“Is that what’s going on in your head?”

My dear friend asked me that after reading Rare Blood. She said she had a hard time putting the book down, hated Tristan and wanted Miranda to make better choices. Ha!

Miranda is me when I first got my psychology degree and started working in Mental Health. I reminded my friend of all the people in crisis we admitted working the night shift in Psych Emergency. Most of the time it felt like I was helping someone, keeping them from hurting themselves, till they had the strength to tackle life’s pain and injustice.

Then there were the strange rangers with delusional systems that no amount of treatment would change. A few years later when I started working with the normal substance abusers, who could manipulate and charm you into believing every word, that is when I found my vampires.

My mother-in-law, Pamela Kaufman, wrote great books about Eleanor of Aquitaine, and her royal offspring. She did a lot of research while getting her doctorate from UCLA. I am grateful she encouraged me to write.

My research happened in psychiatric hospitals, and rehab clinics. The addicts I know could be set down on a city corner broke, and within a day have found shelter, a meal, and probably a way to make a few bucks to get high or buzzed. Resourceful, secretive, and in many ways invisible.

The wealthy ones had a network of people to do their bidding. One client had his butler bring him house plants for his room with crack hidden in the soil, he had a lot of plants. Attorneys, accountants, agents, and family members that hadn’t been burned out yet, kept them solvent.

There were also a few psychiatrists over the years that were hard to distinguish from the clients. I based my head vampire, the Magus, on them.

Getting back to my friend, she understood when I explained how our employment inspired me to write about vampires. I also told her to give Miranda a chance, she was so young when she met Tristan.

In my twenties I fell in love with an engineering student from Algeria, he was handsome, brilliant and spoke several languages. I was a Valley Girl. I got swept off my feet. A few years later I had moved on, it was a relationship/romance learning curve that Miranda is in the midst of.

Give her a chance, she’s pretty fucking brilliant herself.

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