"New Worlds Are Our Oyster."
Rene Lyons always had a fascination with medieval history and with the paranormal. It seemed only natural her two loves would come together in her writing.
The Knights Templar always held a special spot in her heart. Then there is her obsession with all things dark and mysterious, especially vampires. Combined, they formed the Templar Vampires. She couldn't resist their call. They crept into her mind and pounded on her brain, leaving her no choice but to write them.
By day she chases after a "lively" toddler but by night, she dwells in a world where shadows come to life and vampires, ghosts, and fallen angels are real... even if only on the page.
Rene lives in New York with her incredible and supportive husband, her daughter (who she calls her miracle), two crazy cats and one fish named Al Capone.
Rene loves to hear from her readers.
An Interview with Rene Lyons
PNR: Can you tell us a little about how you started writing; was it something you have always wanted to do?
Rene L.: Absolutely, writing was something I’ve always wanted to do. I started out writing sci-fi when I was really young, and then by my mid-teens I read my first romance novel and I was hooked.
PNR: Are you able to write as much as you would like? Could you tell us about your writing schedule? What do you enjoy doing when not writing?
Rene L.: I’ve actually made the decision to retire from writing professionally. At least for the time being. I stepped back from myself and decided to follow my heart and take the first step down a new road in the romance world. I started doing cover art and am now the Art Director at Dark Eden Press, a position I’m so proud of as DEP is a great place to work and has such amazing authors. I believe two of my covers were even nominated for Covey awards. That just floored me! And now, my husband and I decided to put our heads together and open our own publishing house. With all this going on, writing, unfortunately, took a backseat, making my writing schedule non-existent at the moment. Covers are what I began doing when not writing and I just fell in love with it. It’s extremely satisfying to bring an author’s vision of their book to life.
PNR: Who or what has been the biggest influence on your writing? Who has been your biggest support?
Rene L.: Actually, I had two influences. Lynn Kurland and the book Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet. My husband, Frank, has always been my biggest support, not only with writing but with everything I’ve done since we’ve meet eight years ago. He is my biggest fan and my best friend.
PNR: What are the greatest challenges to you as an author?
Rene L.: Typos. Lol I swear they are the bane of my existence. I think every author has that one “thing” – that perfect flaw they can’t shake. Mine are typos. I just don’t see them. Thankfully many eyes pass over a manuscript before publication!
PNR: What do you feel are the essential elements of a great story?
Rene L.: Sinking into the mood of the story and some really great characters. If you have one dimensional characters you’ll have a one dimensional story. Rich characters and a vivid setting and mood really bring a story to life.
PNR: Readers and reviewers are raving about your Knights Templar vampires. You have received numerous honors, awards and a great deal of reader admiration for your writing. How does it feel to have such positive recognition for your work?
Rene L.: It feels very weird, actually. I’m my own worst critic, so trust me when I say that if you see a flaw in one of my books, I see it magnified a thousand times in my mind. When I set out to write these books, I wrote them as a means to deal with my grief. When they were published I was able to share my emotions with my readers and I have to say, I’ve received some amazing letters from people, many of whom are dealing with the loss of someone close to them as well and they were able to pick up my sorrow in my words. To me, connecting with people on such a profound level means the world to me. It also helps that critics like the books as well! Lol
PNR: Congratulations, readers are excited about the October 2007 print release of TEMPTING DARKNESS from Samhain Publishing; this is the third in your Templar Vampire series. Could you tell us what inspired this popular dark fantasy series and a little about your vision for the project? What direction will the series be taking?
Rene L.: The final book will the most intense. It will tie up the storyline left hanging in Tempting Darkness, give readers answers to what becomes of Raphael and why he isn’t getting his own book. It will also reveal what, exactly, the Templars were chosen to guard and the fate of their souls.
PNR: Readers are captivated by the dark world you have created. Tell us about the challenges you face in world building and making it work with the ideas you have in mind for the progression of your characters and the series? How much research is involved?
Rene L.: As I’ve always loved the Knights Templar, all I really have to do is brush up on dates and such, so there really isn’t too much research at this point. As for the progress of the characters, I’ve already dragged them through the fires of Hell. I hope they don’t mind taking one last journey with me. I love their world, which is set in modern day Pennsylvania. I’ve added a heavy dose of a medieval feel so as never to allow readers to forget we aren’t dealing with modern men. My Templars are warriors who have never shied away from battle or death. They’ve suffered unspeakable tortures while imprisoned in Chinon Castle and it was odd to mix their experiences and their medieval morality and bring that to today’s world.
PNR: Could you give us some insight into the mythology of your Templar vampires?
Rene L.: Well, we have five men who all went on Crusade for various reasons. Whether it was to escape their life or out of devotion to God, these men came together and found themselves joining the Templar Knights, the most renowned army of their day. I wanted to take men who had given up everything in order to serve in the Templar Order and rip their faith away. I wanted to play with the idea of what would happen if men who fought in the name of God did so after losing their faith. God, archangels, damnation – these things became very real for me while writing these books. In their world, God absolutely exists and He is loving and kind, who reluctantly damned men who killed in His name after they no longer believed in Him. It is my belief in God’s mercy that helped me form each Templar’s story. Once I had it all clear in my head, I knew I had something special. I poured a bit of myself into each of the Templars and did my best to bring them to life on the page.
PNR: Do you feel your writing is character driven or plot driven? How do you balance these two elements?
Rene L.: Character driven. Once I have the characters, the plot just sort of evolves around them. I balance them by always trying to use a character’s personality in making decisions regarding how they will deal with a situation. The next thing I know, another scene pops in my head!
PNR: Could you tell us a little about how you develop your characters? Who has been your favorite character to write? The most challenging?
Rene L.: Constantine Draegon was my favorite to write. With him, I was able to reach down deep into myself and have him react to things the way I wish I could sometimes. It was very liberating. Lucian gave me the most challenge because I’m not a very religious person and he is. So, I had to be aware at all times of his devotion to God. In fact, that’s what makes this series emotional for me. At every turn I’m confronted with my own faith.
PNR: How would you describe the sensuality level of your books; do you find it challenging to write the hot love/sex scenes that readers demand?
Rene L.: I hate writing sex scenes! I actually get embarrassed, like I’m peeking into someone’s bedroom window. I do my best to write them, but I have to admit, I usually write one graphic scene and the rest are “implied”. It may not be what readers want, but I’m afraid that’s the best I can give them and I hope they forgive me for it.
PNR: There is something about a knight in shining amour that makes romance readers weak in the knees, and captures our imagination, and you have combined that with one of the most popular of supernatural beings, the vampire. Why do you feel the dark ages and the icon of the chivalrous knight hold such a broad appeal and are such a popular theme in the romance genre? The vampire?
Rene L.: Knights will always hold a fascination, I believe, because they embody the ideal man. Strong. Honorable. Willing to lay down their lives for the protection of others. As for the dark ages, for me, the more we move into a world full of machines and computers, the more the dark ages fascinate me. The human interaction alone captivates me. And as for vampires, well, that whole live forever thing is a big draw for me since I’m absolutely terrified of death. I don’t believe in an afterlife, so when we die, I believe it’s the end and I’m scared of this wonderful adventure coming to an end. Vampires don’t have the worry of mortality hanging over them like we do.
PNR: What is it about the paranormal romance genre that captures your imagination? Is there a genre you haven’t written but would like to try?
Rene L.: I love the question of What If? that’s addressed in a paranormal romance. What if a vampire was real? What of he fell in love with a human? It’s about thinking outside the norm and love far removed from the ordinary. I’d love to get my hands on a really dark ghost story. Yep! That would be amazing! I’d love to give straight history a try. Something along the lines of The Jester by James Patterson and Andrew Gross. But that would take years if research and right now, I just don’t have the time.
PNR: May 2008 will see the launch of DRAGON SPELL PUBLISHING, your own publishing house; could you tell us about this new venture?
Rene L.: It was an idea I’ve been kicking around for the better part of a year. Frank and I often discussed it but I was hesitant about going for it given the recent closing of so many ePublishers – and the very public way they closed. Nevertheless, after spending months planning it, my husband and I reached a point were we just got tired of planning and not doing. So, we took all of the information we’d gathered, thought up a company name (Lyrical Press, Inc.), and just went for it. We’ve learned you can’t publish Young Adult on the same site as Erotica, so we decided to do business as Dragon Spell for romance and erotic, having Lyrical Press, Inc. to publish all other genres in the months and years to come. At Dragon Spell, it’s our hope to give authors a safe and fun environment for their books. Frank and I are extremely laid-back people and we wanted to bring that to our company. We want it do be fun and exciting and to give authors a great publishing experience. We both feel that DSP is an extension of ourselves and we want authors and readers to know that with us, they will find a place where they can be themselves and be treated respectfully and fairly.
PNR: Could you tell us about your current projects, what can readers expect to see in the coming months? Will you be continuing the Seraphim series?
Rene L.: All my writing has been put on hold for the time being. My characters don’t seem to mind much right now, but I’m a writer at heart and I know it will only be a matter of time before they start grumbling. When that day comes I’ll see if I’m ready to get back into the swing of things, but for now, I like to say I’ve retired because that way, I don’t feel pressure to do everything all at once. In order to balance my responsibilities as a cover artist for Dark Eden and Eternal Press and Dragon Spell, writing had to be sacrificed. I’m okay with that because this new direction is so exciting I can’t even tell you!
PNR: Thank you, Rene, for taking time out to talk to us. Where can readers find out what’s new and how can they contact you?
Rene L.: Thank you for having me! I’ve had so much fun. Readers can always find me at www.renelyons.com. Now, they can also find me at www.dragonspellpublsihing.com. I can always be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Again, thank you. I’ve really enjoyed answering these questions.Featured in this issue: ~Chivalry Themed Romance ~SCIONS Trilogy from Silhouette Nocturne ~PNR Coming Attractions 2008
October 30, 2007
April 1, 2007
Templar Vampire: Book 3
Once a proud Templar Knight, Lucian of Penwick lost his faith when God damned him as a vampire. Tormented by guilt, he is dragged back to his ancestral home and forced to confront the sins of his past. As he struggles to uphold his oath, Lucian knows if he falters, it's not just his own soul on the line...
Ripped from life as she knew it, Jessica Vargo is held prisoner in a world of darkness and torment. Deep in the bowels of a medieval castle, the line between myth and reality blurs and the only one she can trust is the seven-hundred-year-old vampire.
But as darkness tempts, can Lucian and Jessica find their light?
May 15, 2007
November 1, 2006
Templar Vampire: Book 2
Can she heal lifetimes of pain and make him believe salvation is possible?
Always feeling different from the world around her, a power grows within Lexine Parker. In the light is where she belongs—even as she finds herself thrust into the nocturnal realm of the Templar vampires.
Scarred by a brutal past, Constantine is a creature consumed with rage. He knows only darkness and sin. Believing he fights a losing battle of redemption, heaven is something he doesn’t dare hope for—until Lexine makes him believe salvation is possible.
Locked away in an ancient castle, they come together in body and spirit, searching for love to chase away the darkness. With Constantine’s soul at stake and Lex’s life on the line, the nights tick down to a cataclysmic event that could tear them apart forever.
Buy it Now!
October 17, 2006
July 1, 2006
Templar Vampire: Book 1
Where the damned come to play.
When things go bump in the night, Allison Parker bumps back. As the resident ghost hunter in a quiet, rural town, she’s thrust into the nocturnal world of the Templars. Embracing the night, she finds a place where she belongs.
Damned by God, Sebastian of Rydon knows only blood and death. After eight hundred years of merely existing, he learns what is to live when Allie comes bursting into his life. Her spirit guides him out of the dark.
Caught in a web of hate and revenge, they search for love as their world is torn apart.
For Additional Titles from Rene Lyons
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