Today we have an interview with Kelley Grealis, author of the vampire novel The Descendant. Kelley was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. She has a B.A. in Accounting from Baldwin-Wallace College and a Masters of Business Administration from Cleveland State University. She has loved all things vampire since she was a little girl, and it was that passion, combined with thirteen years of Catholic schooling, that inspired her to write The Descendant. She lives in a Cleveland suburb with her husband and two cats. She is currently working on The Search, Book 2 in The Descendant Vampire Series.
What role do you believe speculative fiction plays in society?
Like all books, speculative fiction provides a great escape for readers. But unlike other genres, it provides that escape through stories about creatures that go bump in the night (vampires, werewolves), characters that save the world (superheroes), re-writing history with endings that the author would prefer or that make the reader wonder 'what if'?' It's entertainment that plays on people's fears, hopes and curiosities.
Why do you write in this genre?
I've loved vampires since I was a little girl. When I decided to write a book, it was only natural for me to want to write about vampires.
How did you come up with the idea for The Descendant?
There was something that I had noticed in the majority of vampire books I had read or movies that I had seen - the vampire was always just "there." I never really heard how the first vampire was created, or the stories I did hear simply weren't plausible. So I knew that I was going to write a story about the origin of the vampire and I then decided to put my Catholic schooling to use, so I tied the vampire's origin to popular biblical stories.
What was your biggest challenge in writing it?
Finding the time to write! I have a day job so the amount of time I have to dedicate to writing is limited to evenings and weekends. Then when life simply happens, I have even less time to write.
What are you working on now?
The Search - the sequel to The Descendant.
About The Descendant
No sparkling vampires, teenage romance or werewolves here. The Descendant is a different type of vampire novel. Dubbed a vampire tale of biblical proportions, the book reveals the vampire’s biblical origin through the experiences of a woman who discovers that she is a descendant of the first vampire.
Allison Carmichael is plagued by common yet undiagnosed symptoms and is desperate to find her life’s calling. A car wreck leaves her with no memory of the past three years and in a life she doesn’t recognize. Allison soon discovers that she is a mortal descendant of the first vampire and the first of her kind to exhibit signs of vampirism. She must decide between mortal death if she cannot control her symptoms or eternal damnation if transformed into a vampire. Her decision is further complicated when she learns that one vampire has manipulated every aspect of her life and another seeks vengeance for her ancestor’s actions.