Whenever people ask me what my series is about, I have a difficult time condensing the description into an "easy-to-digest" explanation. Often times my word-vomit ends up sounding like some strange creature book created from the scraps of popular series, such as Twilight and True Blood (The Sookie Stackhouse, Southern Vampire Mysteries). While True Blood might be a bit of an inspiration, Odeum is more than that. It begins with my fascination with the vampire genre, going back to when I saw my first vampire movie in the 90's: Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
This might not have been the best movie for my cousins to let me watch, since I was about 5 at the time. But it kicked off a love for a genre that continued when I saw Bram Stoker's Dracula and Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series a few years later on TV. My mom saw nothing wrong with me wanting to watch a goofy action show, where the hero was a vampire-slaying, badass, female teen. I don't think she knew that I had watched the rated R movie Bram Stoker's Dracula that was shown on late night TV.
But those few sources of inspiration drove me to write my first short story about a super hero who goes to fight Dracula. The heroine ends up teaming with Dracula, who then sacrifices himself to save the heroine. It didn't end there. By middle school I was writing shorts about my school and town being over-run by vampires and a classmate having to undergo training to defeat them. In high school I started writing the foundation for the Odeum Series that, at the time, was called The Vampire Masquerade. This title was created before I discovered the RPG Vampire Masquerade (I have played Redemption and Bloodlines).
At the time that I was writing the beginnings of Odeum I was reading Embrace the Night by Amanda Ashley, and watching Angel, Buffy, and Forever Knight, John Carpenters Vampires, Queen of the Damned and Interview with a Vampire. As you can see the love for the genre continued and grew as I got older. I really enjoy the concept of a being who has watched history pass by, unchanging and possibly influencing events. I never saw them in the popular sense of a cursed creature or a representation of excess and debauchery.
So, you can imagine my surprise when these concepts were pointed out to me. I had thought these themes were just part of a general storyline that had been retold because some writers were just not creative or were following a popular narrative about vampires. I did not view all vampires as being rich sex icons. They really don't have to be, as many other shows, books and movies have pointed out over the years. The vampire genre continues to inspire me, but the Odeum series is not just my own take on vampires.
Many other works have also inspired the series:
Progress of Julius by Daphne du Maurier
SPQR by Mary Beard
Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Tom Hardy
The Handmaid's Tale and The Testaments by Margret Atwood
Animosity by Marguerite Bennett
Lore Olympus by Rachel Smythe
In essence, the Odeum series is an amalgamation of stories, movies, weird dreams, and real life inspiration. I'm writing what I think I know and throwing it into characters, dialog and story arcs that I hope others enjoy as much as I do. Odeum is a story that begins with a young woman, named Kaylie Lynn, who wants to pursue theater after high school and gets chosen to be part of a program to help up-and-coming youths get experience before going to college. She gets a crush on one of the actors and discovers that he and others who run the theater are vampires. This situation ends up spiraling out of control and completely flipping Kaylie's life upside down. She struggles with more than relationship issues but also endures abuse, survival, and the merciless powers of a shadowy vampire government called The Council. From there, the story becomes more chaotic as you meet other characters who are tied to Kaylie's journey.