There have been a fair number of inspirations involved with the creation of my House Valerius series. Some of these have been already been mentioned elsewhere but I think I’d let to set them down properly.
The initial spark for the book actually came while watching Underworld. Or possibly just after. It was the very first one, before you ask. I’m not sure how many there are now. I’m going to make the assumption that you’re a little bit familiar with the film (and if not, here’s the trailer) but to avoid this turning into a review, I’ll skip to the important bit. Basically, there was a moment when watching one of the scenes set inside the vampire mansion when I began to wonder what it would be like growing up in a place like that. So I began to write about someone who was doing just that.
Other aspects of the novel came from my own personal likes & interests. The biological basis for the Ceteri comes from the time I spent studying genetics at Glasgow University, more specifically the dissertation I wrote in my final year. Which, in turn, was inspired by a first season episode of C.S.I. And I’ve always been interested in the martial arts, so I decided to make that a bit of a focus.
I’m not sure if the notion of the family Houses can be said to have a specific inspiration or influence. After all, it is a common historical phenomenon, as well as featuring in many novels from Game of Thrones to Dune. And there are also any number of books and films involving hidden societies/civilizations etc.
In terms of characters, a few of them had very definite inspirations. As I mentioned in the respective profiles, both Quinn and MacReady, where inspired by movie characters. Another, Joanna Mallory, I’ve often described as my Lady MacBeth character. The character of Byron obviously takes some inspiration from the poet Byron; although I suspect a bit more fictionalized versions than the reality. The main character, Ash, as I’ve already said is a fictionalized version of myself but some other characters where based, in some small way or another, on people I knew during the early days of writing book one. I even managed to put in a cameo for two characters from my first novel attempt.
I expect there are others that aren’t coming to mind right now other than a few “blink and you’ll miss them’ references. That might be the subject of another post.