Jodie Pierce is a full-blooded vampire author. She has written vampire horror. She has written vampire erotica. She has penned four traditionally published novellas and many other self-published novellas all about—you guessed it—vampires. Her fascination with vampire culture dates back to childhood, but it wasn’t until she discovered Anne Rice while in college that she sunk her teeth into vampire fiction. An avid researcher, Jodie likes to combine fact with fiction to give her tales an added air of realism.
Todd Allen: Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions, Jodie. You have a series you’d like to talk about?
Jodie Pierce: I have a vampire trilogy. There is The Vampire Queen, The Vampire Chronicles and Demise of the Vampire Queen. The Queen becomes over-confident through the series to the point that she crosses the line as a vampire in the last book. She is bi-sexual, takes many lovers and visits exotic places in the books like Italy, Rio de Janeiro, Japan. She also has a mantra in the book of purifying the vampire race and she cruelly gets rid of those that are not pure bread vampires.
TA: What was it like for you to create and develop a character like the vampire queen and sort of walk in her shoes for three books? Was it difficult to part ways?
JP: I was at a difficult point in my life so I tried to create a character with trails that I wanted for myself—once naïve then strong and self-confident. The first two books originally started as one book but I split it into two when I was sending it out to publishers. Much later, I wrote book three and you can see the growth in my writing from book one to book three. I did not kill her off in book three so there’s always a possibility for more if I decide. I wrote a prequel meant to be read after the three books which explains her before she became a vampire but then took it off Amazon to re-write it some.
TA: What is the hardest part of writing horror fiction for you?
JP: The hardest part for me is knowing where the line is I want to draw for the story. I have one that is very violent and sexually violent that I have been holding on publishing because I want to work on it more and I’m hoping to give it to one of the top four big publishing houses. It is very graphic and I’ve researched a lot for it. If anyone goes through my browsing history, they’re going to think I’m an insane serial killer!
TA: What factors influence where you draw the line?
JP: I guess it would be my moral code. I don’t believe in violence, especially sexual violence—it was the way I was raised—so I guess you could say I almost feel guilty about my mindset, that I wrote and researched it. I set it in Brazil. I lived there for six months in high school and loved it, so it’s one that’s dear to my heart for that reason. Plus, I don’t know if I want to establish a reputation with my readers and then put out this really graphic story.
TA: Do you believe in happy endings?
JP: I think it really depends on the story. I like to take books that are part of a series and leave them with a cliffhanger. Others, I like to end with an extreme act of violence that it makes it a happy ending. I also like to end books where the reader is confused and has to reread portions of the book to get it. I guess, though, in the end, most of the time my stand alone novellas do have happy endings.
TA: Sometimes the ending I envision for a story is not exactly the one I arrive at. Sometimes characters develop a little differently and end up steering the story in a new direction. Do you allow your characters to dictate whether the ending is happy?
JP: Absolutely! I have a plan, general concept and then just start writing. The complete story evolves as I write, read and research it, but I do like my cliffhangers!
TA: Do you have a favorite author, or writing inspiration?
JP: I’ve been writing since high school, just about teen romance but I felt like I was floundering in my writing. I was never happy with my work. In college, a friend handed me the Anne Rice book The Vampire Lestat and I realized that since I’d loved vampires since seventh grade, writing about them like Ms. Rice would make me happy. I then read a Christine Feehan book and that’s when I started dabbling in vampire erotica.
A few years ago, my husband and I traveled to New Orleans at the same time Ms. Rice came out with Prince Lestat and was doing a book tour. So, we went to see her, a city we both always wanted to see and go on a short cruise that departed from New Orleans. I have to say, Ms. Rice was the most humble and friendly person I’ve come across. She has a great sense of humor. We visited her old house there and of course I had to take pictures from both events. At the time, I gave her a copy of my vampire crime novella. Later, I was looking at who was following me on Amazon and she, Ms. Anne Rice, was following me! I couldn’t believe it! I also got to meet Ms. Feehan at the same author signing and she was also great! We could have talked for hours. I took Karate and she was involved in the martial arts for many, many years. She gave away great swag, was friendly and went way beyond my expectations as did Ms. Rice.
My other inspiration is Brazil. I lived there when I was sixteen-years-old for six months which left an indelible impression on me. I just self-published a book in Portuguese about a friend of mine in Brazil. It was the most fun book I wrote and for many of my stories I pull an experience from there and put it in the story.
TA: Tell me about your writing process. Do you have a certain writing routine?
JP: I’m not an author who can just sit down and write. I, or sometimes my hubby, will come up with an idea and I work from there. Many times I have writer’s block so I put the story aside for a few until I have a great idea and/or dream about what should happen next in the story. At the end, I agonize over a title so usually hubby gives me a title if I can’t come up with one myself. He’s my rock and my muse!
TA: Writer’s block—those are not words any writer likes to hear. A lot of us scare easily when it comes to blocks. Of course the fear is that the words will just simply stop coming altogether. Does that frighten you? How do you stay calm during a block?
JP: I try not to stress about it as that makes it worse for me. I just put it aside or work on something else until it comes to me. Many times I wake up at 3am with an idea I dreamt about the story and just have to add it. I dream a lot of my work so I just have to wait for it to come…hence my only putting out about two novellas a year. I’d like to do more.