Mateo Two Moons. He is compassionate and loving; tender and protective. Of course, he’s drop-dead gorgeous and a magnificent lover. He’s an Apache, and oh, did I mention he’s also a centuries old vampire?
Dawn Malone has got her act together. She’s a woman looking for adventure and loving life when she relocates from Colorado to Arizona. She only wants to concentrate on her teaching career and explore her new surroundings. Falling in love with an ancient, but irresistible, vampire who plans to take her to a hidden village in the Superstition Mountains and make her his eternal mate was definitely not in her plans.
Although I knew the Superstition Mountains were the ideal location for my clan of vampires to dwell, in the beginning I was not sure about having a contemporary vampire hero who was Native American. I had read many books about vampires and seen lots of movies about immortal blood suckers, and a present-day Native American vampire just didn’t seem to fit the part. It only made sense he would be an Apache if he lived in the Superstitions, but I still struggled with this when I first started writing this book.
In my previous historical romances I’ve had several dynamic Native American heroes, but this one had to be entirely different. As I finally started to envision this unlikely leading man, I could see a gorgeous man dressed casually in jeans and boots, but still with long raven hair, a shimmering dark gaze, and smooth bronzed skin. He would drive a big truck that would be as sexy as he was. A modern-day vampire hero of Native American descent was starting to look pretty darn good. The name Mateo Two Moons just popped into my head somewhere along the way and it seemed to fit.
Once my hero starts to become real to me, it’s easy to create my heroine. She just needs to be the woman of his dreams. That’s easy, right? I knew I wanted Mateo to have an Apache name to call her by once in a while, so I did some research. I found the name Udaya, which meant Dawn in the Apache language. It was perfect. Both of my main characters were now ready for their story to unfold.
When developing characters for a book, I sort of feel like I’m giving birth. In my mind, I know everything about these people that I’m creating—from the time they are born until they die—even though I’m only writing about a brief period in their lives. While I’m sitting at the computer writing, I literally become these characters and feel as though they are just letting me be the instrument that chronicles their story, because they truly do write their own narrative once they become fully developed in my mind. Even though they are like my babies, and I give them life, I never know what path they will take us on until they lead me there. I love them as if they are real. If they are sad, I cry. When they are happy, I rejoice. If they are in the throes of a wild sexual escapade…well, I wish I could join them.
While surfing the Internet one day I saw a picture of a guy that took my breath away. The instant I saw him, I knew he looked exactly like I pictured Mateo. Not long afterward I saw a picture of a beautiful blonde girl that looked just how I imagined Dawn. This was the first time I had actual pictures of the characters I was writing about. In my past books, they were only images in my mind or resembled an actor/actress in the movies or on TV. It’s been so fun to be able to look at those pictures and feel like I was actually looking at Dawn Malone and her sexy vampire, Mateo Two Moons.
I learned that the man in the picture was a model from Sweden named Filip Gustavsson. If he only knew how his picture has inspired some of the most erotic love scenes I’ve ever written, well, he’d either be flattered or embarrassed.
Recently, I found out the picture of the girl is actress Kate Upton. I’ve never seen another picture of her other than this one that looks like my heroine, but in this picture she is my Dawn. After seeing the cover that was created by my publisher’s artist, though, I realize that Dawn and Mateo have never looked more perfect than they do on the actual book cover.
Although I’ve loved all of my heroes and heroines in my other books, I have to admit, Dawn and Mateo are my favorite. I hope you enjoy their passionate love story as much as I do.
Tomorrow I will talk about how hard it was for me to switch genres from Historical Romance to Contemporary Paranormal. Thank you for sharing this journey with me.
Now available for pre-order in eBook and paperback! Watch for news about the release of the audio book. Release date: June 9, 2017