Q & A with Melanie Rodriguez
1) Tell us about your book.
CHILD OF BLACKWEN is the first of the Artemis Ravenwing Novels! It is a young adult coming of age fantasy series about a young dhampir, Artemis Ravenwing, who was orphaned at an early age and raised by elves. Her journey begins with a ragtag group of misfits that includes a seasoned elven warrior, a longtime vassal of the goddesses, a wayward elven mage, and a few outcast vampires and dhampirs! Here is the synopsis of book one as well:
The epic fantasy novel Child of Blackwen is a coming-of-age adventure story about the young dhampir Artemis in the mystical world of Arrygn.
Born of a human and a vampire, Artemis was raised among the elves of Ellewynth by her mother’s friends Shadow, an elven soldier, and Talisa, a witch. An outcast in elven society, Artemis is protected by the Elders of the Woodland Realm because her mother, the vampire Tamina Ravenwing, once served them. As Artemis struggles to overcome prejudice, she must also learn to control her innate thirst for blood. Her efforts are made all the more difficult when Shadow and Talisa are called to serve in the eight-year-long war against the dragons.
Just after they return, Artemis begins dreaming her mother’s memories, only to discover that her guardians are plagued with the same dreams. This, along with the mysterious murders in the Woodland Realm, leads Artemis to learn the shocking truth about her mother’s death: the unsavory woman in the dreams is none other than Tamina’s younger sister, Arlina.
Artemis poses a threat to the madwoman Arlina, usurper of the throne of Blackwen City—and the vampire will stop at nothing to eliminate the threat.
2) What makes your vampires unique?
I have rarely seen stories about dhampirs, which in myth are half vampire, half human hybrids. I first got introduced to such creatures by way of Vampire Hunter D, Castlevania's Alucard (the video games from my childhood), and through Barb and J.C. Hendee's Noble Dead saga (great reads if you're looking for a fun series!). I wanted to make a story that showcases their uniqueness, particularly showing the struggle of how to blend into not one, but both of their worlds. It is always said that dhampirs are always stronger than their pure vampire counterparts, and I follow that path, but it comes at a price for Artemis...to the point where she encounters someone to help try to bind her two halves together because of how dangerous her heritage really is. The "pure-blooded" vampires in my world are called "Full-bloods"; the villain, Arlina, has the notion that only full-bloods should exist and that everyone else must bow down to her and her race. I also showcase vampire mages; my character, Karesu, has a specialty with runes and charms, and also one more old magic thanks to his bloodline, but that won't be revealed until later in book three!
3) If you could have a vampire ability what would it be and why?
In my series, the dhampirs have wings; I would love to be able to have that ability. I especially enjoy traveling and the ability of flight always appealed to me in that notion. If I had to choose a second power from my novels, I enjoy Karesu's ability to create charms! He has a really cool cross earring that he made to help keep the spirits he hears and sees at bay.
4) Is your book standalone or part or a series?
It is part of a series! I'm not sure how many novels it will be yet, but I am currently working on CHAMPIONS OF ARRYGN, which is book three of the Artemis Ravenwing novels.
5) What is next for you?
I'm hoping to finish CHAMPIONS OF ARRYGN by the end of this year; it has taken me quite a while, but the current draft is looking more to what I initially envisioned. Besides writing, I am also a cosplayer! I network with cosplayers and authors during each con trip I take. You can check out my adventures on @Kitsune_Ravenwing on Instagram and you can follow my author work on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/Melanie-Rodriguez/e/B00NCC92MK/
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About the Author:
S. K. Gregory is an author, editor and blogger. She currently resides in Northern Ireland.
“Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.”