Publication Date: 2nd September 2018
Publisher: Independently Published
Page Length: 611 Pages
Genre: Vampire Romance
Eros finds warm-blooded creatures fascinating...especially the female ones.
Eros is a handsome, ageless, blood-sucking alien who finds refuge on modern-day Earth. Despite coming from an advanced civilization thousands of years ahead of Earth, he falls in love with the charm, compassion, and creativity of humanity. But after outliving his friends and lovers, Eros becomes incensed to find a way to help others live longer—especially after meeting the beautiful and powerful Camellia. And when he hears of the sacred and elusive Fountain of Youth, Eros believes he may be able to keep his love alive for good.
But with Eros's need for female blood and Camellia's mortality and protective mother fighting against their union, will Camellia and Eros find a way to be together today, tomorrow, and forever? This epic love story will have readers' hearts skipping beats and filling with warmth and positivity. Despite its incredible paranormal twists, this love story feels as real and raw as it gets.
Mary Anne: A huge congratulations on your fabulous book, Blood Relations: A New World, could you tell us a little about your book and how you came to write it?
Glenn Stevens: Thank you so much, Mary Anne. I love a good vampire story, but I never quite found one that I could sink my teeth into. There are clearly some good contenders out there, but I was looking for something special, a little different. So, I set out to write my own story. Little did I know it would become my lifetime journey.
Blood Relations is truly one of the greatest stories I’ve ever read or wrote. It’s a captivating, fantasy that I hope captures every reader’s imagination and heart and leaves them feeling really warm inside. These days we especially need a little pick-me-up feel good story! Blood Relations stands in stark contrast to some other vampire tales out there. This is also a story within a story that spans 15 years in the making. After I first wrote this story, I realized it was missing an important part - a deeper understanding of the story’s beginning. So, I wrote a prologue. That prologue turned into what we now know as Blood Relations: A New World. That’s quite a prologue!
A New World is about a Prince who tries to save his family from barbaric monsters that are destroying his home planet, Mira. He is able to escape and find a new home on Planet Earth, only to have his spaceship ambushed by these same monsters as they secretly follow him half-way across the galaxy. When his spaceship crashes, he is ejected and his body smashes into the Carpathian mountainside where he is left for dead. The impact causes him to lose all memory of who he is and the many dangers that now surround him. A human saves his life and in return he will save the planet.
The story resembles The Wizard of Oz, where we follow the Prince on his new journey through life meeting interesting new people, falling in and out of love, discovering his secret powers and succumbing to unknown weaknesses. He’s also alien to Earth with an alien appetite that resembles that of a vampire. Unlike some vampire stories though, Blood Relations shows how important love is to this vampire’s survival, it even shows that love exists throughout the galaxy. And similar to rags to riches stories, this Prince came to Earth with nothing and by the end of the book he is the richest in the world. In the end, Blood Relations is an uplifting adventure that values close friendships, fun fantasies and hopes to leave the reader’s own levels of Oxytocin soaring.
Mary Anne: What is it about vampires, do you think, that stirs the imagination? And why do you think readers are still so endlessly fascinated with them?
Glenn Stevens: I think it depends on the individual person. Vampire characters are incredibly unique. They are rich in variety and work well in almost any setting and role, both male and female. This huge variety fills people’s imaginations with endless possibilities. If you look at real vampires in the insect world you quickly realize how amazing these characters can be. Look at spiders, how they immobilize their victims or parasites how they control the minds of their victims. There are many choices to choose from when creating the vampire character. Then there is the love aspect and why it’s so important to this character if you write it that way. Vampires can be so lonely in their long lifespan or full of love and hope.
Vampires, having lived for hundreds of years, are also far more experienced, smarter, more powerful and incredibly seductive. Not aging keeps them looking young, sexy and vibrant. Add in some mind control, a little suspense and the threat of danger and you have the makings for an explosive story every time.
Mary Anne: Did you have to do much research when it came to writing your novel and if so, did you come across any unexpected surprises?
Glenn Stevens: I did. In an effort to keep Blood Relations as realistic as possible, I had to look at the star charts to pick a home for the Prince about half-way across our Milky Way Galaxy. Had to figure out the distance and travel time. Beginning the story in the 1500’s I needed to research kingdoms of the past, old Spanish Galleon ships that could take Eros across the frightening Atlantic and learn a little more about countries like Romania and the cities within it. I needed to research the east coast of Florida where the Prince eventually would build his Fantasy Island type blood center/resort for the thousands of annual donors.
Then there was the medical research since the Prince wanted to know how his venom protected humans from all sorts of diseases except for aging. I looked at emerging breakthroughs on how researchers today are harnessing the power of viruses to repair broken or damaged DNA and using these viruses to cure diseases. Amazing cutting-edge science. I used that knowledge to enhance the health of everyone the Prince bit as the venom carried within it a version of this miracle virus.
Vampire stories have always fascinated me. So, while writing Blood Relations I asked my writer self why must the vampire bite his victim in the neck? Particularly their jugular. A gross thought I realize but I needed to know since it interested me immensely. One obvious reason is it’s sexual, but what medical reasons could there be? So, I searched for a chemical that can only be created in the human brain and found Oxytocin. It’s the love hormone. With that, the story really came together, and the Prince’s name changed from Stan to Eros, after the God of Love. I was able to add more suspense to the story using this need for Oxytocin and for the need to bite his lover in the neck to capture it. For example, Eros could never bite just anyone. He could only bite someone who trusted and loved him, someone who had the fresh Oxytocin in their blood he needed. I had a lot of fun with this. Another discovery showed what could happen if a woman had too much Oxytocin in her blood, she could become lesbian, and that would work against Eros. That unexpected surprise added a new dimension to the story and with it, new characters.
Mary Anne: What do you think is the most challenging aspect of writing vampire romances?
Glenn Stevens: For me, I think it’s keeping the story as realistic as possible. The reader has to be able to connect with the characters and story at some level. That means keeping it real from bite scenes to deep loving relationships to all the incredible experiences in between. When you think about the vampire character, you’re thinking about someone who never dies. Someone who will need enormous patience and one who will love many people for hundreds if not thousands of years. The worst part of it is he will also have to see all of them die before him. That’s hard on any character. It’s so unbearable for Eros that he sets up a medical center and devotes billions in research desperate to find cures to stop the human aging process.
Then there is the special kind of love a vampire needs such as the kind that brings life. There first must be deep trust between the two so that both can survive. The deepest love is when one shares one’s own life with another to keep the other alive. It’s hard to put that kind of love into words but you sure can feel it in your own heart.
Mary Anne: What advice do you have for an aspiring author?
Glenn Stevens: Writing can be lonely so you must first believe in yourself. I believe everyone has a story in them to share. Because each of us are very different, coming from different life experiences everyone has a unique view of their world around them and thus that unique story.
The best advice I’ve learned is to tell people to never give up. Write often, build that muscle in your brain. Read often to feed your imagination. Try not to talk too much about your writing while it’s a work of art in progress. Save that energy to fuel and energize your writing. There will be plenty of time to talk about your story after it’s released.
Writing should be an adventure. Embrace it! Remember you’re creating something new out of nothing. Take your place at the all-important storyteller table! Enjoy it and keep at it. Learn, grow, and you’ll get better with practice. Ray Bradbury once said you only fail if you stop writing. So, write and write often!
Thank you again so much for interviewing me today.
Thank you so much, Mary Anne, for this wonderful, wonderful interview. My Oxytocin levels are soaring off the chart!ReplyDelete