When I wrote the first book in the series that became The Edinburgh Vampires (Ravensclaw, first published as Waltz with a Vampire), I wasn’t thinking of writing a sequel. I was under contract to Kensington, and the book was meant to be a one-off, playing against type — the vampire who doesn’t mind being a vampire, the heroine who is more inquisitive than afraid. I thought of it as ‘A Regency Romance with Vampires’. By the time I was done with the book, however, I’d fallen in love with the characters. Then Kensington dropped their Regency line and I was left in the position of doing anything I wanted (though it didn’t seem like that at the time).
Eventually, that freedom led to the second book in the series: Vampire, Bespelled. At that point, I knew I would continue with a third book somewhere down the road. What I didn’t realize, until it came time for that third book, was how difficult it would be to write. I reworked the first seven or eight chapters seven or eight times trying to find the right approach.
Or, more specifically, the right heroine.
Cezar, the hero of A Judgment of Vampires, is the vampire Master of Edinburgh. Cezar doesn’t suffer fools gladly. More cerebral than physical, though he can be very physical, he is both powerful and dangerous, the quintessential alpha male. His character was firmly established in the first two books.
Unlike his comrades, first Val and then Andrei, Cezar isn’t one to angst/obsess over a female, human or otherwise. He has far too many other things to contend with. Romance has no place among his priorities.
Well, hell, I thought. This book is supposed to be, at least on some level, a romance.
It seemed obvious to me that my heroine was going to have to be, like Cezar himself, rather more than human. I had numerous ideas and presented them all. Cezar wasn’t interested. I couldn’t make that part of the story work.
Other parts of the story, however, were moving along quite nicely. I was on the right track with everything else. Finally I conceded and changed my original heroine to a secondary character, then brought in a different female for Cezar’s consideration.
This time, to my relief, he approved.
I have never had a character be so calmly uncooperative. It wasn’t a matter of me writing scenes that weren’t right for him, but more a matter of him simply refusing to be present in those scenes.
I should have expected no less. He is the vampire Master of Edinburgh, after all.