Keys to the Repository
Dear Constant Reader,
When I was growing up, I was a huge fan of Stephen King’s books (I still am). And something I remember so vividly about reading his books is that once in a while he would include a letter to his readers in the introduction. These letters were addressed “Dear Constant Reader” because as he published more and more novels, it became apparent to him that his readers were eating them up—reading them as fast as he could write them, and so he wanted to thank them for that, and to celebrate it as well. In his letters he would give us a little insight into how he wrote his books, what inspired them, how they were written, and what he thought about them once finished.
I loved these letters. I think I secretly enjoyed his letters a little more than the books themselves. As someone who had read all of his books, I was fascinated by this glimpse into their inner workings, and to be told something more about the stories—a background history, an inspiration, a governing idea, maybe—that was not to be found in the pages themselves.
If you are holding this book in your hands, I hope it’s safe for me to assume that you are my Constant Reader, and that you are curious to find out a little more about the world of the Blue Bloods beyond what has been available in the novels so far. And for that, I am extremely tickled, humbled, and gratified. It’s always been a dream of mine to write a book like this, a companion book to the series. I absolutely adore companion books. On my shelf next to my many Stephen King novels, you will also find The Dark Tower: A Concordance, Volume 1 and The Road to the Dark Tower: Exploring Stephen King’s Magnum Opus.
I’d like to share a little bit about the Blue Bloods se-ries—how I first imagined it and how it came to be and how the work is going. The story behind the story, so to speak. As King says, “Some people don’t want to know how sausage is made; if so, skip this and go ahead to the real meal.” So if you don’t want to hear about the backstory, you don’t have to read this. But if you do, here it is.
When my editor asked if I ever wanted to try my hand at a horror/fantasy book, I responded with a resounding YES! YES! YES! As soon as I got off the phone with her, my mind was whirling with so many ideas. I knew from the beginning I wanted to write a big epic fantasy, like my favorite books from childhood: King’s Dark Tower series, Isaac Asimov’s The Foundation trilogy, J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. But I also wanted to set the story in the modern world, like J.K. Rowling’s wonderful Harry Potter books, which reminded me, as an adult, how pleasurable reading books could be. I especially wanted to set it in New York City, my home, which I had just left and missed terribly, as we had moved to Los Angeles in late 2003.
It just happened that at the time my editor called, I was tooling around on the Internet and had found a Web site that listed every passenger on the Mayflower, along with their notable descendants. The list was the “lightning bulb” from the beginning: I thought, what if all these wealthy, important, and influential Americans (the list includes the likes of the Bushes and the Roosevelts, but also—which I thought was more interesting—American icons like Oprah and Marilyn Monroe)—what if all these great people had come to be that way because they were . . . (da da dum . . .) UNDEAD? (BWAHA-HA-HA-HA.)
My other idea was that I very much wanted to have an origin story for my vampires. I had yet to come across a vampire novel that had one. I wanted a believable explanation for their existence. I had always loved the story of Paradise Lost and found Lucifer’s fall incredibly romantic and tragic. And so: the Mayflower, the New York elite, and vampires as cursed angels who fell with Lucifer—my outline was really starting to take shape.
I imagined a large, sprawling story with a huge cast of characters. Some pieces came into place easily: three girls, three different motivations. Schuyler, the shy girl who might hold the key to the Blue Bloods’ salvation; Mimi, whose superficial façade masks her true nature; and Bliss, who hides a dangerous secret. Other pieces, like how the Lost Colony of Roanoke figured into the tale, came as I was writingthe first book. Soon I was off and running, and now, five years later, I am more immersed in the story than ever. It is alive in my mind, the Blue Bloods’ saga dominates talk at my dinner table (my husband is a supportive sounding board), I spend my days turning over plot points, and I can’t sleep if I can’t solve a character’s dilemma.
In these pages you’ll find the mythology of the Blue Bloods explained, some new stories featuring our favorite young vampires, and a sneak peek at what’s to come. I should warn you, The Repository Files, which include character profiles, were written by rather crotchety historians who work for the humorless Committee, so you might find their estimation of the characters a little astringent. Also, while the Repository might think they know everything, careful readers will observe that in certain instances their knowledge is somewhat limited.
Thank you for welcoming the Blue Bloods into your library. I have very much enjoyed the journey that has brought them to your shelves.
I don’t remember how Stephen King said good-bye to his readers, but for me, it’s always a very fond . . .
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