I'm a bit of a daydreamer. Always have been, always will be. My elementary and high school reports would always have comments from teachers that would say 'Joanne is very capable of achieving better marks, if only she would stop daydreaming in class,' or something along those lines anyway. I remember sitting in class one hot summer day, after a particularly active lunch break, (and if any of you have ever experienced summer in Queensland then you would know how hot and sticky it can get) laying my head on my desk and watching the giant gum trees rustle in the wind outside my classroom window. I didn't go to sleep, but instead I let my mind wander and daydream. I can't remember what I was daydreaming about, but knowing me back then, it was mostly about being a famous basketball player. I was eleven at the time and lived and breathed basketball.
I didn't have to just be at school to daydream. I would always make up stories of what I would do when I was rich and famous (in fact it's something I still do now). As I grew older, my passions changed, and so did my daydreams. The books I read, and I used to read ALOT, also changed from Archie comics, fairytales and kids mystery books to high school love stories. Not content with reading about the female character that always got the guy in the end, I would find myself daydreaming that I was that girl who got the guy. But my dreams were never enough, so I started writing short stories that would involve me and my current crush. Shortly there after, I started receiving requests from school friends to write them a story. Sometimes, these requests would even include the same guy I was crushing on! (This was the start of my dream to write stories for a living) Sometimes I think about those stories and wonder if any of the guys I wrote about back then knew. My inner 15 year old cringes at the thought!
It was around this time that I also discovered vampires!!! I instantly fell in love with them. To me, there was always that attraction to the bad guy, that was struggling to be good. My favorites at the time were The Lost Boys and Bram Stokers Dracula. Classic movies of that era. In fact I think I watched the former movie over 100 times, bought the soundtrack and had numerous Jason Patrick posters on my wall. I even made my parents buy me a pair of Rayban sunglasses that he wore. Obsessed much? I used to climb on the roof at night and daydream about a vampire coming for me. This was only the start of my obsession. Next came the mid 90's and the next resurgence of vampire movies and books. It was around this time I read everything that Anne Rice wrote, and watched the book to movie adaptations, and fell in love with Angel from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (tv series). I'm even ashamed to admit that as a 20 something year old, I would still have those daydreams about vampires.
The 2000's saw another reinvention of vampire stories. I, along with thousands of others, fell in love with Edward and Twilight. By this time, I was married and already had two children, and too busy to read, so I was late to the series, picking it up when the final book was released (pre movie release, lets make that one clear lol). My husband would frequently complain every time I picked up a book that no one could communicate with me until I finished it. But when I read a review on the book and series in general, I just knew I had to read it. And that I did. I read all the books, cover to cover, about three times in a row. Then came the movies and other vampire books, and my obsession with all things vampire reignited.
So, I hear you say, 'Illuminated Darkness, not another vampire novel!' Most would assume I've just jumped on the bandwagon of the current trends and of vampires and witches all things supernatural. But for me, as you've just read, vampires have been in my blood (pun intended) for 25 years! Wren is MY vampire, and is how I've always pictured him, since I was a 15 year old high school girl waiting for him at night on my roof. It's just taken me this long to finally share him with everyone else. And even though Ash isn't me, she shares some of my traits, so I guess, in a way, this is my vampire that has finally come for me. So, maybe to you this is a just another vampire novel, but to me, it's my daydream finally coming true.