How did we come up with Thaddeus & Sara?
Of course, that short answer isn’t much of a blog post, so I’m going to elaborate a little. First, though, I want to thank the gang at It’s About the Book for having us as their guests today. We’re so excited to have Vespers out in the wild, and even happier to be sharing it with your readers.
So how did we come up with Thaddeus and Sara? Irene’s at least partly right. We started with a premise from a list of possible vampire story ideas that I came up with – at her prompting, I might add. The basic idea was for an m/m retelling of Beauty and the Beast, where the Beast is a vampire, and Beauty is a young college graduate.
To add a bit of early conflict, I wanted Beauty to be called something that could be mistaken for a woman’s name, which prompted me to look beyond American baby books for inspiration. I came up with Sarasija, an Indian name meaning lotus. Sara gets hired in large part because the people hiring him think he’s a woman and when they find out he’s not, well, it’s a problem.
But you’ll have to read the book to figure out why.
Now, the thing I really like about Sara is how Irene created a whole character out of such simple ingredients. I’m going to use her own words to explain how she did it:
So, a lot of the “beauty” traits are still there. I wanted someone who was not only physically attractive, but who had the same positive spirit as the fairytale Beauty. I also used some of the other elements, like the wealthy family falling on hard times. A lot of Sara’s reactions are actually a response to Thaddeus. The world changed drastically over the last century, so there are things that each of them take for granted that the other finds incomprehensible.
There are definitely incomprehensible moments on both sides. Sara’s so bright and joyful, and Thaddeus is so…not those things. Thaddeus is a 115-year-old vampire who was studying to be a monk before he was turned. He fights demons for the Catholic Church in the hopes of one day redeeming his immortal soul. Thaddeus has many good qualities, but in his own mind he is just as much a beast as the big hairy dude in the Disney musical.
In the end our plot doesn’t follow all that closely with the classic story, although I believe the essential theme – how love has the ability to look beyond the surface – will carry through the series. Seeing Thaddeus through Sara’s eyes has allowed me to bring more depth to the character, and I think Irene would say the same thing. Without a doubt, writing as a team made Vespers a better story than anything I could have come up with on my own.
I hope this little teaser inspires you to read more about Thaddeus and Sarasija. Vespers will be on sale for the first week of its release, so grab a copy before the price goes up. We’ve also got a giveaway running for the next few days, so check out the rafflecopter widget or the link below to enter. Thanks so much!
By Irene Preston & Liv Rancourt
Release Date: September 13, 2016
Contact: Irene Preston (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Liv Rancourt (email@example.com)
Blurb: Thaddeus Dupont has had over eighty years to forget…
The vampire spends his nights chanting the Liturgy of the Hours and ruthlessly disciplines those unnatural urges he’s vowed never again to indulge. He is at the command of the White Monks, who summon him at will to destroy demons. In return, the monks provide for his sustenance and promise the return of his immortal soul.
Sarasija Mishra’s most compelling job qualification might be his type O blood…
The 22-year-old college grad just moved across the country to work for some recluse he can’t even find on the internet. Sounds sketchy, but the salary is awesome and he can’t afford to be picky. On arrival he discovers a few details his contract neglected to mention, like the alligator-infested swamp, the demon attacks, and the nature of his employer’s “special diet”. A smart guy would leave, but after one look into Dupont’s mesmerizing eyes, Sarasija can’t seem to walk away. Too bad his boss expected “Sara” to be a girl.
Falling in love is hard at any age…
The vampire can’t fight his hungers forever, especially since Sara’s brought him light, laughter and a very masculine heat. After yielding to temptation, Thaddeus must make a choice. Killing demons may save his soul, but keeping the faith will cost him his heart.
Vespers is a complete novel with no cliffhanger. It can be enjoyed as a standalone or read as the first book in the Hours of the Night series.
About the Authors
About Irene Preston
Irene Preston has to write romances, after all she is living one. As a starving college student, she met her dream man who whisked her away on a romantic honeymoon across Europe. Today they live in the beautiful hill country outside of Austin, Texas where Dream Man is still working hard to make sure she never has to take off her rose-colored glasses.
Where to find Irene
About Liv Rancourt
I write romance: m/f, m/m, and v/h, where the h is for human and the v is for vampire … or sometimes demon … I lean more towards funny than angst. When I’m not writing I take care of tiny premature babies or teenagers, depending on whether I’m at home or at work. My husband is a soul of patience, my dog’s cuteness is legendary, and we share the homestead with three ferrets. Who steal things. Because they’re brats.
Where to find Liv