From Writer's Cave to Vampire Caves

Today, I am so excited to have my very first guest blogger, author Ally Shields. Her first novel came out on Amazon last night, and I jumped in to load my iPad with one exciting and romantic tale. Yes. I've seen the drafts of this novel when it was under creation. But this is such a great tale, I'm reading it again! 
Kath who is  not nearly as brave about caves as Ally and her Riverdale residents.  

From Writer's Cave to Vampire Caves

Ally Shields is my pen name. I'm a Midwest author better known to blog owner Kath as Janet Buck. Kath and I have been critique partners for the last two years. Without her encouragement and writing input, Ally Shield's urban fantasy series might not have been published.
You can contact me through my website or blog at or on twitter at

Kath muses a lot on this blog about the wonderful things created by Mother Nature. I'd like to talk about one of earth's physical wonders that I took and centered an entire fantasy world around: a series of caves that run under the fictional city of Riverdale and are collectively known as the Vampire Caverns.

Their creation began in a very different kind of cave—my writer's cave, pictured here on one of those rare occasions when you could see the wood surfaces. Frequently the papers and coffee mugs take over. In this office, I allow my imagination to run free. My characters talk to me, telling me about their lives, their problems and even their surroundings. When I began writing the urban fantasy series, I built the world, peopled it with characters, but remained ignorant of its most important feature until chapter 16, when my main character, a witch named Arianna, mentioned that the vampires might be in the caves. What caves? Where?

The concept caught my imagination. I'd been in and fascinated by caves my whole life, and there are many up and down the Mississippi River Basin, where my stories are set. Many of these caves are relatively unknown, visited only by locals, but several are in state parks, and Mark Twain's Cave in Hannibal, Missouri, was made especially well-known through the exploits of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn.

It was such a natural setting for vampires and Otherworldly creatures that I couldn't believe I hadn't thought of it before. The underground settings soon became such an integral part of my stories that they appear in several major scenes in book one, are mentioned in all of them, and book four, currently being drafted, takes place predominantly in those subterranean regions.
Here's a peek at the imaginary Chamber of Ages. Spooky enough for you? Bad creatures find their way here. Evil witches, werewolves, vampires, greedy humans. Even a ghost or two. Would this seem quite as bad in some other setting? The best settings are those that combine the things we know with those we don't know. If you should find yourself visiting one of these wonders of Mother Nature, keep a sharp eye on the dark corners. You never know what some writer's imagination may have put there. AS

Awakening the Fire (Guardian Witch #1) by Ally Shields may be ordered through the following links and will soon be available at other sellers and in print:
All Romance ebooks:


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