Today there are TWO stops on the Awakening 3 tour, which means twice as many opportunities to enter the giveaway to win a $10 Amazon gift card and/or an ebook of Awakening 3! Be sure to check in on both stops. On Relaxed Reads you'll find an excerpt, and on BrokenTears Cover to Cover Reviews there's an excerpt and a review.
Yesterday we learned a little more about Vittoria Rosa's history in her character bio, and today I want to share with you an interview I conducted with her toward the beginning of my process of writing Awakening 3 in order to start to get to know her a little bit. This interview was a turning point both in my writing process and in my understanding of Vittoria's character. It helped me begin to see her as slightly less terrifying. I hope you enjoy it! :)
Character Interview with Vittoria Rosa
Jeanie Grey (JG): Vittoria, what are you into?
Vittoria Rosa (VR): I like to laugh and cook—
JG: But you’re a vampire!
JG: So you don’t eat human food, do you?
VR: I taste it. And I still like to cook, even though I don’t eat much of it.
JG: Do you own a restaurant?
VR: No. But I’ve taken cooking classes.
JG: But what about your sense of smell? Isn’t the food really stinky?
VR: Yes, but strong smells are also part of life. I love life.
JG: Oh. Okay. What else besides laughing and cooking?
VR: I like to go places and see strange things. I paint. I like to paint what I see. Sometimes I will set up an easel and paints in the middle of a square and paint the people and buildings. Paint what I see.
JG: Are you a realist?
VR: Sometimes. Sometimes I do impressionistic paintings and sometimes abstract. When I’m upset, the greatest help is to paint my emotions without any pressure to paint anything recognizable. I have many paintings like this, but I don’t show them to anyone.
JG: Not even to Torren? I mean, Giovanni?
VR: Not usually. Sometimes what I’m upset about is him, and I don’t want to put that in his face. He already feels it once; he doesn’t need to be reminded of it constantly.
JG: That makes sense. So you like to cook and laugh and see strange things and paint. Is that what you’ve done for fifty years? Can one really pass fifty years this way?
VR: Well there is always some new painting technique or new tool to try. And I tried sculpture for a while. Sometimes I draw with charcoal, but rarely. It isn’t the right medium for me. It smudges and I get it all over my hands and ruin what I’m drawing.
JG: Huh. And I imagine that you and T— Giovanni have an intimate relationship.
VR: Yes. Sometimes when he is feeling sad he isn’t in the mood so much, so I go have fun with other people.
JG: Really? And he doesn’t mind?
VR: He knows that I like sex too much to go without it, and if he isn’t in the mood, well then what is the harm in my having sex with someone else?
JG: I guess. I just thought he’d be more possessive than that.
VR: He knows I love him. We are bonded and we will never be separated again. He knows he is my soulmate and I his. So he has nothing to fear. Besides, humans don’t live so long and they get old.
JG: Do you normally go for younger guys?
VR: *Laughs* younger than what? Unless he is a vampire, there is no one as old as I am.
JG: Yes, I guess I meant in the looks department. Do you normally go for guys in the thirties? Twenties? Teens?
VR: Yes to all, though not often young men in their teens. They are clumsy and inexperienced. A man in his mid to late 30s who is experienced but who looks like he’s in his 20s, that is ideal.
JG: And do you drink their blood?
VR: Usually, but not all of the time.
JG: Doesn’t that cause problems? Don’t they then know about vampires and go telling people?
VR: *Sly smile* You forget my talent, I think.
JG: Oh yeah. That makes sense. Well what about other vampires? How do they drink from people and not have them remember?
VR: Most times vampires drink from people in a way so that the people don’t even know it. It feels like a wonderful sexual experience to them.
JG: Are there any renegade vampires who don’t try to hide their existence, who drink from people and let them live or who kill openly?
VR: Rarely. Once every few centuries, perhaps. But The Organization deals with them.
VR: They must be executed.
JG: Ouch. Harsh.
VR: Perhaps, but if they are unwilling to control themselves and we cannot control them, it is necessary.
JG: But we digress. Back to the original question: what else do you do?
VR: I go to see a lot of music and performances. I like all forms of art.
VR: *Wrinkles nose* Except perhaps that.
JG: And does G go with you when you go out at night to listen to music or see a show?
VR: Sometimes. But he likes to be home more than I do.
JG: So he stays home often?
VR: Yes, fairly often.
JG: And where is home?
VR: Well that depends. If we are traveling it is our hotel, but when we are in Italy it is our little house in Rome.
JG: Not the castle in the countryside?
VR: There were too many memories there; we could not stay. Now he does not remember it.
JG: How interesting.
VR: *Shifts uncomfortably*
JG: What can you tell us about G that we don’t already know?
VR: He is ticklish! Between his third and fourth ribs, only on his left side.
JG: Haha! What else?
VR: He does not like pickled eggs.
JG: Who does?
VR: I used to.
JG: Oh. *Clears throat* But what else?
VR: He finds chickens fascinating.
JG: Really? Why?
VR: I have no idea. I do not see their appeal.
JG: Me either!
VR: Yes, but he can watch chickens for hours. He is not so interested in people like I am. He prefers books. He likes to look at things, to observe them, but he does not like to interact. I, on the other hand, prefer to participate in life.
JG: You see him as not participating in life?
VR: What else do you call it when you are in a room full of people and you barely open your mouth to speak to any of them? When you sulk in a dark corner and watch but do not touch or taste?
JG: But surely he must taste sometime. He drinks blood, doesn't he?
VR: Yes, mostly my blood right after I’ve fed, but sometimes he will find a human of his own.
JG: I didn’t realize that he could live off of drinking your blood post-feeding.
VR: It is not very good for me. But I feed more often than he does.
VR: Because I like the experience.
VR: Yes, but sometimes when I am out he will go out alone and find someone to drink from. He prefers the shy, quiet people. The ones who are more like him, who observe but don’t participate. He will take them into an alley or small, quiet street and take some of their blood.
JG: It’s interesting that you say that he prefers shy, quiet people but he is with you. Why do you think that is?
VR: *Tosses hair* We are bonded.
JG: Yes, of course. But what drew you to each other in the first place? You’re so different.
VR: Yes, that is true. But I like his quiet intensity and he likes my liveliness. I can make him laugh and he helps me feel calm.
That's all we have time for today, but come back to the blog tomorrow for the last stops on the Awakening 3 tour with Read Between the Lines and a final song selection from my Awakening 3 music playlist!