Sunday, January 8, 2012

Guest Post: Samantha Rendle + House of Vampires

I'm joined on the blog today by young adult author Samantha Rendle who's going to share with us some of her experience with creating the characters and story for her novel, House of Vampires. Take it away Samantha!

I grew up familiar with stories about secret worlds – Narnia, The Secret Garden and Harry Potter being a few – and they fascinated me. I was also into vampires from an early age – I’ll always remember sitting in front of the television every week as a child, eager to catch up on the latest Buffy episode. So, when I decided I wanted to write stories I had an idea in my head, of a vampire and a key that unlocked the door to a secret world.

I knew what I wanted both my vampire and my key to look like. At the time, I was around fourteen and obsessed with a rock band called Fall Out Boy, particularly their video for A Little Less Sixteen Candles, which featured vampires. The main character in the video was Fall Out Boy’s bassist, who was playing a vampire. He was dark, brooding and good-looking, and I knew I wanted to base a character on him. I gave my main character similar looks and named him after the band’s bassist: Peter. As for the key, I wanted it to stand out. I got a lot of inspiration from tattoos for the key. I could picture it in my head clearly – a long cylinder with a skull on the top, surrounded by tiny golden vines – but I did not yet know what door it would open, and what would be behind the door.

I wrote draft after draft, none of them really going anywhere, and gave up time and time again. I decided to plan more thoroughly and came up with more characters: Annabel, Frank and Stella, the main character’s allies, and Lilith, Michael and Will, the main character’s enemies. The main character had a very strong, defined look, and I wanted his enemy to have the same qualities. I pictured Lilith to look like a rebellious schoolgirl, with luring violet eyes and silver hair. I got the idea from several things – fairies, pixies and other mythical creatures, mainly. I wanted her to be enchanting.

Once I came up with more characters, I had to come up with a solid idea. What were Peter’s enemies after? What would his adventure be? That was where the key fit in. His enemies would be after a key that lead to another dimension, that would free their evil allies, and Peter’s adventure would be defending the key. I created a world that the key would unlock, and a door to sever it from their home dimension.

Finally, I wanted to give the ‘good side’ a name. There were the evil vampires, including Lilith, Michael and Will, who lived in a luxurious mansion. There were the few who stood against them, including Annabel, Frank, Stella and Peter, who traveled from place to place. Then there were the humans, who had no idea about the war that would go on around them. Those who stood against the vampires spent their time hunting and silencing their enemies, so I thought it would be fitting to call them ‘The Hunters.’

And finally I had a story to write. Peter, a young vampire of fourteen (the age I was when I made him up) wakes up in the mansion with no idea who he is, and the only thing in his possession is a key. He soon learns that the key opens a door, which leads to a world filled with demons and vampires who would tear his world apart if the door was ever opened. He escapes the house and finds the Hunters, who, although they don’t trust him at first, take him in and let him join their fight against the other vampires. Now all he has to do is keep the key from the vampires...

Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by Supernatural Snark today Samantha! More information on Samantha and House of Vampires can be found here:



Pete is a 14 year-old vampire who wakes up in a mansion with no idea who he is and no memories. He soon discovers that he's the keeper of a skeleton key, which opens the door leading to another realm: the realm containing vampires, demons and other fearsome creatures. Realising that he needs to keep the key away from the door and the vampires who want the door open, he flees and joins the fight against them making three new friends in the process. When one of them is kidnapped he has no choice but to go back to the house of vampires. Back to the danger he ran away from...


  1. Sounds very interesting. I love the inspiration of Fall Out Boy. They're a good band. And Lilith is a great name for a bad vampire.

  2. I have totally missed that, I think i must check youtube :)

  3. "The Hunters" is a great "good side" name. Nice interview!

  4. Sounds like a cute book. Am I weird that I want that key? LOL

    I can def. see Pete as a hero. :D

  5. LOL I know what you mean, Samantha! You don't know how many times I've started and re-started writing my own book, then went back and started a whole new idea, even after all of the work I put into the old one! x) It's an awful roundabout! So I'm really glad that you finished this book and got it published! :)

    Awesome guest post, Samantha! I'm definitely intrigued by your book now, and I love the name Lilith for a vampire! ;)

  6. Alison - I always like knowing where authors get their inspiration:)

    Blodeuedd - I need to look it up too!

    Mary - I agree. That would be the hardest thing for me when writing I think - trying to come up for the names of things in the world I created:)

    Melissa - I want that key too, we could share it maybe?

    Mimi - I can't even imagine trying to write a book and all revising of ideas and content that goes into it. I don't think I'd ever finish because I'd change something every time I read through it:)

  7. This sounds like an interesting book, Vampires and the Secret Garden. Never thought to pair those two together. Glad to hear of someone else that kept writing there story over and over again. Great interview. Always love to hear how a story comes together.


  8. I know it's a lot of work but it sounds like you had such fun creating your characters, their adventures and their world. It sounds fantastic!

  9. Hmm, sound like an interesting book! Will check it out!

  10. What a fascinating post! Very cool that one of her characters was inspired by Fall Out Boy.

  11. Interesting post! I haven't actually come across this before, but knowing what inspired some of the aspects of this book has definitely got me wanting to check it out! And I love the Fall Out Boy bit. :D

    Sam @ Realm of Ficton

  12. Thanks Jenny, and thanks everyone for the great feeback!
    -Sam Rendle