Meet the author
Who: Davis author Virna DePaul
When and where: Meet-and-greet at Borders Books & Music, 500 First St., at 4 p.m. Friday; open house book launch party at the John Natsoulas Gallery, 521 First St., from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday
The “Twilight” series, “True Blood,” “The Vampire Diaries” … vampires are everywhere these days.
Davis author Virna DePaul, a UC Davis Law School graduate, saw the market potential and jumped in with both feet with her debut novel, “Chosen by Blood.”
“There’s big vampire phase right now,” DePaul said. “I was trying to break into the market and I realized there wasn’t one with an X Men-type special ops team.”
“Chosen by Blood” is the first book in a romantic suspense series about an FBI “para-ops” team, composed of both human and paranormal creatures.
These supernatural beings, called Otherborns, range from vampires (the focus of this book) to werebeasts to wraiths.
“This was the first paranormal story I wrote,” DePaul said.
DePaul, who wanted to create paranormal creatures that have distinguishing characteristics, made categories and sketched out the features of her characters.
For example, “full vampires can’t walk in the sun. The hero of the novel is a half-vampire, and there’s a sunblock he can use to protect himself.
“My ghosts — I decided to make them all female. They have no pulse, no brain activity, no fingerprints and they don’t know who they were before.”
The novel begins several years after a second Civil War in the United States, fought between humans and Otherborns. The majority of humans have been vaccinated by the FBI to make their blood inedible by vampires. As a result, the vampires are starving to death.
The hero of the tale, Knox Devereaux, is a half-vampire, half-human creature determined to save the fate of his people. He agrees to be a part of the FBI para-ops team in search of the stolen antidote to the vaccine.
The romance part of romantic suspense kicks in when he finds that a beautiful agent named Felicia Locke, a longtime love interest, is on the same team.
DePaul began writing novels after the birth of her third son, in November 2006.
“I’ve always been a big reader. I’ve been reading romances since I was 12,” she said. “I practiced law for over 10 years. I needed to do something different.”
DePaul was attracted to writing romances because “they always have a happy ending,” she said. “I was a lawyer doing criminal appeals, and those don’t always have a happy ending.
“Women in romances are very strong,” she added. “The hero and heroine work together to overcome problems.”
Getting her work published “has been a dream come true,” DePaul said.
“I felt great. I think I’m the typical writer with highs and lows. I almost sold several times, but this one came out of the blue,” DePaul said.
While waiting for her novel to get published, DePaul built up a readership by self-publishing e-novels and establishing a presence on social media like Twitter.
She also made use of the “solid and close community” at Romance Writers of America, a national writers’ group.
“It’s just a huge huge support to writers,” she said. “It’s just a great opportunity. I really owe my success to RWA and the support of other writers.”
DePaul has two author events coming up later this week. She will do a meet-and-greet at Borders Books & Music, 500 First St., starting 4 p.m. Friday, and will host an open house launch party at the John Natsoulas Gallery, across the street at 521 First St., from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday.
“There will be drinks and appetizers. It’ll just be a good party,” she said.
DePaul’s website is http://www.virnadepaul.com.
— Reach Chloe Kim at [email protected]