Hi, and thanks so much for having me! I'm often asked where I came up with the idea for the Dark Ink Chronicles, and I always give the same response: I start with the characters. That's usually my method with all of my books. In this case, Riley Poe is my main inspiration for the series. I knew it needed to be a vampire series (the publisher wanted that!) but coming up with something a little different set me to work. I knew I wanted a hard-core heroine, since the story would be told in her voice, through her eyes. But I didn't want her to be so hard-core that she was unlikeable. To me that meant creating a character whom the readers could connect with on an emotional level. And Riley's character spoke to me via a friend from long ago. When I was in high school I was friends with a girl a little older than me who attended my church. Before we'd become friends, though, she'd gone through something horrible. She'd lived with her mother (her father had died, other siblings older and already moved out of the house) and they were very close. My friend started dating this boy and he was bad news. Knowing my friend, though, she finds the good in everyone. She saw something in this guy that apparently her mom did not. The mom tried her best to convince my friend to break up with him, and was being very adament about it. My friend finally broke up with the boy. A week later, my friend came home from school to find her mom had been murdered--strangled in the bathtub. Yes, her boyfriend did it, and he went to prison. By the time I had met my friend, she had overcome this tragedy. I couldn't believe how strong and confident she was. It amazed me. Still does to this day. I wanted Riley to have that inner strength, to overcome things many of us would not be able to handle. My friend wasn't a bad-butt like Riley, but they share that strength, and that's something--overcoming a tragedy--that I think readers identify with in Riley. With a loser,dead-beat dad, her mom raised her and her little brother until she was murdered. Riley was a rebellious, out of control teen headed down a destructive path, and finding her mom murdered turned her around. With the help of her surrogate Gullah grandparents, she overcame. She beat that destructive path. And I love that about her!
Her strength continues in EVENTIDE, where she has to face the fiercest set of demons ever dealt to her. With a raging Strigoi vampire venom toying with her DNA, Riley faces insanity as she slowly begins to turn into the very thing she fights against--a vampire. And she turns to the one person she hates asking help from--Eli Dupre, her Guardian Vampire. :)
If you've read the first two books in the Dark Ink Chronicles, I hope you take a chance and enjoy Eventide! If you're new to the whole series, welcome! Lol! I hope you enjoy!