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Alicia Dean: Vampire Diaries Convention & Writing in the World of Mystic Falls
Friday, December 20th, 2013

I would like to thank Delilah for inviting me to guest on her blog. It is truly an honor to be here. Delilah has spoken to our writer’s group on a few occasions, and she was phenomenal. This lady knows her stuff about writing. :smile:

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Okay, I have a confession to make. I’m fifty-two years old, and I love all things Vampire Diaries. I adore the show, and I even LOVE going to conventions. I’ve been to two so far, and I will attend more. It’s an amazing time, filled with so many stars and events it boggles the mind.

The last one I attended was this past November 1st through the 3rd  in Atlanta, which is not far from Covington, Georgia, the place where Vampire Diaries is filmed. Yep, I went to Mystic Falls! My daughter and I drove 900 miles to attend the convention, and I would go again in a heartbeat (no pun intended), as a matter of fact, my plan is to go the Eyecon convention in Atlanta every fall. If you find yourself in the Atlanta area, you MUST take the time to visit Mystic Falls…er…Covington. Below are some pics from the quaint little town: (recognize anything from the show?)

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Back to the convention…

Some of the highlights were:

  • Seeing Ian, up close and personal, talking to him, getting a hug from him, and having my pic made with him…with his arm around me.
  • Hanging with other attendees at the hotel bar, and seeing the celebrities relaxing and drinking. One evening, I sat right next to Rob Pralgo (the original Mayor Lockwood), at the bar.
  • Meeting and listening to Nathaniel Buzolic, who played Kol Mikaelson on TVD. He was a bad, bad guy on the show, but in reality, he is a wonderful person with a strong faith and an uplifting message. His stories and warmth were inspiring to many people. The attendees were buzzing about how amazing he was.
  • Ian
  • Q&A’s, photo ops, and autographs. It was unbelievable how entertaining, personable, and funny the celebrities were. Getting a glimpse into their lives and personalities, not to mention some of the behind-the-scenes stories, was awesome. One of my favorite anecdotes was the one told by Ian Somerhalder (Damon), and confirmed by Paul Wesley (Stefan), about a day they were filming when the temperatures were below freezing. Paul had to do a scene where he was lying on the ice-cold ground. During a break, he put his face up to a heat lamp…and burned off the top layer of skin. His face was so cold it was numb, and he had no idea he was searing his flesh. Can you imagine, damaging that gorgeous face like that?
  • Did I mention Ian? :smile:

Here is a my pic with Ian. In case you’re wondering…yes, I was in Heaven!

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Do you have any idea how blue his eyes really are? Looking into them is like getting lost in this magical place you never want to leave…and when he looks at you, it’s like he’s really seeing you, really speaking to you. He has this knack of making every one of the thousands of fans in attendance feel like they are important to him. He’s just a very, very special person. Not only because of his extreme, ridiculous hotness, his friendliness, and his talent, but he’s a genuinely good person, a humanitarian.

When I heard about his latest endeavor, I was moved to tears. I think this is a brilliant idea, and I hope they raise tons of money and are able to build these sanctuaries all over the United States. In order to help in a small way, in addition to making a random donation from time to time, I am giving 10% of the royalties I earn from my KindleWorlds stories, both Vampire Diaries and Gossip Girl.

About the sanctuary:

From the site:

“While we have tremendous love for all the existing animal sanctuaries, we are aiming for something a little different. ISF intends on creating a safe haven for all the outcast animals that have been neglected, mistreated and ultimately misunderstood. Some may see the potential in an abused animal as ending at the animal’s personal rehabilitation. In our eyes, this is just the beginning. What if ISF provided opportunities for these misfits creatures to continue their emotional journey alongside others who were hurting from a life filled with dejection?

Through the art of compassion, the continuously devastating issue of bullying in our country could be approached in an intensely impactful manner that encourages healthy relationships. We know in our hearts that animals and bullies share common emotional baggage. For example, an abused and neglected pitbull has the power to transform a school bully into a compassionate leader with a shift in benevolent consciousness.”

– See more at: http://www.isfoundation.com/campaign/isf-animal-sanctuary

In addition to the pure joy of the experience, another reason the convention was great for me is that I was able to connect with fans and potential readers. Several months back, Amazon commissioned me to write Vampire Diaries stories for Kindle Worlds, and I published two; What the Heart Wants and Divine Enemy. Writing about my favorite characters in my favorite world—Mystic Falls—was a dream come true. It was SO much fun to make the characters do the things I wanted them to do. What a rush!

Now for a little info about my Vampire Diaries books:

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The Buy Link 

Snippet from What the Heart Wants, Vampire Diaries Book 1

“Hello, love.”

Caroline gasped out a yelp and came to an abrupt stop. Klaus. That familiar, disturbing blend of fear and excitement zipped through her blood. She swallowed hard and glanced around the darkened streets. The empty streets.

She brought her gaze to his. “What do you want, Klaus?”

He gave that sexy—wait, not sexy—irritating smile. His gaze traveled slowly over her body. “Now that’s a loaded question, sweetheart.”

His smooth voice, that accent, cultured yet frightening, sent a shiver over her flesh. “I’m not in the mood for your games. What do you want?”

“I want many things, but even I only have certain expectations of what I can have at any given moment. My most recent wish is to find lover boy. I’ve been out of town for a few days—did you miss me?”

“I didn’t even notice.” God. He hadn’t given up on finding Tyler. Would they ever be free of Klaus’s threats?

He smiled. “Oh, you noticed, sweetheart. Of that I have no doubt. But that’s beside the point. I searched every nook and cranny, every pit, and cave, and hidey-hole where your boyfriend might be skulking. To no avail. Not a sign of him.”

Caroline smiled with relief. “And you’re kind enough to deliver the good news?” A dangerous glint flickered in Klaus’s expression. But she couldn’t resist taunting him. “I appreciate the update, Klaus. Now if you’ll excuse me.”

She made to move past him, but he shot out a hand to stop her. His grip was at once thrilling and painful. She tugged against his hold. “Let me go.”

“Never, love.” His voice lowered, and the threat sounded sensuous. She shook off the thought. The man was a monster. A sick twisted son of a bitch. He murdered Tyler’s mother. Why did she constantly have to remind herself of those things to fight back the attraction she felt? An attraction she hated to acknowledge, even to herself. She’d give up blood before she would admit it out loud. She compressed her lips and remained silent.

“What I want is for you to tell me where your boyfriend is hiding. Save us both a lot of headaches. I can stop this incessant search, and you could quit worrying about his death and start to accept it, start the grieving process. I’ll be here for a shoulder to cry on.”

She jerked again, and this time he released her. “You’re despicable. I don’t know where Tyler is, and if I did, there’s no way in hell I’d tell you.”

He crooked a grin and shook his head. “Do you really love someone who can run like that and leave you to save his own skin?”

She ignored the truth in his words. The truth that had been weighing on her mind for days. But that was ridiculous. She’d wanted him to run. Insisted he run. “What good would it do us if Tyler were dead?”

Klaus moved closer, and although she wanted to move away, she couldn’t, even when she summoned all the strength, all the willpower she could. He was so . . . close. Her heart stalled in her chest. She couldn’t breathe, couldn’t speak.

“If I loved a woman like he loves you—supposedly loves you—I would risk death or eternal torment to be with you.”

 

BIO:

I live in Edmond, Oklahoma. I have three grown children and a huge network of supportive friends and family. I have dreamed of being an author since I was a young child. There is no feeling in the world like seeing your dreams fulfilled, and I couldn’t be happier. I wrote my first romance at age 11, and my hero looked just like Elvis Presley (which I plainly stated in the story as my description :)). I still have that story, but I hope I have learned and grown as a writer over the years.

I write suspense and paranormal, among a few other random genres from time to time. I am a launch author for Amazon Kindle Worlds, with two Vampire Diaries stories and one Gossip Girl story.  I currently have a total of approximately nineteen novels and short stories published.

Other than reading and writing, my passions are MLB, NFL, and watching my favorite televisions shows like Vampire Diaries, True Blood, Justified, and Dexter (even though it has sadly ended, I will forever be a fan). My favorite authors, and this is only a small sampling, are Michael Connelly, Dennis Lehane, Lee Child, Lisa Gardner, Sharon Sala, Jordan Dane, Ridley Pearson, Jonathan Kellerman… I could go on and on. Oh yeah, and I am still an avid Elvis Presley fan.

Please visit my website/blog at: www.AliciaDean.com

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

12 comments to “Alicia Dean: Vampire Diaries Convention & Writing in the World of Mystic Falls”

  1. Cyndi Faria
    Comment
    1
      · December 20th, 2013 at 10:44 am · Link

    Alicia,

    VD is my favorite show! I’ve never missed a single episode and why? Because of Damon! More than anything, I want to see this tortured hero find his HEA… As an animal advocate, thank you for sharing the information on the animal sanctuary. :D



  2. Alicia Dean
    Comment
    2
      · December 20th, 2013 at 10:53 am · Link

    Awesome, Cyndi. YES, isn’t it an amazing show? I adore Damon, but I’ll admit, I don’t want him to really get his HEA, because I love the tortured, angsty stuff. I’m kind of twisted that way. :) I love the sanctuary idea. I love combining helping children and society with helping animals. Thank you for stopping by!



  3. Darcy Lundeen
    Comment
    3
      · December 20th, 2013 at 5:30 pm · Link

    Wonderful post, Alicia. The problem was I couldn’t keep from imagining me in that picture enjoying that embrace instead of you. Sorry about that, but at least you’re going to give me some really nice things to dream about tonight. I loved your excerpt too, and as Cyndi already said, the information on the animal sanctuary was extremely informative, so thanks for sharing it.



  4. Liz Tyner
    Comment
    4
      · December 20th, 2013 at 6:24 pm · Link

    Enjoyed seeing the pictures. I hadn’t realized a real town was used in filming the series. Thank you for the post!



  5. Alicia Dean
    Comment
    5
      · December 20th, 2013 at 8:17 pm · Link

    Hahaha, Darcy. I don’t blame you for imagining that. His hugs are pretty great. Thank you for stopping by.



  6. Alicia Dean
    Comment
    6
      · December 20th, 2013 at 8:21 pm · Link

    Hi Liz,

    Yes, most of the exterior shots are filmed in Covington. It’s an incredible feeling just being there. The residents are lovely people, too. We took a tour and most of the homes used in the show are actual homes in the neighborhoods in Covington. Most of them are occupied. We even got to go on the grounds of the magnificent Lockwood Mansion. The people who live there are so warm and gracious. The interior shots are mostly done at a staging location, I think in Decatur, Georgia. The last few times we’ve been to Covington, Mystic Grille was just an empty building, but they’re now opening an actual restaurant. Should be open any time, if it’s not already. Can’t wait to go back when it is.

    UGH…sorry to be so wordy. As you can tell, I’m passionate about this whole Vampire Diaries thing. :-o

    Thank you for visiting!



  7. Anna Kittrell
    Comment
    7
      · December 20th, 2013 at 11:14 pm · Link

    Your excitement is infectious! I love reading about your wonderful Vampire Diaries adventures. Great post, and gorgeous pictures…especially that one where you’re in heaven :wink:



  8. G. D. Ogan
    Comment
    8
      · December 21st, 2013 at 1:01 am · Link

    My wife and I have watched every episode of Vampire Diaries and I purchased the first three seasons. We have marveled at the expressiveness of Ian Somerhalder’s eyes…hypnotic to say the least and from the way you describe him he seems like Hollywood hasn’t tainted his spirit! BTW, thank you so much for reading my own novels…I have really enjoyed reading your series! :wink:



  9. Alicia Dean
    Comment
    9
      · December 21st, 2013 at 9:30 am · Link

    Ha, thank you, Anna. I don’t care that it’s lame for a woman of my advanced years to be so crazy about a show, I love it too much to stop. :)



  10. Alicia Dean
    Comment
    10
      · December 21st, 2013 at 9:31 am · Link

    You’re welcome, Guy. Thank you for your support. Yes, Ian’s eyes are very expressive and hypnotic. He’s amazing.



  11. Ashantay Peters
    Comment
    11
      · December 21st, 2013 at 11:06 am · Link

    I’m pretty sure Covington was also used in filming In The Heat of the Night with Carroll Conner. A beautiful town!



  12. Alicia Dean
    Comment
    12
      · December 26th, 2013 at 12:20 pm · Link

    Yes, Ashantay, I think so. They have sidewalk stones with several movie titles, such as My Cousin Vinny, and various celebrity names. I believe quite a few shows and movies were filmed there.