Last year at this time, my third Immortyl Revolution novel was released, introducing my irreverent young vampire, Cedric MacKinnon. Cedric is an adept of the ancient arts, or sacred courtesan in the service of the Goddess Kali. Yes, you heard it correctly: male vampire courtesan.
Why a vampire courtesan?
I loved Mary Renault’s novel, The Persian Boy, about Bagoas, the male courtesan in service to Alexander the Great. I’m a sucker (if you’ll pardon the expression) for tales of court intrigue as well as those about vampires. Writing urban fantasy in a present-day NYC setting gave me few opportunities for this kind of a story, so I set out to create a modern vampire world that operates very much like an ancient culture. I centered this culture in India, and Cedric’s tale takes place there in the chief elder’s court. Cedric’s story is the stuff of operatic drama, a tale of romance in an older sense of the word. Instead of me nattering on about this, I decided to let my lovely, naughty boy speak for himself in an interview.
(Knowing Cedric as I do, I may regret this.)
DV: Welcome, Cedric.
CM: Always a pleasure to come out and play, my dear.
DV: First off, will you dispel the rumor that you were named for a character played by an actor who in a different film plays a sparkly vampire?
CM: That’s simply ridiculous. I was named for a character from Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe. I’m a Scot, and my mum was a wee bit of the romantic. She named me for Cedric the Saxon, a warrior chieftain, not a teenaged wizard from Harry Potter. Let’s make this clear, I may be fabulous, but I never sparkle. Sparkling is for Moet et Chandon, not vampires.
DV: So, you’re dangerous?
CM: Darling, I’m the definition of danger. Aside from the living forever and staying beautiful part, there is the downside, otherwise everyone would want to be a vampire. We drink human blood. It has to be human, or the symbiote in our blood starts going wonky. We don’t have to kill to get sustenance, but drinking it directly from the source is like an addiction. It causes painful cravings.
Trust me, you don’t want a vampire as a boyfriend, unless you plan on becoming a vampire yourself and being his bitch for eternity. Read Anne Rice to get that perspective in detail.
DV: Tell the readers a little about yourself.
CM: (Chuckles) My abundant charms?
DV: Yes, you could share what makes you the most celebrated adept. What has all the elders clamoring for your favor?
CM: I’m nineteen in my tale, six-three, with long auburn hair, green eyes and a dancer’s body. I’m told I have a wicked grin. Let’s also say my rise to fame isn’t exaggerated. I play several instruments, but the guitar is my favorite. I have a lush tenor voice and when I dance, well, they sit up straight and pay attention.
DV: How does one become an adept of the ancient arts?
CM: For me, it was sheer luck, good or bad, depending on how you look at it. I was living on the streets of London, selling the only thing I had, this lovely body of mine. I got sick and had to give that up. So, I turned to playing my guitar in the Underground for change. I met Raj there, my master. Beautiful bastard, I fell hard for him.
He gave me the blood and took me to India. Told me I’d been chosen for a great honor. Hah! The chief elder decreed I was to be taken into the adept’s ashram for training. Training for something I was damned good at to begin with--or so I thought. I was assigned to a lovely woman named Sandhya, who taught me that sex was an art and that an adept is a conduit through which divinity flows. I told her that I’d been called many things in my time, but never a conduit of divinity. She wasn’t amused. You see, an adept is a servant to the Great Mother, Kali. We perform a tantric ritual with our lovers, in all kinds of kinky Kama Sutra ways. It commemorates the Goddess conferring her gift of immortality on our kind. (By the way, we don’t really like the term vampire. We prefer Immortyl.) I also studied music, dance, conversation and Immortyl history.
The religious aspect aside, an adept is essentially a pawn in the chief elder’s intrigues. I was chosen for a very specific purpose. The chief elder wanted something from another powerful elder, and he needed to curry favor with him in order to obtain it. Yours truly was trained with this purpose in mind. Lord Liu was a known connoisseur of adepts, and he preferred boys to girls.
DV: What about you? Which do you prefer?
CM: You would ask. (Grins) I say share the love. It would be selfish to limit all this.
DV: Tell me about Lord Liu.
CM: Liu Li Cheng is deep. He was born in the former Han dynasty, a warrior and scholar, wicked sexy. He’s been both mentor and lover to me.
DV: Is he the one?
CM: There isn’t just one. I’m a generous lad.
DV: I think Lord Liu may well be the love of your life.
CM: It’s potentially a very long life. I don’t see myself with any one lover for all that time. However, Li Cheng remains a powerful presence in my life.
DV: What about Mia?
CM: Ah, you’re not making this easy. She’s the avatar of my Goddess, in the guise of Durga. Our bond is sacred--but her heart belongs to Kurt, the revolutionary leader. He tolerates our relationship. Kurt has his lovers on the side as well, boys and girls. Oh, it’s quite the soap opera with Immortyl love affairs. Spoilers, my dear. We should change the subject.
DV: What’s your favorite curse word?
CM: Are you going all James Lipton on me? Very well--bollocks.
DV: What are your turn-ons?
CM: Rock music, especially David Bowie. Fast cars. I so want a Lamborghini. Sexy clothes. Beautiful lovers who spend lots of money on me. Long summer days spent in bed. Can’t go out in the sun. What else can one do but shag one’s brains out?
CM: Lovers who don’t respect my artistry. Politics, since I was often the one called in to smooth things over in ways I prefer not to remember. Immortyls who pick on the weak. Injustice.
DV: Which brings me to my next question, what is your line of work nowadays?
CM: One is always in the service of the Goddess, but these days I serve her in a different capacity. (Laughs) Instead of giving head, I take heads.
DV: You’re an assassin in other words?
CM: Indeed. Like Kali Maa, I slay demons and drink their blood. I practice Tantra purely to further her great work.
DV: Where do you see your adventures taking you?
CM: Well, that’s rather up to you, isn’t it? You could write me some sexy new stories.
DV: With Lord Liu?
CM: I’d like that. You leave me rather hanging in this last one.
DV: Thanks for “sharing the love”, Cedric.
CM: Anytime darling, you know where to find me.
You can read all about Cedric in his tale, My Fearful Symmetry. His story continues through Mia’s eyes in my latest book, Servant of the Goddess.
I will giveaway a free ecopy of Annals of the Immortyls. All you have to do is leave a comment and email, and I'll send you the code and link for the free copy.