I am so excited to have Rick H. Veal on the blog today. He was very kind to answer a few of our questions, take a look!
1. When did you first come up with the idea for The Master of Whitehall?The idea has been around for a long time, I actually just started to take it seriously in the last couple of years. I think my inspiration actually came from running out of books! I have read for many years and enjoyed most of what I’ve read. I’m a big Anne Rice fan … Go Lestat! … So when I finished all the vampire books I could … Rice, Smith, Harris, Craine … I decided that if they could write a vampire story, then so could I. I enjoy storytelling which to me is what a book is all about, so I “spun my own story” as the old saying goes. I chose vampires because I have always enjoyed reading and watching movies about vampires I was actually hooked by Barnabas Collins in “Dark Shadows” way back in 1966. I love vampire stories and Charleston, SC, so the two just seemed to fit together. I began thinking about how the two could play into each other, came up with an initial idea and just built on it from there. I wanted a setting in the Low Country of South Carolina with a lot of history surrounding it. Whitehall was a long ago plantation outside of Charleston and is now nothing but ruins. The tour I was on when I found it said that nobody really knows what happened to it … it just went away. That opened all kinds of ideas for some ‘what-if’s’ and so Whitehall was reborn. Whitehall is a well-known name in the Low Country and so it made for a good setting. The character James, who lives at Whitehall was born in the 18th century and the common name for the head of the house at that time was The Master, hence “The Master of Whitehall”.
2. Have you always wanted to write paranormal romance?I have always enjoyed writing and I like a challenge; PNR is certainly that challenge. It has to be a combination of history, fantasy, and a good romance story. Sometimes I find myself asking ‘is that possible, does it make sense, will it be believable?’ and then working around those obstacles. I want to always keep it fresh and not “cut and paste” old ideas from one section to another. Probably the most challenging thing about writing PNR though is that vampires are and always have been sensual; probably more so now with all the new development of the genre in recent years. So looking at it from that angle, having a sensual character to start with combined with a romance, I think trying to not make the story overly erotic, can be a difficult obstacle. There are some steamy scenes in the story but fitting them in, making them flow with the story and not just tossing them in as “sex for sex sake” can be pretty thought provoking.
3. Are your characters based on people you know?Only one, Billie Jo, the nurse that makes a cameo appearance toward the beginning of the story. She has been a special friend for over half of her life, and many times she has been there for me when I needed a friend. She helped me with some medical information for the story, so when I needed a nurse, I used her. The rest of the characters are actually a compilation of traits … I think that they are the best and worst of a lot of people. None of the five main characters have a ‘real-life’ opposite. All of my characters were born, full grown, in my mind, and I just let them tell me their story and take me where they wanted.
4. Who has influenced you/your writing?I have two favorite authors, Anne Rice and Clive Cussler. I think that if you have read either of those you will see their influence in my writing. I love Cussler’s storytelling ability and Rice’s attention to detail. Both of them have a way of bringing their characters to life so that you feel as if you personally know them. I have tried to convey that same thing with all of my characters.
5. Do you have any future projects in the works?I am currently working on book two. The working title is “Lexi’s Legacy”. It picks up about a year after the end of the first book and continues with Lexi telling her story and adventures of a young girl that is also a new-born immortal. Lexi is kind of special to me … she became Katelyn’s best friend in book one and a sounding board for dialogue. She is an academic, had a good family and a great plan for her life. After becoming so involved with Katelyn and James, it was just inevitable to not give her a place to tell her story. I also have an idea on the back burner to do a “Specially Illustrated, Signed and Numbered Limited Collector’s Edition” of 100 copies “The Master of Whitehall”. It will have a new cover and contain some additional material that just didn’t make it into the first edition due to editing limitations. The illustrations will be from the “Character Series” prints with complete bios of each one and the internal decorative art will be all new. Presently I am just playing around with sizing and binding ideas so it may be awhile before it comes out.
Thank you so much, Crystal for having me stop by and spend a little time with you and your wonderful readers. If any of your readers would like to keep up with James, Katelyn and the rest of the family, I’d like to invite them to drop by Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ master.whitehall or my Deviant Art page at http://rickveal.deviantart.com/ to see all the artwork and read detailed backgrounds and bios for each of the characters. “The Master of Whitehall” is available in a signed/inscribed print edition containing 408 pages, for $19.99 with free Media Mail shipping. Additionally an illustrated e-book (in .pdf format) is now available for $5.00. Both are available directly from me. I can be contacted at email@example.com for further information or ordering. “The Master of Whitehall” is also available for purchase on Amazon Kindle http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0086YRR80 for $6.99 and now through Christmas Day the price has been reduced by 50% to only $3.49. The first five chapters are available as a free downloadable sample for your reading pleasure. Finally, if your reader’s mention this interview, they will receive a 10% discount in addition to the free shipping mentioned above, approximately a $5.00 value. I hope that everyone has a great day and Happy Reading!
Wow that is so awesome! Thanks Rick for stopping by!
Master of Whitehall by Rick H. Veal
Release Date: 2012
After the brutal murder of her parents in a robbery, Katelyn Corbin, a thoroughly modern 21 year old college senior, finds herself attempting to re-start her life in Charleston, SC, where she finds love, healing and a brand new life in a most unexpected avenue.
This story follows Katelyn from her hometown just outside Atlanta to her new school in Charleston. There she meets James and is deeply intrigued by him from their first meeting; feeling as if he has touched her very soul. The more she considers him, the more intense her interest becomes. He is a wealthy patron of the arts, especially at her school. He is tall and handsome with a strong persona; a young widower, living alone in a huge, but beautifully restored old plantation house called 'Whitehall'. Their friendship soon becomes serious, becoming a full on relationship as Katelyn falls madly in love with him. James soon makes his love for her just as obvious. Their lives begin to blend, twisting and turning, as they continue to grow closer.
After several strange incidents, Katelyn begins to develop a series of unsettling questions about her new love. However, she knows that after facing the catastrophe of her parent’s deaths, she can face anything life throws at her. She begins looking at the questions, searching her own soul. Finally deciding that she must know the answers, she confronts him. She soon discovers James' true nature; confirming her fears that he was indeed not the man she thought, but the man she feared him to be. The confirmation of her suspicions are shocking to her, turning her world view on its side. She is forced to acknowledge things about herself and her world that she never thought possible. With her new found knowledge, Katelyn realizes she must make a choice to live with or without James. She quickly decides to adapt her life and adjust her beliefs in order to continue to be with James.
Their love for each other develops and continues to grow as he assists her to close the gaping wounds left by the tragedy of her parent’s murders. Katelyn continues to uncover other secrets, discovering another existence, as she begins her new life with James. The story reaches a highly emotional and completely unexpected ending that fully illustrates Katelyn's personality of love and care for those around her.
The Master of Whitehall, a paranormal romance novel is complete at 104,000 words. The story unfolds over the course of nearly a year, and features flashbacks that more fully develop each of the characters, offering insights into their personal histories. The story is narrated in first person perspective by Katelyn as she offers a window into the world of possibilities of love between mortal and immortal.
The Master of Whitehall will be very appealing to readers of Rachel Caine's 'Morganville Vampires', Charlaine Harris’ ‘True Blood’ series, and Anne Rice's 'Vampire Chronicles'.
My Thoughts:The Master of Whitehall was a very pleasant surprise. I found myself captivated by the beautiful descriptions and world that the author has created.
The story is so intricate with many twists and turns I never saw coming. It truly had me guessing all the way to the last page. The love between the two characters was simple and pure. I kept waiting for something to happen but Veal has created a very touching love story and sometimes a girl just needs to have that. We have Katelyn a college student who is immediately smitten with a vampire. Yes I know we have all read this story but if you take out all the things you didn't like about the previous stories then you would have The Master of Whitehall, a very touching story about two people trying to overcome the odds.
I am very happy to have read this book and I am very excited to see what Rick Veal has in store for us next.
Thank you Rick for allowing me to read your story, it was beautiful.
We also have a very special giveaway for you! Rick has generously offered one lucky winner their choice of a Specially Illustrated eBook that includes the "Characters Series" prints and bios or a personally inscribed and signed print copy of Master of Whitehall! Woohoo!! Good luck everyone!a Rafflecopter giveaway