Sunday, 7 April 2013

Renee Stevens - Joined By Blood

Renee Stevens is a writer at Gay Authors I have a lot of respect for. We worked together briefly on a doomed Round Robin and I had the great privilege of helping her out a little on her story Joined By Blood. It's a very unusual vampire story following Damian who, captured by one vampire clan, with the assistance of his sister who they claimed, and rescued by another whose leader tells him he's his mate, has to negotiate a path between rejecting vampires altogether, falling in love with not one but two vampire mates, and coming to terms with the fact that his sister is lost to him forever.

I have always found Damian to be a fascinating character and I have had the great privilege of interviewing him. I therefore, without further delay, introduce you to Damian and leave you in his capable hands

Welcome to my Blog, Damian and thank you for taking time out of your busy life to answer some questions that have been burning in me since I read your story.                    
  • What was the worst moment of your life? The worst moment in my life?  Believe it or not, it wasn’t even the being kidnapped.  I honestly think the worst moment is a toss-up between finding out my entire relationship with my sister was a lie, the realization I couldn’t save her, or witnessing the pain the Vik suffered when he had to kill his own brother.  It would be nearly impossible to pick between the three.
·         How did you feel when you realised that you were bonded to a vampire? To be completely honest, scared out of my mind.  I mean, I also found out at the same time, or close enough anyways, that vampires really existed.  To know that I was tied to one for the rest of my life, which could be a long long time, was terrifying.  A part of me just wanted to run and hide and never come out.
·         How did you feel when you realised you were bonded to two vampires?
Stunned.  Disbelieving.  Confused.  All of the above.  I had accepted by then that vampires existed, but just like when I first found out I was bound to Vik, there was so much more than just finding out I was bound to Dante as well.  Those two don’t do anything in half measures and not only did they bind me to BOTH of them, without me knowing, but they changed me.  It’s a lot to take in, and there are still moments when I think it’s a dream.  A really good dream, but a dream nonetheless.
·         When did you realise you were in love with each?
I always chuckle when I hear this, because I don’t think it was ever a smack me upside the head moment.  My feelings for both my men grew over time, even when I didn’t know what I was feeling.  When I told Vik I loved him I was still so unsure of so many things, and Dante was one of the things I was unsure of.  The one thing I was sure of was that I felt more for Vik than I ever had for anyone else.  He was my safe place, the one person at the time I felt connected to and the one person I felt I could trust.  With Dante, it was a little different.  There was always something there, and I wasn’t the only one who felt it.  Like with Vik though, I knew I was safe with him, I knew I could trust him, and by the time we were all bound together, all those feelings had morphed and become a greater love than I’d ever experienced in my life.    I just can’t really pinpoint the one moment when I said to myself “I love him” with either of the guys.  It kind of feels like it’s just always been there.
·         Do you still regret that you couldn’t save your sister?
Regret is such a strong word.  Do I wish she could have been redeemed, of course I do, but I did everything I could to save her.  In reality, Becca quit being my sister a long time before the end, I’m not really even sure who she was anymore.  The one thing I have asked myself repeatedly since that day is if anything of the sister I had known was still in there.  Was it truly her that turned so evil or was it the thing inside her.  That’s something I’ll never know for sure, but I did what had to be done.  I refuse to live my life full of regret, besides, I doubt Vik or Dante would let me. Also, in a way, we did save her.  Not in the way I would have liked, but she’s free from the ancient soul that was ingrained within her.
·         Everyone knows how special you are; do you?
I’m really nothing special.  I mean, I know that there has to be something about me, otherwise neither Vik nor Dante would want to be with me, so there’s got to be something, but I’m just me. 
·         If you could have changed one thing what would it have been?
This might surprise you, since I’m sure you expect me to say that I wish I could have saved Becca, and while that is true to a point, that isn’t the one thing I would change above all else.  If I could go back and change anything, it would be for me and Vik to realize sooner what Dante was to us.  It would have saved Dante so much pain if we had only realized what the three of us had.
·         What are your hopes for the future?
I could tell you that I just wish to spend the rest of my life with Vik and Dante, and in a way that’s true, but there’s so much more.  I hope that, eventually, our kind no longer have to remain hidden away.  I hope we never again have to fight the ancient soul that wants to destroy us.  In the end, I really just want our clan and ourselves to be happy, whatever route that may take, I’m willing to do what it takes.
·         If you could have one wish what would it be?
One wish is so limiting.  I’m not sure I could narrow down things to one single wish.  Actually, now that I think about it, there is something that I would wish for above all else.  I would wish that our kind could walk into the sunlight.  I haven’t even been a vampire long, but not being able to go into the sun really sucks, I can only imagine how it is for those who have been vampires for far long, like Dante and Vik. 
·         Do you wish that the whole thing had never happened?
No.  If it had never happened then I wouldn’t have everything I have now, and I don’t mean material things.  Where would I be now if it had never happened?  It probably wouldn’t be sleeping between two of the greatest guys I’ve ever had the good fortune to meet every night.  If everything that happened was the price I had to pay to be where I’m at now, then I can only say that while it wasn’t pleasant and I could only hope to never have to face such a situation again, I wouldn’t trade anything.
·         Are you happier now than you were before?
Being happy is really subjective.  I would say that yes I am happier than I ever have been, but that is kind of a hard distinction to make.  Throughout my life there have been countless times that I’ve been overwhelmingly happy, but in a different way, and there were things I know now that cast a bit of a gloom on my happiness.  If you take away the things I have learned that I wish I never had, then I would say that yes, I’m happier than I was before in most aspects.
·         How did you cope through the bad times? What was it that kept you going when you were lost?
I think what helped me cope and kept me going, is that I was never alone.  Through everything in my life, there has always been someone there to support me and guide me when I needed it.  There’s times when things have almost gotten too much, but the same stands true.  I’m not alone in anything that I go through anymore, in fact, quite the opposite.  I not only have one guy to help me through the rough patches, I have two.  And they both know that I’ll do the same for them.   
·         What’s your favourite possession?
I really don’t have a favorite possession.  Vik had told me we could go to my home one night and get more of my stuff, but we haven’t done it yet and I’m not really in any hurry.  Besides, there’s not that much room in the caves for a lot of possessions anyways. 
·         What’s your favourite place to be?
Would it be totally cheesy to say anywhere that Vik and Dante are?  Yeah?  Okay.  Other than that, my favorite place to be would be this little waterfall that’s not too far from the lair.  Now that there’s not a constant threat hanging over my head, I’ve had the opportunity to explore around my new home.  The waterfall is so peaceful, I love to just lay there on the grass next to the bank and stare up at the stars while I listen to the waterfall.  There’s very little in this world that is more peaceful and calming than that.

You can find the story Here

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