L.A. Banks

L.A. Banks

Interviewed by: Lauretta Pierce
December 29, 2005

Q.    How did you come about the title THE AWAKENING?

A.    The title was about Damali "awakening" to her power and the desires that come with the growing relationship she had with Carlos.

Q.    Why did you choose to have Nuit's mansion in New Orleans, located on Lake Pontchartrain?

A.    Ahhh... before hurricane Katrina, New Orlenes was known in the lore (established by Anne Rice) as "the vampire Big Apple," smile! Then I started doing some research about mulattos in that region, and the landed wealth of "free blacks" and was shocked to learn some owned slaves. I thought this was really deep and decided to add that attribute to Nuit's character (someone so cold-blooded that he'd actually enslave his own.)

Q.    How did you come about the different levels of Hell?

A.    I blended a lot from Dante's Inferno, and Biblical and religious accounts of the weight and wages of sins... then I looked around at all the different types of monsters we've seen in cinema and books and tried to group them by categories and supernatural powers to sort of "grade them" by levels.

Q.    How did you come about the Vampire Council?

A.    [Laughing} Simple... it's a metaphor for giant global corporations that suck the life blood out of countries.

Q.    How did you come about the Covenant members?

A.    I took them from the 12 lost tribes that had been scattered (according to the Bible) and the various world religions--and I thought, "Gee, if ever there would be a time for us humans to stop the madness of fighting each other, it would be in the end of days." The Covenant represents my hopefulness, I suppose, that we can all get along and simply band together to do the right thing for The Light (regardless of religious sect or particular belief system.)

Q.    How did you come about Nuit Fallon's character?

A.    Fallon Nuit is a "classic" vampire--and my way of paying hommage to the authors in this genre that came before me... Nuit is tall, dark, handsome, with a melodic, sexy voice, dangerous, and old as Hell (literally.) Since I was updating my vampires with bad boys from the urban scene, I HAD to have a throw-back to the Dracula era--frilly shirts and all... and that would be the plantation era in New Orleans. I had a lot of fun with a Creole male from that era--the entity is positively gorgeous, until he turns on you and drops fang (wink!)

Q.    How did you come about the Knights team?

A.    The Knights of Templar (members of The Covenant) go back to old Masonic times, and The Covenant is explained above.

Q.    How did you come about the idea surrounding Damaii's menstrual cycle?

A. There is so much out there about the sacred bleeding/ripening cycles of women, goddess energy, etc., that I wanted to address the sacredness of a female's cycle and her ability to conceive and bring forth life. In my opinion, with all the "baby momma drama," the very cornerstone of womanhood, goddess essence, has been truly taken for granted, cheapened, and diminished. I wanted to elevate it back up and state that a woman's body is indeed a temple.

Q.    How did you come about Raven's character?

A.    Raven is a tragic situation that many parents unfortunately have dealt with--that child who one loves, but doesn't listen, and gets caught up in the street life to perish there. Raven is every mother's heartbreak formed into one character... that child who is twisted, bitter, and one who a parent can't do a thing with (she represents that child that you ultimately have to put out of your house, less it harm the other family members.)

Q.    What message would you like readers to receive from reading THE AWAKENING?

A.    In the end, the Light prevails, so keep hope alive!