The idea for my book, Revenant, was born in the early 2000s during a time when vampire and zombie culture seemed at its peak. Twilight was a phenomenon, The Vampire Diaries was on the scene, True Blood was on the rise, and The Walked Dead was making its debut. Movies like I Am Legend and Zombieland were huge hits, and Resident Evil was still popular. Vampires and zombies have always been cult favorites, and the market was saturated with them. As someone who was obsessed with both, I was consuming everything related to these creatures of the night. But amidst all of this, one idea stood out to me.
As a fan of both, I noticed that no one had put these two popular tropes together in the way I imagined, and it seemed obvious to me that the two creatures of the night should be linked. But no one had done it the way I envisioned it. This was the spark that lit the fire, and Revenant was born.
Being a sci-fi enthusiast, I was also influenced by my love for Star Trek (Captain Picard being my all-time favorite) and other sci-fi and fantasy shows like Stargate, Lost in Space, X-Files, and Roswell. Star Wars is a staple in my home, and we own multiple copies of each movie, including the original VHS, and I’m a big fan of paranormal. Throw in a dystopian apocalypse with some magic, and I’m in heaven.
These passions blended together in my mind and became the foundation of Revenant, where vampires and zombies take center stage. I wanted it to be post-apocalyptic, set in the future, imagine 100 or so years into the future, where the planet is in recovery from a global climate disaster. The story takes place decades after the initial outbreak of zombies in a world that’s a wasteland in recovery. This allowed me to focus on the aftermath of the disaster and not the destruction. My goal was to make the setting as believable as possible, with elements of fantasy and science fiction.
Revenant is set in a time when technology has advanced, but the characters still use and repurpose the old. I did extensive research on everything from alternative fuel sources to power supplies and farming and incorporated these concepts into the book.
The result was a post-apocalyptic world with futuristic, urban, and paranormal twists with pockets of resilience and hope. Some communities are thriving as they rebuild and protect the innocent. The main characters in the series, The War of Blood and Roses are smart, resilient, and resourceful. They’ve found ways to adapt, restructure and unite in their goal to survive. While other groups fulfill the dystopic requirements of living in squalor as miscreants, thieves, traffickers, drug lords, and murderers.
However, the main focus of the book is not the circumstances in which they live but the characters that are at the heart of the series and a love story.
The War of Blood and Roses revolves around Abby and Ethan, the vampire leader, her love interest. The narrative is predominantly told from Abby’s perspective, offering a unique and intimate view of her surroundings. As the main protagonist, Abby’s journey and the reason for her central role is slowly revealed throughout the course of the series, with each book revealing more of her story, how it relates to the world, and her relationship with Ethan.
Each book is full of complex characters with their own stories to tell, backgrounds, and futures that have yet to be explored. The series weaves together elements of love, loss, friendship, humor, and steamy romance.
It’s worth noting that this series delves into some heavy themes consistent with a planet in chaos, such as explicit language, gore, and scenes that depict or imply sexual assault, slavery, torture, and abuse. For this reason, I advise readers to consider their own triggers and boundaries before diving into this world.
Despite these darker topics, The War of Blood and Roses is progressive and inclusive. You’ll encounter a variety of characters with different backgrounds, beliefs, and experiences. However, there are also characters who are resistant to change and seek to cause harm to others, and these individuals play a role in Abby’s journey and the story as a whole.
Regarding the pacing of the series, readers can expect each installment to end on a cliffhanger, with new books being released about once a year. Even though there are steamy scenes not appropriate for young readers, the relationship between Abby and Ethan could be described as a slow burn because of the trials they experience as a couple coming together. Despite the challenges that Abby, Ethan, and her companions will face, there will ultimately be a happily ever after. It just won’t be an easy journey to get there.
It took me nearly a decade to complete the first draft of “Revenant.” The process was challenging, as I was juggling multiple responsibilities, including school, work, raising children, and maintaining a household. However, I found pockets of time to write whenever I could and eventually had a completed PG/NA slow-burn, fade-to-black vampire romance novel. I did my due diligence and queried publishing houses and agents. I even had some interest and sent out several full copies of the manuscript but ultimately was always rejected, and for the same reason—the market for vampires was too saturated.
Again, as a fan, I found this laughable. So instead of giving in and giving up, I self-published in 2018. The sales were underwhelming, and I didn’t have time or a real budget to put into marketing, but I was determined. It was a story that I was proud of and something that I would want to read myself. So I continued forward and began working on the next installment.
When the COVID pandemic hit, I found myself on TikTok like many others. From there, I landed on booktok and the door to spicy dark romances was opened for me.
I was so inspired that I decided to pull my book and rework the entire series. I re-released “Revenant” in 2020 as an MA18 spicy dark romance and now I’m giving away the first chapter for free and the book will be for sale for $.99 on Feb 24th! Reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on TikTok @r.valentine_ and I’ll send you your free chapter. I promise, one chapter is all you need to get hooked on Abby and Ethan’s story.
If you have any questions or would like to learn more, feel free to reach out to me on TikTok or via email:
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Reach out to me for your free chapter: email@example.com
Grab the book for $.99 on Amazon on Feb 24th!