To celebrate the release of the third book in the Vampire Bride Dark Rebirth trilogy, I thought I’d put together a list of behind the scenes facts.
1. The official release date for The Lament of the Vampire Bride is the same date, May 21, as the last entry in The Vengeance of the Vampire Bride. I always knew there would be a leap backwards at the start of the third book, and coincidentally it matched the months I was writing the book. It seemed too perfect that the book would be ready for publication on the same date as Vlad’s intrusion into Glynis’s life at the end of the 2nd book.
2. The original title was The Rise of the Vampire Bride, but the longer I dwelled on the storyline the more hesitant I became at the title. It really didn’t fit the contents of the book, so ditched the title. Almost immediately, the new title sprang into my mind, and it’s perfect. It really captures Glynis’s mindset throughout most of the book.
3. Everything in the third novel has been planned since before I ever finished The Tale of the Vampire Bride. I always knew there was a lot more story to tell and planned multiple books. I had a clear vision of the entire story until the end of Chapter 31 of The Lament of the Vampire Bride. After that, it was murky. I have always relied on Glynis to be my muse and guide me, so I wasn’t too worried about uncovering the end. Sure enough. When I hit that foggy bit, it was like the curtain pulled back and I saw very clearly THE END. And I wept.
4. The opening of the book was originally supposed to be the ending of The Vengeance of the Vampire Bride, but while writing the 2nd book I realized if I included it the page count would run way too long, and it didn’t feel like an appropriate ending. I’m glad I waited. I feel the opening chapters really set the stage for the rest of the book as Glynis realizes how her choices could have very negative repercussions.
5. The complexities of Glynis and Ignatius’s relationship have been in play since the first book and are completely laid bare in the third. When writing a series/trilogy, I always make sure to plant seeds for future developments. Sometimes this means taking some hard knocks in reviews when readers don’t realize I didn’t drop a plot point, or just tossed something in casually. The arc of the love affair of Glynis and Ignatius has always been very clear in my head, and the difficulties they face in this book were always going to come into play. At one point, I sobbed so hard I couldn’t see the screen. Chapter 17 was one of the hardest ones I’ve ever written because both characters are in such emotional turmoil. You’ll see…
6. The weather plays a huge role in the book, especially in the beginning. While doing research, I discovered that Buda experienced a horrible winter that greatly affected the city. Since it fit the time, I was excited to incorporate the blizzard conditions in the novel. Being confined to the palace gives the first part of the book a claustrophobic feel, while also giving a glimpse of the difficulties of life during that time period. One of my favorite scenes in the book is the ice skating one. Believe it or not, I did a ton of research for it. Sometimes it’s the most innocuous things that entail the most research.
7. The most heavily researched part of the series, and especially this book, was in regard to the blood union between Glynis and Vlad. Though the vampire blood tie is completely make believe, it is based on real life. I read about the dynamics of domestic violence, Stockholm Syndrome, Battered Partner Syndrome, the aftermath of rape, sociopaths, and the allure of abusive men and how they weave a web to keep you with them. It’s very clear in the first two books that Vlad is an abusive man and that he feels completely justified in his actions. Once Glynis is physically free of him, the hatred she feels toward him is overwhelming, and sometimes clouds her judgment. But she also made choices, based on her desire to survive and to avoid his brutality, that blurred the lines for her emotionally and mentally. In The Lament of the Vampire Bride, she finally questions her true feelings for Vlad and her previous actions. It’s not always easy for her. Guilt, regret, and fear haunt her. Toward the end of the book I struggled with a lot of what happens between Glynis and Vlad, but at its core I feel it is an accurate portrayal of the dynamics of an abusive relationship. In truth, I feel Glynis’s true strength is revealed when she makes the most difficult choice of her life in regards to Vlad.
8. The horrific thing Vlad does to Glynis in this book is EXACTLY what he told her he would do at the end of The Vengeance of the Vampire Bride. That is one aspect of his personality that is truly frightening. He doesn’t make idle threats. He will do what he says. No matter what. 9. One of the hardest parts of writing this trilogy is the fact it has existed in my head for so very, very long. All my life, actually. When I was a very small girl I dreamed of a woman escaping a castle and a man in black chasing her down and carrying her back. Glynis has been with me for a verrrrrry loooooooong time. Because this story has inhabited my imagination for so long, parts of it was plagued with early writer mistakes. I had yet to learn to let a story evolve naturally, and tried to cram every cool idea I ever had into the mix. When I finally sat down 11 years ago to seriously take a shot at finishing The Tale of the Vampire Bride (which I had been writing on and off for YEARS), I found myself jettisoning huge portions that were nonsensical and obviously there because my younger self thought they were “cool.” One of the things I had to let go of was Laura’s original fate. As the “kill your gays” trope ratcheted up a huge death toll on television, I was forced to face why exactly I decided to kill Laura, and opted to find a better way of dealing with the character. In the end, avoiding this trope made the story much richer.
10. Glynis’s wardrobe is heavily based on real life gowns found in paintings, drawings, and museum photographs. I wanted her gowns to be reflective of her status, but also reveal that despite being a vampire, she’s still a very young woman. A lot of her jewelry was also based on Regency era pieces and Ignatius’s hair locket ring was based on a real ring.
Though the Vampire Bride Dark Rebirth trilogy is finished, I am open to writing a new trilogy about Glynis should she ever decide to drop more stories into my imagination. She’s been an awesome muse, and I hope (and pray) that I’ll get to write about her again in the future. If I do, like I said, I’d like for it to be another trilogy with a whole new story arc.
I’ve also been seriously considering writing the story of Erzsébet, the love of Vlad’s life, and about their love affair and how she became the Impaled Bride. I wrote a short story about her first meeting with Vlad for my recent Facebook release day event, and it had some very positive responses. I plan to revise it just a bit and release it as an exclusive to the subscribers of my newsletter. (You can sign up using the form on the sidebar).
As always, feedback from readers (and sales) will have a huge impact on whether I return to this world or not. Please let your vampire loving friends know about the trilogy, write a review (on Amazon or Goodreads), and let me know what you thought of the trilogy or the idea of an Erzsébet novel through the Contact form on this side, or in comments.