A mythic hero?
Joseph Campbell says that most myths in the world have a hero who “ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.”
Well, that’s the mythic hero. Even though my hero has some of the mythic qualities—he’s from a world of supernatural wonder—he’s much more prosaic.
Jean-Louis is a five-hundred year old vampire. He’s the second-in-command of the Kandesky vampire family, among the world’s richest.
He’s gorgeous, with black hair and eyes that shift from violet to navy blue to black with lust. At just over six feet tall, his body is well-muscled, formed by centuries of riding and physical labor from working, not working out. And he has an indefinable ability to glimmer—to make his skin glow with light. Honed as a way to mesmerize donors, he uses it now to lure Maxie Gwenoch.
He’s led the Kandeskys in battles, business, innovation and to the top of the world’s celebrity gossip journalism.
Along the way, he’s fallen in love, been married and had his heart torn apart at the death of his wife, Magda.
He’s my hero because he’s chosen to love again. He loves Maxie to distraction. Against his better judgment, he’s taught her the basics of vampire thought control. His actions are all done with her in mind, including withholding information that may put her in danger.
Given that Maxie is a twenty-first century regular, that she’s never believed in vampires until she meets Jean-Louis and the Kandeskys, that she’s Southern California laid-back and casual and he’s seventeenth century European and formal, they have huge gaps to overcome.
They’re learning to compromise, but one issue is the elephant in the room…Jean-Louis wants to marry Maxie, but a true marriage means that she’ll let him turn her. If she’s turned, she’ll give up sunshine, food and her past. If she’s not turned, she’ll lose Jean-Louis, who will never age.
A true hero, Jean-Louis is accepting Maxie on her terms, listening to her, loving her and staying steadfast, even though she’s refusing to join him in eternal life. In SNAP: Happily Ever After?, Jean-Louis tells Maxie of his love.
He paused, his dark violet eyes boring into my soul. “You are a woman with experience in the world, experience on a man’s plane. That was why we hired you, to take on a critical and encompassing job in our company. I wanted you in the business, and then I wanted you in my bed, and then I wanted you in my life and now I want you for all eternity. And no, even Magda didn’t make me feel this way. No one ever has, until you.”
Michele Drier was born in Santa Cruz and is a fifth generation Californian. She’s lived and worked all over the state, calling both Southern and Northern California home. During her career in journalism—as a reporter and editor at daily newspapers—she won awards for producing investigative series.
She writes the Amy Hobbes Newspaper mysteries and the six-book Kandesky Vampire Chronicles paranormal romance series, and has just published her eighth book, SNAP: Happily Ever After? She’s working on the seventh book in the series, SNAP: White Nights, scheduled for publication in early 2014.