Karenna Colcroft back again to tell you a little about how my new male/male contemporary romance Love Like Vampires came to be.
Or at least I would tell you if I could really remember… Usually, I have a specific piece of inspiration for a story. I know exactly where the idea came from, or at least one of the characters. This book had a lot of components adding to it, though.
Back in the early 2000s, I worked at a high school in central Maine, in the town where I lived at the time. Some of the guys there started a band. I’d always been interested in how middle school and high school bands seemed to randomly form and then fall apart, which had happened to a group of guys I went to school with. They were huge in junior high and high school, and after graduation they tried to make it big, but their attempts didn’t last long.
The band that started at the school where I worked, though, actually went somewhere. We knew a couple of the guys personally; one of them had a younger sister who was in my older daughter’s class, and another worked one summer as a recreation department day camp counselor, where both of my daughters were in his group at one time or another. The band went through a couple of incarnations, but ended up as Sparks the Rescue. You may or may not have heard of them; they’ve had a few albums, some videos, and have played a lot of shows.
A few years ago, my older daughter and I went to one of their shows in Cambridge, Massachusetts. We paid for a meet and greet, and got talking with a couple of the guys, including the one who’d worked at the day camp. He remembered us, or at least did a really good impression of remembering us. I had emailed them not long before asking permission to use one of their songs in a book trailer. They never answered the email, but during that conversation, I asked for–and received–permission to use songs they had written in book trailers, etc., as long as I credited them.
One of their earlier songs, with a video shot in the town where we lived, was called “We Love Like Vampires”. That song gave me the name of the band in my new book, as well as the book’s title.
Another component that grew into this book was an off-handed mention in a short story. In 2013, I wrote a story called “When I See You Smile” for MLR Press’s Mixed Tape anthology. The main characters of the story were a famous rock musician, Kieran West, and his assitant/lover/submissive Deacon. In the story, it’s mentioned that Kieran had contacted a small band from Maine and invited them to open for him at a show in Boston.
I wanted to find out what happened to that band, but I couldn’t use the same characters because the band’s story, for various reasons, was being targeted for Dreamspinner Press. So I created a different famous rock musician and went from there.
I haven’t written a lot about musicians, and I hope I’ve gotten it right in Love Like Vampires. If you’d like to find out for yourself, you can order the book from Dreamspinner Press in either ebook or paperback.