Author Override is the place where authors take the reins and take you on a journey into their world. Some may allow you into their private writing dens. Others may take you along with them on research trips or interviews. Whatever the case may be, sit back, relax and enjoy the ride because here you’ll get an in-depth look into an author’s musings.
Damien, has been with me since the first book in the series. Originally intended to be a character who wouldn't live to see Book 2, Damien arrived in his big debut scene (where he tries to kill the heroine—he is an assassin) and immediately began showing off his particular blend of genteel manners and a razor sharp tongue. Impeccably dressed in khaki pants and an oxford shirt, his topcoat neatly folded on a chair, he was a hired killer with style...and I immediately knew there was more to him. I also knew, fairly quickly, that I was never going to be able to kill him off. He was one of those rare characters (for me, anyway) who arrives seemingly whole out of thin air, without much effort on my part. All I had to do was watch him and discover what made him tick.
The biggest inspiration for Damien was pretty obvious from the get-go. I knew where he'd come from. See, I have always loved rogues in historical romance. Clever, debauched, and almost unredeemable, they're some of my favorite characters. Damien, born the youngest son of a British nobleman in the late 1700s, was made from that mold. He's disgraced and unrepentantly disgraceful. After stumbling into low class vampdom as a cat-shifting Cait Sith, Damien escaped near-certain slavery to the Ptolemy dynasty and instead joined the secretive House of Shadows. He eventually became a Shade, a master thief and assassin, and never looked back. Now, his services are in demand by the very highblood vampires who would have spat on him.
I knew Damien didn't look like a typical "bad boy" character. He was a rich noble. He's stylish, more GQ than leather-clad angsty vampire. I always like to have a visual inspiration for my characters, and I knew pretty quickly who Damien would look like. Chris Evans, with his boy-next-door looks, sandy brown hair, and wicked smirk (not to mention that slightly cocked eyebrow thing he does that's just so...naughty) was perfect. And I must say, I enjoyed having him up on my office bulletin board while I worked on the book. Now, skills-wise, I also had a reference for how he moved—Ezio Auditore da Firenze from the Assassin's Creed games. I know, I know...it's a game. But those are some graceful, deadly, good-looking pixels. And finally, music junkie that I am, I ended up with a theme song for Damien's romance with Ariane, the beautiful, innocent Grigori he falls for against all his better judgment. That would be Rise Above 1 by Reeve Carney and Bono, from Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark. It's a gorgeous song, and suited their story perfectly. I played it a lot as I was writing the book!
So there you have it, the bits and pieces that came together to make Damien Tremaine. There's more to him, of course...but you'll have to read the book to see just what more there is! I will say that he's one of my favorite heroes so far.
Thanks so much to Annie for having me here today! I have a signed copy of SHADOW RISING to give away, so be sure to leave me a comment! I'll be here to chat all day. I'm happy to answer any questions you might have about the book, the series, or writing in general, but let me ask you:
Kendra Leigh Castle is the author of the Dark Dynasties series, as well as several other paranormal romances. She lives in Maryland with her husband, three kids, and menagerie of pets. Kendra can be found at www.kendraleighcastle.com, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Ancient Secrets, Dark Passions...
As one of the Grigori, a noble vampire dynasty shrouded in mystery, Ariane has spent her life hidden away in the desert. Like all of her kind, she is a watcher, fated to observe, forbidden to act. Yet when her best friend, Sammael, vanishes, she defies all rules and flees her safe haven to bring him home.
A shape-shifting assassin for the House of Shadows, Damien Tremaine is hired to locate Sammael. His hunt for the wayward Grigori leads him to Ariane, the rogue vamp who stands between him and his bounty. Damien never lets emotion interfere with his work, but a single touch from the sexy, beguiling vampire shatters his self-control. Drawn together by their common goal, what begins as an alliance of necessity soon becomes one of desire. But when the secret at the dark heart of the Grigori comes to light, Damien and Ariane must make a choice that could bind them eternally...or tear them—and everything they care about—apart.