I would like to take this opportunity to thank C.R. Moss for spotlighting me once again. Sit back, grab a cup of java, and enjoy the story that brought me to the publication of Cassadaga Moon.
How did this book come about? I go through many different processes when I sit down to write, however, with Cassadaga Moon, I literally stepped into the world of ‘real vampires’, aka, sang and psy. I began to research the lifestyle or as some say subculture seven years ago. I was preparing to write my first romance novel, and wanted something different. I needed a great hook. I’d always heard about people, who’d believed they were vampiric, however, I thought it was a hoax that is until I started doing my research. I read every book I could get my hands on, specifically those written by Arlene Russo and Katherine Ramsland. Then I started sniffing around online. The vampire community, specifically the Atlanta Vampire Alliance, helped me in understanding the subculture through several different interviews. And then I was lucky enough to meet-up with a few sang vampires in the Las Vegas area who helped my understanding even further. They are a very private group, which is totally understandable, so I let them choose the times and places of our meetings.
So, I took what I knew about the subculture and decided that I wanted to push the envelope further by bringing the fetish of bloodplay into my story. I learned through my research that there is a fine line between the two, and that many people confuse vampirism with bloodplay. They are not the same. However, many people who are vampires delve into that fetish on occasion.
However, for my story, I wanted my hero to like bloodplay too. I wanted to up the ante as much as possible. So with a storyline that encompassed a good Catholic girl and a real vampire with a much darker side, I wrote the book. After several re-writes I felt it was finished and I was ready to find an agent. Not so easy.
In April of 2011, I put my research experience into a journalistic article. The article was published in the Scorpion’s Tale. I thought it would be fun to give you a sneak peak into the world I’d stepped into in preparation for this book. I'd love to hear your comments!
Original article published in the April 2011 edition. Names have been changed to protect the participants.
~ VAMPIRES AMONG US ~In a dark alley away from the neon lights of the Las Vegas strip guests, by invitation only, filter into a private club. By day many of the patrons are lawyers, doctors, parents, teachers and college students. But by night, they enter the establishment with one common goal, to ingest human blood.
As the guests mingle inside the small room cast against light and shadow, a woman dressed in a dark blue business suit approached the booth. Minus a formal invitation, with a flick of her wrist, she swept her dark brown curls over her shoulder and slid into the open seat.
“Donor or vampire?” the woman who requested to be called Jazz asked. A ghost of a smile moved across her face before she nodded in understanding. “I see. Glad you’ve come.”
Real vampirism is alive and well and a way of life for thousands of people all over the world.
The Vampire Church, an organization designed for real vampires to obtain fellowship, argues on their website, www.vampire-church.com, that, “Vampirism is about the inherent ability to acquire unique needed life giving energy resources.”
According to the Pennsylvania Vampire Alliance people practice the art of blood drinking in every part of the world. “Reality television celebrities like Don Henrie—The Vampire—have made our way of life suddenly seem acceptable,” Spade, an alliance member said.
“Realizing you are a vampire is a very personal thing,” Jonathan Thomas admitted. “I realized I was a vampire when I could no longer satisfy hunger, my need for pranic energy, with food and thirst with drink.”
Pranic energy is what sanguinarians (blood drinkers) argue they lack. This lack of energy in their bodies causes severe headaches leading into constant migraines, as well as chronic fatigue. No amounts of caffeine or stimulants help alleviate the pain. Emotional upset, wild mood swings, and depression are common occurrences in those that lack the energy.
“For me, this all started years ago,” Melanie Merrick, a local college student said as she gently sliced into the pallid skin of her donor’s shoulder with a small razor. After surveying the area, she covered the cut with her mouth for a few seconds before she gazed up and continued.
“I was having problems with constant headaches that the doctors couldn’t understand,” she said. “The blood is the only thing that helps. I’ve been a pin cushion for doctors and I thank God I finally found my answer to living a normal—well…somewhat normal life.”
Merrick licked her donor’s wound a second time before re-focusing her big brown eyes on the conversation at hand. “The biggest things didn’t manifest until a little later. For about four years I had a specific desire…a hunger that I denied severely.”
In another area of the club a tall man, who referred to himself as Zane slipped a cigarette from his jean jacket and placed it between his lips then lit it. He drew in a deep breath before he exhaled.
“Realizing I was a vampire was miserable—physically, psychically, and mentally,” he said. “It takes a toll on ones life with the stress of being different, of being considered a freak. You worry what will happen when your friends and family learn that you drink blood. You’re a minority man, and it sucks.”
For many real vampires the awakening process is described as a double-edged sword. They have finally found out what is physically wrong with their bodies, however, life as they’ve known it is forever changed.
One of the biggest challenges for this unique group is securing donors willing to share their blood.
(end of snippet...)
Stop the press. I mean I knew that the subject matter of this book was dark, however, I didn’t realize how dark until the rejection letters began to pile up in my office. And most of them said the same thing, that the material was to dark, to the point I would most likely scare readers. But, I kept pushing because the story wasn’t about the vampirism (that just happened to be a really kick-ass conflict) it was about the love between a jaded and broken man with a different belief system and a Catholic girl.
So, 350 rejection letters later, Siren Publishing picked up Cassadaga Moon. They felt the story was intriguing and very unique, and thus they took a chance on the book and my story came to fruition.
At this point in time…the rejection stack is 351. I recently received another rejection, that I’ve inserted into my binder that reads – Books Rejected After Publication. It’s crazy…
In closing I would like to say: If you have a story that you truly believe in, don’t stop until it finds a home. How many well-known authors have been rejected on stories that have turned out to be best-selling books? Do the research, you will find out that there are a ton of authors out there who just kept believing in their stories and pushing forward.
Cassadaga Moon ~ A Siren Erotic Romance ~ Blurb...
In the quaint town of Cassadaga, Florida, life isn’t quite what it seems. For the strictly raised Catholic Mia Christini, life is nothing like it seems. There are only three things Mia is sure of—her best friend Cindi might just be crazy, her boss is losing control, and morals are overrated.
Weary of existing by a moral compass, she is ready and waiting for a one-night stand. She’s twentysomething, and it’s about time. When Jordan De L’croix sets his sights on her, she finds out that her integrity isn’t the only thing she needs to worry about, especially from a man who gets, or takes, what he wants with ease.
And what he craves isn’t just her virginity. He craves her blood, redemption, and true love.
Contemporary Erotic Romance ~ Note: Hero and heroine involved in acts of vampirism.
RM Sotera is a romance vixen stuck in the body of a prim and proper woman. A transplant to Las Vegas, by day she is a wife, mom, taxi driver, counselor, and psychologist to her wild and, at times, crazy friends. But when the family goes to bed and the house is dark, she seeks refuge in her office where her deepest desires take hold. And…ultimately a story is born. Read a story by RM Sotera
~Where Happily Ever After Is Just The Beginning~RM is currently working on the next book in the Stiletto Sanction series – Vegas Moon. In the meantime, you can find her here:
Amazon Author Page
Siren Bookstrand Author Page
Vice President - Las Vegas Romance Writers
Double D Ranch Tales
Thanks for joining us here today, RM, and giving us insight into the story behind the story Cassadaga Moon!