The Woman Behind "Blood Ties"

The author of the Blood Books series, which inspired this Lifetime drama, dishes about her favorite vampire, sexual tension among the show's characters and what to expect on "Blood Ties."

How did you get into writing vampire fiction?

The true story? I was working at a science fiction specialty bookstore in Toronto and I wanted to move, but in order to do that I needed a mortgage for a piece of property outside of town. And I noticed that people who read vampire books are extremely loyal to their genre. I had four books out at that point and I thought, well, you know, if I write a vampire book I might make enough to pay a mortgage.


What kind of books were you writing before that?

Heroic fantasy and contemporary fantasy.


Where do you get inspiration for the characters in your Blood Books series?

Henry is an actual historical person who had a lot of life even though he died at 17. He was acknowledged to be the bastard son of the king [Henry VIII]. And Vicki is me. Except that my eyes aren't as bad. But to a certain extent all authors have wish-fulfilling characters, and Vicki is mine.


What kind of research do you do to prepare to write?

For the Vicki books, I have a friend who was on the police force at the time and I spent a lot of time talking to her. When I wrote the fifth book, which takes place in Vancouver, I actually called the Vancouver police department because I needed to know how they would react to a body found in floating in the water. Once they cleared the fact that I didn't really know about a body and that I was dealing with a fictional case, they were very helpful.


Why do you think the vampire genre is so popular?

There is certainly a lot of debate and discussion about it, and I have no idea. I think part of it is because we are all fascinated by the idea of immortality. And, from the very beginning, the vampire has always been tied to sex.


How true to the books is the TV show?

The pilot, which is the only episode that was taken directly from the books, Peter Mohan adapted brilliantly. And as the series has progressed away from the plots of the books, he still has a complete grasp on the heart of the story and on my style of writing. There are lines that show up in episodes and I'm like, Man, I wish I'd written that.


Have you written any of the episodes?

I wrote episode nine, which was an incredible opportunity for me. It was so wonderful of them to offer it to me and to take on a rookie screenwriter. I actually have more academic training in how to write for television than to write novels. I've just never used it, and it's a 25-year-old degree as of this year.