Today I am interviewing Alec Sullivan. Alec is here to set the record straight as to his nature, and how he came to allow Marie Lavender to chronicle his story when he had hidden the truth from the world for 179 Years.(from Second Nature, book one of the Blood at First Sight Series)
1. Alec, in your own words, who are you?
I am both man and monster in one body. I didn’t choose this life for myself so I’ve tried to make the best of it, and keep my secrets the best way I know how. I’ve been in the gutters and I’ve known riches, and I have always preferred the solitary life.
2. (A) Where and when were you born in human form?
Hagerstown, Maryland in 1835.
2. (B) And where do you call home now?
Baltimore, though I didn’t always stay in Maryland.
3. (A) Alec, you are almost 180 Years old now, what do you remember of your childhood? You’re Parents?
I came from a middle class background. My father kept us afloat with the family business. He was an excellent investor, a proclivity I have acquired as well. I remember our family picnics in so much clarity. My brother Bryce and I always found ways to get into trouble, though I did feel somewhat protective of him as I had a good six years on him. We were all fairly close. As the eldest child, I felt more inclined to enlist when the war came.
My parents were good people; I regret that I lost them in a house fire well after my own death.
23. (B) I assume you did not plan on becoming a vampire, so what did you want out of life before you died?
I was set to follow in my father’s footsteps and eventually take over the family business. I was also engaged to a pleasant young woman, Eleanor, whom I would have married after returning from the war.
3. (C) Other than your transition, what has been the biggest influence on who you are today?
Twenty years ago, I knew a young woman, Lily, whom I loved. But, she passed quickly, unable to carry the burden of what she’d become. I suppose that because of her, I strove not to lose my humanity. Still, I couldn’t let anyone so close again.
4. Would you be the same person now if that had not happened?
Despite the pain of what I witnessed, I can’t imagine not having met Lily.
5. Okay, so from what Marie has told me you are a real gentleman, but one with a hard edge. What keeps you from using your power to dominate others like so many stories I have heard about your kind?
Keeping my secret is paramount, but I refuse to kill anyone, unless absolutely necessary. I have never liked a lot of bloodshed. I suppose that’s strange for someone like me. There are ways to convince someone to forget your presence without destroying their minds or manipulating them into doing terrible things.
6. Alec, there is no doubt as to your intelligence and your financial acumen. What I want to ask is do you see yourself as better than us humans or just different?
I am altogether different, but no, I don’t necessarily see myself as better than humans. I try to avoid humans as much as I can. That’s not entirely possible with what I have to accomplish, or with my cravings. But, don’t for minute think that I don’t envy a real life, however complicated it might be.
7. I have also heard that you have an acute appreciation for some of the finer things in life, such as fine wine, music, and gourmet food. How did you acquire your tastes? Did you have a post transition mentor?
No, unfortunately my sire left me untutored. I acquired my supernatural skills on my own. As for the rest, those were things ingrained in me from childhood.
I drank wine at meals when I reached a certain age, and I grew to appreciate its flavor, and how it complemented certain foods. I learned how to cook during my journey and I still like to sample something now and then when I can. I often listen to music and sip wine at home after a long day of work as an investor.
8. How did (and does) your service in the Civil War affect who you have become? And have you managed to avoid fighting in other wars even though you still look like a young man?
That fellow feeling never left, I think. I wish no harm to come to humans, and if someone is in danger, I can’t turn away, even if might put me at risk. However, yes, I did avoid fighting in other wars for one simple reason. How would I have explained not perishing from a mortal wound? Or worse, if I’d been exposed to sunlight, it would have been the end of me. It wasn’t that I didn’t wish to lend my assistance, but there was no choice. I had to avoid it.
9. Tell us Alec, How do you think Desiree sees you?
Ah, right now I’m certain she resents me for taking her from her home and thrusting her into this strange world of monsters.
10. How about your enemies? Do they see you in the same light?
(Rubs his chin.) My enemies…the Others are all about survival, no matter what that means. We don’t wish violence upon one another, of course, but we will do whatever is necessary for self-preservation. I have, thus far, managed to avoid most skirmishes with them, though I’ll never back down in a fight.
11. Alec, you obviously opened up yourself to Marie knowing she intended to share your story. How in your mind does Marie see you?
(Shifts and turns a little red.) Writers have the uncanny ability to see inside of you and still appreciate your external qualities. She is a woman, so she believes the best and the worst about me.
12. Do you think Marie portrayed you accurately? Or is this your way of setting the record straight?
I think she paints me as far more attractive than I am. Then again, Desiree…but no, a gentleman should never go into detail.
13. Okay, Alec, this one will require some thought to answer honestly. We want to know deep down, what do you think of yourself?
I am…unnatural, an abomination set upon the world. After I was turned, I became the monster told in legend. I eventually regained who I was, but the cost was too high. The only thing that has saved me from burning in hell is remembering the man I was before it happened, and striving not to harm anyone in the process of survival. Still, I will go on until the end.
14. (A) Over the years I am sure you have seen your share and then some of the truly dark side of human nature. Can you tell us what trait that humans possess do you despise the most?
You are right. I have seen both sides. In war, you learn some pretty frightening things about yourself, and about what men are capable of. There is a switch that can be turned on, and if you’re not careful, if you can’t somehow find your way back, you won’t recognize yourself. We try to explain it away as duty or survival, but there is a dark side to all of us. We are all capable of maiming or killing, and causing pain just because it feels good. War can change a man, but lesser men have fallen in regular life.
What trait do I despise about humans? The ability to believe in something to the exclusion of all else. I encourage others to love and believe in their family and friends. Believe in love. Believe in your ability to succeed. But, if you fight because you believe in something wholeheartedly, always be conscious of the consequences. Is it worth the loss of life that ensues, the very destruction of your humanity? What are you willing to do for that cause?
14. (B) And what in your mind is our (humans) best trait? What do you admire most in human kind?
Unconditional love. I have seen it many times, in my own family and in other humans I observed. The ability to love without limits is probably the most redeeming quality I have seen
15. (A) Alec, if you could do over one thing in your entire life (death) what would it be?
I wish I could have helped Lily a little more.
15. (B) What in your mind has been your single best decade?
15. (C) Why?
Meeting Desiree has been a…complicated pleasure. I also try not to think too much about the past, which is challenging for someone with my memory.
16. What, if anything, haunts you?
This sickness inside of me, this urge for blood. If I could remove it, I would.
17. I have not been told but I am sure at your age you have suffered a complete betrayal. How has that affected who you are today?
Living for 179 years gives you plenty of time for reflection. When the rays of the day’s light shine on the buildings in Baltimore, and I am in the darkness of my home, I often think about that elusive ‘why’. Why was I created? For what purpose does this existence serve? Lately, I’ve begun to feel a sense of destiny, though I know not why. Perhaps I’ll discover it soon. Until then, I will keep surviving, for that is all I can do. I have tried to make the best life I can out of this situation.
18. Alec, as an extremely private individual what made you willing to share your story now?
It is time. This is a long life, and if I can share my burdens with no one close to me, I am willing to divulge a little for the greater good. Perhaps someone else can avoid being sentenced to this madness.
19. Does Alec Sullivan keep his promises?
My word is my bond.
20. I know that since you met Desiree your life has changed. What is it about her that managed to affect you so profoundly?
It wasn’t just her unique blood or scent. I think it was her eyes, or at least the wisdom in them. I recognized something there, and I responded to it.
21. How did you think kidnapping Desiree was going to help you achieve your goal? Or were you just not thinking?
I wasn’t thinking clearly when we met in person, and by the time I stepped back to realize what happened, I knew there was no choice. I had to take her to protect my secret.
22. What is Alec Sullivan still hiding? What is your most closely guarded secret?
Ah, I’d rather not say.
23. And what is your most prized possession? & Why?
I have a Rembrandt painting which disappeared in the art community in the 90s, but I won’t say which one. I managed to acquire it from the thieves after I tracked them. When they awoke, I’m certain they wondered where it had gone.
24. Alec, what do you want out of the future?
If there is a future for me, I suppose I’d want to live as well as I can, and hopefully in a contented fashion. If I had my most fervent wishes, which I know isn’t possible, I’d share my life with someone who understands my journey and the risks I’ve taken to survive.
25. And what do you need?
What I need isn’t possible. But, what I require to survive is a different story entirely.
26. This may open an old wound, so if you would rather not answer we will understand. Alec you were in love and engaged to a woman when you were still human. Tell us about her, and what she meant to you?
I mentioned Eleanor before. Well, I regret to say that we weren’t in love. It was little more than arranged marriage for her. I was content to ask her father for her hand, and make arrangements to eventually wed. We barely knew each other, but I would have done my duty. From what I could tell, she was a very good woman, and she deserved to find happiness.
27. Can Desiree finally fill the void that the loss of your beloved left in you all these years?
Since Lily was the woman I loved twenty years ago, yes, I believe she could fill that void in some ways. At the same time, Lily had her own place in my heart, and I have healed from that wound. Desiree is different. She is a miracle, but I cannot have her.
28. Alec, I can only imagine what the others of your kind are thinking about you. Do you worry that they will take revenge on you for stepping into the figurative light?
Oh, yes, I’m sure you’re right. It is ingrained in us from the beginning that we will protect our secret no matter the cost. Even if they took revenge upon me, it would be far too late to avoid this reveal.
29. Last question, Alec, are your personal goals aligned with what others (Desiree in particular) expect of you in the future, or do they all have it wrong?
If I know Desiree at all, she will have no such expectations of me. In my dreams, though, I would have her at my side.
I would like to thank Marie Lavender for arranging this interview with the elusive Alec Sullivan – You will find more on both at the links below!
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More on Marie Lavender
Bestselling author of UPON YOUR RETURN and 19 other books. Honorable Mention in the 2014 BTS Red Carpet Book Awards. Finalist and Runner-up in the 2014 MARSocial’s Author of the Year Competition. Honorable mention in the January 2014 Reader’s Choice Award. Liebster Blogger Award for 2013 and 2014. Top 50 Authors on AuthorsDB.com. Winner of the Great One Liners Contest on the Directory of Published Authors.
Marie Lavender lives in the Midwest with her family and three cats. She has been writing for over twenty years. She has more works in progress than she can count on two hands. Since 2010, Marie has published twenty books in the genres of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, fantasy, mystery/thriller, literary fiction and poetry. Lavender just released Second Nature, a paranormal romance/urban fantasy, in December of 2014. She released Magick & Moonlight, a romantic fantasy, back in March of 2014. Upon Your Honor, released in last April, is her second historical romance. Her current series are The Heiresses in Love Series, The Magick Series and The Blood at First Sight Series.
A list of her books and pen names are as follows:
Marie Lavender: Upon Your Return; Magick & Moonlight; Upon Your Honor; Second Nature
Erica Sutherhome: Hard to Get; Memories; A Hint of Scandal; Without You; Strange Heat; Terror in the Night; Haunted; Pursuit; Perfect Game; A Touch of Dawn; Ransom; Leather and Lace
Kathryn Layne: A Misplaced Life
Heather Crouse: Express Café and Other Ramblings; Ramblings, Musings and Other Things; Soulful Ramblings and Other Worldly Things
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