"New Worlds Are Our Oyster."
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British-born Rosemary Laurey grew up in a Surrey village somewhat like Bringham, but minus the witches, murder, blackmail and vampires.
After graduating from college, she set out to teach her way around the world and made it as far as Turkey, where she met her own, real-life, romance hero: a tall, handsome US Air Force Captain from South Carolina complete with a wonderful, Southern accent. They married and lived happily ever after.
She's spent the intervening years, raising three sons, teaching Learning Disabled students in both public and private schools, acquiring an M.Ed in her spare time, working as an educational assessor, moonlighting in a bookstore, and writing.She now shares an empty nest in German Village, Ohio with her with her husband, George.
PNR: Rosemary, you've had a traditional romance published by e-publisher Hard Shell Word Factory in 1999. Tell us a little bit about why you Decided to write a paranormal romance and how Walk in Moonlight came to be published by Avid Books .
Rosemary L: You might say the vampires chose me! At RWA in Dallas, an editor suggested I try writing a book with an English setting. I took her advice to heart and set out to write a short, category romance. I deposited my South Carolinian heroine in England and planned to enjoy her confusion as her preconceived ideas of an English village were shattered one by one. My sons were delighted to list all the things they found odd or irritating over on the other side of the pond. I was writing happily through the third chapter when it hit me that the reason Dixie found Christopher a bit 'odd' was not because he was English but because he was a vampire. After that the story took off. It was the fastest thing I've ever written. I had 150,000 words by the time I finished the first draft. So much for the short series romance! I cut it to 125,000 before I started submitting it. After 41 rejections, Avid offered for it if I'd cut it to 100,000. I didn't hesitate...
PNR: The heroine in my own recent release Silver Rain was a practicing Wiccan. As I understand it Wiccans revere nature and use their gifts for good. The Wiccan coven in your novel doesn't espouse the motto "An' it harm none…." Do they?
Rosemary L: No, they don't. But they're not, I suppose a true Wiccan coven as we think of one today. This coven had it's origins handed down from the druids (not too far fetched, the roots are still there in the south of England, when I was a child the druids still convened at Stonehenge to observe the solstice and in addition there is a tradition of 'black magic' in the South Downs). The coven has been corrupted over the years, first by Dixie's great aunts who used their knowledge of herbal lore for blackmail and extortion and later by Sebastian in his lust for power.
PNR: This is an interesting concept pitting witches against vampires, with the vampires being the good guys for a change. Where did your inspiration for this plot come from?
Rosemary L: Since the hero is a vampire, he has to be one of the good guys doesn't he? Sebastian was earmarked as the villain from the beginning. Putting him in power in the coven just seemed to fit the plot.
PNR: Another twist to the story is that the hero/vampire was an actual historical figure, Christopher Marlowe, a British Dramatist of the sixteenth century. Did you perhaps feel including a real character and parts of his history would make the story more believable to the reader?
Rosemary L: No it wasn't that. Once I discovered my hero was a vampire, I realized he was Christopher Marlowe and that was that. I even considered switching the setting to Canterbury where Marlowe grew up but decided against it. Surrey still worked, close enough to London when he wants to visit old haunts and old friends, and not that far from Canterbury if he feels nostalgic. The circumstances of Marlowe's death just fitted nicely. Far more Illustrious writers than I have pondered long and hard about what happened that afternoon in Deptford and why? To say nothing about who Marlowe really worked for, and what he did or did not write.
Marlowe came from a middle class, craftsman shoemaker's family in Canterbury. A bright lad with 'promise' he went to Cambridge and it's generally accepted that there he was recruited into the secret service. He spent time in France, ostensibly studying but may historians believe he spent the time spying on the Catholic faction. Remember these were years of religious and political turmoil. (Anthony Burgess in A Dead Man in Deptford covers this period of his life in detail and dwells on Marlowe's ambivalent emotions about his actions). Back in London, Marlowe, established a reputation as a playwright, working with Philip Henslowe and The Lord Admiral's Men. Marlowe seems to have hung around town with a wild crowd, consorted with some shady characters, joined Sir Walter Raleigh's circle of thinkers, got himself arrested after a street fight, and generally caused his parent to worry.
Marlowe's death in mysterious circumstances at Eleanor Bull's Tavern in Deptford has been a matter of speculation ever since. Was it a drunken brawl, a quarrel over a card game gone wrong, a set up? And if the latter by whom and why? Was Marlowe eliminated by Walshinghan's faction as an unreliable agent? By another political group? Or did he, as some have claimed, fake his own death and return to write Shakespeare?
There is no question that the evidence give at the inquest doesn't tally with the coroner's report. The truth will probably never be known but the story fascinated me since I first heard it at school. I suppose you could say it's been fermenting as a what-if since I was sixteen. the background for the setting.
PNR: Tell us a bit about Kit Marlowe and his contemporary Tom Kyd.
Rosemary L: Marlowe and Kyd were contemporaries, both playwrights, and at one Time they shared lodgings in London. Compared with Marlowe's roistering, Kyd lived a fairly sedate life, but had the misfortune, due to his friendship with Marlowe, to get snared into politics. Their shared lodgings were searched and Kyd arrested after papers considered blasphemous and seditious were found by Walsingham's men. Kyd was tortured on the rack for information and identified the author as Marlowe. Kit was called for questioning but not arrested. It was ten days after this that Marlowe was killed in Deptford.
Another theory being he was trying to flee the country before he was arrested and tortured like his friend. Whatever is the truth, Kyd remained in Bridewell some months, and died not long afterward his release, his health having been broken by the torture.
So you see, history fitted very nicely into my story. If Kit became a vampire, it seemed perfectly logical that he would transform his friend.
PNR: The heroine is an American woman from South Carolina, who has inherited property from her great aunt in England. Could you tell the readers a little bit about how she becomes involved with the witches and the vampires?
Rosemary L: Purely by chance! The surprise inheritance of a house in England and, as she later discovers, a nice chunk of money, comes while Dixie is Mourning her grandmother and recovering from a being dumped by her fiancee. Dixie goes to England to escape, planning on nice quiet couple of weeks in what she thinks will be a sleepy little village with not much going on.
PNR: Many authors pick and choose which Vampire legends to adhere to and which to dispel. Your vampires have no reflections but are able to go out in the daytime. How did you decide which characteristics your vampires would have?
Rosemary L: The daytime detail, I took from Stoker. Dracula is seen in broad daylight one afternoon in London. In Stoker this is possible after Dracula as Fed abundantly. I made it an ability that comes with time. Hence Dixie cannot yet go out in bright sunlight. Also I took the Whitby connection so to speak from Dracula. That worked for the plot too, Yorkshire is a long stretch from Surrey, both geographically and culturally, and that gave Dixie another hurdle to surmount.
As for the reflection issue, I didn't write that in to begin with but when I was writing the love scene just before Christopher leaves her to go into hiding, the image of Dixie seeing herself in the mirror without Christopher, although he was beside her, stuck me a very symbolic and so I wrote it in.
As far as deciding what characteristics to choose, I suppose I kept the ones that worked and fitted in the life my vampires have and omitted others.
PNR: Is there any basis in vampire lore that a being can gain the vampires power by destroying it, or is that your own contribution?
Rosemary L: Purely my own invention. Remember Sebastian is so crazed for power he'd try anything. Barb S: In addition to drawing from history for your characters do you also draw from your own experiences? Rosemary L: I grew up in a village in Surrey (called Fetcham incidentally) that certainly gave me.
PNR: The heroine of Southern Song is a teacher of children with learning disabilities as are you yourself. Did the fact that you are English born and your own personal hero is a native South Carolinian influence the origins of the hero and heroine of Walk in Moonlight?
Rosemary L: Yes. I suppose it did. Not consciously though. The English setting I already explained. Why did I make Dixie come from SC? Well, I lived in the south for 26 years and that gave me a little insight into what a Southerner might find different finding themselves plumb in the middle of rural Surrey.
PNR: Dixie's place of birth being an ocean away does pose problems later in the story, doesn't it?
Rosemary L: Most definitely! And I intended it to be. I've lived and worked as an expatriate for 32 years on one continent or another, and let me tell you, there's nothing like finding yourself in an alien culture to make you question yourself, your expectations and your priorities. When you're on your own miles from family and friends you have to stand on your own two feet and cope. Dixie ends up doing things she'd never have done back home in Charleston.
PNR: One amusing anecdote is when the heroine is referred to as a Yank (as opposed to a Brit) and takes umbrage being the died in the wool southern lady. Do you feel humor is important to balance the intensity of certain aspects of the plot?
Rosemary L: Oh yes. I think humor is essential to sanity and survival. Not just in fiction either! Remember the old Reader's Digest feature 'Laughter, the Best Medicine? Well they've now proved the laughter is the best antidote to stress and can help cancer victims recover. In fiction the occasional light-hearted moment also serves to counterbalance the tension.
PNR: What's next for Rosemary Laurey?
Rosemary L: I have a short 'handbag' romance coming out in the UK in September and a MiniMag romance sometime in spring 2000. In a different vein I've recently sold a couple of erotic short stories and have several others out on editor's desks right now. I'm also toying with writing Tom's and Justin's stories. I think they both deserve a good woman. So far it's just a thought but ideas are germinating. Right now my big project is finishing a manuscript for Black Lace but I definitely want to get back to my vampires.
Dixie LePage got more than bargained for when she journeyed to England to inspect her inheritance. What she didn't get was the quiet vacation she'd been hoping for.
Two men are very interested in the contents of her home. One has evil intentions and will stop at nothing to obtain what he seeks. Is Sebastian Caughleigh capable of murder?
The other is something else entirely. He stirs Dixie's blood with his handsome face, athletic build, and old fashioned ways. Yes, he has it all. Well everything but a reflection! Can it be that Kit is not the namesake of the playwright Christopher Marlowe afterall, but the real McCoy?
Caught between a corrupt Wiccan coven and a couple of formerly famous vampires, and Dixie thought things were hot in the South Carolina!
has been rereleased as "Kiss Me Forever" in the
ME FOREVER /
Shell Word Factory
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