Today, I want to talk about Fictional Books, more specifically, Vampire Fiction. I will admit, I didn’t know absolutely anything about Vampires before Twilight. To be honest, even though I am a sucker for Twilight, I consider it more of a forbidden love story with vampires in it than a Vampire book. In reality, to me, the first Vampire series I read was The Elemental Mystery series by Elizabeth Hunter, and you can’t possibly imagine how glad I am for Elizabeth to have been the one to introduce me to the world of Vampires.
I still remember how I came across this series. I got one of those emails from Amazon… You know the ones I’m talking about right? Where they recommend a few newly released books? Yes, those emails. Well, I got one of those, and among the books they were announcing, one title caught my eye. I have a huge thing for Titles. Maybelis is a sucker for a good cover, but I am a sucker for a good title!
“A Fall of Water” jumped out of the pages, I clicked on the cover, and realized this was the fourth book in The Elemental Mysteries Series. So I looked up the first book, “A Hidden fire”, I went to read the synopsis and on the first sentence I was pulled.
“No Secret stays hidden Forever.”
I didn’t even read the rest, because my curiosity beat my desire of knowing what else the synopsis said. My curious side started asking “What’s the secret?”, and I decided to click “buy it now” just so I could find out.
Within the first pages I discovered a story I not only loved, but became a part of. It’s hard for me to explain how I feel about this books, because to me they weren’t books. They were a world of their own, where I could visit any time I read them. Where I fell in love with Giovanni Vecchio, where I wished I possessed some cool power like they did. These characters became my family, their friends became my friends and Elizabeth became my favorite writer of Vampire Fiction.
I am beyond excited to introduce you all to The Elemental Mysteries by Elizabeth Hunter. I am even more excited about the fact that Elizabeth has agreed to answer some of my questions about the book, her favorite characters and how she came up with this world that became part of mine.
Elizabeth, thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer some of my questions.
1. What made you decide on becoming a writer? Was it always a dream of yours?
I was a technical writer for years, but only started writing creatively in my 30s. I wrote fanfiction for a while for fun, and then I started to branch into original fiction. So writing was a later goal in life, though I always did a lot of not-so-fun writing before. Now, I can’t imagine my life without it.
2. What inspired you to write the Elemental Mysteries? How did you decide to include the Elements with the Vampires?
I love vampire fiction and have since I read Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles in high school. I also love history. When I dreamed up the Elemental World, I loved the idea of exploring all these different characters and their history and philosophy from all over the world, but I wanted something that united them, too. Assigning different characteristics to the elements is common in both eastern and western philosophy, so I decided to go in that direction. And I really loved how it developed. I feel like it adds so much to the whole mythology of the series.
As for specific inspiration for the series, it was really inspired by the character of Giovanni Vecchio. I imagined this immortal character whose life revolved around books. How would he have survived? What would he do with all that time? Would he have friends? What kind of friends would he have? It really grew from that.
3. When did you first have the idea?
Almost a year before A Hidden Fire was published. So… late 2010? A Hidden Fire was published in October of 2011.
4. Why did you choose Fire as the rarest element a vampire could possess? If you were a vampire in your series, which element would you like to control?
It seemed to make sense because fire is so volatile. I liked the idea of having one element that was a wild card. Earth, Air, and Water are all stable. They always exist as they are. Fire bursts out and is extinguished. It’s unpredictable.
I also wanted to keep relatively close to traditional vampire lore (no going out in sunlight, definitely need blood to survive) and fire is considered very deadly in most vampire lore. So I decided that any vampire exhibiting the fire element would be pretty scary to themselves, as well as others. And any character who had the ability to control that would be a character to respect.
As for myself? I’d probably choose Air. I’ve always had a travel bug, since the time I was a girl. Also, flying. Enough said.
5. Who’s your favorite character? Why?
I honestly couldn’t pick one! They’re like kids, I think. They’re all favorites in different ways. I think one that I loved, but maybe readers didn’t think much about until I wrote him, was Terry. (Gemma’s mate in Waterlocked and other stories.) I love Terry and how rough around the edges he is. He’s very intense, but very, very smart. And he loves how powerful his wife is, which is very hot, in my opinion. He’s confident enough in his own power and ability to want a wife as badass as he is. Great, fun character to write.
6. What’s your favorite book in the Series? Why?
Probably A Hidden Fire, just because it’s the first. It’s the book that drops the reader into a new world (hopefully!), and that’s always more than a little magic. Other than that, my favorite book is usually always the one I’m writing or the one I’m planning.
7. Was there an ulterior motive to making your vampires “allergic” to technology?
There wasn’t. It was something that made sense to me, if I was going to make the mythology of the series consistent. If amnis was a real thing in my world, than it made sense that it would mess with modern technology like cell phones and computers. It wasn’t until I really started writing the series that I realized how much technology surrounds us and how that would affect someone trying to live in the modern world. So it became a great plot complication, as well.
8. How did the idea of the Elixir come about? Why is this so important to them when they can already live forever?
It’s easy to see the strengths of supernatural characters like vampires. They’re strong and fast and smart (if they’ve lasted any period of time, that is.) Vampires are powerful on so many levels, so it’s fascinating to me to explore their weaknesses. Sun is the obvious one, but when you think about it, so is the need for blood. And unlike sun, which a vampire can guard him or herself against, the need for blood is something they cannot control. It’s relentless. So, for me, the Elixir really isn’t about conquering thirst, it’s about power. If a vampire could exist without blood thirst, he or she would be immensely powerful, because they wouldn’t have to rely on anyone or anything else for their survival.
Humans have sought the Elixir of Life for centuries. It’s the magic potion that would deliver us from death. So what would a vampire seek? They’ve already conquered death in their own way. They can’t control the sun. Finding a cure to blood thirst became that “holy grail” kind of mission to me.
9.What does the future hold for this great characters? Is there more in the works for Gio and Beatrice?
Gio and Beatrice’s story has, for the most part, come to a close. While they’ve already shown up in other books in the Elemental World, I don’t foresee writing more books specifically about them. If I did, I’d have to do something really horrible to them to create drama, and I like where I left them! So maybe a novella down the line and supporting roles in other books, but probably not new books.
As for what’s next in the Elemental World, I have a lot of ideas. I’ve just published a novella that details some of Tenzin’s background, and I’ve got a novella plotted out for Lucien Thrax. I’d also like to write a book about Murphy, as well as one for Gavin. Tenzin and Ben have a lot of stories to tell, but they’re getting their own series down the line that will be more in the Urban Fantasy vein. So I don’t foresee stopping this series anytime soon. It has the potential to go in a lot of different directions.
10. Do you have a favorite Vampire Series? Which is it? Why?
Probably Anne Rice’s world. Her Vampire Chronicles are so beautifully written, and I think she really delves into the history and philosophy of her characters in a way that few authors do.
But I do love a lot of others. I love Jeanine Frost and Chloe Neil. Deborah Harkness is a great writer, and there are so many other young writers publishing now. Vampire fiction has a lot of exciting books in its future.
One last question…
11. Because we are the Breakfast Blog, if you could have breakfast with anyone, real or fictional, and ask them anything… Who would it be and what would you ask?
You know, having just answered that last question, I’m going to say Anne Rice! She’s such a class act and someone I admire professionally. I’d love to have breakfast with her and chat. But ask me tomorrow and it’ll probably be someone completely different. I’m moody.
Check out her books here
A Hidden Fire, the first book is now free on Amazon, don’t miss out on this witty, imaginative story.
Click on the Giveaway below for a chance to win a Signed Set of the Elemental Mysteries by Elizabeth Hunter along with a few surprise items she will be including herself.