A passion for writing – and for vampires

Early last year, Chelsea Raine put her passion for writing and “thing” for vampires to work, starting the first in what will be a series of four vampire romance novels.

“On Jan. 27 last year, I started writing,” she said. Since then, she’s completed two novels and is working on a third novel and a script for a film adaptation of her first book, she said.

With help from her father, Raine self-published her first book, Twisted Dream, Dead Moon.

“That’s my blood, sweat and tears, and, believe me, there have been lots of tears,” she said of her first book.

The novel will be available at her book signing at Just the Thing, located at 4309 Old Hundred Road, on Saturday, Aug. 21, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Local vampire enthusiasts can meet Raine at the event, as well as sign up to be notified when Islathon, her second book, is released.

“I’ve been invited by a publishing house to present my manuscript,” she said. “I hope to have my second book out by Christmas.”

Raine said she’s been a member of several rock bands and written songs all her life, so writing a novel came naturally. And, “I’ve always had a thing for vampires,” she said.

Raine’s vampires are part of the Society of Powerful Immortals, or SPI, which is based in Amsterdam, Netherlands, and governs their behavior. Her lead vampire, Johnathon Daine, works part-time as a counselor at a prison and feeds on the worst prisoners, she said.

Garlic in a human’s bloodstream is poisonous to her vampires if they feed on that person, she said. Fresh water burns their skin like fire, she said, “but they bathe in salt water.” And, don’t expect her vampires to catch fire if they’re caught in the sun.

“In the sunlight, they disappear,” Raine said. They can disappear at will in the dark, as well, she said.

Isla Michelle Van Burren, Raine’s heroine, is a hair stylist, as is Raine. Raine, who works at Hair Techniques in the Bermuda Square Shopping Center, said the romance between Johnathon and Isla is based on her relationship with her husband of eight years, John.

“These books are written with a deep, deep, passionate love behind them, and that’s my husband and me,” she said.

Raine said she was in the third chapter of her first book when she realized she didn’t know where Isla lived or where she was from. After looking up American castles online, she and her husband went to and explored Asheville, N.C., where Biltmore House, the largest privately-owned home in the U.S., is located.

When they went out to eat, they came across a salon with an off-beat and significant name: Hollywood Vampires. Raine ultimately decided to set the book in Asheville.

Because she is working on so many projects, writer’s block isn’t a problem, she said.

“I’m doing so much that I don’t get blocks,” she said. If one project starts to get frustrating, she jumps to another, she said. For more information on Raine’s work, visit http://dragonflydagger.com/books.

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