Duane’s Fiction

July 31, 2014

Royalty Gene – a new Vampire Diaries Novel now available at Amazon

Filed under: Uncategorized — duaneaakre @ 11:58 am

Update 7/31/2014



Royalty Gene is NOW available at Amazon!

Royalty Gene is a sequel to Dark Awakening. Since Dark Awakening sold more copies in the first three months than any of my other stories had to date, it seemed like a sequel was the smartest thing to do next.

In thinking about what to do with a sequel, I remembered one of the subplots I had developed for my fanfiction story Elena’s Revenge. In it, I had given Prince Harry supernatural gifts. I didn’t do much with them, but I had developed an interesting backstory of how the English royal family could have acquired them that tied into the origins of the vampires in the Vampire Diaries mythology. So I decided to reuse this backstory, but change the protagonist from the contemporary Prince Harry to a royal family further back in time.

Since Dark Awakenings was set in 1492, I wanted the next story to be set somewhere in the 1500s. In researching the English monarchy in that time frame, I decided 1554 might be interesting. The famous Queen Elizabeth I was 20 years old at that time, making her roughly the same age as the perpetually 19 year old Katerina. She wouldn’t be crowned queen for another five years so she would have been Princess Elizabeth in 1554. Her half-brother, King Edward VI, had died the previous year at the age of 15. Her half-sister, Queen Mary I, was the current ruler.

This was a period of bitter relations in England between Catholics and Protestants. King Henry VIII, the father of Edward, Mary, and Elizabeth, had created the Protestant Church of England. Edward and Elizabeth were also Protestant, but Mary was a devout Catholic. Because of their religious differences, Elizabeth spent most of 1554 under arrest first in the Tower of London and later at Woodstock Palace about 50 miles west of London. And Mary prosecuted most Protestant leaders during this time period with over 280 being burned at the stake during her reign. Many historians don’t understand why Mary didn’t also have Elizabeth killed to ensure the monarchy would stay catholic. Certainly other members of the royal family, including Elizabeth’s mother, Anne Boleyn, had been executed using pretty flimsy justifications.

After thinking about it a little, I decided this could all be worked into a story to give the fiction an extra hint of reality. If the royal family had supernatural gifts, perhaps Elizabeth being under house arrest was simply a ruse to give her freedom of movement to do her supernatural duties. And perhaps Mary didn’t have Elizabeth executed because their special gift made it impossible.

Since vampires and werewolves are naturally dark creatures, it seems like the Vampire Diaries world needs some positive force to keep them in check. So the English royal family is sort of my version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I decided to change up their gifts relative to Buffy to be more consistent with the mythology of the Vampire Diaries series. So in addition to having enhanced strength and speed relative to a normal human, the royals also have the ability to compel similar to what vampires have except their gift works on vampires and werewolves, as well as humans. Their gift had made them a nearly unstoppable force in the past, which is why there were few vampires in England. However werewolves were still a problem as they had always been so numerous and made converts so fast, it had been impossible for the handful of royals to ever completely wipe them out.

I didn’t have all the details worked out when I started writing the story, but enough was clear in my head to convince me I could do an interesting story if I chose 1554 as the setting.

Therefore I decided to have Katerina return to England in 1554 and have her get caught up in a long simmering war between the Royals and the werewolves which was about to blaze hot again.

Dark Awakening, Katerina’s origin story, had been all about vampires. This sequel is largely about her dealings with werewolves. I hate to just repeat myself, so if I were to do a third story in this series, I would prefer to add some other mythical creatures to continue to make the stories fresh and interesting. As I was writing Royalty Gene, I was already thinking about setting the next story in Samurai Japan of the early 1600s. And one day the story title ‘Dragons of Nippon’ popped into my head. A story involving Katerina and dragons seemed like it might be fun, so I decided to work a little about dragons into this current story to set the stage. It isn’t clear what exactly killed King Edward VI, other than it was some slow lingering lung disease. So I decided I could work that into the plot too. What if he and Elizabeth battled a dragon and his lungs had been scorched by dragon fire and that was what had killed him? This didn’t bring Katerina into direct contact with dragons yet, but having Elizabeth relate this story to her would be an interesting way of introducing them into my version of the Vampire Diaries mythology for use in the future.

I view the previous story, Dark Awakening, as a dark romance where Katerina falls in love, but ultimately kills the man she loves. Royalty Gene falls more in the straight up action-adventure genre. I think it is a lot of fun. Hopefully, others will, too.

I think this story stands on its own and can be read and enjoyed even if you have never seen an episode of the TV series.

Note: The link above will take you to Amazon where you can buy the book.  And, as with all Kindle books, once you are there you have the option to read the first 10% for FREE to help you decide if you want to buy.

 

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