What is it about vampires that capture your
Kate Baxter: I’ve always been a fan of vampires! I read Anne
Rice’s INTERVIEW WITH A VAMPIRE when I was 17, and after that, I was hooked. I
love the aura of darkness that surrounds them, the intensity of their emotions,
and the potential for so much self-inflicted torture. I love to write internal
conflict and with vampires, there is so much opportunity to explore their angst.
It’s fun to shed a little light on characters who are condemned to live in darkness!
Miranda Owen: The mercenary and morally ambiguous character Christian
pops up in THE LOST VAMPIRE. After writing about him, and including him in the
past books, is he a character you really enjoy writing for – perhaps more so
than when he first appeared?
Kate Baxter: I absolutely LOVE Christian. Along with Siobhan,
he’s one of my favorite characters to write. I definitely consider him a bit of
an antihero and with each book, I fall a little more in love with him! He’s
flawed and self-destructive and a little selfish. His character has room to grow
and at the same time, his character traits have made him street-wise and more
than capable to handle anything that comes his way. He’s strong, but he’ll find
out soon enough that he’s not an island. The allure of the antihero for me is
that despite their insistence on being bad, they’re truly good at their cores.
Christian and Siobhan both have histories that have forced them into the
antihero role. It’s definitely my intention to give them a book of their own,
but it will be down the road a bit. Their story is pretty involved and will need
a lot of build-up before they can have their own story.
Miranda Owen: Can you reveal any of your plans for Sasha, Diego, or
Kate Baxter: Sasha’s story will be revealed in December with
THE WICKED VAMPIRE. I really enjoyed telling her story and pairing her with a
hero who is suited for her wild nature. Diego has a cameo or two in the book as
well as Lucas, though we get to see a lot more of Lucas and get to know him a
little better. His character fascinates me and I love his guileless nature. I
can’t wait to get into his head and see more of what he’s about!
Miranda Owen: What can you tell readers about who the bad guys are in
your “Last True Vampire” world, and what do they want?
Kate Baxter: There are two main factions of antagonists in the
True Vampire world. First, are the Sortiari (Sore-tee-are-ee) AKA, the
bad guys. Or are they…? In the true vampire world, I like to think that there
are no truly good or bad characters. Rather, they serve their own agendas. How
the reader chooses to interpret their actions is up to them. I’m a fan of that
gray moral area. The Sortiari is a secret society of mundane and supernatural
creatures who’ve appointed themselves the guardians of fate. They do what they
can to shape the world around them for the better. At least, they think it’s for
the better. But just like all of us, they’re not without fault.
The second faction of antagonists is the berserkers. These immortal warlords are
the bad-asses of the true vampire world. Immortal, and virtually unkillable, the
only way to send them to the afterlife is by lopping off their heads. They share
the least in common with humans and are more in touch with their animal natures
than even vampires or werewolves are. Without giving too much about their
history away, I will say that the only berserkers in existence are male, making
reproduction a tricky issue. They’ve got a serious grudge about that, too and
are bound and determined to make someone pay for it. I can’t wait to reveal more
about their history and backstory to readers!
Miranda Owen: Once again, we see a wide spectrum of “bad guy” in THE
LOST VAMPIRE. Who was your favorite to write in this particular book, and
Kate Baxter: Oh man, this is a tough one! I have to admit that
I really enjoy writing protagonists. Especially because I love the concept of
the villain being the hero of his own story, which is really the case when it
comes to Ian Gregor. But there was definitely something about Rin that I really
enjoyed writing in this book. He’s so arrogant and morally ambiguous. He’s out
for himself and doesn’t mind stepping on anyone who gets in the way of what he
wants. There’s something completely cavalier about him and it makes him an even
better protagonist. He finds himself in over his head in THE LOST VAMPIRE,
though, and he’s going to find out what it’s like to be at someone else’s mercy.
Miranda Owen: I feel like, in THE LOST VAMPIRE, you’re trying to add
some depth or added interest to Tristan and Ian. Not that they’re necessarily
potential heroes, but it feels like the characters have really spoken to you,
and perhaps you’ve changed their trajectories. Is that correct?
Kate Baxter: This is such a great question!! I’ve actually
never considered Tristan McAlister a villain. The Sortiari feel as though
they’re doing what’s right for the world and they don’t have any qualms about
doing whatever it takes to get the job done. Tristan has definitely made some
bad calls but he also has a detailed backstory that affects his decision-making
process as well. As for Ian Gregor, he’s a more clear-cut bad guy. But, like I
mentioned above, the villain needs to be the hero of his own story. The
Berserkers’ history has shaped them as well. Especially Ian who feels the loss
he’s experienced every day of his existence. He’s a creature driven by vengeance
and whether or not his need for retribution is misguided, in his heart, he feels
as though he’s following the righteous path.
Miranda Owen: Magic and visions play a part in this love story. Which
type of love story do you prefer to write – a fated love between virtual
strangers, or a romance that develops between two characters who have some
degree of familiarity or history?
Kate Baxter: I think it’s possible to have both and that’s what
I prefer to write. Sometimes in life, we meet people that we just “click” with.
It’s so immediate and you feel instantly at ease with that person. Like you’ve
known them forever. I liken those encounters to a fated pairing. But being
immediately connected to someone doesn’t guarantee love or even affection. I
think that love grows over time as you get to know someone. But on the flipside,
with characters like Siobhan and Christian, I have an opportunity to give them
familiarity and history. It complicates the love story and makes it a little
tougher to navigate. Both scenarios have their benefits and I love to explore
all of those many facets of relationships.
Miranda Owen: What is your favorite part of the pairing of Saeed and
Kate Baxter: Saeed’s certainty despite the uncertainty was my
favorite part of their pairing. In the True Vampire world, the tether leaves no
doubt in the character’s mind that they’re with their intended mate. In Saeed’s
case, because of Cerys’s unique situation, there is no tether. That certainty is
gone and he has no actual proof that she’s who he’s meant to be with. But that
doesn’t deter him at all. His faith is unwavering and he trusts in his feelings.
They fall in love organically without the safety net of the tether to guide them.
Miranda Owen: What is your favorite type of heroine to write? Who are
some of your favorite heroines?
Kate Baxter: A feisty heroine is essential to my writing. I’m a
HUGE fan of the “unlikeable heroine.” I admire strong female characters and I
like to write them as being as complex as their male counterparts. I love strong
heroines, but to be strong, I think it’s important to write a heroine who’s
flawed. Claire is a con artist, Naya is stubborn and refuses to accept help,
Bria can be reckless and her naivety can certainly be seen as a flaw. I like
tough heroines, but I also like relatable heroines. And no one is perfect.
Miranda Owen: Naya, the heroine from THE WARRIOR VAMPIRE and recurring
character, is such a fascinating character with all her witchy ways – have you
considered doing a spin-off series either with her and Ronan, or another magic
user themed series?
Kate Baxter: I’m definitely a fan of the magic wielders! I’d
love to do a spin-off or even create a new world that focuses on witches. If I
was going to do a spin-off, I’d follow Luz, Naya’s cousin, and the Bororo
shifters. I’d love to explore their culture and create some myths and legends
for them. The world building could be really fun! Plus, I love that Luz is sort
of a snarky pain in the butt. Though vampires are the focus of the True Vampire
world, I’ll be introducing more magic wielders. Specifically, mages. I’m excited
to start working on their history and mythology as well!
Miranda Owen: One of the things I like so much about your paranormal
romances, is that you maintain a balance between the romance and the action
sequences. Is that important to you to maintain that balance?
Kate Baxter: I’m a huge action fan! I love action movies fight
scenes are one of my favorite things to write. I think it’s important to have a
good balance of action to romance because it keeps the pace of the book moving
along. Too much romance can get boring and too much action can dilute the
emotional journey of the characters. A little bit of both helps keep the story
moving along and helps to keep the reader engaged. Plus, I love to write tough
heroines who know how to hold their own in a scuffle!
Kate Baxter is a die-hard romantic with a thing for Shakespeare. She
lives in the great northwest where she hides away to write about all things
fanged, furry, and undead.
What question would you ask Kate? Tell us below and be entered to win a copy of THE LOST VAMPIRE
9 comments posted.
if you could be in any vampire movie/book/show which would it be? i would want to be in queen of the damned thats my favorite :)
(Dana Hopkins 4:57pm August 3)
Do you work on one book at a time or go back and forth between books in the series?
(Melanie Rosen 10:15pm August 3)