Hello everyone! Today, we have another amazing author, Tessa Stokes with us. Tessa has several novels under her belt covering Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy as well as Young Adult genres. Book one of "The Ruthin Trilogy" is "Devon Ruthin and A Vampire in Love" which is an Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance combination.
Tessa, thank you for taking your time to share with everyone a little about yourself and your work.
To get things started, Tessa, writing under the genres of Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy, which require building an entire world around your characters. Can you tell us what it took to create the world of Devon Ruthin?
That’s a really good question and has made me think about what I did do. I remember getting the idea for the book after visiting a medieval market town in the south west of England. It has a Norman abbey with some extraordinarily old tombs and effigies in there and I just started thinking about this character who could live in a town like that hidden amongst everyone else. Suddenly I had a whole crowd of characters in my head. They are the ancient beings in the story and then along comes Bliss and who does she meet? Well my gorgeous character Devon and then the story just went wild. I don’t know how I built the world it just came out of my head onto the computer. That’s how I write most times. A character suddenly speaks to me and we’re off and writing madly.
I am sure when Devon spoke to you that you realized "vampires" are a very hot commodity today, there are many books out there to choose from. What is it about your vampires that you want everyone to know which may set them apart from other authors?
I wish I could say something more convincing but I think my vampires are such characters they are identifiable. You know them. There’s Greta hiding her lust for Drew and yet being in love with Pearl. Pearl that cool as an iced coffee, sharp as a knife vampire who is the epitome of a powerful person gone wrong. As she says herself, ‘she’s the least trustworthy person she knows’. The young vampire woman who loves Drew and searches his pockets for signs he has another lover. The vampire community live with what they are in various ways. Drew uses it to his full advantage and he’s a bad boy vampire with a weird past and a weirder future, if you continue to read the Trilogy. His companions are supposed to be funny sometimes. They do Drew’s bidding out of some misplaced loyalty in volume one but they start to question that in volume two and in their sudden realization that Drew is no longer as dangerous as he was they become more confident and have opinions. Jake who suddenly wants a window painted with seaweed patterns. The fun elements are to offset the darkness of Drew who in volume one is a consummate killer and the strange echo of darkness surrounding the ancient magical beings.
I agree that character personalities is core to a successful book, and speaking of success, ever since the Beatles, Americans have been crazy for anything British. How do you think being from the UK may give you an advantage over other authors?
I don’t actually think that. It never entered my head and now you've asked I can’t see it being an advantage. The scenes I paint in my books are of English places and the voices are quite English, but I hope that the emotional content is universal, and that’s what is important to me that everyone actually gets the characters, engages with them and the story.
I agree, emotional content is definitely universal, take Devon for example, he is a true romantic at heart, no matter his background. When you were creating him, how hard was it to bring a Vampire over to the side of love and still not lose the Vampire in him?
Interesting question. Not hard at all. I think he moved towards love when he saw his own kind (vampires) turning against each other. It primed him to question them and their way of life, including his own. Of course that element of his move to love was facilitated by my creation of the community of ancient magical beings. They incidentally are loosely based on people in the ancient world.
How wonderfully creative. Now Devon's love interest is Bliss and she is a doll, her sweetness and vulnerability resonates from the pages. Was it hard to bring her out of her comfort zone when writing the book?
Bliss was sick to death of her life when she drove off on holiday and I have met one or two real people who like her take that leap of faith into change. I've met an awful lot of single women who live their life alone because somehow they never meet anyone. There’s no reason for them not to be loved and yet they are not.
There is no Devon for them and they might change their job and location but still life does not give them love. Bliss is a character in a story and so she gets it.
Bliss however is not quite finished. In volume three which I am currently writing we discover the real reason she was called Bliss, and what really happened when her mother died in that car crash. Bliss is what you say, but she has some deeper aspects not yet revealed. She’s devoted to Devon and he to her, and that will never change. When she goes after Devon in volume one it’s supposed to give you a clue that she has some deeper things going on. She was vulnerable but now Devon loves her and she will fight for him, for his survival, to protect him.
I am impressed that you delve into the world of the lonely romantic when writing your book. I am sure it captures those hearts out there that are searching for love, giving them hope to not stop in their quest.
Now to go into the dark side of the paranormal. Would you like to comment on the bad guys in the book? I see a raw and untamed side and want to know more about it, please share with us your dark side.
My own dark side? I just see the world from the angle of someone who has traveled and lived in many different places and situations. I’ve worked in some eye-opening jobs in that I have seen and dealt with all segments of society, and as Greta said, “seen some things and done more”. LOL
I like to make my ‘bad guys’ not completely overtly bad. As myself, I despise violence and yet the vampire bad guys can’t help what they do. It’s in their nature. I wanted to give clues to some of them being inherently more prone to unpleasant behavior. They use each other, they lie and cheat, they have a core of cruelty that they are just born with. Then there are the bad guys who just end up that way because life just never gives them one break and so stealing, cheating, being outside of society is just their way of life. Their spirit gets broken and they think 'what the Hell'.
Again, you have built layers to these characters that will cause a reader to absorb them fully and then, the reader will have a new found appreciation for each one. Depth in writing is so important in romance for me anyway.
Tessa, I love your passion for writing and would you please take a moment and let everyone know what other wonderful novels you have available, also what is the next big thing?
I have the second volume of The Ruthin trilogy available, Drew Ruthin and the Blood of changes. That book is my favorite out of the two right now because Drew just took over there and went on a journey that I never expected to be able to ‘see’ as an author. He was helped out by the emergence of Balthazar Crane. Now he is an interesting character because he enabled me to make inroads into the psyche of the ancient magical beings with ease. The second volume is also more erotic than the first volume because the love stories are more intense.
I have a standalone novel ‘Stone Kisses’ available on kindle.
It’s modern urban fantasy, a true romance, a little erotic and very endearing. I re-read it recently when I was preparing the second edition and actually fell back in love with the story. (smiles)
Stella is a young woman living alone, working at her graphic design business, and has not had a man in her life for a long time and feels very lonely.
It’s summer and she looks around her, sees only couples, and she ends up longing for love or at least kisses.
Some distance away, Apollo and Mercury live reasonably peacefully on the outskirts of town. These two gods are left over from ancient times. They have a game they play and Stella our heroine gets caught up in it.
Stella is working hard to pay her mortgage when she becomes entangled in the game.
She is in her garden and looks back at her house, she sees it needs painting but unable to afford this she decides to buy flowers for her garden to brighten it up.
In a garden center buying flowers, Stella meets Justin. He is beautiful, strong, and attracted to her. He decides to pursue her.
She also finds a garden statue she would like, a statue of Mercury the winged messenger.
Justin knows she wants the statue and he gifts it to her.
Let the game begin.
I’m working on the third volume in The Ruthin Trilogy right now. The Ruthin Pact: Volume three in The Ruthin Trilogy.
I also write a YA urban fantasy The Seven Spell Saga, and I am working on the seventh and therefor last book in that series too.
I have another standalone that is a couple of chapters in but on hold for the time being as I really do want to finish the Ruthin’s story.
Awesome, and thank you so much for being here today!
Tessa has lived in many places in the world because of her work, but currently resides in the United Kingdom where she was born.
She writes character driven stories, which are a genre blend of urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and real life. Her books are heavily romantic. Tessa likes to write erotic and paranormal romance as well as contemporary fantasy as she says this gives her more scope for happy endings, which she thinks we all crave. Tessa has always been writing something, academic curriculum, advertising copy, fiction, presently she writes paranormal romance/urban fantasy romance, and blogs. Tessa loves to wander around the ancient places, historical sites, and ruined castles of the UK where she often finds inspiration.
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