Ahoy there, Mateys! I’m Elizabeth Fortin, the harbor master, and I’m hereby standing in for your favorite Mistress of Madness, Captain P. Mattern, so that I can find some buried treasures about her new release, Vampire Orphanage. Wow, pretty creepy title, eh? So welcome aboard, and all hands stop swabbing the decks long enough to listen to her tell you about a dark and mysterious tale that’ll keep you up way past your bedtime. I said, listen up! Do you want to walk the plank?
1. However did you come up with such a great title? Vampire orphanage instantly fills my mind with all sorts of dark and scary images.
I was thinking about how frightening dangerous children are in horror, maybe more so than their adult counterparts because children should be innocent, and the image of vampire children popped into mind, along with the title which is pretty self explanatory.
2. You have many cool creatures in this novel-what is your favorite and why?
The hunchbacked seemingly human girl that is actually concealing fairy wings is my favorite of all of them. I did enjoy the little demonized zombie girl riding on the back of the decaying family pet in one scene, returning to torture her brother Gunner.
3. How do you set the mood when you’re writing an horrific scene?
I think describing the surroundings is important to place the reader in the scene to hear, feel, taste and smell what is happening and to raise the level of tension even before the monster or violent act comes into play. It has to give me a shiver when I am writing it. I have to scare myself!
4. You write mainly horror novels. What is it about the genre that attracts you?
I don’t know of any other genre that affects the reader in such a visceral way. Fear is an emotion felt deeply down. It makes our heart race, and gives us goose bumps and chills. It is raw and primitive and causes us to sit up and pay attention. Horror has an impact and is not easily forgotten. There is an element of horror in every genre I write in. I think it is relatable because life is scary.
5. World building is a huge reason readers are able to suspend their disbelief and enjoy a good paranormal horror tale. What did you think was most important for the world you built for Vampire Orphanage and its large cast of unique characters?
Great question! I thought it was important to make the circumstances seem as normal as possible to begin with. Many infertile couples decide to adopt, and ‘rescue’ orphans. Marley and Tom are a bit different since Marley is a dhamphir, and her desire to adopt vampire children gives the premise a paranormal twist. In my mind, even though they ended up with a baker’s dozen, it was important that all the adopted kids have their own unique personalities. The reader gets to know many of their back stories and better understand why being part of a family is so important to them.
6. The main villain is absolutely horrible, and I love to hate him. Who or what did you envision when creating this dirt-bag?
S. Sava Rakehell IS a dirt-bag, and in the back of my mind I was thinking about those individuals that engage in human trafficking, especially involving children. Is there anything more despicable than those who prey on the most innocent and helpless among us? The angels must weep. He is of that ilk, a really bad dude.
7. Many readers will be able to relate to the feelings and fears these children display. How did you come up with so many unique and interesting personalities?
Well I can tell you they came from all over. Sadie Belle is definitely a little Shirley Temple wannabe, the boys are typical boys and having raised two of my own gave me insight on how they think. All of the children have baggage from past horrors, and I have worked professionally as a Behavioral Specialist in the past so my background gave me a ‘feel’ for how their past circumstances shaped their personalities. Penny is an individual, the girl twins Grace and Chloe are just fun-we have lots of twins in our family tree so they appear in many of my novels.
8. We want to know more about the neighbors too! What a great setting for these kids to grow up in. What did you have in mind when incorporating the folks they interact with?
I originally intended for their neighbor Lark to be a normal, average little girl. And then Lark’s slightly creepy mother showed up in one scene and blew that concept all to hell. It became obvious very quickly that Lark had her own unusual heritage to deal with.
Nonnie, the neighbor across the road, appeared when I became aware of someone close to me being bullied and called a ‘hunchback’. This inspired Nonnie, who has a somewhat noticeable physical abnormality but still manages to hold her head high, make friends, and eventually comes to reveal the breathtaking beauty and skills set that she conceals from the rest of the world.
9. What do you feel the overarching theme of this book is?
I believe we are all seeking validation, in whatever form, be it through the love of a family, friendship, vocation, attention, success, etc. The characters of Vampire Orphanage are no different, and the struggles they go through as they form this unusual blended family just enrich their appreciation of each other and give them purpose for existing. The overall theme would have to do with the idea of ‘belonging’. We all need to feel that we belong.
10. Readers will fall in love with these orphans, and their new parents too. Do you see a sequel on the horizon?
YES! I didn’t know that when I began writing Vampire Orphanage, but it became clear to me halfway into the story that there would have to be a sequel to resolve some of the dangers faced by the Patterson family. Also it was impossible to reveal the back stories of all the orphans between the pages of the first book, not to mention the budding attractions among the teenaged characters. So the ending of the first book is not precisely ‘Happily Ever After’-more like “Happily For Now”.
I am thrilled to have been the Spotlight Author on the Whimsical Herald! Thank you so much Elizabeth Fortin and Tell-Tale Publishing!
From the author of The Forest of Bleeding Trees and other macabre fare, Patricia Mattern, comes yet another chilling tale that will have you up until way past your bedtime!
Marley and Tom are the perfect couple. To see them, you may not even notice that while Tom is human, Marley is a dhamphir, a half vampire. They're just a friendly couple who want a home in the country, filled with laughing, happy children.
Unfortunately they are unable to have any children of their own, so they decide to adopt. After all, there are so many children who need good homes.
They begin to adopt homeless, needy vampire orphans. What children could possibly be more in need of a loving home? In a short time they are delighted to wind up with a baker's dozen. But these rescued kids come with their own baggage: sires, enemies and dangerous secrets that threaten to tear their new family apart.
Will this blended group become a truly happy, loving, integrated family? Will they be able to survive their differences and the dangers lurking around every dark corner? Find out for yourself why Tom and Marley love their sometimes distrustful and always dangerous children, and why they will do anything to keep their family together.
Did I promise you treasures? Thanks so much to the Captain for sharing her horde of fun facts. That’s all the plunder you can carry for now. Oh, wait, you have more room in your knapsack? Then be sure to sign up for the rafflecopter giveaway and try to win a paperback edition of Vampire Orphanage! Now, land ho, you landlubbers.
Mistress of Madness
Well, do you have any idea why a raven is like a writing desk?
Lewis Carroll, in 1897, proposed this answer, "Because it can produce a few notes, though they are very flat; and it is 'never' put with the wrong end in front!" (raven, spelled backward, is nevar aka never...or as we like to say here at TT...never more!)