Fangtastic Friday Welcomes Theresa Meyers

Today, Embrace the Shadows welcomes Theresa Meyers, whose new book from Harlequin Nocturne, The Truth About Vampires, debuted in late February. 

Here’s a snippet from Theresa’s delightful new book…

All her life Seattle reporter Kristin Reed sought her breakout story. She never thought she’d find it in the crimson lair of a real life creature of the night. Kristin never believed vampires existed—until with dark brooding eyes and a decadent chocolate scent, Dmitri Dionotte called out to her…

Dmitri and his clan’s true nature was cloaked in secrecy until a warring vampire order threatened their existence. Kristin was just the woman he needed. She couldn’t resist their story…or Dmitri. Her blood pulsed hot and furious when he touched her, and with his kiss, all logic fled. But each night she spent with her vampire lover brought her closer to death and destruction. A death not even an immortal could triumph over.

Sounds yummy!  Okay, Theresa, now for your questions…

Your vampires have characteristics that enable them to function well in a human world.  Tell us a bit about your unique creatures of the night.

My “truth” about vampires is influenced by ancient myths, biology and a heavy dose of imagination. While my vampires can go out into sunlight, they don’t prefer to. They can eat food, appear to breathe (if they choose to) and their fangs are retracted into their gums so their teeth appear normal unless they’re hungry, aroused or angry—then watch out. In addition to amped up senses (sight, hearing, touch) they have certain abilities.

They can flux, which is turn invisible to the human eye. They can transport, moving from place to place, as long as they’ve been there before. They can talk to one another via mind communication, they can materialize objects and they possess venom that can liquefy flesh. And they live in clans, with their eye color denoting which lineage they are associated with unless they’ve given up their free will and become part of the hivemind of a nest of reivers. But perhaps two things that makes them unique is their ability to change to suit the most intimate fantasies of their prey (hence the smell of chocolate) and their knack for what I laughingly told my editor was vampire mind sex (who says you have to be limited to one mouth and one set of hands if you can control the sensations in someone’s mind?)

Unlike some other kinds of vampires, I’ve given my some inherent weaknesses as well, because biologically speaking even the top predator can be taken down by something, such a virus. While garlic, holy water and stakes aren’t much use, my vampires are susceptible to a virus that can turn their kind to their correct chronological age in 48 hours. Dead man’s blood acts as a fast-acting poison that can incapacitate them for short periods of time, and the metals silver and orchalcuim disrupt their nervous system and muscular functions.

Who are your favorite vampire authors and what about them appeals to you?

I really enjoy the vampires in Kim Harrison’s books that involve all kinds of paranormals, but her living vampire, Ivy, is fantastic because she straddles the world between the dead and the undead. I also enjoy J.R. Ward’s vampires for their kick-ass-take-no-prisoners attitude. I like Yasmin Galenorn’s Otherworld series featuring three sisters who are half-fae half-human, one of whom was turned into a vampire against her will. Her stories are populated with all kinds of fantastic supernatural creatures and the bond the sisters share is fascinating. I enjoyed the Twilight series, but find myself honestly being more of a member of Team Jacob (I know, blasphemy for a vampire author). My favorite vampires are actually in movies. Lost Boys is one of my favorites because the monsters are really just trying to create a family and it gives the audience such a twist in view point to consider them that way.

Your day job (Blue Moon Communications) focuses on providing public relations for fiction writers.  (My background is public relations, too, though for corporate clients.)  Do you find it difficult (maybe tedious is a better word) to do your own promotion?

Good question. You know how they say the cobbler’s children have no shoes? Yeah. That. Not only do I find it a challenge sometimes to do work for my own books, so I end up subcontracting some things I know that people can do which will save me time to focus on the overall marketing and promotional strategic planning. In the last year I’ve actually moved the agency away from doing strictly public relations with a focus on media. We’re making some exciting changes. In the near future you’ll see our introduction of a whole new range of services offering a mix of marketing, public relations strategic planning and writing, as well as virtual assistant services. We’ll be opening up to help not just authors, but other kinds of businesses who are finding it a challenge to navigate and compete in today’s economy.

You have quite a menagerie at your homestead in the Pacific Northwest.  I was intrigued to learn you have a mini Aussie shepherd.  Tell us about him/her.  Were mini Aussies bred down from big Aussies?  What did they do, mate an Aussie with a Chihuahua?

LOL. Toby is about four years old pure bred blue merle miniature Australian Shepherd with two pale blue eyes and a naturally docked tail. We purchased him from a breeder in Oregon. There are actually toy-sized mini Aussies too that are about the size of a Chichuahua! They’re still pure bred Aussies, they’ve just been selectively bred over many generations for smaller size with the same conformation so that they can be a companion breed for people in apartments or who like the smaller size of the miniatures which max out at about 30 to 35 pounds or toys that are under 20 lbs. He’s incredibly smart and loyal, and even at his size he thinks of himself as a working dog, trying to herd the cats, the horse, the chickens, the kids…really whatever he can. He’s got a lot of voice commands and hand commands down so when we say “Round ‘em up” he’ll run circles around the chickens and get them all herded into their pen in under about 40 seconds. If we tell him “dead” he’ll lay down on his back, feet up in the air, tongue lolling out.

How’s that overgrown herb garden coming?

I cut it back for the winter, so it’ll grow better in the spring. Right now I’ve got two different lavenders planted all over, I’ve also got a huge rosemary bush and several sage bushes. Unfortunately the curry didn’t make it through the snow we had and froze. About April the other herbs will pop up: tarragon, chives, garlic chives, rue, lemon balm, oregano, parsley, coriander/cilantro, stevia, basil, chocolate mint, peppermint, spearamint, applemint and pineapple mint and any other ones I get to add to the mix this year. I love cooking with and making oils with fresh herbs.

And finally (just for fun), if you could be the gal Friday to anyone in history, who would it be…and why?

Wow, I actually had to think about that. I really enjoy history and there’s just so many things I’d have like to seen or done at the right hand of any number of people like Leonardo D’Vinci, Chaucer, Queen Elizabeth or even Jane Austen. But in analyzing it, I’d probably have to say Queen Victoria. I’ve always been a bit of a nut about the Victorian era, so being in that era when the world was changing so significantly and England was a global leader would have been fascinating, especially to be in the thick of things at court and being in the midst of the industrial revolution, but still firmly entrenched in the time when things were elegant as well as functional and made by hand by craftsmen with pride in their work. Besides, you had most of the modern conveniences by then, which is something to take into account. I actually like flushing toilets and running hot water and artificial gas or electric lighting and the absence of the black plague. And Queen Victorian reigned for such a long time, it would have been a fairly secure position.

Thanks, Theresa, and best of luck with The Truth About Vampires.

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