So, Deirdre, how does it feel to be back in the public eye after so many years?
Thank you for asking – in one way, it is very exciting to have the chance to tell my story to a whole new audience and to make new friends who can be sympathetic to my situation. Of course, there is always danger in exposing oneself to humans. Over the years I have been quite careful to keep my real existence a secret from everyone. It is safer. For me. And for them.
I’m glad you mentioned the safety factor. How much of a risk do you pose to the humans around you?
In life and, I suppose, in death, there are always risks. While I try to remain as civilized as possible, it is important to remember that, no matter how hard I may try to appear human, I am not. My instincts for survival are strong and the only way I can survive is by drinking human blood. I try not to go for too long without feeding, though, and try to take only what I need, even if it means moving on while still hungry and finding another victim to satisfy my appetite.
You’ve lived a long time, and have done some interesting jobs in your life. What were some of your favorites?
I really did enjoy my most recent job – that of a fashion designer in New York City. There was something so satisfying about the tactile essence of it: the feel of the fabrics, the blur of colors and textures, the excitement of the show. It was such a joy to get lost in the scents and emotions, surrounded by humans. Most of my jobs over the years have been night shift work, for the obvious reasons. And I have always been drawn to the service industries, especially for food and drink. It affords me the perfect opportunity to pick the perfect prey.
Having lived such a long life, you must have experienced a lot of sadness and joys. Care to share?
I fear that I come up rather short on the joys of life. You’d need to speak to my blood-sister, Vivienne Courbet, for that. No matter what, she thinks that life is good. But regrets? Yes, I have many. I regret the time I wasted as a human, failing to enjoy the simpler things like sunshine, the smile of a loved one, or being touched without having to worry about vampiric appetites arising from contact. I regret having to hide myself away for fear of being discovered. I regret not being able to look in a mirror without having to look at the monster within. And mostly, I regret the loss of my beloved husband and unborn child during the unfortunate occurrence that changed me into what I am today. I do not, however, regret my vow to destroy the one who created me.
Finally, Deirdre, can you tell us what it really feels like to be a vampire?
I am not sure I can find the words to fully describe the feeling, but I will try. Imagine if you can, your own human senses amplified many times – your hearing is enhanced, your sense of touch more acute, your sight is clear as crystal, and the aromas around you are so intoxicating, you can almost taste them. Imagine feeling your body’s needs like a physical pain, sharp and demanding . And then imagine the sheer indulgence in satisfying those needs, gulping down crimson life in sweet, bitter mouthfuls and feeling that stolen health and vitality course through your veins. It sounds poetic and beautiful. And it would be, except for the price you pay. You live on, perpetually young, while everyone you have ever or will ever know or love dies. There are days when I wish it to end, when the loneliness is almost unbearable. But the instinct to survive is strong and life goes on. And that is all I have to say right now – for more details, you can read my books. Thank you for inviting me in.
From Book #1 of HUNGER:
After the kiss, I buried my face in his neck. Now, I thought as I heard the blood pulse in his veins, Oh, please, now.
I nipped him at first, savoring the moment, my low moans echoed by his. Then when my teeth grew longer and sharper, I could hold back no longer. I bit him brutally, tapping the artery and was rewarded by the flow of his blood: hot, salty and bitter. He shuddered violently and fought to push me away, but his resistance was futile. Finally his struggles ceased and his body grew limp as I continued to draw on him, gently now, almost tenderly. I drank a long time, slowly, relishing the feel of my own body being replenished, then I withdrew.
Arising from the couch, I caught sight of myself in the mirror. No longer pale and haggard, my skin glowed with life and my eyes shone, victorious and demonic. A few drops of blood were trickling down my chin; I wiped them away with the back of my hand and turned from my reflection in disgust…
From Book #2 of HUNGER:
He was trembling violently under my touch, but that merely encouraged me and I spoke his name again.
This time I connected. I knew he heard me and understood, his hands tightened on mine and he whispered my name. Then before I could react, he quickly dropped my hands, formed a fist and silently punched me on the jaw, striking me with such force that I fell to the floor.
As I pulled myself up, shaking my head and gingerly feeling my jaw, I saw him running from the room, pursued by a nurse and two orderlies.
I stood, swaying in the air slightly, oblivious to the uproar Mitch’s action must have been causing around me. The noise level in the room rose, as if from a long distance. I could hear the laughing and crying and shouting of the rest of the patients in the room. But my eyes were fastened on the door through which he had disappeared.
What the hell did you expect, you fool, I thought, a passionate embrace, a warm welcome-back kiss? His eyes had been the eyes of one who looked on hell, and I had helped to put him there…