Hello Lovely Readers,
Today we are lucky to spend some time with Rose Titus, the amazing author of The Vampire Next Door Trilogy, which we’ve been featuring all week. We think she’s pretty cool and would love to hang out together and hope you think so too!
ILVN: Hey Rose, we are so happy to learn more about you! Tell us a little bit about your life.
RT: Well, besides being a novelist who writes dark fantasy and vampire and werewolf fiction, I’m really just an ordinary working person. I live in New England and I don’t mind the cold, dreary miserable weather here – in fact, I love it! I find it challenging and invigorating. Anyway, I’ve always loved books, especially science fiction and fantasy. I’ve always loved Stephen King and JRR Tolkien, CS Lewis and Terry Goodkind. I also love PN Elrod, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, and Fred Saberhagen. A lot of readers might recall that PN Elrod, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro and Fred Saberhagen have written some really excellent vampire stories and novels. Their old paperbacks fill my shelves. Many cold winter nights, I fall asleep reading Stephen King. I love his work – some people think he writes too simplistically, but I believe he is a genius. He truly understands humanity, both good and evil.
ILVN: How long have you been writing or when did you start?
RT: I feel like I’ve been writing forever, I guess. I’ve actually been writing since I was very little. But I didn’t have anything published until around 1995, when I had a short story published in a small circulation fantasy magazine. From that point, I started writing more and sending more stories out, getting published here and there, and working on my books.
ILVN: Why paranormal/urban fantasy? What drew you to the genre?
RT: It’s like that old saying, “It’s science fiction, you can do anything!” You can use fantasy creatures to symbolize marginalized groups in our society, and to use fantasy to show what troubles our society. My characters may be fantasy creatures, but they have to live in the real world also, and survive in a society that hates and fears them. My characters live in a dark world filled with the sad reality of everyday (or every night) life. In Night Home, we see prejudice against ethnic groups. In After Dark, we see homelessness and crime. In All the Way to the Moon, we have a werewolf who worries about what big corporations are doing to the environment. All these things trouble our real world today. And when cornered, our vampires and werewolves have no choice but to bite back.
ILVN: What comes first for you — the plot or the characters — and why?
RT: An idea for a character comes to me, and then the story gets built around the character. The plot just seems to happen, and the story just seems to write itself. I have this writing process where I turn on the computer, open up a document, and I feel myself go into a trance like state and the story just seems to come out. It’s like the story is out there in the ether and I’m just channeling it somehow. I feel like the story is happening and I’m just typing it. It’s like watching a movie and I’m typing along while I watch it. I don’t know if other writers experience this. Then I proofread it and I’m like, wow, I wrote this stuff? (That’s Cool!)
ILVN: What’s your favorite type of paranormal creature and why?
RT: It’s hard to say – I like them all. With the imagination, you can do anything with them. You can imagine vampires fighting serial killers who stalk the night, or imagine werewolves fighting corporate criminals. You can imagine ghosts who give good advice, or aliens who land in your neighborhood and discover television and then become stupid from watching too much TV.
ILVN: Tell us about your heroine. What inspired her quirks and struggles?
RT: In my first vampire novel Night Home, the heroine, Muriel, is just an ordinary young woman who moves into a small town and finds out that the neighborhood is filled with vampires. But don’t worry, they are actually very good neighbors. It’s when the fanatical vampire hunter shows up that the trouble starts.
ILVN: Would you and your main character get along?
RT: Certainly – after all, aren’t characters that we create just really a part of ourselves? She fixes up her old house, cleans the place up, does the laundry, digs her car out of the snow, and stays up all night reading, just like me. Only I don’t have to worry about a vampire hunter stalking me. I hope I don’t, anyway…!
ILVN: Which of the characters do you relate to the most and why?
RT: In Night Home, the two main female characters are Muriel and Sophie. I can relate to both of them, because Muriel lives a very ordinary, normal life. But I feel like I can relate to Sophie better, being older myself. Sophie is very old – about 200 years old, and very wise, and has had a very difficult and tragic life. She’s lost people she loved, she’s faced hardship, but she’s held her people together and protected people she cares about. She knows she’s made mistakes, and she has regrets, but she doesn’t dwell on it. She deals with it, and moves on. She is not wealthy or powerful, but she has wisdom and strength born from pain. I can relate to her because, well basically, I’m no longer young myself. As I get older, I relate to the more “mature” characters. In After Dark, my second novel, a character I can relate to is Rick. He drives a classic car and he loves taking care of it and working on it. I can relate to this character because I have an old car myself, which I take care of and enjoy working on. It was a real, decades long project to fix it up. But with this car care experience, I can realistically describe the character working on the car. In my third book, All the Way to the Moon, there is the character Sharona. I guess she’s like the part of me that doesn’t want to put up with evil people and wants to put evil in its place. But, Sharona is a werewolf and she has sharp teeth and claws, and I do not. Oh well.
ILVN: What is a significant way your book has changed since the first draft?
RT: It hasn’t changed very much, actually. The writing just sort of flowed out onto the page, and after a good proofreading, I felt it was ready to go.
ILVN: Where can our readers find you?
RT: Readers can visit me on Facebook . I always try to answer all my messages when I can.
ILVN: Thank you Rose!
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