Friday, 15 July 2011

Creating the world of the Vampire Venators series - Guest post by Felicity Heaton + Giveaway

Today I am happy to welcome back to Ex Libris prolific paranormal romance author Felicity Heaton, who is here to talk about her latest release Forbidden Blood, the first novel in her new Vampire Venators paranormal romance series!

So please give a warm welcome to Felicity and read on to learn more about the behind the secrets of creating the paranormal and original universe of the Vampire Venators series (and there is also a giveaway waiting for you at the end ;-)

Creating the world of the Vampire Venators series
by Felicity Heaton

I want to start my guest post with a big thank you to my lovely host Stella for having me here again as part of my Paranormal Pandemonium 2011 Blog Tour. My latest release, Forbidden Blood, is a vampire romance novel and the first in my new Vampire Venators romance series.

Here’s a little bit about me and this series. I’m a paranormal romance / sci-fi romance author writing as Felicity Heaton and F E Heaton, and I have penned over forty stories since I started writing in 2005. Most of those are still available, either for purchase as e-books and paperbacks or as a free download.

The Vampire Venators series is my second vampire romance series, the first being my ongoing Vampires Realm series that I write as F E Heaton. The world of the Vampire Venators series is complex and it took me a long time to plan out all the intricacies of it once I had come up with the initial idea for Forbidden Blood.

Originally, Forbidden Blood was a stand alone novel. I didn’t go into the story planning to create a series, but once I had completed the initial draft of the story, I knew that I had to write more in this world. I had spent so much time building the world of the Vampire Venators that I wanted to go further with it. I wanted to explore it, and also the other species that the Sovereignty governs.

When I started dreaming up the world in the series, I had the idea of hunters who work for a higher power, which became the Sovereignty. The Sovereignty watch over the nine species of demon, detached from them and only interested in punishing any who break the law. That’s where the Venators come in. They are the hunters for the Sovereignty, and have been gifted with their power in one form or another. With the vampires, it comes in the form of an intricate silver tattoo that covers the entire length of their strongest arm, from fingertip to shoulder. When the Venator comes into contact with someone who the Sovereignty knows has broken the law, the marks glow blue and the link to the endless dark, a terrifying place where judged sinners exist in a formless fashion, just their souls in the vast blackness, opens.

I wanted the Sovereignty to be a dark and mysterious force, and the connection the Venators share to them and the endless dark to be something frightening enough to keep them in line and obedient to the Sovereignty. The endless dark speaks to the Venators, demanding to be fed souls, driving the hunters to do its bidding and sometimes stealing control from them. I wanted the vampires in my world to be strong, powerful, but not the strongest out there by a long shot. The same goes for the other species involved in the series, like the angels, cat-shifters, werewolves, therianthropes, fairies and the others. They’re all at the mercy of the Sovereignty. I thought the fact that they weren’t the strongest demons out there would appeal to readers who are so used to vampires being the pinnacle of evolution and power.

The vampires in the series are still predators, but over the millennia they have learned restraint and have moved with the times. They live in families and are related to those in their bloodline because vampires in this world live, breathe and procreate through normal means. They have a heartbeat but age more slowly than humans, and thirst and hunger for blood rather than water and food. An important part of my series is the society of the vampires. It plays a large part in Forbidden Blood, and will come up in other stories too. I thought hard about the world of the vampires. They’ve accumulated wealth over the many millennia of their existence, and have formed a hierarchical society.

There is a distinction between the ruling family of a bloodline and the other families within it, and also between the different levels of vampire. The two main types of vampires featured in the series are the Nobles and Lesser Nobles. The Nobles are the elite. They have wealth, power, and a sense of haughtiness associated with aristocrats. I wanted to show that through the use of titles. The ruling couple in a Noble bloodline are the duke and duchess, and their sons and daughters are marquesses, lords, marchionesses and ladies. In contrast to this, the highest title a Lesser Noble can achieve is earl and countess, which is bestowed upon the ruling couple in a Lesser Noble bloodline. The Noble vampire bloodline that oversees them all is led by the archduke. They live in our world, but separate to us, forming some of the elite in Europe. The use of British titles for the vampires in my series wasn’t just about showing how elite they are, or how they value the separation between Noble and Lesser Noble. It was also about showing the importance that vampires place on themselves, their families and their society. I wanted readers to get a sense of that, and how rare it is for a vampire to bring a human into their world for reasons other than killing them for blood or turning them to gain a new servant.

I always find that with world building it’s the little details that can make a series shine by giving depth to it. Even the smallest thing can make a big difference, and I always try to take my time when constructing a world. I think it pays to pore over every detail and not just run away with an idea as it stands. By delving into an idea, by trying to go that one step further with it, or looking at it from a different angle, you can really add new layers of detail to a series and world. The more detail there is, the more quirks it has or even just ordinary things that are extraordinary because of the world, such as locations and jobs, or taking time to consider what powers the people might have and how they would use them, the more a reader will be sucked into the world, and the better their experience will be. I love to go all out with series, and my Vampire Venators one is no different. It takes a lot of patience, thought, and countless hours of work, but it’s more than building a series. It’s building a world, and that’s what I love to do most.

I hope this post has given you some insight into my Vampire Venators series. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them as a comment and I’ll do my best to answer them. If you’re interested in the series, you can find details of the first book in the series, Forbidden Blood, below, and can also follow me on my blog tour by visiting my 2011 Blog Tour page on my website.

Forbidden Blood is available now in e-book formats direct from my site, on Amazon Kindle, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble Nook, Apple iBookstore, Sony Reader Store and Kobo Books. It is also available in paperback from and will shortly be available in paperback from Amazon worldwide and Barnes and Noble.

In a dark world where vampires exist and where Source Blood, a rare human blood type, can bestow godlike powers upon them, the vampire Venators of the Sovereignty fight to protect the humans by banishing those who drink it to the endless dark.

Exiled from his family and with only his duty to sustain him, Kearn has been on the trail of an elusive Source Blood abuser for three years. When he saves a beautiful human female from the vampire’s grasp, it turns out she’s the lead he’s been waiting for. Amber is a Source Blood and the perfect bait, but for who?

As they race to catch the vampire and survive the cruel games he plays, Amber is pulled deeper into Kearn’s world and discovers the painful secrets he hides behind his handsome but emotionless exterior—hurt that she has the power to heal if she is brave enough.

Available in e-book for $3.99 from:

Available in paperback for $10.99 from

Felicity Heaton is a romance author writing as both Felicity Heaton and F E Heaton. She is passionate about penning paranormal tales full of vampires, witches, werewolves, angels and shape-shifters, and has been interested in all things preternatural and fantastical since she was just a child. Her other passion is science-fiction and she likes nothing more than to immerse herself in a whole new universe and the amazing species therein. She used to while away days at school and college dreaming of vampires, werewolves and witches, or being lost in space, and used to while away evenings watching movies about them or reading gothic horror stories, science-fiction and romances.

Having tried her hand at various romance genres, it was only natural for her to turn her focus back to the paranormal, fantasy and science-fiction worlds she enjoys so much. She loves to write seductive, sexy and strong vampires, werewolves, witches, angels and alien species. The worlds she often dreams up for them are vicious, dark and dangerous, reflecting aspects of the heroines and heroes, but her characters also love deeply, laugh, cry and feel every emotion as keenly as anyone does. She makes no excuses for the darkness surrounding them, especially the paranormal creatures, and says that this is their world. She’s just honoured to write down their adventures.

If you want to know more about me, or want to get in touch, you can find me at the following places:


Felicity offered to give away a bundle of swag for the book - signed cover postcards and bookmarks to a lucky commentator.
All you have to do is:

1) leave a question/comment for Felicity, AND
2) leave me a way to contact you (e-mail address or Twitter handle, etc.)

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 22 July 2011! 

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