Dianne has also completed two not-yet-published paranormal romance novels that are prequels to Darkness Dawns. A Sorceress of His Own is a medieval romance with paranormal elements that won awards in the Lone Star, Where the Magic Begins, Southern Heat, Picture This, Book of Your Heart and Suzannah national writing competitions. Rendezvous With Yesterday is a time travel romance and won second place in the Picture This writing contest.
In addition to writing romance, Dianne has completed a one-act play (comedy) and teamed up with an award-wining screenwriter to write a spec script for a new situation comedy. Several of her poems have also been published in anthologies.
When she isn’t writing, Dianne is very active in the independent film industry and once even appeared on screen as a machete-weilding maniac not unlike the vampires she so loves to create in her novels.
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Vampires Aren’t the Only Ones Transforming
Thank you for joining me! I’m very happy to be here today, celebrating the release of NIGHT UNBOUND, the fifth book in my Immortal Guardians paranormal romance series. Paranormal romance has been my favorite genre ever since I picked up my first vampire romance. Vampire heroes back then were almost unanimously dark and brooding and unhappy with their existence. And, as much as I loved them, I’ve enjoyed watching them transform in the years since, taking on new roles and much more diverse personalities.
My love affaire with vampires, however, began long before I read that first paranormal romance novel. Films initially whetted my appetite, providing as great a variety of vampires over the years as can be found in the romance genre today. Creepy, scary, downright gross. Handsome, dashing, dreamy. Dark, brooding, depressed. Light-hearted, flirtatious, bumbling. I enjoyed them all. But it wasn’t just the vampires that caught and held my attention in these movies. Their human assistants intrigued me, too.
I know there are some out there who think vampires (or, in the case of my series, immortals) having human assistants is a relatively new concept. But vampires in movies have actually had humans assistants for almost a century. Vampires in books have had human assistants for even longer.
The vile vampire in the 1922 film Nosferatu, for example, had Renfield. Thanks to the immense popularity of Bram Stoker’s DRACULA, written in 1897, Renfield is by far the most widely known of all the vampires’s assistants.
Dracula and Renfield have, after all, appeared in over 200 films in one incarnation or another. Dramatic. Horrific. Comedic. Romantic. Sometimes Renfield was an object of pity, driven mad by the vampire he served. Other times he was scarcely human, seeming a mere vessel for the insects he consumed. Occasionally, he was even a prankster or a bumbling sycophant.
One of my personal favorites is the Renfield from the 1979 romantic comedy Love at first Bite. But there were other vampires, unrelated to Bram Stoker’s creation, who had human assistants.
Jerry Dandridge, Charley Brewster’s next-door neighbor in the 1985 original Fright Night, had a human assistant in the form of Billy Cole.
Blade had Whistler in the popular film trilogy that began in 1998. Much like the human assistants in my Immortal Guardians series, Whistler helped Blade in his quest to hunt and destroy vampires, providing any and all assistance—medical, technological, etc.—necessary to enable Blade to continue his fight. The vampires Blade hunted ALSO had human minions who aided them.
The ghoulish vampires in 30 Days of Night had The Stranger.
Even little Abby in Let Me In had a human companion or assistant known as The Father.
Very few of these human assistants, I couldn’t help but notice, were hot hero material, though. And female assistants were practically nonexistent.
When I sat down to create my Immortal Guardians’ world, it occurred to me (just as it did to countless other fiction writers, playwrights, and screenwriters) that there simply would be no way for immortals who need blood to survive and who must shun daylight to pass themselves off as humans or live without detection among humans without the AID of humans. Even today most business is conducted during daylight hours. Such was even more true during the past and would have proven an impossible-to-overcome stumbling block for anyone who could not move about freely during the day. For this reason, I gave my Immortal Guardians human assistants in the form of Seconds. Why Seconds? My Immortal Guardians like to keep a low profile and prefer to attract as little attention as possible. So I simply sought a generic term that could have been used in any era without raising eyebrows or garnering unwanted attention. If an immortal were to slip and say he’d have his Second take care of something, for instance, all he would’ve needed do when asked to clarify is say second cousin or second assistant, or—in the days of yore—second in command or second apprentice, or the like, and nary an eyebrow would be raised.
Unlike the many Renfields of the past, however, my Seconds are as brave and courageous and kick-ass as the immortals they protect and serv. Many are hero and heroine material themselves. And I’ve been very pleased by the number of readers who have asked if the Seconds would get their own stories.
Immortal Guardian Lisette, the heroine of NIGHT UNBOUND, has the fearless Tracy for a Second.
Immortal Guardian Marcus was assigned the fierce, yet vulnerable Ami as his Second. Sparks flew, and Marcus and Ami later married.
Powerful elder Immortal Guardian David has Darnell for a Second.
And Immortal Guardian Richart (Lisette’s brother) has the young and mischievous Sheldon for a Second. Sheldon has become something of a favorite among readers. (He’s a favorite of mine, as well.)
And this is pretty much how I picture them. No creepy insect-eaters here. Just courageous, kick-ass, and—yes—good-looking men and women who know their way around numerous weapons. :-) There are more Seconds in my series, of course. But these are the ones who feature most prominently in NIGHT UNBOUND. My Immortal Guardians and the network of humans who aid them are all like one big family. They laugh and tease and razz each other. And they are incredibly loyal to one another. I hope you’ll enjoy their journey as much as I am.
Dianne Duvall's Immortal Guardians protect humanity from unspeakable horrors--but their hearts are as fragile as any mortal's. . .
For centuries, Lisette d'Alençon has been a warrior against the dark. She fights alongside her brothers and comrades. But when the dreams start coming, she can't bear to confess them to the Immortal Guardians' command. Dreams of a dark-haired man with soft eyes and brutal wounds, a man her heart aches for--and a man she knows has been declared a traitor.
Zach is an exile, a loner. He won't defend himself against false accusations or grovel to those who should have faith in him. But he'll damn sure defend the woman who kept him sane against a plague of super-vamps that seems to have appeared from nowhere. The Guardians will blame him, and that will make Lisette suspect, too. With life, death and eternity on the line, who can they really trust?
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