Christine Feehan on Drake Sisters, her vampires and why Alpha males rock! August 30, 2009Posted by Diana McCabe in Authors.
Tags: christine feehan, dark slayer, drake sisters, shifters, vampires
You want vampires who are out to save the world? Shapeshifters who live in the jungle? Military men and women with
supernatural powers? Or what about a family story of seven magical sisters, each searching for true love? New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan’s got ‘em all. I was lured into the paranormal world in large part by Christine’s DARK SERIES, about her Carpathian vampires searching for their lifemates. Then I discovered she had a military/science fiction series (GHOSTWALKERS) and also promptly read her LEOPARD SERIES (shifters). But I really liked the idea of a sisters series, and have read all of the DRAKE SISTERS books, including her last HIDDEN CURRENTS, which some fans considered too raw and violent. Christine has published more than 40 novels and won numerous awards for her books. Each of her four series has hit No. 1 on the New Times Best Seller list. She answered some questions for us about her latest Drake Sisters book, her vampires and why she thinks Alpha males rock. (Her next book — DARK SLAYER — is due out Tuesday.)
Q. Where did the idea for the series on seven magical sisters come from? (Did it have anything to do with your childhood and growing up in a large family?)
A. Absolutely it did! I loved growing up in a large family and now, as we have children of our own, we’re all still close. Our children are close as well. I have ten sisters and seven daughters so I knew writing the familiarity of sisters would be fun. Setting the stories on my favorite coastline (Northern California) was an added bonus!
Q. On your Web site, you show us the towns and buildings that inspired you to create the Drake sisters’ house and town. But that house — it’s an entity itself. Tell us more about it because it’s a character in each book.
A. I have to confess, I had a wonderful time thinking about that house and how it would emerge over the generations. I liked the idea of making the house change itself to suit each new generation and the personalities of the occupants. Because it wasn’t human and I didn’t have restrictions, I could really bring the paranormal element into the house.
Q. I’ve gotta ask …. why does the seventh daughter bear the next magical generation –7 children!!!!!! Is it a concept embedded in lore?
A. That’s an age-old myth that I just applied to my Drake sisters.
Q. Your Drake sisters series developed over time — in some ways touching on some very sensitive issues. Hannah’s story (her initial disfigurement) was brave. Did you always know that would be her story?
A. Yes. I knew the story might be controversial, but if an author is going to bring in an issue such as human trafficking into a story, I think you owe it to those who are survivors and victims to make certain readers feel and identify with the realities of the horror they suffer. I did a great deal of research and the numbers were terrifying. While there is no way to portray each individual and how they handle recovery, the way the partner needs to handle it is the same, and I did my best to portray that.
Q. Your latest Drake sisters novel — HIDDEN CURRENTS -- was that a challenge to write because of the violence that Elle suffers? What did you want readers to take away from her story?
A. I did so much research as well having spent years working with survivors so I felt I knew my subject well enough to give a good portrayal, although I did soft soap what actually happens because I was writing romance. Even having done that, some people had a difficult time with the subject matter, although I was lucky enough to get thousands of wonderful letters, including a few from people working in human trafficking thanking me for writing on the subject. I wanted readers to know there is life after the worst traumas, that, yes, it will always haunt you, but, you can build a life again. And I wanted the partners of survivors to know you have to let them set the pace and that sometimes things will be all right and other times not, but it can still work. Every survivor deserves a happy ending with an understanding partner.
Q. Is Hidden Currents the last of the Drake sisters stories?
A. I have a book for each sister, but I never say never. I may revisit them at sometime. I am writing a sisters of the heart series set in Sea Haven, so of course they will know the Drakes. We’ll see the people of Sea Haven including the Drakes occasionally.
Q. You write so many different types of stories. Not just the Drake sisters, but the Ghostwalkers series, the Dark series, the Leopard series and other stories. How do you keep them all straight? As a writer, are you working on several at one time or do you focus on one series at a time?
A. I write one book at a time. I don’t like writing two of the same series in a row because I don’t want to get bored. I like to mix it up and I like the different voices and different research. For me, it keeps everything fresh.
Q. Across all of your novels, you have strong women — but totally hunky, Alpha males! Why do you think fans continue to find Alpha males so intriguing?
A. The idea of a strong, protective male who loves his family and his woman above all else is very sexy.
Q. Vampires are all of the rage now. But you have a very interesting twist on the traditional vampire tale. What was your inspiration for the Carpathians?
A. I’ve always enjoyed myths and legends and in every country and culture there is some sort of vampire legend. I liked the idea of figuring out where they came from and how they came to be spread around the world.
Q. How did you decide that your Carpathians would see colors when they find their lifemates?
A. I lost my son in an accident and climbing out of that experience was long and very difficult. I felt like I was numb, going through the motions, but no longer able to feel so that my world felt black and white. I gave that same loss to the Carpathians. In some ways, writing their stories helps me in my life.
Q. What is it that draws you to write paranormal romance?
A. I love the scope it gives me for my imagination to run free. Also, with paranormal I’m allowed a little more leeway with Alpha males who otherwise wouldn’t be accepted because they would never be politically correct.
Q. Tell us a little bit about what you have coming up! (The trailer for Dark Slayer and the snippet I read from the back of Hidden Currents sounds intriguing! A mage and Carpathians and wolves!)
A. Dark Slayer was an almost magical book to write. The main characters were two amazing people who I came to love and respect. Each morning I would wake up eager to get to work, just to be with them. This is a love story about two people who need one another and deserve happiness. I hope my readers enjoy it!
Q. Anything else you’d like to add?
A. Thank you for the opportunity to connect with my readers. We have a small community on the Web site where we discuss my various titles and where I can answer questions. It’s free to join and we’re having a good time meeting old and new friends so please feel free to come join us!
Check out Christine’s fab Web site HERE. She’s got FAQs, everything you want to know about each book and all kind of cool details on her research.
Check out a video clip of DARK SLAYER: