I promised that I would give some background information on my main character Mira from my upcoming book Nightwalker. I thought the easiest way for me to provide a little info on her was to post an interview that I wrote a couple years ago. It was a quick way for me to try to keep track of some of the basic information. I will try to give some more interesting details on the book later this month.
An interview with Mira:
Reporter: Let’s just begin with your name and how old you are.
Mira: My name is Mira and I am roughly 602 years old.
Reporter: No last name?
Mira: We have no need for them. When you become a nightwalker, you shed most of your mortal life, which includes last names. Many even change their first names.
R: Did you?
Mira: No, I liked mine.
R: Now is your age estimated from the day you became a vampire or when you were born?
M: I was born as a human 639 years ago. At the age of 27, my maker started the process of making me into a nightwalker. A nightwalker always estimates his or her age from the night they were reborn as a vampire. Before that nothing else matters.
R: After you are reborn, how long do you stay with your clan?
M: Clan? That’s a quaint term. Nightwalkers do not have clans. Generally, nightwalkers are solitary creatures. We don’t trust our own kind and we try to give each other some distance. There are some that live in something more like a family, but it’s rare. The head of the family has usually sired most of the nightwalkers within the family, though some others join.
R: Why do some live in families?
M: Protection. That is the only reason to live within a family. Protection from those that are stronger and more powerful than you. Without the protection of the family, most would not live to see the end of their first century.
R: I don’t understand. Protection from what?
M: Other nightwalkers. When you are born a nightwalker, you don’t have many special abilities. You have speed and strength, you even have some of the minor enchantments, but these are really only useful against humans. As a nightwalker, you really don’t gain any true strength or abilities until you’re more than three centuries. Until then, you’re just prey for anything that is stronger than you. There are exceptions, of course, but most nightwalkers don’t spend any real time or effort in making their sires.
R: Why would other nightwalkers attack the younger ones?
M: Sport. Entertainment. Unlike humans, vampires can endure a great deal more torture and pain; makes a fight more interesting. It also helps to thin out the ranks. Vampires don’t have any natural predators to keep our numbers down, so we do what we can to make sure that only the strongest survive.
R: It sounds so barbaric.
M: True, but is it really any different than your mass murders or your wars? Besides, we will never die of disease or old age.
R: So the weak ones join families for protection? What does the head of the family gain from this?
M: A slave. The head of the family owns the members of the family. You must obey any and all commands. From what I have seen, there is nothing enjoyable about being part of a family and there is no real guarantee that it will actually prolong your existence.
R: Were you ever a part of a family?
M: For a while, even before being reborn. I stayed with my sire for nearly a century before I left to be on my own. While most families are their own nightmare, there is something to be gained if a vampire is strong enough and smart. If you are in the good graces of your maker, he or she can teach you the secrets of being a nightwalker. She can teach you about your abilities and the history of your kind.
R: Is it hard to leave a family?
M: Sometimes, yes. Sometimes, it is impossible. And then sometimes, your sire lets you go.
R: Outside of the family, is there a hierarchy within the vampire world?
M: Yes, but it is not as rigid or visible as the power structure within the human world. A nightwalker could go almost his whole existence without personally encountering this select group.
R: What select group?
M: (a dark chuckle slips past Mira’s parted lips as her smile widens) I’m afraid I can’t tell you that.
R: Is there anything else about your world you can tell me?
M: The only position I can talked about is a Keeper. While most nightwalkers don’t settle in one place, there are some that will choose a specific region to call their own. This is usually only done by Ancients, though there are some exceptions. The Keeper is thought of as the ruler of the domain and deferred to by all other nightwalker that either live or pass through this area. The position is Keeper is claimed and maintained by fear, respect, and power. When another nightwalker enters the domain of a Keeper, he or she must ask permission to hunt and sleep within the domain.
R: How large is the domain?
M: Depends on the Keeper and how much territory the nightwalker can defend. For most, it is just a city and its surrounding area. There are a few that claim whole countries. There is one Elder that claims all of Northern Africa as his domain.
R: There are rumors that you are the Keeper of all of the United States. Is this true?
M: Hardly. I am a Keeper, but my domain is limited to Savannah and some of its surrounding cities. However, I am one of the oldest nightwalkers in the United States. As such, I have been asked on occasion to police the New World at the request of the Ancients. I also frequently travel around the country. This sometimes gives the illusion that I have claimed more territory than I truly have.
R: Thanks for your time, Mira.