Interview with Ally Thomas, author of The Vampire From Hell series
About the Author:
Ally Thomas loves writing paranormal books that showcase vampires, werewolves, zombies, witches, and any furry monsters who go bump in the night. She enjoys imagining new origins for these traditional creatures and seeing where it'll take her.
Ally lives in the south with her husband and unproductive furry co-workers including two cats and a dog. She is currently working on the next installment of the paranormal series, the Vampire from Hell and the upcoming paranormal romance series, Fanged Love.
Firstly, tell us about your book/series.
My series is about a daughter of Satan who rebels against her father to fight for the good of mankind. Rayea isn't daddy's little girl, even if he is the most powerful fallen angel around. He wants her to take an active role in the family business. But she's not interested in his schemes for world domination. Instead she wants to spend her time shopping on the Internet, rescuing humans from a horrific eternity, and practicing martial arts with her seven foot hellhound. Then one day everything changes.
What are you working on at the moment?
Currently I’m splitting my time between working on Part 4 of the Vampire from Hell series and on another writing project under a pseudonym, Victoria Embers. Not many people know that, so I guess I just let the cat out off the bag.
What inspired you to become a writer?
I sometimes think of things I want to accomplish as ‘experiments’ and that’s how I approached writing when I decided to get serious about writing in 2010. 2011 as going to be my year to write a short story and maybe see if I could get it published. That was my goal. I was taking a short story class and wrote Part 1 for that class. I didn’t have any idea that anyone would like my story ideas because I had never been brave enough to share my ideas with anyone. When the instructor told me she liked the ‘Satan’s Daughter’ idea (as I called it then) and encouraged me to get it published, I didn’t look back. Had I not had that encouragement from that published author I doubt I would have ever moved on trying to write.
How long have you been writing?
I’ve always written in journals from the time I was a kid, but I’d say my career as a writer started January 9, 2011 with the publication of “The Vampire from Hell (Part 1 – The Beginning)”.
Is there anything that you find challenging about being a writer?
Making myself write. I’m trying to become more disciplined with it. When I had a full-time job, I’d get up very early to write in the morning before work. I was laid off in December so it’s been easier to get 1,000 or 2,000 words written every day or every other day.
Do you write freehand at all or straight onto your pc?
I do both actually. I stuff a journal with written ideas, strings of dialogue, concepts I want to remember and then I type my story in Microsoft Word.
Do you have a strict writing routine/word count per day?
Not especially. However I do know now that I can’t wait for the muse to find me and sit down to write. I have to write whether I want to or not. Writing in the early morning is the best time for me so I try to write between 4 am and 10 am before I have to get other stuff done for the day.
What do you think causes people’s enduring fascination with vampires?
That’s a great question. I’ve been a fan since I read Anne Rice’s series, the Vampire Chronicles as a kid. I’ve been asked before if I could write a story that didn’t have vampires in it and I don’t think I could. I love them that much. The fascination? Maybe it’s simply the unknown, the mystery, the seduction of the vampire.
Do you have any plans to write in a different genre in the future?
I do actually. I consider myself a paranormal or fantasy writer because the Vampire from Hell series doesn’t have romance in it. It’s not a romance story. But still people have asked me who my heroine is ultimately going to get with. They want to know who her main squeeze is going to be, so I’m likely going to be writing a paranormal romance series called Fanged Love that is a spin-off from the current series. I’m also working on a side project writing under a pseudonym as well. It’s going to be more of a steamy romance story about a vampire and werewolf who want to be together even though their worlds keep tearing them apart from one another.
In the event of a zombie apocalypse what item would you make sure that you took with you to your underground safety bunker? (we will presume that your family are already safely in the bunker!)
That’s easy. My notebook probably. I’d say my laptop or Iphone because I never go anywhere without either of them but I’d be SOL after the batteries died so the basic pen and paper would have to do.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
I have several friends that told me they wanted to write when I published my first story and it seemed to them that I had made it as a writer. I don’t think of myself like that because my books don’t really sell in massive quantities. I have a core set of fans who love to read my books. But I suggested that they start out with writing the story idea in their head. Just sit down and try to do it. It didn’t have to be much, just a start. Two of those friends of mine are now published romance authors.
Is there anything you would like to say to your readers?
I have the best fans in the world I think! A lot of people have taken the time to contact me and express what reading my current series, the Vampire from Hell means to them. I’ve had a few people tell me that they didn’t really like to read until they picked up my series. To me, reading is the greatest escape I enjoy next to writing, so hearing something like that from a reader blows my mind. Emails, posts to my Facebook wall, comments on my blog, and tweets put the wind in my sails to forge ahead as I continue to juggle working by day and writing at night. It makes waking up at 2 am to write easier, knowing someone is out there waiting to find out what Rayea will be doing next. As always, I write for them and I thank them for reading my books!
About the Vampire from Hell
According to Rayea, the oldest daughter of Satan, the origin of vampires started in Hell, and it started with her. Ally Thomas offers the first volume of the Vampire from Hell series in this collection. It includes the first three parts of the series.
“The Vampire from Hell (Part 1) – The Beginning” – Rayea isn't daddy's little girl, even if he is the most powerful fallen angel around. He wants her to take an active role in the family business. But she's not interested in his schemes for world domination. Instead she wants to spend her time shopping on the Internet, rescuing humans from a horrific eternity, and practicing martial arts with her seven foot hellhound. Then one day everything changes.
“The Vampire from Hell (Part 2) – A Vampire Among Angels” – Living a life with an overbearing father can be a challenge. For Rayea whose father is the fallen angel, Lucifer, it's been torture. In the second installment of the series, Rayea finds peace when she visits the House of G. There she hopes for a new beginning among Blick's angelic friends, only to discover a vampire from Hell may not be welcome.
“The Vampire from Hell (Part 3) – A Vampire On Vacation” – As a vampire from Hell, Rayea's life is rather complicated so when she's given an opportunity to take a vacation on Earth, she jumps at the chance. She's coming to terms with being a vampire and knowing her father is out of her life for good. In the third part of the series, Rayea travels to Earth hoping to meet her online friends, leave her disturbing past behind her, and embark on a new future without her meddling family.
Excerpt from the upcoming “The Vampire from Hell Returns (The Vampire from Hell – Part 4)”
Preface – Destination Unknown
When I sat down to write this blog entry, what you are about to read now, I really just typed it in like I was on a very crazy, very scary ride at the fair. That's why I want to apologize now and tell you up front that I am okay. In the course of your reading, you may forget that I told you that fact. I've re-read some parts of the story and I'm still amazed at what happened, what I had to do as one of J's big ‘training exercises' for me. Oh well, it had to be done at some point. Anyways don't freak out over this entry. It's one of the more scary adventures I have shared with you.
Also I need to briefly mention that sometimes in the grand scheme of things, life throws us challenges we didn't know we could conquer until we actually have. I've thought about that over the last few months because being a vampire is far more complicated that I ever would have expected. Being a vampire (typically thought of as an evil creature) who fights for the good guys instead of the bad guys is what I want to do, but I know now that sometimes it comes with sacrifices. I still silently grieved for those we've lost.
Additionally I'm a maker now. I realize that means I am a big sister or mother figure to my fledglings, but I don't like to think of it that way because I'm not old enough in human years to be a mom. I don't get wrapped up in the age discussion because usually I can't walk up to a god or angel and inquiry how old they are. And i don't want to bring light to the fact that I am only twenty-three. I guess I'll forever be twenty-three. That age, and even Grace's age of 19 is still young in my book, but it is what it is as Lynn would say and I can't be guilty about who I have made into vampires.
Either way being a maker now means I'm ultimately responsible for everyone who has drunk my blood. No one told me that. Not that I had my father to teach me, or have wanted him to teach me anything. I don't think of my father, Satan as a great role model. That's why having J as a guide or mentor has been a plus for me. Somehow he just knows a lot about ‘supernatural beings.' He rarely uses the word ‘vampire' anymore. His advice on how to be a smart, yet a kind maker has helped me a great deal with Grace.
She is the second person I made. Really she's the first because I don't count Michael's drinking my blood without my knowledge, but J does, and the Council does, so I understand their point. I now understand that turning a person into a vampire has to be an up close and personal experience. It has to be with someone whose system can handle the intensity too. Not everyone, especially humans, can drink my blood and survive.
Grace, oddly enough, did survive and she has proven to be an excellent vampire. We have become good friends, despite the rocky beginning we had. She is now romantically involved with my ex-boyfriend, Demetri whom you have heard me refer to as Death in my writings. He's the Angel of Death, so it fits him. I didn't know until recently that he doesn't like being called Death.
I am good friends with him, as I am with most of my past lovers, so that didn't sit well with Grace in the beginning. I didn't realize that until Blick brought it up. He's quick to remind me when I'm getting out of line. I seem to have several people in my life who want to look after me. It's like having a set of friends who essentially become your real family. When I want to get an attitude about it and bite someone's head off, I try to remember that I'm really lucky to have them in my life.
I'm trying to get beyond the fact that I am a vampire forged out of Hell. As many of you know, I was turned when I was forced to drink my father's blood. And yes, while I would love to say he is not my father, Satan, also known as the fallen angel Lucifer, is my father. Hmmph. I roll my eyes at that notion. You know what I mean. It sickens me to think about it. He was never a true father in any sense of the word. I say this as I raise one eyebrow at my laptop screen and momentarily flash my fangs for any onlookers. It's a new adventure every day with being a daughter of Satan. You've read these blog entries. You understand.
That ‘flashing my fangs' comment may startle you, but don't worry about my being discovered as a vampire in my current setting. I'm not among humans on Earth while I type this. I'm at work, and even though I travel some, protecting the world from any evil threats, I stay in close contact with my friends on Earth. It's one of J's request as part of my job. ‘Surface monitoring' he calls it. Yes, somedays my life as a vampire warrior isn't all that glamorous. Other days? It's more excitement than I bargain for, but my writing is an outlet I enjoy and it keeps me sane. With publishing my stories online you get to hear about it too. Trust me. The day may come when you'll be glad of that fact, and you'll know to pay attention to those odd little things that don't seem right in your community.
Let's just hope that the two words ‘zombie' and ‘apocalypse' are a figment of my imagination, and it does not have to become a reality for you. I have warned my sister. There will be Hell to pay if she messes with any of you ever again.