ME: What inspired you to write ‘The Vampire Code’?
E.C.: I was watching TV, and the vampires in this TV series claimed to live “in secret” and since I’m a lawyer, my thoughts veered onto the legal implications of being an immortal in today’s world and staying under the radar.
I remember thinking: “How do they travel without a Passport? And even if they had the means and resources to make a fake Passport, wouldn’t they always live in fear of being stopped at Border Control if the fake turned out to be badly made? And if they kill humans for blood, wouldn’t today’s forensic experts uncover the truth?”
I tried to imagine a world in which vampires, tired of changing identity every ten years to stay secret, would find the courage to go public about their existence and the legal consequences of this.
They would need to be given rights, such as the right to work and the right to property, for example, but would they also be given the right to a family? To adopt human children? To vote?
And with rights, come obligations. Would they be bound by human laws, especially if humans haven’t given them all the rights they themselves enjoy? Would a war ensue? Would humans be afraid, repulsed or in awe of vampires if it turned out they really existed?
And would they object to being called “vampires”, or would they insist on a more politically correct term such as “new race” or “other race”?
ME: Why did you want to become an author?
E.C.: There was never a “Why”. You write because you love to write. In my case, writing relaxes me.
My essays at school were always different from the other students’. If the title was “My Family”, I’d write from the point of view of a dolphin or an ant or a bee. While everyone else wrote about their siblings and their dog, I took my teacher for a swim from cold waters to warmer climates, or scrambling to carry a crumb of bread which was ten times my size, or hopping from one flower to another, and working to keep my queen happy.
ME: How did you become an author?
E.C.: After I studied Law, my creative side was sacrificed for a more lucrative career. I didn’t see the point in writing or studying the craft when I was working twelve hours a day and making good money.
Then in 2010 I took time off from work to look after my growing family and within days I was plotting “The Vampire Code” inside my head after watching the TV series I mentioned in a previous question.
After the idea for this book sparked inside my head, there was no going back. I wrote half the novel in 2010, then decided it was awful and started reading and studying about writing as a craft. Almost three years later, I started working on the novel again. I deleted almost two thirds of the manuscript, but remained faithful to the original plot, and here it is – on eBook and in print as from 1stJune 2013.
ME: How did you come up with the characters names, background and personality?
E.C.: I’m not sure. Aurora, my heroine, was always the strongest voice inside my head and she told me where she lived, what she liked, how much she earned, and it all fell into place after that.
What I can tell you is that I got the “Fiscard” family name (Sebastian’s vampire family name that is), after working on the manuscript while island hopping between Greek Islands and spending some time in Fiscardo, on the island of Kefalonia. The name caught my fancy and I wanted to use it in my book, so I used it as a family name.
ME: Why did you choose to write a vampire book?
E.C.: That’s an easy one. I chose to write a vampire book because the story demanded it. This is Aurora’s story, not mine, and her story is a vampire story.
ME: Do you have any plans in writing other books in different genres?
E.C.: Yes, besides plotting Book 2 in “The Vampire Code” Series, I am plotting a story about a cryogenically frozen woman who wakes up in the future, so I’m looking at a sci-fi/dystopian/utopian romance.
And yes, there will be romance, because although I don’t know my heroine’s name yet, I already met her love-interest. He is almost as clear inside my head as she is, and he’s totally in love with her already.
ME: Can you describe Aurora and Sebastian in one sentence?
E.C.: I would describe Aurora and Sebastian as “a balancing act sustained by love and compromise” because they have different characters, come from different backgrounds, are a different species altogether, and have a different outlook on life and its priorities, yet they “work”.