At this point The Kilburn Vampires series consists of two published works—the first story and the last, which actually was written and published first. Highland Vampire is a Spice Brief that initially was intended to be a standalone. But I really liked it, and when one of my critique partners told me that it was a Gothic, I was like, “Oh, yeah! Right! So it is!”
I’d written a story in a genre I enjoyed but hadn’t really thought of it in that way. I am actually not entirely sure from what part of my psyche Highland Vampire came. But I liked it, and remembered loving books by Victoria Holt and Mary Stewart who, essentially, wrote modern Gothics.
Highland Vampire is contemporary, and because I liked it so much, I wanted to do more with the same setting and themes. People like vamps, so why not? But I was stumped as to how. I didn’t want to write a futuristic. I can’t conceive Scotland far into the future without the place losing its essential character. I love Scotland and can’t stand the thought of the place changing too much. And if the place hasn’t changed, what’s the point of a futuristic? So I went backwards, figuring that if J.R.R. Tolkien got away with it, I could also. (The Adventures of Tom Bombadil—remember him? was published long before The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings).
And so the premise of Temptation in Tartan evolved. A Gothic requires a damsel in distress, a broody hero and a scary old mansion or castle—all wonderful romantic elements. Because the tale was set in the past, but had to be erotic, I had to get the hero and the heroine married ASAP so they could have a lot of sex. And what trope would work? A marriage of convenience. I picked the years after the tragedy of Culloden Moor to give my hero and heroine a reason to wed.
And I had to make everything in Temptation conform to what I’d written in Highland Vampire. Okay, the books take place about 250 years apart, but readers like consistency and I do also.
At this time, both have been published and I’m about halfway through the sequel to Temptation in Tartan. Its tentative title is Desire in Tartan, and it’s set about twelve years after the main action in Temptation is over. There’s a broody hero. And a damsel in distress. And a scary castle. But beyond that…I ain’t sayin'.
Tomorrow: Suz de Mello Day 7: Where Am I Now and Where Am I Going?
Best-selling, award-winning author Sue Swift, a.k.a Suz deMello, has written over fifteen novels, plus several short stories and non-fiction articles. She writes in numerous genres including romance, mystery, paranormal, historical, contemporary comedy and erotica. She’s a freelance editor who’s worked for Total-E-Bound, Ai Press, Liquid Silver Books and Etopia Press. She also takes on private clients.
Her books have been favorably reviewed in PW, Kirkus and Booklist, attained the finals of the RITA and reached the top ten on a bestseller list.
A former trial attorney, she resides in northern California. Her passion is world travel, and she’s left the US over a dozen times, including stints working overseas for many months.
Right now, she's working on her next manuscript and planning her next trip.
Her blog is at http://www.fearlessfastpacedfiction.com. Find her reading picks @ReadThis4fun on Twitter, and befriend her on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/SueSwift).