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As I continued creating Wings in the Night stories, my former publisher felt the series was getting long, and wanted me to write a book specifically designed to be new-reader-friendly. She wanted a book you could read even if you hadn't read the rest of the series, an entry point. She wanted me to slow down the merry-go-round to let new riders jump on.
I replied that any of these books could be read and enjoyed on its own without having read the rest of the series. I write them all that way on purpose. Intended it that way from Day 1. But, because the publisher is always right (because they write the checks) I tried to take this one even further from the existing series canon, to allow it to be filtered in anew.
The best way to do that was to create a character with amnesia.
The vampire Lilith came to me in a single vision; I saw a nude woman, lying outside in the pouring rain, waking as if newly born, not a hint of who or what she is in her mind. She only knows she has to run for her life.
I had no idea what had happened to her, why she had no memory, or what dangerous villain was after her.
Because of her memory loss, she has to learn everything about herself. And so as she discovers each new thing, the reader discovers it too, or re-discovers it all over again, which is always incredibly gratifying to me as a reader.
So she learns, and we learn with her, about her heightened senses, about her increased sensitivity that can turn pain into torture and pleasure into ecstasy. We learn about her strength and speed. The more she learns about what it is to be a vampire, the more bits and pieces of her memory return. And that's something Ethan, her rescuer wishes he could prevent. Because she's going to remember him, and the place from which they both escaped, and she's going to insist on going back.
My first thought upon waking was that maybe