Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Mia Disantini is a vampire who wants to walk again in the sun. Enslaved by her charismatic master, Ethan and plunged into the unenlightened Immortyl culture, Mia struggles for freedom. Trained as Ethan’s “Bird of Prey”, she becomes the pawn of their enigmatic elder, Brovik, in his intrigues concerning the forbidden science. Cast out by Ethan, Mia joins forces with Kurt, and together the lovers steal the secrets of immortality and deliver them to Genpath Laboratories. Duped and imprisoned by CEO, Lee Brooks, Mia calls upon the aid of neuroscientist, Dr. Joe Ansari. But Mia and Kurt are hunted for their crime and time is running out.
Vampires have always been a passion for me. As a kid, I loved watching Dark Shadows on TV. Barnabas Collins, played by Jonathan Frid, was an early sympathetic vampire. I devoured Anne Rice novels and read a lot of vampire lore. Interview with the Vampire is my favorite. I follow a lot of vampire traditions in my writing, like avoiding the sun and drinking only human blood, but I give these a scientific reason. In the nineties, I read a lot about biotechnology. I’ve always loved science. The task I set out for myself was to create a plausible cause for vampirism and the subsequent immortality. The sci fi vampire story, I Am Legend is another favorite of mine.
I’m a sucker for a story about the little guy or gal fighting the forces of evil. My heroine and hero are underdogs. Mia and Kurt find they’re in sympathy because they find the strictures and cruelty of their society too much to bear. They become outlaws who rebel against their masters and give the secrets of immortality to science. Mia and Kurt are survivors who have suffered a lot, but her narrative reflects her irreverent humor and spunk. Within all this science and intrigue, there is a love story.
A lot of people are curious about the Butterfly cover design. First off, let me credit Linda Houle, one of the owners of L&L Dreamspell for her beautiful design. My publisher is a joy to work with. They allow the author a lot of input on the cover. At author events and bookstores, I always hear compliments. The butterfly is symbolic of metamorphosis. In Immortyl culture, the human form is considered like a caterpillar.
Only when he or she receives the progenitor’s blood, do they become fully realized. But for Mia the butterfly symbolizes the soul. In the book, her master, Ethan gives her a butterfly necklace to commemorate her transformation into an Immortyl. When he casts her out to the elements, with only the clothes on her back and this necklace around her neck, she pawns the necklace. In her mind, she has already sold her soul for immortality. Her struggle is find her way back to her humanity.
Also, Mia and Kurt’s story evokes the myth of Eros and Psyche. Psyche, the Greek goddess of the soul is usually depicted with butterfly wings. The word psyche means both butterfly and soul. If you’re not familiar with the myth, Psyche is a beautiful maiden who rouses the jealousy of Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty. Aphrodite sends her son, Eros (Cupid, Amor) to prick Psyche with one of his arrows and make her fall in love with some horrible beast. This isn’t the chubby baby of valentine cards but a graceful, winged young man. When the boy sees the girl, he’s startled by her beauty and falls on one of his own arrows, thus falling in love with her. He spirits her off to a house and only visits her in the night, when she cannot see his divinity. Eros makes her promise never to look upon him. The girl is naturally curious. While he sleeps, she lifts a lamp to look on him. Amazed by the beauty of the God, she trembles and spills a drop of hot oil on his shoulder. He awakens and flies off, saying that Love cannot live with deceit. Psyche is given many tasks to perform before she is allowed to join her Eros again, even traveling into the underworld. Finally, Love and Soul are united for eternity.
The myth is such a lovely story, about how winning love is hard work and never an easy path to tread. Here’s a girl who goes to hell and back for the boy she loves. You can also interpret the myth to be a struggle to realize the self, something Mia, a slave understands all too well.
I’m very big on Joseph Campbell’s book The Power of Myth. Mia’s tale has some elements of the classic hero’s journey. These old stories still have a lot of power in today’s world. All of my books so far are inspired by mythology in some way.
In Twilight of the Gods, Book Two, (coming this fall) Kurt is nicknamed Loki by his followers, after the Norse mischief-maker who brings on the fall of the Gods. In the third book, Fearful Symmetry, I turn to India and the tantric worship of Shakti, the female principle, who in one of her fierce forms is the goddess Kali.
The POV character in that book is Cedric MacKinnon, who becomes a temple dancer and courtesan in an Immortyl cult of Kali Maa.
www.deniseverricowriter.webs.com. It’s also available through www.Amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, www.borders.com and www.fictionwise.com. in trade paperback or multi-format e-book, including kindle. The book is carried in some bookstores and it can be special-ordered if your local bookseller doesn’t carry it.