400 year old vampire Ian Redd joined British Intelligence during the Cold War. But after the Berlin Wall came down they decided they no longer needed his services. He was retired, almost permanently. Ian escaped and has lived the quiet life in a small town until a professional hit team arrived at his doorstep. Who sent them? That’s a question that will lead Ian into the arms of a beautiful woman named Larissa Barton and into the most dangerous operation of his unlife.
Larissa Barton’s life has barely begun and it’s already gone off the tracks. She’s back in her hometown working as a barista. But things change when Ian Redd enters her life. Dark, mysterious and gorgeous, Ian is her only protection from the people and creatures who suddenly want her dead. With Ian by her side Larissa plunges into a world of magic, werewolves, vampires, spies and assassins and discovers her own secret past.
“One part James Bond, one part Dracula, and a whole lot of action and adventure. From Russia with Blood kicks ass!” – Vivi Anna, award winning author of the Valorian Chronicles
Now I’ll let Michael tell you about the idea behind the werewolves in his book (for more information about him and his books, check out his blog):
I first got the idea when I was watching Van Helsing starring Hugh Jackman.
Still with me?
Let me explain. Van Helsing is a terrible movie. I knew that going in. In those days I loved going to bad movies. Bad movies got my creative juices pumping. I’d look for missed opportunities, for alternate routes the creators might have taken. With Van Helsing it was too easy. Just about anything would have been better than what they chose. But I came away thinking, you know what, they should have just run with it as a James Bond like adventure. Make Dracula the Blofeld and give him a werewolf henchman.
The idea of werewolf henchman serving a Bond super villain stayed in the back of my mind until I wrote From Russia with Love. In it Talbot is the main antagonist for much of the book. He’s in charge of the hunt for Ian and Larissa and he is single-minded and savage in his pursuit. Having him be a Lycan suited his function in the story. But having a werewolf villain poses one particular challenge; how much of a threat is he if he only transforms during the full moon?
Now of course the full moon hasn’t always been a part of werewolf lore. Lycans are often depicted as being able to transform at will. That sounded like a good idea but I wanted Talbot to be a little more dangerous; someone who was barely in control and could go wild at any moment. So I made him change during the night, any night regardless of the phase of the moon. There are a few myths that support this interpretation but it really works in the novel. Talbot isn’t just a hitman out to get the heroes; he’s a time bomb set to go off as soon as the sun sets. As Larissa describes him he’s only barely human, like the human guise is just a mask, one that slips off very regularly. There is some precedent for this in the folklore. A self professed werewolf once claimed to have wolf skin lying just beneath his human skin.
In future books I hope more lycans will pay Ian and Larissa a visit, both as allies and as enemies. Like vampires they are a natural fit into the world of Ian Redd, Section 13, and Directorate 666. Werewolves, just like vampires have long practice at living double lives. That makes them excellent recruits as spies and secret agents.
I’ve also been looking into werewolf lore for another series that I hope to be bringing to Kindle and Smashwords pretty soon. This series will combine paranormal fiction with history. I’ve started in Celtic Britain and I’ve looked into the myth of the Wild Hunt and how that might somehow coincide with lycan mythology.
It was a lot of fun creating and writing Talbot. I hope you find him enjoyable as well. Or as enjoyable as a villain gets.