Have you ever heard an author mention that a character surprised them and took the story in a direction the author hadn’t anticipated? I admit that, before I became a writer myself, I used to accept this with a healthy dose of skepticism. I thought all writers plotted out their stories in detail before writing them. So how could they be surprised?
Very easily, I learned when I picked up the pen myself. I’m what writers call a pantser. I don’t outline novels before I sit down and write them. I “fly by the seat of my pants.” And I can say with honesty that there are characters in my Immortal Guardians series who have totally surprised me, affecting the series arc or plot in ways I hadn’t anticipated. Ami, or Amiriska, was the first. I had no idea, when I began writing DARKNESS DAWNS, that Ami would rise above her torturous past and become Marcus’s heroine in NIGHT REIGNS. Nor did I realize what a prominent role she would play in ensuing books and the series arc.
Bastien is another character who surprised me. When Sebastien Newcombe first appeared in DARKNESS DAWNS, he burst onto the scene as a villain. Heart full of vengeance, Bastien raised an army of psychotic vampires (that’s right – vampires are the bad guys in my series), intent on bringing about the destruction of the Immortal Guardians. His actions then and in NIGHT REIGNS, incited the hatred of immortals, vampires, and humans alike. But there was just something about him that I (and many readers, I was pleased to hear) believed was redeemable. So, in PHANTOM SHADOWS, I lifted a surprising voice in his defense, that of Dr. Melanie Lipton.
The vampires and immortals in my series, you see, are both infected with a rare symbiotic virus that produces the increased speed, strength, and regenerative properties, as well as the photosensitivity and need for blood, that both possess. Vampires are humans who have been infected with the virus, and suffer brain damage that causes them to rapidly descend into madness. Immortals are gifted ones, men and women born with advanced DNA, who have been infected with the virus. Their advanced DNA protects them from the madness and bestows upon them special abilities. Hoping to find either a cure for the virus or a treatment for the madness it causes in humans, Dr. Lipton is a mortal doctor who works hands-on with the only members of Bastien’s vampire army who surrendered to the immortals.
What would happen, I wondered, if Melanie championed Bastien each time someone called for his execution? How many of his scars would heal when bathed by her tenderness? Would the protective barriers he had constructed around his heart crumble beneath the onslaught of her teasing and kindness? Could Bastien, one of the most dangerous villains Immortal Guardians have faced in centuries, in fact, become a hero?
Find out in PHANTOM SHADOWS, Book 3 in my Immortal Guardians paranormal romance series.
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Dianne Duvall is the author of the Immortal Guardians paranormal romance series. Her debut novel DARKNESS DAWNS was nominated for the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best Vampire Romance by RT Book Reviews and for Best Paranormal Romance – Vampire by The Romance Reviews. NIGHT REIGNS, the second book, was declared an “utterly addictive” Top Pick by RT Book Reviews. And PHANTOM SHADOWS, the third book in the series, was deemed “excellent” by RT Book Reviews. In addition to being an avid reader, Dianne loves all things creative. When she isn’t writing, Dianne is active in the independent film industry and once even appeared onscreen as a machete-wielding maniac not unlike the vampires she so loves to create in her novels.
And don’t miss my big kindle contest. In addition to the giveaway here at Romancing the Book (see below), I’m giving away THREE Kindles (or a Kindle Gift Cards if you already have one) to celebrate the release of PHANTOM SHADOWS. See my website for details.