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Monday, May 30, 2011

Win a Copy of “Order of the Blood” + Mug by Lane Morris & Nicole Vlachos!

24 Lovely Comments!




Nicole and I started writing together in the late 90s, in fact, the first draft of our debut novel, The Order of the Blood, was completed in 2002.  Our paths crossed during a round robin writing game, and I thought she was interesting, so I looked into one of her short stories.  She was interesting, and once we'd struck up a conversation, we bonded over a shared love of music, and pretty soon, I had asked her if she was interested in collaborating.  For a writer, I think that's the equivalent of asking someone to move in with you.  And, you know, you never know someone until you've lived with them.

Nicole discovered all of my bad traits.  Probably the worst is that once I have written something down, I forget it.  Once I have committed a thought to writing, it has left my brain.  It's a bit like doing a cut and paste.  This means that when I am writing, unless I have someone to keep me on track, I tend to repeat myself or rewrite a character's history as I go.  I am unorganized, irreverent, and when I am bored with a character, I kill them off.  That works well within the vampire genre, though.  While I am excellent at coming up with ideas, I am useless at execution.  I get started, I roll until I am bored (thematic word in my world) and then my mind starts to wander off to something else.  I mean, I know how the story ends, so why bother?  It's not entertaining me any longer, and that's how all my writing begins--as an exercise to entertain myself.

Where I can jump tracks quickly, Nicole is an organized, methodical writer, who generally remembers everything within a story line.  It is probably easier to suggest that you look at my weaknesses and flip them. Those are Nicole's strengths.  The reciprocal applies.  Thus and so, we complement one another nicely.  When we're not eyeballing the other over our very real shortcomings, we have a smooth creative partnership, and our muses mesh well.  Nicole's muse gets engaged via music and media.  My muse--I swear to dog, my muse is the ghost of Henry VIII.  Frequently, I discover that he has run off to Tijuana and is holding court at a donkey show.  That's the only way to explain how this deeply Southern, pearl clutching daughter of a Marine and a Lady ever comes up with some of the smut appearing on the pages of our manuscripts.  I blame it on Harry.

When Larissa offered us this wonderful opportunity to appear as guest bloggers, we discussed what would be most interesting to you as readers.  Since our last few interviewers have been so interested in how we work together as a team, it seemed like a good idea to share a little bit about how that works.  But, we also thought you might like a more intimate look at one of the main characters of The Order of the Blood, and hear what he has to say about the story.

Ian, as you meet him, is a newly turned vampire in a world where vampires don't even like each other very much, forget finding favor with a mortal.  Alone and afraid, he tracks down the girl he loved in college, who also happened to help save a host of vampires during a genocidal wave that nearly wiped out their kind in England.  Robin is a bit of a rock star among the Brethren, as they call themselves, but becomes a solid groupie when it comes to Gideon, the would-be leader of the Order of the Blood. 

We caught up with Ian where he tends bar in Gideon's nightclub--of course Gideon owns a nightclub.  He was reluctant to speak to us, but relented when we promised we'd put in a good word for him with Robin.  Tall and rapier thin, Ian is best described as beautiful, with dark hair and eyes, and fine-boned features.  He is coltishly charming without meaning to be, but when it is clear he has decided to use his charisma, it is impossible to look away. 

We asked him, "Ian, you are (that we know of) the newest member of the oldest surviving brotherhood of vampires in the civilized world.  What attracted you to the Order of the Blood?
"Other than it being my only hope of survival?" He laughed, looking over his shoulder as he did.  "Because that made it hugely attractive.  As you know, I was an illegal turn, so the Order offered me legitimacy and safety, and was a means of defense.  But, I had made application to the Order in my youth, but was denied."

"Then what was your initial attraction to the Order?"

Ian shrugged at us, as though it were a silly question.  "Well, when I was in school, they were the elite. They were the historians, and the librarians, the keepers of knowledge, and art, and culture.  They were living museums.  They were respected and revered. Everyone wanted to be a part of the Order, even if not everyone admitted it. For me, it was a means of succeeding far beyond a simple degree. And one of my dearest friends was a member."

"You were clearly attractive enough, and we hear you are beyond intelligent enough.  Why do you think you were unsuccessful in your initial application?"

"I was too young."  He shrugged again, choosing his next words carefully. "Smart, but not yet worldly enough. There were a number of reasons, according to the dossier that the Order kept on me.  Gideon showed it to me."  His face lit up with a boyish grin as he wagged his eyebrows.  "And I was definitely attractive enough."

We laughed with him and shared some small talk about how much the patrons of the bar seemed to appreciate his looks, then we asked, "What changed that they admitted you after you'd been turned illegally?"

"Oh!  That's the question, isn't it?  Yeah, I've got only Robin McInnis to thank for that.  If not for Robin, I'd be dust in the wind.  I'm fairly certain the Order wouldn't have accepted me on my own.  But Robin had an in with Gideon, so she made sure I was cared for and not killed.  Well, killed more."

"Want to tell us about Robin?" We asked.  "Your whole face lit up when you mentioned her."

He laughed, and we think would have blushed if he were able. "What can I tell you about Robin?  She's the most complicated, interesting, obnoxious, wonderful woman I've ever known.  I mean, she helped save hundreds of the Brethren during the revolution, lived through the torment under Vincent Gerry as a prisoner of war, and somehow picked herself up from there and moved on.  But I've been in love with her since she was just a fickle uni coed, following her brother around everywhere."  

"Sounds like a special relationship. Are you and she involved romantically now?"

A slight flash of fang from Ian, and we wondered if we had crossed a line.  "We-it's complicated. I know that's a cliche response, but it really is true when it comes to Robin and me."

"Let's change the subject."

"Yes, let's."

"What about Gideon? He is your adopted sire, correct? How involved has he been with your indoctrination?"
Ian nodded, "Fully invested!  Gideon's fully invested.  He's--how do I say it?  When Gideon takes responsibility for something, he takes full responsibility for it.  He's put his name on me, so to speak, so he wants to be sure I know how--I'm trained how to represent him and his interests.  From the first hour, he had taken me in hand, and was very keen that I understood what he was about, and what he believed the Order was about."

"And what does he believe the Order is about?"

"The Order's foundation has always been on the delicate balance between the Brethren and their food source.  That is, the Order hasn't looked at mortals so much as a food source as...friends?  The Order believed in coexistance.  Gideon feels like after Vincent Gerry and all the strictures passed against us, the line has been crossed, and we, as the superior strength and power should control mortals as herds of cattle. 

But there's a lot of infighting right now among the Order.  There are distinct differences of opinion. From what I've seen, Gideon's the underdog, but I think he is starting to swing more votes in his favor. The Brethren are finding it more and more difficult to reconcile themselves with the lives that Gerry and his lot are forcing upon us. More and more, people are begining to think that Gideon has the right idea, if not the wisest methods."

"And what do you think? Is he right?" We asked.

"I--   I may not agree with all his ideas, but I see the method to what other people might call madness."

We tried another name with him.  "By 'other people' do you mean Devlin?  He's Gideon's main competition for the power base, isn't he?"

"Yeah," Ian nodded.  "Gideon and Devlin are on entirely different levels, if you ask me.  They both want the same thing: they want the Order restored to it's former glory.  But they have very different ideas of what that glory should be.  In a way, I feel like Gideon's more practical.  I don't think mortals are ever going to trust us the way they did before the Revolution.  But given the nature of man, which is the basis of the nature of vampire, I don't think--listen, I think somewhere in the middle between what Gideon wants and what Devlin wants is Utopia for our kind."

"What is Utopia for you?"

His angelic face clouded.  "I think that's gone by for me.  If things had been different, I'd have found Robin before I was turned, somehow gotten her to marry me, and lived happily ever after with a houseful of kids.  Although, I don't think Robin was ever going to go down the happily ever after road with anyone who wasn't a vampire."

"Given that you are a vampire now, wouldn't that make your happily ever after with Robin more possible?"

He shook his head ruefully, jaw set.  "Not if Gideon has his way."

"Does Gideon always have his way?"

"How about we change the subject again?  Something else.  Like...drinks.  You want a drink?"

We accepted his offer and he poured out two of the best martinis we'd ever tasted.  Then we got back to the nitty gritty.  "Does Gideon have a problem with you, a vampire, being together in a relationship with a mortal?"

"Ha!  I wish it were that simple!  No, no, nothing like that.  No, Gideon and Robin...  Well, like I said, it's complicated.  Robin's had a crush on Gideon since we were college kids, and Gideon would be a fool not to see how special she is.  Gideon wants her for himself.

"Complicated.  It's all complicated.  See, there are--things--I can't be too specific, but there are things that might be keeping her from seeing things clearly.  I feel like I just have to be there for her, and keep reminding her of how I feel.  I love her more than my own life.  I would do anything for her. 

"Listen, I'd tell you more if I could but...  I'm working.  And I'm working for Gideon, who has taken me in and given me a home and safety.  I'm sorry, but we'll have to leave it here. I have to get back to work."

We shook hands and said our goodbyes, then wondered just how difficult it might be to talk with Gideon himself.  If we ever find out, we'll let you know.

 Order of The Blood Website

Buy “Order of The Blood”::

Amazon | Bed Black Sheets Books | Barnes & Noble


b235460cbfca0a7f0235ad.L._V181928752_SL282__thumb[2]Nicole (1)_thumb[2]

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24 Responses so far.

  1. Anna says:

    I like the interview its nice when two authors can work together and everything wrks out and I want to read more cuz Gideon sounds Yummy

  2. Anna says:

    oops forgot to add my email


    hope I am the lucky winner and the cover and mug are awesome

    I like the interview its nice when two authors can work together and everything wrks out and I want to read more cuz Gideon sounds Yummy

  3. Birgit says:

    Thanks for the great interview and giveaway!
    I must agree with Anna, it's not always great what authors in pairs will produce on paper, but here the love for writing and their friendship shines through, so it simply must be a great result!

    danaan at gmx dot at

  4. Vivien says:

    Loved the interview. And Gideon. I can't wait to dive into more.

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  5. buddyt says:

    Sounds like the perfect coupling !

    I had a good laugh at Lanes personal confession.

    Thanks for the giveaway.

    Carol T

    buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

  6. IreneRJ says:

    I loved the interviews and look forward to reading the book.I'm still smiling at the mental picture of Henry VIII in Tijuana at a donkey show,me being English is that treason?

  7. I love the method to madness line. Epic.

    thegirlonfire27 at gmail dot com

  8. Glory says:

    This is a fantastic interview, really!


  9. Anonymous says:

    OH, I like Ian....Thanks for the giveaway!!!

    hnwhitlock2000 at gmail dot com

  10. Julie says:

    Wow! What a great interview and blog post! I really can't wait to read the book now that I have all this extra information! Thanks a bunch:)
    jwitt33 at live dot com

  11. Tore says:

    Thanks for the giveaway. Its great that 2 authors can work together. I can't wait to read this book. Please enter me in contest. I am a follower and email subscriber. Tore923@aol.com

  12. Ash says:

    I need someone like Nicole when I write! I tend to be writing for myself and once I get bored all heck breaks lose as I try to entertain myself. I also have that bad habit of once I write something down it becomes out of sight and way beyond out of mind.


  13. razlich says:

    I offer to your attention a film about six priorities of the generalized instruments of management by countries and people of Earth.
    Six Principles of Global Manipulation
    Anti-Qur'an Strategy of the Bible Project Wheeler-Dealers

  14. Denise Z says:

    I think it would be wonderful to be able to put my stubborn head together with someone else to create magic in words, what an incredible gift. Thank you for sharing and the opportunity to win the giveaway - I just love books and mugs that speak to me!


  15. Robin says:
    This comment has been removed by the author.
  16. Robin says:

    I see you work great together, and the interview was riveting!

    robindpdx (at) yahoo (dot) com

  17. Wow! You guys really do complement each other and seem to make a really great team! I laughed when Lane described her writing habits as disorganised and says that writing her ideas down is like cutting and pasting because she soon forgets what she's written. I understand that and that's actually what puts me off writing, because I fear that I may forget what I've written and run around in circles. Lane and Nicole are really lucky to work together:)


  18. Avery says:

    I've never really thought about it before, but I guess that authors collaborating with one another really is a big deal ... I love the analogy of moving in with one another!

    Thanks for the great interviewish guest post and giveaway! I cannot wait to check out Lane's and Nicole's book!


  19. Rachel says:

    This book looks pretty darn good! But something tells me that if, and when I'm to read it it'll be one of those books where I don't know which hero I want the heroine to be with.
    Ian seems awesome, but Gideon sounds yummy. I don't envy Robin her choice. Then again, having 2 sexy, vamp choices--I take that back, I do envy her choice. Hell, I'd take whoever was left over if I could. LOL

    Thanks for making it international! It's very much appreciated =D


  20. Diana says:

    Great post! I really enjoyed the interview and very clever questions. Thanks for the giveaway!

    artgiote at gmail dot com

  21. This comment has been removed by the author.
  22. Excellent interview. Sounds like a great book. It's great to hear two authors working together. x


  23. Rad Hall says:

    Great interview. Thanks for the giveaway :)

    emi3mle at yahoo dot com dot au

  24. Meredith says:

    Poor Ian! Doesn't sound too optimistic about his chances with Robin!

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