Monday, April 2, 2012

Love, sacrifice, elves, and vampires: An interview with Wendy Hales

Today I'm talking with Wendy Hales about her paranormal romance that mixes vampires and elves, IMMORTAL BECOMING.

1) Tell us about your book.

 IMMORTAL BECOMING is story of the bloodmating between a Volaticus Elven named Shane and a human/Elven (Hulven) Volaticus hybrid named Jess. There are stark differences between the two races of Volaticus. Elven are born with wings, directional hearing and dentes (retractable fangs). Hulven are born completely human and Become into Elven traits (very painfully) in their mid-twenties. Suffice it to say Jess had no idea what she is when her and Shane meet.

The love and passion between Shane and Jess is intense.

2) What inspired this book?

I’ve always written. Never seriously, it was just something I’ve always had to do. One resounding theme in my life has been "Wendy lives in her own little world." Now everyone knows that ain’t no ‘little’ world in my mind. None of them are. And there are many.

I wasn’t inspired to write, per se, I had to write IMMORTAL BECOMING! Writing has always been like a compulsion for me.

Honestly I figured it would go right into a drawer just like everything else I’ve ever written. Jess and Shane demanded to be heard, my family and friends encouraged me to share this story. I bit the bullet and let other people read it (GULP!)… that was not something I usually -- if ever did. The positive feedback empowered me to take it to the next level. I’m really glad I did.

3) Vampires are pretty common. Fairies are even pretty common. A book that combines elves (as something distinct from fairies) and vampires covers somewhat less common territory. Why did you decide that particular mix of supernatural elements?
Hot flying vampire like creatures? The sexy species practically created itself!

Doesn’t that sound way better than research and a lifetime love of the paranormal/fantasy world? Over the years of writing merely for my personal enjoyment the vampires, elves and every other creature got a little different. Merging the two mythical vampire/elf creatures into one misrepresented species flowed onto the pages. … After I spent months researching every myth, lore, legend, psychic ability, psychic potential, scientific theory, etc.

 To a lesser degree I did the same type of research for the Tellus and Aquatie species. The dynamics of the Tellus and Aquaties societies develop more detail in the upcoming and yet to be written sequels in The Enlightened Species.

In Book Two, SHADOW REVEALED, you learn the Tellus are shifters and the power of their psychic energy.

 The world I’ve created is a great place for my character to live and for me to dwell as the author.

4) Everything we know, both on a scientific level and more intuitively, about how sentient beings react is based upon our relatively modest human experience. Humans tend to, on average, live less than a century, lack supernatural abilities, et cetera. With all that in mind, how did you go about developing the psychology for Shane Einar, a supernatural being centuries old?
Shane is a fierce warrior by bloodline. He’s been raised under the developing peace of the Symbiosis of Species Council. Fighting rogues, hunting down the evil Morsdente, and helping pre-enlightened humanity in every way possible. He is honorable and controlled. (Though Jess rocks his control pretty effectively) Through Shane’s commitment to the SOSC, you see the best of the species and him. It is through the conflict and battle with the rogue element you encounter the fierce primal side of him.

 Shane is a youngster compared to many of the characters. Innanna for example is twelve thousand years old. She survived the fall of Atlantis. (Jess calls her Wonder-Brat) In my opinion the most important element of aged/ageless species is developing boundaries. Yes the Elven species and its people are timeless … to an extent. The universe NEVER gives a gift without charging a price, in fiction or reality. The Elven are potentially immortal because they are able to heal at a cellular level psychically. They also have the ability to release their living energy at will. They still face extinction. Why? Their young are mostly males and they mature physically, emotionally, etc. far slower than a human.

 In IMMORTAL BECOMING two of the characters, Jorie and Jerika, are prime examples. Jorie is a 26 year old pre-teen. Jerika is barely the equivalent of a human 18 year old at the spry age of 52. The Elven are anemic, their females are fertile only a few times per century. The females are prone to bleed to death during childbirth, especially those without bloodmates. These factors make the females disinclined to propagate when fertile. Add those challenges to a species with a history of warring with the other enlightened species further reducing their numbers … Life is never easy. If you create a world where everything is bliss and sunshine, it’s not realistic or interesting to read.

5) Although vampires have been being redefined in novels for centuries with Polidori's THE VAMPYRE starting the major trend of literary breaks from extant vampire myths, major literary redefinition of elves is, one could argue, a somewhat more recent phenomena that, among other things, owes a heavy debt to Tolkien. What went into designing your elves and how were you influenced by past depictions? Is there anything about past depictions you strove to avoid?
I adore vampires. The primal call of blood, specifically the blood of the one person you are fated to love for all eternity. Hmmmm! Yet I wanted a species that rule the skies as a habitat. Voila flying vampires.

Volaticus is Latin based for "winged man". Giving the defined name of Elven was to differentiate the Elven race from the Hulven race within the species. When I originally started writing Immortal Becoming I used the Volaticus title exclusively. It made the hybrid race more confusing. I came up with Elven and Hulven for clarification reasons. (I know not very glamorous).

I don’t do "pointy ears", however, I did give the Volaticus directional hearing (They can move their ears like horses, one forward one back.) Why? Because they must have some visual characteristic for an antagonist element to identify them from humans, overdeveloped cranial musculature is not overt yet it’s something bad guys would recognize if they where specifically looking. Setting up for conflict is critical. Ultimately it’s the conflict that drives a story.

Short excerpt:

No, we don’t have pointy ears. Our hearing is directional. We can hear great distances in the direction that we aim our hearing. At some point someone utilized the term ‘point’ rather than ‘direct’ or ‘aim.’ Over time the ‘point’ terminology was taken literally: ‘pointy ears.’” He laughed, “That is how myths and legends are made.”

6) Obviously you're interested in vampires, elves, and fairies. Is there a particular type of supernatural creature that you just don't find interesting?
I outgrew my curiosity of the boogieman. Everything else is fodder for my Muse, LOL. It’s the possibility of supernatural creatures and talents that gets my mind churning. Making the fantastic feasible is where I hit my stride! For me it’s not building the world that’s difficult … it’s reining the sucker in when it gets too outlandish.

7) Tell us about your upcoming sequels.
SHADOW REVEALED, book two of The Enlightened Species, will be released Mid-April.

SHADOWED MAGIC, an Enlightened Species novella, will be released the end of May.

 FIRE'S TOUCH, book three of The Enlightened Species, I’m targeting for late summer/early fall.

Until the species/characters fall silent I will continue to write them.


Thanks, Wendy.

You can see more from Wendy at her website,

IMMORTAL BECOMING is available in paperback form at her website and e-book form at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.


Wendy S. Hales said...

Thank you for interviewing and hosting me today!

Clancy said...

The detail of the species was interesting - thanks.

J.A. Beard said...

You're welcome, Wendy.

Thanks for stopping by, Clancy.

BK said...

Great interview. Thank you for hosting Wendy today :)