Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank Paul Comeau for stopping by today. Please give them a warm welcome.
Title: More Things in Heaven and Earth
Author: Paul Comeau
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Catt Ford
Genre: Gay Romance
Release Date: 12/30/2016
When young Danny Crawford’s father and a priest conspire to subject him to conversion therapy, Danny only sees one way out. But little does Danny know he’ll soon have a sentinel watching from the darkness, a guardian angel in the most unlikely form imaginable.
Damien, a vampire, is inexplicably moved by Danny’s plight. He takes it upon himself to make sure Danny’s father and the priest can never hurt him again, giving Danny a chance at a normal life. As Danny grows up, Damien struggles to keep the boy—and later the young man—from harm. He does not dare go any further, no matter how much he wants to. To do so would ruin everything he’s tried to do for Danny. He doesn’t realize that as Danny embarks on a successful modeling career and begins dating, Danny feels empty, longing for something—or someone—just beyond his reach: a shadow, a presence he despairingly believes forever lost to him.
When brutality and violence threaten Danny again, Damien must make a decision—risk revealing himself to Danny, or leave Danny to his fate.
A Vampire Surprise
PRISM GUEST POST
Hello, my name is Paul Comeau and let me begin by saying what a pleasure it is to talk to you all. When I sat down to write More Things in Heaven and Earth, I knew a vampire would be my main character, because I’d always wanted to write a vampire story, but I had no idea it would turn into a vampire romance. At first, I imagined a vampire priest on the battlefield, helping the wounded and dying soldiers to pass on, as it were. I was pretty excited about my original idea and promptly wrote it as a short story. When I began to flesh the story out in more detail, however, I realized how flimsy it was, because when it came right down to it, I knew less than nothing about soldiers and battlefields. But the priest idea stuck in the back of my mind.
Having taught Shakespeare’s plays for many years, I frequently have favorite lines key running through my head, particularly lines from Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth, plays I know virtually by heart. So I began thinking, since a vampire is unhuman, a preternatural thing so to speak and therefore an outcast, Hamlet’s words to Horatio might be an ideal motif to echo through the story as well as an ideal title. Once I had my title and main character, the story began to take shape.
Given the plethora of vampire books, movies, and soaps out there, one of the challenges was to make my vampire somehow unique, insofar as that was possible, while still giving Damien opportunities to play the vampire. So against his innate lethal nature, I decided to set very human yearnings and needs, emotional and psychological conflicts that would give Damien’s character greater depth. Having Damien, disguised as a priest, meet, rescue, and pledge to protect Danny, a young boy similarly outcast by virtue of his being gay, was a way of doing that. I didn’t realize Danny would fall in love with Damien or that Damien would reciprocate until both actually happened. And it felt right, so that’s the direction the story took of its own accord.
I then needed antagonists for Damien to protect Danny from. Danny’s father, Frank Crawford, and his parish priest, Monsignor Monahan, were initially the obvious ones, as Danny struggles with the realization he is attracted to other boys and with society’s condemnation of that sexual attraction. Later, Danny’s boyfriend Jared and a biker thug Matt create the situation whereby Damien is able to again protect Danny, while at the same time meeting Danny’s mother, Irene, his sister, Vanessa, and his aunt, Mable. These more sympathetic characters provide emotional support for Danny’s relationship with Damien, as well as the family Damien forfeited when he became a vampire.
I’ll let Damien explain that particular loss in his own words, as he explains it to Danny.
“At first,” he began, striving to be as honest as possible with Danny, with himself, “I missed my family so desperately I think I nearly went mad. Night after night, I’d stand in the shadows outside our house for hours, imagining what they were talking about, what they were eating, what they were watching on TV. Crazy as it sounds, I missed my room, the smell of the bedsheets when they were freshly washed, the smell of coffee brewing and bread toasting when I woke up in the morning, the way my dad snorted when he laughed, and a thousand other little things. None of that had mattered a damn to me before, but now that was all I could think about.
“I even built up a little scenario in my head. The prodigal’s return. As I imagined it, I’d knock at the front door and calmly explain what I’d become in such a way as not to frighten them. They’d be so relieved and happy I was alive, they’d throw their arms around me and say it didn’t matter. I was their son. They loved me unconditionally. How could I have possibly supposed otherwise? Talk about bullshit, huh? Once, I got as far as the front walk before reality kicked in. You fucking asshole, I remember thinking. Just what in hell do you think you’re doing? You’re a bloody vampire, for Christ’s sake. They’ll be horrified. And besides, what can they do about it? Nothing! So what good will it do telling them? None! That’s when I abandoned my nightly vigils, texted them I was leaving for good, and resigned myself to being alone. Over time, I even convinced myself I was better off without them, free to do and be whatever and whoever I wanted.”
So that was Damien before he met Danny, a vampire free to be whatever and whoever he wanted, even a Roman Catholic priest. But then, Danny changed everything! And that transformation is at the heart of the story.
About the Author
Paul is a proud Canadian, who has recently retired from teaching high school English and is relieved to have finally traded the drudgery of lesson prep and essay marking for the pure joy of writing fiction. He is addicted to paranormal investigator shows, horror movies, all things vampire, mystery novels, long morning walks, and jigsaw puzzles. He is blessed with a loving and supportive wife, who keeps him grounded in reality while helping him navigate the intimidating world of technology, and a daughter who understands the highs and lows of the enigmatic writing process, being herself an accomplished writer and poet. When he is not compulsively tapping the keys of his laptop, he can be found at the dining room table matching the shapes and patterns of his latest jigsaw puzzle or in the kitchen roasting, stewing, grilling, and baking. He views cooking as a creative activity, like writing fiction, with the outcome often as interesting and unexpected. He imagines his characters, plots, and dialogues in the process of doing any or all of these things.
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