Borealis: A Vampire Romance
Our guest today is Ariana Parker from Chicago, IL. We have conducted an interview with her about her new novel, Borealis.
What is behind the creation of this strong female protagonist and how has it been challenging for you? How did you first conceive your idea and concept about 'Borealis: A Vampire Romance'?
The idea for my protagonist, Ethel, came from seeing one too many weak female characters in vampire romances. The challenge was to create a character who is physically strong yet retains essential female characteristics. Additionally, it is important that her strength goes far beyond brute force. Sure, as a vampire she is stronger than any human; however, her true strength is revealed through her character, grace, and perseverance which are all far more indicative of the role model I conceived for young women. Ethel’s self-control and her desire to do the right thing while overcoming adversities are important themes in the novel.
Where do you do your research for your writing process?
My writing studio is in a restored barn. As a preservationist, I find inspiration working in a repurposed building. I also love to travel and have visited all of the places that I write about in the novel, so much of the writing draws on past experiences. Naturally, I take advantage of the internet to fill in the gaps in my own knowledge.
Who encourages you and inspires you the most along the journey?
The writing journey can be a daunting task even when the story you want to tell is entertaining. Because writing is simultaneously pleasurable and painful, it is essential that my husband roots for the story and acts as my sounding board. He keeps me focused, chapter upon chapter. I also find inspiration from various sources including pop culture, great authors, and a desire to educate as well as entertain.
Why did you choose the setting to be Ketchikan, Alaska?
In the summer of 2008, I visited Ketchikan and fell in love with it. I set this novel here for a few reasons. First, I like to be able to describe a place from experience. Second, Ketchikan is a perfect setting, not only because it is rugged and quaint at the same time but because it is surrounded by wilderness which the protagonist needs to survive. In the end, the town becomes a place of refuge and redemption for her.
How does your background in theatre, architecture, and historic preservation contribute to the development of this story?
My years in theater and dance influenced my understanding of the dramatic and that was useful for developing the pace of the story. At the same time, the arts and literature are important for the development of the protagonist’s character. My background in architecture helped me craft the places in the novel. For example, as I was writing, I drew floor plans of the buildings in which the scenes are set. I did this because I think that it is important that places feel real to the reader. Finally, my preservation background served in a way to develop the male protagonist, Brendan, who is a forest ranger studying the conservation of Alaska’s natural environment and the threats it faces from a changing climate.
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