Dienstag, 4. Oktober 2016

Interview with Lana Campbell

It’s autumn… Leaves are falling, the wind is blowing, and a cold chill is running down your spine… The perfect season for some supernatural fiction about monsters! Nearly two centuries ago (1897), Bram Stoker wrote Dracula
Ever since the day the Transylvanian Count haunted the ordinary household of every family around the world, people were not able to get over the creepy mystery of the bloodsucking gentleman and his wives. Just some years ago, Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight hit the bookstores, and later also the movies’ screens. Young and old loved the idea of nice, vegetarian (yes, that’s what Meyer’s vampires called themselves :) ) romantic monsters. The Cullens were very human, while they also shared very animalistic traits with their forerunner.
Love stories between humans and supernatural beings seem to have a magical power. People are intrigued by the bittersweet danger of being close to your natural enemy. TV series, like True Blood, The Vampire Diaries, and The Originals prove that. All shows of that kind are popular and very successful. 

Since we are just a few weeks away from Halloween, I contacted some new authors of vampire fiction for some questions.
Fiction Author Lana Campbell just released a novel about vampires. I am glad to present you the result of the first supernatural interview :).

Good evening, Lana. Nice to meet you. Please tell us some facts about yourself.

I’ve had a passion for romance reads since early high school.  You could always find a Harlequin romance in my book bag.  In 1994 I decided to try my hand at writing, just for fun.  I really sucked at it in the beginning, but I joined a local writers group and slowly began to improve. 
In 2014 I decided to get serious about writing.  I wanted to publish something.  So I wrote Forever and a Night, the first in a vampire romance series.  I just finished book two and am in the process of looking for an agent. 
Every spare moment I have is devoted to writing or reading.  Writing is in my blood and I wake up every day excited for the next chapters.
I live in Avoca, AR with my oldest daughter, Jessica, my husband Robert and a cat named Felix.  

How many books have you written this far?

Forever and a Night is the first book I’ve published, but I’ve written many over the years.  In my vampire series there are a total of four written so far.  Three are yet to be published.  I intend to write at least six before the series is complete.

“Forever and a Night” is a romance about a vampire running from a human, only to fall in love with another. Would you tell us more about the plot?

My vampires in my Forever and a Night series evolved from humans due to a blood disease that makes it impossible for them to survive without the blood of their sire species.  They are mammals, very much like humans, but throughout their evolutionary process they developed adaptations necessary for survival such as fangs, physic and telekinetic abilities.  Their senses are more astute as well, especially the sense of smell.  When they feed from humans they enchant them then erase their memories of the encounter afterwards.  In the case of my heroine Mia, she has no idea Nathan has fed from her until he reveals this to her later in the story. 

Here’s my synopsis for Forever and a Night:

Nathan Davenport is being stalked by Isabella Ravini, the feral vampire who stole his human life over a hundred and sixty years ago. She makes him her fledging, a slave for her dark, evil purposes—hunting humans. After a few years she releases him, and Nathan reluctantly learns to accept the cursed life she foisted upon him. Over time he amasses a great fortune, which today has made him famous worldwide. Isabella decides she wants to be a part of this world of fame and fortune Nathan created for himself. Shes determined to marry him, and love has nothing to do with it. His money is her primary target, and the fame and prestige attached to being the wife of one of the richest men in the world wouldnt be so bad either. In an effort to evade her, he hides at a safe house he owns in New Orleans. One Saturday evening in NOLA, he decides to have dinner in the city. He chooses a quiet little Italian bistro, never imagining this night will change his life forever. The human woman who delivers his order isnt a server, but the restaurants sous chef, a beautiful ethnic woman possessing the most delicious blood scent hes ever encountered. The moment Mia Peebles arrives at his table with his plate, tasting her becomes an obsession. Mia wants nothing to do with him because of Nathans reputation as a playboy. So Nathan enchants her, feeds from her, but his lusts for her blood and body play havoc with his thinking. Nathan finds a way to bring her into his life as his personal chef and quickly falls in love with her. The trouble is Mia has no idea hes a vampire because during the enchanting episodes, Nathan blocks her memories of those sensual encounters. How will Nathan tell her the truth without losing her and keep Isabella from finding him? Or worst yet, will Isabella discover how much Mia has come to mean to him?

Nathan is a very modern vampire. Could vampires ever hide their nature from mankind?

In my world of vampires, they are easily able to disguise themselves from humans because they appear as normal as any person with two exceptions.  By nature they are bigger animals, taller and possessing more muscle mass.  Their most distinguishing feature would be their eyes.  The colors range just like human eyes, but theirs are always very brilliant, beautiful and in low lighting their eyes shimmer and sparkle, an evolutionary adaptation to beguile a human long enough to enchant them in order to feed. 
In some instances when a human discovers a person to be vampire, the vampire through mind control can erase the persons memory of the encounter which led the human to the discovery.  A side note—since my vampires are mammals they can reproduce with their own kind.  And of course to make the stories interesting, they can turn humans by introducing their blood into a human body.
There is also a spiritual aspect to my story.  Mia is a Christian woman who struggles with what vampires must do to survive. 

Vampire stories are really popular at the moment. There are plenty of TV shows and novels about the sassy bloodsuckers. What, do you think, could be the reason for the hype?

I hear all the time in my circle of writers, agents and publishers that vampire stories are/ has been, but then I also hear just the opposite from others.  My feeling is vampire reads, TV shows and movies will never go obsolete.  There is just something people love about vampires even when they’re evil and nasty looking.  Romance readers seem to want vampires who are sexy bad boys and girls, bigger than life with special powers yet given the right circumstances, the ability to be redeemed somehow.  Nathan my hero vampire in Forever and a Night does some immoral acts to his love interest Mia in the beginning.  Of course in any romance story love must conquer all, so in the end eternal love impacts his life choices and actions.  This isn’t a spoiler alert because every romance no matter the sub-genre makes both protagonists better people in the end when true love reigns.

Nathan is a lonely, older vampire who has given up on love.  Mia is a divorced woman in her forties with three grown children who has also given up on love because of a cheating spouse.  What inspired me to make my characters older was the fact I’m an older reader and very tired of reading stories with eighteen to twenty something year old protagonists.  There is a big desire amongst older readers for books with mature protagonists these days.  Oddly enough however, I’ve had a huge following of YA readers just loving this story.  I think the reason behind this is the characters don’t act or come off as older.  Plus the story moves quickly and is interspersed with a bit of humor and a lot of sexual tension.

What is your favourite TV show, and what is your favourite novel?

My favorite novel or rather series is Twilight which did inspire me to write a vampire romance.  However, I wanted my vampires to be more humanlike.  It bummed me out that poor Edward never ate or slept.  I’m an ex-chef.  I was determined my vampires would enjoy culinary delights, which is why I made Mia a chef. 
My favorite TV show is The Big Bang Theory.  I’m a huge fan and I can’t get enough Sheldon humor.  I hope the series goes on for years to come!

If you had the chance to have your novel adapted into a movie, which actors would you choose?

I’ve been asked who I might like to see play Nathan and Mia if my book was ever made into a movie and the truth is I can’t think of any.  In my mind I’m very clear about how my characters look so chances are I’d probably choose unknown actors who look as close to Nathan and Mia as possible.  Then again if someone wanted to make my book into a movie I’m sure I’d be flexible.

Who is scarier: Frankenstein or Dracula?

To me Dracula is much scarier than Frankenstein.  He’s a shape shifter so who knows where he’ll show up next and as what.

As a child, were you frightened of the monster under your bed?

When I was about five years old my aunt told me a very scary story about an evil monster who lived in my closet and would sometimes hide under my bed.  It was a riveting story, but it scared me so bad I think I was nine or ten before I ever again slept in a bed alone.  My grandmother raised me and the poor woman was a saint.  She put up with my nightmares for years and let me sleep with her so the monster in my closet wouldn’t come out at night to eat me. 

What are your plans for the future?

My plans and goals are to make writing my future career and produce an income I can live on.  I’ve had two other careers in my life.  I was a chef for eight years and a produce farmer for fifteen.  Actually I had three prior careers.  I’ve been a mom for thirty three years and that kept me very busy while my three girls were growing up.  Today however, I need a less physically strenuous career.  Writing is hard work and hard to break into let alone make into a career.  I’ve always owned my own business so I know what hard work is all about.  I believe when a person possesses the drive and determination to make something happen, it will happen.  It may take some time, but one day I will be a writer with a name many will recognize.

What’s your Halloween message for your readers?

Halloween is right around the corner.  What better time to pick up a juicy paranormal read and dive in for a good scare?  Forever and a Night is by no means horror.  It’s a sweet romance with fun, sexy characters, but of course there is the evil, feral vampire, Isabella, who stirs the cauldron of intrigue in the story.  Some of her evil actions will make a reader white knuckle it for awhile, but I promise a good read, a happily ever after and no nightmares involving any sort of monsters under one’s bed.

Good to hear, Lana ;). Thanks for the chat, and good luck with your novel.

For more infos about Lana's work, please visit:

Our next Halloween interview about vampires will be with Amber Schunk-Clubb. So, keep checking the blog ;).

(Intro by H. El-Tahwagi)

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