Cross donators!
- Thanks so mcuh for being here today and good luck with Afterlight.
Thank you so much for having me here, and for your interest in Afterlight!
If you want to know more about the author you can check out her website.