Guest post by Susannah Sandlin, author of Redemption, a paranormal romance about a pandemic, a ghost town, an old grudge, a new love—and vampires.
When authors are asked where our ideas come from, the answer is usually complicated. Take Redemption, the first in my new paranormal romance series about a vampire world on the brink of starvation after a pandemic vaccine turns the blood of vaccinated human poisonous to their kind.
Truth is, authors are kind of like geeky chefs with dictionaries. We take a pinch of an idea here, add a dash of brainstorm, and stir in a few stray thoughts. We mix our ingredients together, let them ferment it in the old brain pan for a few months, and—voila—out comes a novel.
Redemptionbegan with a cough—namely, mine. I had the dreaded swine flu. Vaccines had been delayed, and the pandemic was spreading around the world with infected airline passengers. As I thrashed around with fever, I thought…What if a flu vaccine changed human blood so vampires couldn’t feed from anyone who’d had it?
When you’re feverish, demented stuff like that seems perfectly normal.
As I recovered, I became engrossed in a news story about a kidnapping victim who’d developed Stockholm Syndrome. And in my fevered mind, I wondered: If you’re kidnapped and fall for your kidnapper, who’s to really say if it’s Stockholm Syndrome? Couldn’t her feelings be real? And what if the kidnapper was a vampire who couldn’t feed from people who’d had a flu vaccine?
Well, you see where this is going.
The final piece of Redemption came during a Sunday afternoon drive in the country. I came upon an isolated community that had become a virtual ghost town after the textile industry left. What if a vampire bought the abandoned property? What if he couldn’t feed from humans who’d had a pandemic vaccine? What if he kidnapped someone and fell in love?
Meet master vampire Aidan Murphy, unvaccinated doctor Krystal Harris, and the town of Penton, Alabama. Mix, stir, bake.
Susannah Sandlin lives in Auburn, Alabama, where she’s figuring out how to combine her love for vampires with her love of SEC football. An award-winning magazine editor by day, she writes paranormal romance and urban fantasy by night.