Today we go to the dark side with Kristin Battestella, author of the Vampire family saga, Fate & Fangs.
Her latest, Struggle: Elizabeth in America, is book 3 in the Fate & Fangs series, which includes Love: Ann and the Viking; and Punishment: Lilith's Trials.
About the Book:
Seeking solace and solitude from her unhappy home life as the unloved wife of Antonio, Elizabeth travels to colonial America in Professor James’ third account. On the outskirts of the white man’s civilization, Elizabeth meets Rain, a young Kiowa warrior on a vision quest. Will his lack of fear, search for answers, and gripping hothouse experience help her face those very vampire truths she sought to escape?
Other books in the series:
Talking with the author:
INSPIRATION AND HISTORY:
For me, the most interesting parts of STRUGGLE are the American Indian aspects. Though it is very much about the titular Elizabeth, we also meet future Welshire vampire Rain and explore Native America philosophy on vampires. This was one of the early Tales from the Vampire Family that I had written when I first began what became the first novel. We simply don't get western or colonial American vampires that much and I wanted to explore that area. Everyone around the world has undead mythology, why do we always go for the stereotypical widow's peak or brooding dreamboat?
WHAT IF... you met your characters in real life...
Honestly, I suspect I'd never meet them, as I don't haunt the same underbelly fringes as they do. But if I did, I suspect I might not live very long. The Welshire vampires are not friendly. You are either with them or food. We like to think it would be so cool. Um, no, it wouldn't be!!
THE AUTHOR IN THE STORY:
I suppose when I first began as a young write with The Vampire Family, the characters might have been different expects of me projected onto the page. Victoria, star of Debauchery and Humanity, my new Fate and Fangs release, is the complete opposite of me, a decadent abomination.
However, over the years the players have taken on a life of their own. I also try not to base characters on anyone. It's nice to get an idea or two from people or photos, but things like blonde hair or blue eyes come later on for me.
The personality and what makes a character tick is far more important. Why is this vampire good in this evil world? How can this vamp be so cruel? Which type of person am I? I'd rather have the reader thinking about themselves in relation to the read rather than seeing me the author in every player.
The Welshire vamps and their rival Lilithan coven has different powers and defenses. Some shift into cats, others wolves, crows, mist, fire. Lots of those powers were shown off in my 2008 novel with Eternal Press, The Vampire Family. In Fate and Fangs, however, the personal historicals take focus.
STRUGGLE is more Native American and takes place in Colonial America. Debauchery Book 4, gets ruthless during the Civil War. Again, I enjoy exploring different types of vampires and places in unexpected ways. No high school sparkle here. I didn't have a bad time in high school, but to go back there with such mundane romance seems so dull to me compared to all the times and places we haven't been. The vamps in Fate and Fangs go to dark places and do very naughty things!
I began writing about vamps a long time ago. I enjoy the historical aspects, and myths and societal mirrors they represent. I've read a lot of non fiction and research on different types of vampires around the world, shapeshifting, elements. I wasn't seeing anything in the nineties vamp wise that I liked, so I wrote all this stuff down my own way. I write other material, but always end up back in genre. I enjoy bending the fantastical in ways that say something about us, who we are, where we come from, and where we're going.
EXCERPT OF STRUGGLE:
Such as it is, I prefer to do my roaming as the wolf. The hunting is quick and swift in my transformed state, and there’s less of a vampire or blood trail. The colonists I first encountered here are very superstitious of witches and other unnatural creatures, but small feeding game such as rabbit, raccoons, and possums are common enough. It’s safer to mind my own business away from any human prey. Besides, the wolf’s fur is warm and the smaller size also helps me climb and nestle in places my vampire form could not. I suppose I could simply levitate to the warmer plains or moderate coastal inlets, but I want to see this land, feel this new country beneath my feet—or rather my paws.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Kristin Battestella says she never got to go as far in college as she intended thanks to a bad case of Lyme Disease that knocked her out for eight years. "I'd still like to go to school and be a minister someday, believe it or not."
Before getting married, she worked mostly in senior health care, making elderly people laugh and helping them to realize that their lives were just beginning, not ending.
"Truthfully, I don't fit into to the 9-to-5 office or retail grind. I've tried it, and cried myself to sleep at not over knowing that it was totally not the place I was meant to be. I've always written, I've always been a storyteller. It just seems natural to me. I suppose it is my job, but I don't perceive it that way, expecting to work normal hours or be paid in regular ways. It is art, life, breath!"