Do you travel the world in your stories? Or stay close to home? Do you make the location of your books a place you’d love to visit or only write about them if you’ve went there in person? Or do you make up a totally new world that only exists in your own mind? Those are the questions I’m confronted with when I start a new project, that is, after I’ve decided on the hero and heroine and their basic storyline.
I currently have five releases, three out on the streets and two soon to be joining them, and each is in a different location. Except for one, I’ve been to all the settings depicted in them. With the two works in progress, I’m having so much fun writing because between the research and the sheer fun and freedom creating entire new locations, writing them got me to thinking—what is more enjoyable? Writing what we know? Or make it up as we go imagining what the experience would be like?
Since starting the current story lines, I have thoroughly enjoyed how they have evolved. Since I am a relatively new author, I had to wonder, do other more experienced authors prefer to write what they know or create a world totally from their imaginations. As one who is always inquisitive, I’d like to get some comments or ask questions about this premise.
Here’s a glimpse of one of the stories I’m working on, A Vampire in Paris and of course, I’ve never been to Paris, France AND I’ve never met a vampire in person, only in my head. The story opens in London, but quickly moves to Paris at the end of Chapter One.
London, U.K.—On the Eve of Change
The night of New Years’ Eve revelry consisted of partying on the promenade along the Thames River watching fireworks and trolling for human prey. Two male vamps lurking near the London Eye picked up two young women up for it. They escorted the ladies to the Chelsea Rose vampire club owned by Christian MacKenzie, one of the predators. The private party continued until just before dawn.
The hip, urban player, the kind of vamp who loved women and had a different one on his arm every night of the week named Ramsey Weiss awakened alone, again. Shortened days this time of year, made waking after the sun set on New Years’ Day for a delightfully long night ahead. With sock-covered feet, wearing a long-sleeved silk shirt under a hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans, he trudged down the stairs of the Christian’s Mayfair townhouse. Ramsey called the elder vamp C.J. and had done so for over a hundred years.
“Bloody hell, it’s freezing in here!” He walked across the squeaky hardwood floors from the bedroom and into the kitchen to pull a bag of blood from the refrigerator. Colder than usual and starving considerably more, he needed the sustenance to warm and feed his body. Wasn’t that an oxymoronic statement, if ever there was one? Grabbing a glass tumbler from the cupboard, he poured the cold sanguine elixir into the goblet and placed it into the microwave to warm the O Positive blood. He preferred A Positive, but C.J. neglected to order in a supply before the holiday weekend. The factory was closed until tomorrow which meant he’d have to supplement the need for more blood at C.J.’s vampire club tonight. Private, members only clubs were safer than the old days of hunting prey on the streets. The human sacrifice nowadays Ramsey only imbibed for sex and the occasional nibble. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d killed during a feeding. Thank goodness for vamp clubs, blood banks, and the invention of synthetic plasma that could be ordered on-line through distributors. Blood to go. He laughed inwardly.
And thank God for C.J. MacKenzie. In his opinion, his friend was a genius and a brilliant savvy businessman, cashing in on the Vampire Rage which started over twenty-five years ago. C.J. founded Nocturnal Entertainment and Hospitality Corporation, also known as NEHC, and made his clubs and resorts not only safe for rich and famous humans to cavort with vampires, but their kind to safely show their fangs without reprisal. The general populace slowly became aware of their existence, but limited to a select few. For the vampire community to survive, secrecy had to be preserved.
Ramsey, on the other hand, worked security and private investigation, occasionally crossing paths with Christian’s business. His friend asked him to join NEHC full-time as the Security Director, but Ramsey found the entertainment business not to his liking, too regimented. Time spent behind a desk was not his métier.
Global Security and Investigative Services, based in London, United Kingdom, with offices in New York, Hong Kong, and a new office in Miami Beach offered more than a job, the sense of independence and getting paid to do work he loved didn’t hurt. He traveled worldwide, providing his special talents—super strength, super speed, and extra-sensitive senses—mainly for affluent humans, rarely for those of lesser means. He loved the adventure, the travel, and the risk-taking the security and investigative work brought to his existence. Spending over two hundred years wandering the earth doing whatever he wanted, when he wanted, had spoiled him and GSIS provided him with exactly what he needed—a sense of importance.
“Did I hear you bitching about the temperature again kid?” C.J. walked into the kitchen, barefooted, wearing only jeans and a short-sleeve T-shirt. The cold didn’t seem to bother him Ramsey noticed.
“Look at you, practically naked in this freezing weather. I’m ready for the tropics. This snow and ice crap is not for me. Why do you think I left Austria years ago?”
“Bitch, bitch, bitch, dude.” The microwave dinged. “Get yer dinner out so I can have mine. I’m starved.”
“Yeah, yeah. So what do you have planned for tonight, bro?” Ramsey asked taking his glass from the microwave.
“I’m going to the club to get some seriously neglected work completed. Better than here where the walls close me in.”
“C’mon bro, you need to get over this depression crap. Payton is out of your life. She chose to give you up. You need to accept her choice and move on.”
“I know yer right. I have to forget her, but it’s not easy. I miss the hell out of her.”
“I told you older women were trouble, bro. Stick to the younger ones. They are less demanding and more fun.”
C.J. shook his head.
“You had fun last night with the women we picked up didn’t you?”
“Aye, but the one I had didn’t compare to Payton. No woman will be like her.”
“No, but you can’t have Payton, so deal with it man.”
“I am dealing in my own way. Give me time.”
Ramsey laughed. “Time is what you have plenty of bro. More like an eternity to forget.”
The microwave dinged. C.J. grabbed his glass and took a large swallow of the heated blood, and left the kitchen for the living room.
Ramsey liked Payton Fleming, C.J.’s mortal love, but she chose to remain human and asked his friend to erase her memory and leave Miami. Ramsey watched his friend’s heart break in a million pieces over the past two months, and he pined for the woman every night. The pain C.J. seemed raw from the outside appearances. Ramsey didn’t know how to console his friend other than take him out, show him a good time with other women, and hope for the best. That’s what he would have done if he lost the love of his life. But, he never would have put his heart on the line the way C.J. did, especially for an older, set in her ways woman, mortal or immortal.
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