Keira: Tell us a bit about the vampire mythology around the Chronicles of Yavn Series.
Elisabeth Staab: The vampires in the Chronicles of Yavn are alive rather than undead. They’re a sort of divergent species that also comes equipped with super powers. They have the standard weaknesses – can’t handle sunlight (unless they’re a half-breed), and they weaken without blood or if they overuse their powers. They can live for a long time, but they’re not immortal. There’s a lot that revolves around the vampires being an insular, remaining few, and even fewer who have pure vampire blood. As a species who has been hated and feared by humans, many vampires dislike them, especially the older vampires like Lee (the hero of Hunter by Night) who lived during the old times when humans knew about vampires, but they came after them with fire and pitchforks.
Keira: Lee Goram is not a fan of humans. How does he survive?
Elisabeth: Lee was mated for awhile to a succubus hybrid, but in the decades after their “divorce” he gorged himself on vampire blood. Until meeting Alexia, he’s never touched human blood. Vampire blood is stronger, thicker, and more powerful. He won’t touch human blood, because he views it as inferior. We find out in Hunter by Night, however, that his actions and his belief in the superiority of vampire blood, is about to be his downfall.
Keira: And now his food source is killing him?
Elisabeth: In a way, it’s not simply the food source but Lee’s arrogance, and the number of times he’s bellied up to the buffet. He’s turned into a bit of a lone wolf. No family, no mate, and the one thing he has is his power. Blood gives him power and his ability to protect. The more he consumes, the more powerful he becomes. There’s a tipping point, though, and Lee’s reached that point at the beginning of Hunter by Night.
Keira: Alexia might be the key to his cure… but she’s human… will he have to feed off of her?
Elisabeth: Probably so.
Keira: Best friend to the queen of vampires, how did Alexia get to be so close to royalty?
Elisabeth: They met in the Florida rave scene, pre-King of Darkness. Alexia had run there to escape her past, and Isabel (the destined queen) had moved there with her family, when her parents felt they weren’t accepted by the rest of the vampire population. The rave scene is a place where young people who don’t belong anywhere else can feel included. For an orphaned vampire and a human on her own, what better place to find each other?
Keira: Isn’t she worried about being in their compound? How does she keep safe?
Elisabeth: Sure. Alexia doesn’t do “caged” very well, and being on the compound, even though it’s supposed to be for her safety, kinda gives her the heebie-jeebies. It’s something she and Lee will need to work out by the end of Hunter by Night in order to be together.
Keira: What’s your favorite scene in Hunter by Night?
Elisabeth: That’s a tough call, because I love Lee and Alexia together from start to finish. But I think my favorite is when they’ve just gotten through a fight and Lee has to get Alexia cleaned up and give her blood to heal her. It’s the first time they’re close together in a way that’s sensual and intimate, and the sexual tension starts to build between them. I love the way Lee’s resolve cracks and the promise of what’s to come in that scene.
Keira: What’s your favorite part about paranormal romances? Vampire romances?
Elisabeth: I love the element of forbidden, and the added conflict. The sexiness of some possible hidden danger lurking right under our noses that we might feel but can’t see. For vampires especially, there’s a special bond between lovers. They’re not only falling in love, they’re bonding on a physical level through the exchange of blood, which is something that adds a heightened element of romance as a reader, and adds an extra layer of fun things to play with as an author. The primal, larger than life, animal factor that comes into play when your hero is part monster, and the idea that a special someone is the only one who can keep him or her in check? Yeah, that’s all hot stuff.
Keira: How do you define love?
Elisabeth: I would say anytime you feel deep affection for another creature, that’s love.
Keira: What makes a great Happily Ever After?
Elisabeth: That’s so nebulous. I just need to feel that a good story has been told, and I need to have a sense that things will be okay going forward. Sometimes as a reader I get greedy and wish I’d had more details about certain things, but really that just means I loved the story and I wanted to know more. Mostly though, I want to walk away feeling satisfied that the characters really will go forward and have good lives together.
Keira: What’s next for you?
Elisabeth: I’m not 100% sure. My kids are home for the summer and I’m looking forward to spending time with them. I also have some contemporary projects in the works (I hope to have the next book in my HaleStorm series out before too long.), but I’m looking forward to not having deadlines for awhile, and getting more time with my family, so I don’t want to commit to much just yet.
She wants out
Party girl Alexia Blackburn is only hanging around the vampire compound until her best friend—the queen—has her baby. After that, nothing is going to stop Alexia from getting back to daylight, safety, and feeling like a normal human being. But leaving the vampire world has one big catch…
He needs her to stay
Head of vampire security Lee Goram has hated and distrusted humans for centuries. Feeding on vampire blood has kept him strong…but now it’s killing him—and he’s horrified to discover that Alexia may hold the key to his cure. He’d rather die defending his king than admit his weakness, but time is running out for the great vampire warrior…