Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Interview with Theresa Meyers & SALVATION OF THE DAMNED Contest

Vampire Wire is very happy to have Theresa Meyers here today to talk about Salvation of the Damned, which was released this week. Theresa's a debut novelist, but she's a long-time writer with years of experience as a journalist and a publicist, she lives in the Pacific Northwest. She lives and breathes writing and her company, Blue Moon Communications, specializes in promoting fiction writers.

She answers my questions about her own writing and the challenges a writers faces in promoting her work. Perhaps when she drops by, she'll tell us how she got Pierce Brosnan to model for her book cover.

Theresa is also giving away a copy of Salvation of the Damned this week! To enter, leave a comment telling us if there's an actor or actress that you always associate with a fictional character. Simple as that: is Lestat more Tom Cruise or Stuart Townsend or someone else?

The contest runs through Saturday night, and the winner will be drawn at random.


MARTA: Hi, Theresa, and congratulations on the release of your new novella! Would you tell us a little about Salvation of the Damned?

THERESA: Thanks for inviting me! I always love to talk books. OK, let’s be real honest with each other, I just like to talk, period. I’ve been told it’s part of my Italian genetics. First, let me be honest. I’m a vampire virgin. That’s not to say that I’m a virgin and in fact a vampire, but rather that I’ve never written a vampire story before and this is my first.

Salvation of the Damned is a vampire romance novella from Silhouette Nocturne Bites. Every thousand years, a plague ravages the vampire population, bringing them to near extinction. In forty-eight hours, a virus will turn all vampires into their true chronological age and kill them all, unless the right woman is sacrificed. It is a ritual that vampire Raphael has made before. Every millennium, he finds the perfect woman and seduces her so thoroughly that she willing gives her own life and soul to save his kind. But only once in six thousand years has he fallen in love with his victim...

Then he sees Evaline St. Croix at a Mardi Gras costume party and feels the same raw need he felt for Isabeau. Eva feels an instant connection to Raphael, too, as if they've known each other forever. His voice and touch bring strange memories to her mind...and an explosive desire to her body. Could Eva be the reincarnation of Raphael's lost love? And if she is, has he found her again only to lose her once more?

MARTA: You write in a variety of genres, including historical, mystery, and contemporary. What are the challenges/rewards of writing paranormal?

THERESA: Paranormals give me the opportunity to truly indulge my imagination. Really, my characters can do anything (well, ok, within the boundaries of their own world). I’ve always been a fan of paranormal things. I was completely addicted to "The X-Files" when I was young, always read books like Madeline L’Engle’s and the Narnia series, so thinking out of the box really isn’t a total stretch for me. In fact, sometimes I don’t think there is any box, it’s more like thinking out of the swimming pool, and diving into the hot tub. Different change in temperature, and the experience is different, but essentially the same medium.

The challenges of writing in paranormal are in keeping things consistent and fresh. You don’t want to do something other people have done, and yet if you draw from mythology to create your characters and your worlds you’re bound to cross paths with what others are writing too. We all draw from the same well.

MARTA: What was the inspiration for Salvation of the Damned?

THERESA: The vampires in my story, came about for two reasons. First I had this incredibly vivid dream of a man and woman dancing together in a candlelit ballroom where everything disappeared around them into a white mist until it was just the two of them. It later somehow evolved during the same dream into a casket with a fanged skeleton that seemed to morph into her, almost as if invisible spiders were weaving a web that filled out to become her body, and he was waiting there beside her. Weird, I know. I’m still not sure what I ate for dinner that night. But it was so intense that I woke up and had to write it down.

Once I wrote those two scenes, I started to think about it. Then I asked one simple question. Why is it you never hear of vampires that are thousands of years old? They are always hundreds of years old. If they are immortal, why is that? The story sort of grew from there with me thinking of biological reasons that it could happen. Viruses can bring down the biggest, strongest predator, why not a vampire?

MARTA: Most of your work is short fiction. Are you happiest in this format, or is there a full-length novel that you’re itching to write?

THERESA: Actually, I usually tend to write longer books most of the time. It’s just the shorter books that are getting published at the moment. Writing shorter is actually just as difficult as writing a 400-page novel. You’re pushed to create full, well-motivated characters and a full dilemma and resolution in just 5 chapters instead of 20 to 25 chapters. It can be fairly intense. When I write longer fiction I have more time to expand the plot, indulge in subplots and secondary characters that echo what’s happening to my main characters. I can get intricate with the story, adding in research details to really make the character’s experience authentic.

For instance, when I wrote The Spellbound Bride, a Scottish historical that was finalist in the American Title II contest, I spent two years researching all about the witch hunts and the North Berwick Witch Trial in Scotland right at the end of the Elizabethan period. You wouldn’t believe all the weird stuff they did to extract confessions from those poor women and the high level of political intrigue that went on within the nobility.

Right now I’m working on several full length projects - another Scottish historical, two more paranormals and a YA novel. I like to multi-task.

MARTA: You’re writing fiction, as well as running Blue Moon Communications. How do you balance doing publicity for others with your own creative urges?

THERESA: Good question. In my mind it’s two different jobs. Lots of people work more than one job. In fact, for the longest time I tried very hard to keep my PR work and writing completely separate. I worked corporate PR and agency PR. The fiction writing was something just for me that was personal and separate from my education and day job. It wasn’t until my critique partner Cherry Adair roped me into doing PR for her book Hide and Seek that I actually decided to stop fighting it and integrated the two.

I knew what the experience was from a writer’s point of view. I knew what happened as a journalist and a PR professional. I merged the two, creating an agency that was only going to focus on fiction authors (because I’d already done all the consumer product PR for years and had gotten to the point where I wanted a little more challenge) and that took what really worked in consumer product PR and applied it to books. So far it’s been a successful combination and one that compliments what an in-house promotions department does, rather than duplicating any efforts.

MARTA: Okay, answer quickly without thinking. Spike or Lestat? Vampires or werewolves? AC/DC or Evanescence? Jack Daniels or a wine spritzer? Gerard Butler or Brad Pitt? Hello, Kitty or Bart Simpson?

THERESA: Lestat (I have a thing for European history that he’d understand). Vamps (weres make me think of my dog too much and I just can’t seem to go there). AC/DC ("You Shook Me All Night Long" is “our” song for my husband and me. We danced to it on our first date.) Wine Spritzer (because I’m such a total lightweight when it comes to alcohol). Gerard or Brad-sheesh you’re seriously gonna make me pick? Either! Both! Is there any reason I can’t have both? Bart, only because he’s got snark down to an art and I like my cats a little less pink and cutsy.

MARTA: I’m one of those sad authors cluelessly trying to publicize my books. Yeah, we’re all on networking sites futilely pitching to one another before we cry ourselves to sleep at night. Okay, maybe it isn’t as dire as that, but can you give us any advice that we might not know already, or else we’ve heard it, but don’t believe it?

THERESA: There are a few things I always tell authors that I’ve found to be consistent truths:

1) Not every tool is going to work for every author. Pick the tools that are right for you. What I mean is that everything is a tool, bookmarks, ads in magazines, websites, blogs, contests, speaking engagements, book signings, etc. You have to really look at yourself and figure out where are your strengths and limitations. If you can’t travel much because of a job or family obligations, then going on a book tour probably isn’t the best idea for you.

Hate to speak in front of people? Then don’t force yourself to. Love to speak in front of people? Then give workshops on what you know. Be consistent in your messages because it takes upwards of 25 impressions of the same message to get people to act.

2) Don’t spend money on ANYTHING unless you have three good uses for it. And by good uses I mean solid things that make sense, not just because another author in your chapter did it and you want to keep up. For instance, a lot of authors ask, should I get bookmarks? I answer, what are you going to use them for? Doorstops aren’t a good idea. If you’ve got it set up to mail them out to readers’ groups, you are going to offer them as giveaways to fans who write in to help you build your newsletter list, and you have booksellers that have asked for them, then those are three good reasons. Without three good reasons, skip it.

This does not apply to websites. You automatically have three good reasons for a professional website because without an Internet presence people (and that includes media) don’t believe you're real. Media go to the web first when deciding to interview someone and you need a way to reach out to readers and the web is the most cost effective way to do it.

3) Remember when dealing with the media that they don’t care you’ve written a book. Fiction doesn’t count to them. You have to have some other hook to grab their attention. Use what you know from your day job, create a community angle with your story by volunteering or talking at schools, tap into your local-kid-makes-good angle or have it tie into a local event. Be persistent, but professional.

PR professionals often have to make 25 to 50 calls to get one interview so don’t get discouraged. And I don’t care what they say, EVERYTHING is on the record, so if you don’t want it quoted, don’t say it-even as a joke or an aside comment.

MARTA: Where can readers find out more about your books and keep up with your news?

THERESA: Readers can find me online at my new redesigned website. I blog regularly with my American Title sisters at Title Wave. T

They can find Salvation of the Damned (and get it at a discount!) at Nocturne Bites. Thanks so much for inviting me, this was a lot of fun!


Thanks to Theresa for telling us about her new book and for her great advice!

Read an excerpt Salvation of the Damned.

Remember to leave a comment if you'd like to enter the contest for Salvation of the Damned.


We continue with the GVD's David Boreanaz Week. Because if DB doesn't deserve Right Said Fred, no one does.


Book Spot said...

Jensen Ackles(well, Dean actually) got Right Said Fred on an SPN soundtrack I made ;) (but I need to get on a computer where I can see the DB vid).

My answer for the actor/fictional character question is either DB and Angel or James Maraters & Spike (who is getting *no* love on blogs this week).
And for whatever reason I kind of thought the cover model looked like John Barrowman, actually. (I seem to have the comment o' randomness).

Marta said...

And this is why we love Jensen and "Supernatural" -- it really has the best music.

Why isn't Spike getting the love? He's one of my favorite characters. I would take him and his beat-up Caddy with blacked out windows and The Clash blasting over any LA vamp in a convertible. (How dumb is that?)

The cover dude does look a little like Barrowman. I'm waiting for the return of "Torchwood."

Theresa Meyers said...

Hi Book Spot,

Funny thing is that I never even thought about my cover guy looking like Pierce until Marta pointed it out. So I suppose he could look like Barrowman too.

Thanks for stopping by!

Best Regards,

Theresa Meyers said...


Thanks for inviting me and thanks for the comparison to Pierce! It made my day!

Best Regards,

Shell said...

Theresa, your book sounds really good.
Well, for Lestat, I think of Stuart Townsend. Also, actor Rutger Hauer , when he was younger, who Anne Rice had said she based the way Lestat looked on him.
Roger Moore who everyone connects to James Bond. I always think of him as The Saint. The old tv show from the 60's which I use to watch on reruns as a kid.

Barb P said...

I'm sorry everyone, but to me, Sean Connery will always be 007. Theresa, the book sounds awesome! I can't wait to read it. Marta and Theresa, thanks for having the contest. Have a good one!

Valorie said...

You know, there is no character that I automatically assign an actor to or vice versa. Though, I do think that Tom Cruise made an awesome Lestat and the two of them fit well together.


Dracenea said...

When I think of Stuart Townsend, I think of Lestat. He just doesn't fit in other roles. Even when he was Kolchak, I waited for the fangs to come out. : ) Also, Kyle Schmid will always be Henry to me. *drool*

Diana Dang said...

The story sounds quite interesting!

RachieG said...

:) The story sounds awesome!

For some reason, when I read Sherrilyn Kenyon's books, I picture in my head Nick Carter from the Backstreet Boys as "Nick" from the books. NO IDEA WHY!! I don't even think Nick Carter is that hot, but for some reason, that's who I picture and their crazily linked!

rachie2004 at yahoo dot com

Theresa Meyers said...

Hi Shell,

Thanks for your comment!

I've always connected Sean Connery to James Bond, even though I think my favorite has been Pierce Brosnan.

Did you happen to see the movie The Saint with Val Kilmer? I think it was based on the show from the 60s you mentioned.

Theresa Meyers said...

Hi Barb P.

I have to agree with you on the Sean Connery thing. Thanks for stopping by!

Theresa Meyers said...

Hi Valorie,

I think Cruise made a good Lestat, but for some reason I really had a hard time seeing him blonde. (Even though Lestat is.)

Thanks for your comment.

Theresa Meyers said...

Hi Dracenea,

Thanks for your insights. Glad you stopped by.

Theresa Meyers said...

Hi Diana Dang,

I'm glad you came by Marta's blog to visit with me.

Theresa Meyers said...

Hi RachieG,

I hope you enjoy the book! Nick, huh? Never thought of it that way, but I guess that could work. ;)

Thanks for the comment!

donnas said...

Great interview. Thanks for coming and introducing us to your book. It sounds great.

Stuart Townsend is Lestat.

Blodeuedd said...

Well, ever since I saw Orlando Bloom for the first time as Legolas, he is Legolas :)

Lise said...

I've been reading Anita Blake series again and I SO see Catherine Zeta Jones, sassy, sexy, dark and mysterious! If and when a movie is ever made I can just see her...now I'm wondering who Jean Claude's role could be filled by?

Jenni said...

Theresa, I'm so excited about your story. I can't wait to read it! I'm a huge fan of the Diana Gabaldon Outlander books, I always put Gerry Butler in Jamie's kilt! I need a visual for Roarke in the JD Robb books because he's the sexiest fictional character ever!

Cecile said...

Hello Martha, I am new to this blog. Thanks for having me here!
I love Pierce Bronsnan, but Sean Connery will always be my James Bond. Tom Cruise maybe with dark hair would do it for me, but I have to go with Stuart.
If the cover does not offer a person to look at, then I do find that I try to "find" a person that I have seen already (actor, model, or just friend) to connect to the character I am reading about.
Theresa, the book sounds awesome! I will definitely be looking the books up to read! Thanks for the heads up!

Marta said...

I'm posting this for MelK, who had a problem posting here:

Hello again Theresa,
I told you how badly I want to read SALVATION but how does one get their hands on SPELLBOUND BRIDE? I'd love to read it!
I try very hard not to associate famous people with book characters. I'd rather use my imagination. It drives me crazy when I buy a book that's soon to be a motion picture and there's someone famous on the cover. Good example: THE DUCHESS. I don't want to associate the Duchess with Kiera Knightley who's on the cover.
I'm an aspiring writer so thank you for the advice.
This is an excellent post!

Mel K.

Karen W. said...

Hi, Theresa,

Good luck with the book! It sounds great and right up my alley. :)

I don't tend to associate famous actors with the characters I read about either. I tend to form my own picture of them and like it that way.

Marta said...

Karen, when I write my characters, I can see them in my head, but they don't look like anyone famous. They just look like themselves.

Theresa Meyers said...

Hi Donnas,

I'm glad you stopped by. Thanks for the comment!

Theresa Meyers said...

Hi Blodeuedd,

Mmmm. . .Bloom as Legolas. Excuse me while I mop up the drool.

Theresa Meyers said...

Hi Lise,

I can see Catherine Zeta Jones as Anita. That makes perfect sense. Thanks for the comment!

Theresa Meyers said...

Hi Jenni!

Good to see you! Yeah, I think Gerard would win as Jamie hands down. Thanks for stopping by.

Theresa Meyers said...

Hi Cecile,

I really prefer the James Bond movies with either Sean Connery or Pierce Brosnan in them. Somehow to me James Bond should have dark hair.

Thanks for stopping by the blog!

Theresa Meyers said...

Hi Mel K.,

Humm, Spellbound Bride. Well, that's a bit of a long story. Initially it was supposed to come out in print in May 2007. Ten days before it was to be in stores the publisher went bankrupt so the book never came out.

Right now it's under consideration with another publisher and I'm waiting to hear back from them. So the that's the long answer. The short answer is I hope you'll be able to get it sooner than later!

Theresa Meyers said...

Hi Karen W.,

I'm right with you. When I see my characters, they just look like themselves too me in my head--not someone famous. Well, except this one book where I could completely picture Jessica Alba as the pickpocketing regency debutante in my mind.

Thanks for the comment!

okibi-insanity said...

Hi Theresa!!

Good luck on the book! It sounds really awesome!
Lestat is definitely more Stuart Townsend! After watching the Dresden Files on TV, I often associate Paul Blackthorne to Harry Dresden everytime I read the book.


Dracenea said...

Sue, I'm hooked on reading the Dresden Files books right now and I do the same thing. I even picture Murphy from the show even though the book describes her differently. If there is a tv show or movie coming out based on a book, I won't read the book until I've seen the show/movie. Otherwise it gets messed up. : )