And as a special bonus, Sherri will be awarding a $25 gift card from Amazon to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. To be entered for a chance to win, make sure to leave an e-mail address with a comment below. And if you'd like more chances to win, you can visit other tour stops and comment there as well.
Sherri Lackey was born in Carlsbad, New Mexico, later moving to Alpine, Texas where her parents owned a fast food restaurant (The Dairy Twist) and a Mexican food restaurant (The Spot).
It was in the back of those two businesses where, as a child, she developed a wild imagination. She thought skeletons lived in the attic, monsters lurked behind corners, and ghosts haunted The Spot. Her course as a fantasy writer was set from this young age. When her folks moved back to Carlsbad, she imagined aliens peeking in through the living room windows, thereby broadening her interests to include science fiction. As an adult she began to notice that human behavior in general is strange, alien, and monstrously scary at times. Therefore, she never lacks for new and imaginative plots in her stories.
Welcome, Sherri. Please tell us about your current release.
The Vrykolakas Deviation is book one of The Narcissus Legacy series. The story spans millennia as it follows the path of Keeva, a deviant vrykolakas (a vampire creature of Greek origin). Most vrykolakes are narcissistic monsters preying on the life-force of human victims. Keeva and her father, Sandor, do not prey upon humans and are the only two vrykolakes who are different from the rest. They live their lives in hiding from other vrykolakes who view them as a threat.
Keeva longs to have what humans often take for granted - a family of her own. When she poses as a high school student at Caldwell High School, her maternal instincts kick into full gear when she meets and “adopts” a teenage girl named Mandy. She does not tell Mandy that she is actually over two thousand years old. One dreadful night, Mandy is murdered by Severin, a vrykolakas, who Keeva captures and takes back to her apartment. Things become complicated for Keeva after that as she begins to have feelings for Severin.
What inspired you to write this book?
I have wanted to write a vampire novel for years, but there are a lot of vampire novels on the market already. I decided to tweak the concept of a vampire just a bit. As I researched the subject, I discovered the vrykolakas - a vampire legend originating on the Greek island of Santorini. Vrykolakes are sometimes called the bloodless vampire and their killing method isn’t clearly defined in the legends about them. Since it isn’t clearly defined, I took the liberty of defining the vrykolakas and their killing method in my novel.
"Why? I am a vrykolakas and that is all that matters," he said harshly. "You are not a vrykolakas. You are nothing, less than nothing, daughter of Sandor. You are nothing but a freakish aberration, a mistake yet to be remedied – erased."
This conversation was not going in the direction I had hoped it would go. "And yet," I said, "here you are tied up in this room. This less than nothing aberration managed to drag your practically lifeless body back here and tie you up. That is something to think about isn't it?"
He gave me that cold smile again. "You are such a naïve little girl. How have you survived this long?"
I suddenly felt foolish. I clearly was not on top of my game here. I was failing miserably and his last words cut me deeply. I walked out of the room slamming the door behind me. I was frustrated by my failed first attempt at interrogation. On top of that, I couldn't think clearly with him around.
That night, I was restless again. At times it seemed I was in some realm of being half asleep and half awake. At one point, I thought I woke up to see Severin standing over me, looking down at me with that wolfish grin. I came more fully awake. He was not there, but his distinct odor was pervasive in my room. I got up and got a drink of water from the kitchen. I listened quietly outside his room and heard nothing.
What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m currently working on book two in The Narcissus Legacy series, titled The Darkness Below. The story of the vrykolakes continues with Keeva’s daughter, Kaie, who becomes trapped in another realm known as Subtenna. Alone with none of her family there to help her, she must find a way back to earth. She meets some new friends along the way, and makes more than her fair share of enemies, including one nameless, shapeless enemy which has haunted her dreams since childhood.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I was a child when I first considered myself as a writer. I came up with my first idea for a series of stories when I was in sixth grade. I titled it, Sherri Shoebox, Girl Detective. I was into detective novels in those days. It seems like a silly title now, but at the time I was proud of it. In seventh grade, I wrote a play titled, The Disappearance of Susan Riley, for a speech and drama class. My teacher encouraged me to submit it for publication. I did, and it was promptly rejected. Woohoo! Twelve years old and I had my first rejection letter! After that I gave up mystery writing and started writing science fiction, fantasy, and romance.
Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I would love to write full-time, but I have other obligations that need my attention. I have homeschooled my three children through high school. My twin sons are now in college working on a Communications degree and my daughter is a junior in high school. My mother is battling cancer now, and I spend my mornings taking care of her. I write whenever I get a chance. I prefer to write in the mornings when my mind is fresh. If I cannot do that, I write in the afternoon. I try to write for at least an hour a day, more than that if I can sneak it in.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I have to have music playing in the background as I write. I choose songs for my iPod based on how they fit with certain scenes in my stories.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Besides a writer, I wanted to be a movie producer and director when I grew up. I was a novel purest, and I believed that movies based on books should follow the intent of the author as closely as possible. I still believe that. I was bitterly disappointed in Michael Landon when I was a child because he didn’t closely follow Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books. When I read The Last of the Mohicans as an adult, and then watched the 1992 movie based on the book, I really became aggravated with the screenwriters. As far as I was concerned, they completely threw out James Fenimore Cooper’s story and kept only the names of the characters. I griped all the way through the movie much to my husband’s displeasure. I’ve given up on the dream of being a movie producer and director, but I did make my own book trailer for The Vrykolakas Deviation.
Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I just want to say thank you for letting me visit with readers of your blog here today. Stop by my website and say hi, give me a follow or join my mailing list. My front page has ordering information for The Vrykolakas Deviation and the release dates for the next two books in the series.
Thanks, Sherri. Happy touring! Readers, don't forget about the giveaway Sherri is offering to a lucky commentor.