Bookish Posts,  Guest Posts

October Vampire Romance Month: Sydney Winward, Author of Bloodborn

October 2020 is Vampire Romance Month on my blog, so I’ll be featuring authors of vampire romances throughout the month. If you’re a ready who dreams of swoonworthy undead, you just might find your next good read!

Today Sydney Winward is here to talk about her take on vampires and share a sneak peek at her Bloodborn Series.

Welcome, Sydney!

In case you missed it, Patricia Josephine stopped by earlier in the month. Share the love and check out her post here!

Meet Sydney Winward

Sydney Winward is a multi-published author born with an artistic brain and a love of discovery for new talents. From drawing to sewing to music, she has loved to explore every opportunity that comes her way.

At a young age, Sydney discovered her love of writing, and she hasn’t been able to stop writing since. Her active imagination and artistic mind take her away to different worlds and time periods, making every new story a fantastic adventure.

When she is not writing (or fawning over animals in the neighborhood) she spends time with her husband and children at home in Utah.

Connect with Sydney:

Bloodborn (The Bloodborn Series #1)

  • Book title: Bloodborn
  • Series title: The Bloodborn Series
  • Volume in series: 1
  • Release date: December 6, 2019
  • Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
About Bloodborn

Adam Degore’s personal need to find a cure for vampirism drives him to ensnare a vampire, but the creature he captures is Dracula’s daughter. Worse yet, he’s drawn to her—a monster he’s vowed to kill.

Despite her father’s wishes, Willow chooses to live among humans instead of the vampire conclave where she would be safe. She wants a life filled with more than shadows. Being captured by a human, not to mention falling in love with one, is not part of her plan.

With vampires and blood hunters closing in on their chosen prey, Adam and Willow need to trust one another. But will that trust come in time for them to survive and find a future together?

Excerpt:

They were alone, and the ache she had kept at bay came back as a fully throbbing force. They gazed back at each other in the darkness, neither of them seeming to know what to say. Instead of filling the silence with words, she took that step that separated them and stood on her tiptoes to kiss his lips. It was short. It was sweet. And it completely took him by surprise.

“Willow, I—”

“Come with me,” she interrupted with a whisper, afraid anything louder would break the fragile glass bridge they had built together. “Adam, please. Come with me.”

He blew out a long breath and shook his head. “It’s not a good idea. I’m sorry.”

“Why not? I think it’s a perfectly reasonable idea.”

He gave her a half smile, though it didn’t reach his eyes. “I can think of a thousand reasons why it’s a horrible idea. Need I mention that your father will probably impale me if I come within a hundred miles of Ichor Knell? It’s not a place for me.”

“My father will get over it,” she insisted. “He cannot hurt you no matter how much he might want to because you are my mate. You will be safe. I will make sure of it.”

He rubbed his ribs—almost reflexively—grimacing at what she assumed was when her father had attacked. “It’s not just him… I don’t want to put anyone in danger. I think I have done enough.”

In the excitement over their bonding beside the fire, she had almost forgotten he was the most stubborn man she had ever met. 

“Ichor Knell is a safe haven and is well protected. You couldn’t possibly put anyone in danger. And as for yourself… No one would dare hurt you. Not if I present you…” She looked away from him, a furious blush entering her cheeks. If she didn’t at least try to convince him to come, she didn’t know how much time would pass before she would see him again. It could be weeks. Months. And she dared not think years.

“Present you as my mate,” she finished. “I want to be something special to you,” she whispered, pleading in her eyes, and she dared to take his hand. “You will always be my mate, no matter the time or distance. I want to be yours too.”

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Interview with the Vampire Author

Vampires are notoriously nocturnal. Are you personally a morning lark or a night owl? How does this influence your writing schedule or creative process?

Absolutely a morning lark. I like to wake up real early before the kids get up, and this is when I do my best writing. By 9:00 pm, I can barely keep my eyes open. I think this works great with my creative process. My mind whirls with ideas when I’m about to go to bed, and when I wake up, I’m able to write them.

Every author adds their own twist to the vampire mythology or genre conventions. What’s one traditional vampire myth you put your own spin on? What’s one aspect of vampire lore you kept and incorporated into your series?

I toyed with the idea of vampires being able to turn into smoke, and then I pushed the idea further by turning it into what I call materialization, which is more like flakes rather than smoke. Only vampires over a certain age are able to materialize.

Something else I kept in my series is sunlight being one of a vampire’s weaknesses. Just a simple touch of sunlight can burn, and if a vampire is kept in the sunlight for too long, it can kill them.

Tell us about your book. What drew you to writing a book about vampires? What made you decide to write this particular book or series? What can readers expect?

I didn’t intentionally try to write about vampires initially. I was looking for a spark of inspiration for my next story idea, and as I was perusing Pinterest, I came across a prompt about vampires. I decided to go with it, and what started out as a fun creative exercise turned into a 6-book series.

Readers can expect traditional vampire lore with a slight twist, and an original world full of new mythology, magic, and plenty of romance.

Let’s talk tone: Did you go dark and brooding vampires with spooky undertones, or is your book laugh-out-loud funny? Something else entirely? Let us know what to expect.

I’m usually more of a serious person with my writing with occasional humor mixed in. The tone in The Bloodborn Series is more dark with a bit of violence. I like to focus on themes such as overcoming prejudice, self-acceptance, rebuilding relationships with family, learning how to cope with betrayal, etc. My characters have a lot of mud to trudge through before they can reach the other side of the swamp. There is always plenty of adventure, lots of action, and again, romance!

What surprised you most when you were writing this book or series?

I’ve liked each new hero and heroine more than the last. First my favorite hero was Adam, then Zachariah, then Dracula, Oriel, Luca, Jesper. Same goes for the heroines. There is always something new to adore with each character!

Besides your own, what book or series would you most recommend to readers looking for a good vampire read?

Monster Hunter International by Larry Correia, hands down. I can’t stress enough that this is one of my top favorite books of all time. The vampires are more traditional and dark, and seriously terrifying. This book is scary. But a suspenseful scary.

How many books are available in your series currently? How many are planned total?

So far, there are two books published in The Bloodborn Series, with another one currently in edits. There are six books total in the series with two novellas that I don’t know what I want to do with yet.

Are the vampires in your series inherently good, evil, or morally neutral?

I would say mostly good. Of course, you have your occasional bad seeds. But overall, the vampires try their best to stick to a code of moral conduct that is acceptable among their kind. Killing humans is just part of the deal when you’re a vampire, but besides that, they’re usually pretty decent people.

What’s your favorite quote or line from your book?

Picking a favorite is definitely hard. Here’s a quote from Bloodscourge, the 3rd in The Bloodborn Series:

He opened his mouth to reply, but she cut across him, giving him a coy look from where she was tucked nicely under his arm. “How much jealousy do I have to inspire before you admit you kissed me in the forest?”

“Bah!” he grumbled, the previous question completely forgotten. “Those weren’t real kisses. If I kissed you for real, you would know it. Believe me.”

What’s the most interesting thing you learned about vampires while writing your book or series? Is it something you learned from research or something that your characters taught you?

Vampires don’t have a reflection. I got to play with this idea a lot in my series, creating fun scenes out of it. They have to be careful around humans lest they get caught without a reflection. In my series, the wealthy will pay a portrait artist to paint them for each year of their lives until they stop aging.

Giveaway Alert!

Comment on this post or follow Sydney Winward on Bookbub for a chance to win one of two different prizes: an e-copy of Bloodborn and an e-copy of Bloodbond.

This contest turns into a pumpkin at midnight on Oct. 21, 2020.

*Update: This giveaway is now closed.*

*This post contains affiliate links.

Fantasy & paranormal romance author. Witch. Tarot reader. Possibly a woodland faerie. Witches, magic, & romance await in the pages of my stories.