View of castle across a body of water, used as cover image for PG Devlin writes about vampires interview

PG Devlim writes about vampires

Prelude to the interview with a vampire writer

Darkness, poem by Taryn as prelude to interview with PG Devlim who writes about vampires
Darkness, poem by Taryn

Please introduce yourself to cosmicTaryn readers

Hello, I am PG Devlim, author of Vampire’s Key, the first book in the Sister’s of Annis series.

Vampire’s Key is an attempt at exploring the vampire in terms of female dominated eroticism, using sexuality to enhance energy which the vampires feed upon.

I’m a big fan of metal and, despite being married, quite a solitary guy.

Picture of author PG Devlim
Picture of author PG Devlim

So… vampires… What draws you to this specific character type?

I grew up with movies such as The Lost Boys and Near Dark being released in my formative years. A few years later, in the early 90s, Bram Stoker’s (BS) Dracula and Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire were also released, though I had read the Vampire Chronicles prior to this. All of these movies had a big impact on me.

Quite simply, the vampire is an outsider. Despite my attempts to fit in I was bullied a lot when I was a teenager. Under these circumstances it was easy for me to be drawn to the archetype of a powerful immortal who possesses occult abilities (perfectly depicted in BS Dracula) and ‘lives’ beyond the (psychological, cultural, spiritual and physical) boundaries of human society.

If you had to choose the perfect vampire from movies or series, who would that be and why?

Sorry, but I’m going to choose a few! I think it would be Damon or Karl from The Vampire Diaries/The Originals, for the male archetype, and Ingrid Pitt as Hammer’s Countess Dracula and Selene from the Underworld series, for the female archetype.

Both Damon and Karl hold the Luciferian rebellious attitude that they’ll do what they want and damn the consequences. I can see that being as much a blessing (freedom) as it is a curse (trapped by their personality). This outsider, fuck it, I’ll do what I want, attitude, is however only one side of the modern vampire persona. There is the very sensual side and Damon is a perfect example of that, as is Selene, though she adds a dominatrix kinda vibe in her outfit.

Vampire's Key cover
Vampire’s Key cover

Tell us about the process for coming up with the cover.

The Vampire’s Key cover was formed from different elements of the novel. The face represents Lilly, the protaganist, with the lighthouse and sea featuring later on in the book. This imagery doubles as masculine (lighthouse) and feminine (water). The key is a central theme in the book, relating to the entrapment and release of malke sexual energy upon which the Sister’s of Annis feed (in the fetish community it’s called keyholding).

What is the most surprising thing you discovered while writing your book(s)?

I’m not sure if anything was particularly surprising to me. Ideas for a vampire series had been rumbling in the recesses of my mind for many years before I actually sat down and began world building. There was a learning curve though. I’d written a couple of books before I wrote Vampire’s Key and wanted to make sure I did this one right, with beta reader feedback and the hiring of an editor before I published. In short, I was intent on creating the best story and book I could. I still think it was a bit rushed, but I’ve learnt to slow down and wait until the story is ready. Modern life is so lost in speed – rushing here and there – that it can be hard to go against the grain and do the opposite, but patience and a slow speed, for me, leads to a better end result.

If your book was to be made into a movie, who are the celebrities that would star in it?

I had a clear idea for two characters. The lead male was an easy choice: Adrian Brody. Although I’m not sure the character of Adrian looks exactly like the actor, Adrian Brody was brilliant in The Pianist. Hermione Courfield was Lady Mortimer for me. A Middle Class English rose. For Lilly Armitage, the protaganist, I would be looking for a young character actress who has depth, a great sense of humour and yet an inner darkness. No one has come to mind for her yet, but I’ll know the actress when I see her. Olga Kurylenko, of Centurian and James Bond fame, would make a good vampire Katie. She also played a vampire opposite Elija Wood in a short film as part of the Paris After Midnight movie.

Is there lots to do before you dive in and start writing a story?

I tend to draft the frame of the story, blast out some scenes and see where the characters are taken. I then hone this with rewrites and add the details based on research. I think of it as a bit like building a house: putting the basic structure in place before I move on to create the fixtures and fittings.

What is the best way to stay motivated and complete goals?

For myself, I remember what I don’t want to do. Do I want to be stuck doing the same thing in five years time? Death is a very good motivator. Remember we’re finite beings and our time is limited. If you want to take this further, visualise yourself on your deathbed. Really, intensely see it, picture what it feels like, try and experience it. Now, from this perspective, still visualising yourself on your deathbed, look back at your life. See exactly where you are now and answer the simple question: what do I wish I had done with my life? I can’t think of a better method of self-motivation.

If your mind were an island, what would it look like?

Tropical on one side with beautiful blue water and warm, sunny beaches and then rugged with sharp granite cliffs and raging seas on the other. There’d be two sides to the central castle/building. One would reflect the warmth and beauty, the other would be isolated and quite dark.

Would you rather lose all your money and valuables or all the pictures you have ever taken?

My valuables are sentimental so I’d rather lose photos than those. I barely have any money to lose!

Off the top of your head, who would you give a shout out to on Twitter?

Obviously yourself @CosmicTaryn for the great interview, plus: @CathyAblett @AuthorTCLewis @F­_Glass_Author @rocketart @chelseabwrites @MozPerkins to name just a few.

Is there a way for your fans to connect with you?

I’m on Twitter where I am most active. I also have an intermittent presence on Facebook, Instagram and Goodreads. Plus I have a blog!

Care to share what you will be working on next?

I’ve written book 2, the sequel to Vampire’s Key and also plotted out the series as well as started writing the third book. I’ve also written a stand-alone novella that fits into the Sister’s of Annis but focuses on one of the Sisters featured in the first book. This is almost ready for release.

Intertwined dragon banner used at end of blog post
Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay

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