Way back in 2003, I first heard a song called The Lighthouse’s Tale by the band Nickel Creek, and I enjoyed it. The music was a nice blend of bluegrass and country, and the melody was haunting. I listened to the lyrics, but never thought much of it other than it was a very romantic, yet tragic, song. Then in 2008, something clicked when I was listening to it. I envisioned this tragic love story, and I could see her ship going down in a turbulent sea, and then him bolting to the shore to find her lifeless body on the sand. I saw him running up the steps of the lighthouse and then throwing himself off the tower…
But then something funny happened. Instead of him plummeting to his death, I pictured him being caught mid-air by something. Something with pale skin and long dark hair. A man…that was also a vampire. Then I thought about how this human would react to being changed into an immortal, when all he wanted to do was be reunited with his lost love in the hereafter. He’d be pissed.
Fast forward a century or two, and I figured he probably spent the better part of the last 200 years trying to reverse what had been done to him. It wasn’t his choice, he knew he had tons of time on his hands, so he set his mind to learning everything he could about genetics and DNA and viruses and anything else that could change a human being into something that it’s not.
Well. Silly me. I set myself up for a HUGE undertaking. I knew nothing about genetics or diseases or DNA – nothing other than what I would find in the paper or read in the pages of a Dean Koontz novel.
So I got to thinking- he obviously couldn’t come outright and say he was searching for a cure for vampirism. I started thinking about diseases and disorders that humans have that could come close to vampirism, and I landed on XP -Xeroderma Pigmentosum. Not to trivialize a very serious condition, but essentially someone with XP is injured by the sun and UV light. Its most often accompanied with photophobia, which is light sensitivity. So I decided that Gareth would cover his vampire-cure research with open research for XP.
It was fun, really. I got to talk to scientists at University of Arkansas regarding genetics and the mutation of genes, what makes them abnormal, etc. UAMS is a teaching hospital in Little Rock, and its a world leader in research and innovation. The doctors and scientists who work there are some of the most brilliant minds in the country. And no one seemed annoyed that a no-name author was pestering them about things she had no idea about!
So that’s it. That’s where the inspiration for Eternity came from. I’ll detail Anna’s journey next post 🙂