“Borrowing” from the best

March 8th, 2014Posted by Nancy

Where do writers get our ideas, you ask?  Sometimes, we get them from other writers.

There were many inspirations for my first novel, The Night Inside, but one of them was definitely a story by another writer.   I read Suzy McKee Charnas’ wonderful collection The Vampire Tapestry, which features a vampire quite unlike most of the others I had encountered to that point. There’s nothing supernatural about Weyland and the book was a fascinating exploration of how an essentially alien creature adapts and survives in the human world.  In one of the novellas, Weyland is taken prisoner by men intending to exploit his nature.

Something in that resonated with me and resurfaced later with the idea for a short story in which a vampire is displayed in a circus side show and runaway teens are kidnapped to feed him.  The story never went anywhere but the essential situation (a captive vampire and an intended victim who form an alliance to escape) became a key part of The Night Inside.

In 2003, Robin McKinley (a writer I love) published Sunshine.  At the beginning of the novel, the main character is captured by a gang of vampires and chained in a ballroom of a secluded mansion as temptation and torture to another vampire.  Sunshine is completely different from The Night Inside but I admit it was a slightly surreal experience reading that section.

When Sandra Kasturi from ChiZine Publications told me she was going to approach Suzy McKee Charnas about writing an introduction for e-book reissues, I was thrilled and terrified.   Charnas graciously agreed and her kind and witty introduction now graces The Night Inside and Blood and Chrysanthemums.

When you borrow, borrow from the best.   So go read The Vampire Tapestry and Sunshine and anything else by either writer you can get your hands on.

E-BOOK UPDATE:  The e-book editions will be available in mid-April through CZP, Amazon, Indigo and other e-book outlets.

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