The Dreyfuss Trilogy

Changeling * Lucifer's Stepdaughter * Moonchild

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Saturday, 12 March 2011

Sample Sunday - March 13th

As I mentioned last week, I’m presenting a second vampire biography for this week’s Sample Sunday.  Again, as people are interested in the nuts and bolts of writing, particularly with such an epic backdrop as a vampire trilogy.  This character, Lucia (Loose-ee-ah), is featured in Lucifer’s Stepdaughter, and in Moonchild.  She is an important character in that she carries function within the narrative.  She is not a main character in terms of the emotional context of the story, but she is in the background, doing work, in both novels.

I’ve included her so you can see what I meant by biographies dovetailing between characters.  If you haven’t done so, you may wish to read the biography of The Lord of the Rivers, before you read Lucia’s.  Then you can see how much each character biography informs the other.  The previous relationship between them is but the work of a moment in the novel.  Just a mention in the stream of things, with no real detail or weight.  Again, such detail informs the characters, makes them three dimensional.  It gives them flesh to their bones, more than it serves narrative.

That their joint story is not part of the trilogy, is how I can present it here.  There will be no more vampire biographies until Lucifer’s Stepdaughter is released.  No one else can be presented, without giving away narrative in the novel.  I hope you like Lucia.  Whilst not the most approachable person in the world, I’m quite fond of her. 

Lucia Jane Matthews   (Lucy Potomac)

Lucia Jane Matthews was born in Sharpestown, Maryland, in 1837, the middle daughter of a well to do businessman who dealt in grain feed and supplies.  From a long line of pioneer women, Lucia Jane was an extremely tall and strapping lass, well used to hard physical chores and climbing trees.  At 6 foot 1, she outstripped both her brothers in height and stature, and it was often said she would have to marry Paul Bunyan, as only he would be tall enough for her.  Her mostly British farming background, had given her a peach and cream complexion, warm brown curling hair and lively topaz coloured eyes.  She was known as striking, rather than beautiful, a description that didn’t bother her in the slightest.  She was well capable of dealing with the delicate beauties of the small town she lived in, and relished that she could both climb trees, and ‘fancy up’ for parties.

From a peaceful and contended family, she left the family store to help with the wounded, on September 17, 1862.  The ferocious battle that had erupted suddenly, in the fields and woods around them, brought many of the local people out to look and see.  Lucia went out with her younger brother, Tom, in a cart, taking water and clean cloths to help with the wounded.

As the Battle of Antietam raged in the fields of her homeland, Lucia became separated from Tom, and climbed down into a ditch to help wounded soldiers.  One such wounded man, confused and in agony, thought she was attacking him, and raised his pistol to her.  She was shot in the groin and crawled off to a die on her own.

The Lord of the Rivers, then acting on the battlefield as a field surgeon known as John Potomac, found her in the last throes of death.  So captivated was he by her vitality, and the shocking waste of blood and life that had bled from her onto the barren earth... he whispered in her ear that she he could save her, but the cost was high.  Lucia struggled to reply that any life was better than none, and the Lord of the Rivers saved her life by giving her the Dark Gift.  Rescued by him, they arranged cover that she was to go North for nursing training, and he arranged an honourable discharge for a wound subsequently received in the Battle, which Lucia tended.

They settled north of Boston, to allow Lucia to grow into her new life.  At first, it was a well founded match.  Apart from the size difference – Rivers was 5 foot 6 inches tall and slight – they made a handsome and dedicated couple.  Rivers took Lucia away from the war, so she might grow into her gifts, and they settled as a romantic couple, marrying in the USA and settling to travel the vast new territories in some style.

Lucia excelled as a vampire.  She took a rich interest in all human life, and glories.  She felt she had been born to be free of all care, and in particular, took great pleasure in her sexuality.  She revelled in her sexual freedom to explore all aspects of herself, and took many lovers, male and female, in a discreet and wholesome fashion. Rivers supported her in all she did, and watched her slowly grow out of the need for him.  This did not surprise him, or pain him too heavily.  He accepted that Changelings grow out of Masters, and that this was the very reason they were Changelings.  He had hoped that Lucia would stay with him longer than she did, as he found her such delightful company.  She was filled with life, and laughter, and good moods.  Her nature was open and honest, yet humorous, and she adored the physical challenges of travel and adventure.  There was no melancholy to be found in her anywhere.  She was a new type of woman, from a new age, and he respected the pleasure and joy she had brought him.

By the Spring of 1885, new identities were required, Lucia had decided she would have her own name, and her own new place in the world.  She was an exceptionally mature Changeling, and the arrangements were made with sadness, but no rancour.  Rivers looked forward to seeing her grow into herself, over the coming decades, if from afar.  He took her to Europe to conduct A Grand Tour, to finish her education before they parted.

Whilst they attended the Paris exhibition of 1889 Lucia became enamoured of the Vampire Caverns, and the myths of the Paris Brethren.  Rivers arranged formal introductions, and sought to make sure that as little contact as possible, would be made between his two former wards – Violette, and Lucia.  He had left this day as long as he could, after all.  He hoped the life loving Lucia would be dismissive of the shadow hunting, secret filled Caverns, and of Lucifer’s Stepdaughter, especially as they had seen so much of the world, Old and New, in each other’s company.

It was not to be.  From the first moment they met, Violette wooed Lucia to her, relentlessly.  Rivers was shocked, surprised, and hurt, by how completely his “quick Lucy” was captivated by Violette’s lilac eyes and the faded and torn Gothic cobwebs of the Caverns.  Within days of her introduction, Lucia announced she was leaving Rivers, and moving in to the Caverns, to join Violette.

Lucia was angry, and annoyed, and extremely sharp about the fact that her beloved John, had ‘withheld’ the knowledge about the Caverns, and Violette, these long decades.  That he had sought to control her by keeping her separate from the female vampire Kin, and Violette’s community of women!

Completely wrong footed, Rivers reacted against his own previous good judgement with Lucia, and almost demanded she refrain from seeing Violette, and return to his protection for a few more years.  Outraged that he was trying to control her...just as Violette said he would!... Lucia packed her bags and marched into the Caverns, inviting Rivers to come and get her, and take her head, if he wanted.  Yes, he could command ancient rules on Changelings if he wanted, but nothing would stop her doing what she pleased.  How dare he!

Rivers packed his bags and left. 

Lucia remained in the Caverns becoming Violette’s second in command.  Her knowledge and understanding of the modern world, making her invaluable in consolidating the business empire of cosmetics and beauty, and her USAn birth allowing Violette access to the New World in a very direct way.

When wanting to annoy Rivers, Violette refers to Lucia as the ‘the first bastard Changeling’ from the New World.  

Lucia laughs at the reference, and Rivers, rages.

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Another #vampire bio, to illuminate how I write. No more for 2 years or so. #SS #ian #horror @dreyfusstrilogy


  1. Interesting. I also prepare Who Is (character) worksheet based on Karen Wiesner's Worksheet in "First Draft in 30 Days". It has helped me dig deeper into their psyche and also includes details like music found on their MP3. Choice of music, for me, is a hint at temperament, history and personality.

  2. That's interesting, as it would never occur to me to feature music. Music isn't a big part of my life, so it would be hard for me to access it like that.

    One of my minor vamps, is called The Book Thief. As she loves to read. But she just steals books and rips out the pages as she reads them, which horrifies me. Even first editions!

    I define my vamps by their passion. If you don't find a passion, in a long life, you are lost. Lucia doesn't have a passion, hence she serves another... The Lord of the Rivers's passion is love, and singing. Whenever I have to write a scene with singing or opera in it, I have to research it! :-)