There are a lot of parallels between the people Anita Viljoen meets while working as an aesthetician in Maple Ridge and the characters that fill her books.
At work, she’s sees the human desire to stay young forever manifested in requests for creams and cures. In her novels, the vampires suffer eternal life.
“Aging scares a lot of people,” says Viljoen, whose has just published a sequel to her first book Feeders titled Hybrid.
“The vampires are immortal, but they see people around them, who they love, die. They feel quite deeply about it and more deeply than we could ever fathom.”
Hybrid is the story of Gem, who is the product of a human mother and a vampire father.
She is a hybrid and the first female of her kind, a secret kept by the McKay coven of vampires for two and a half decades.
The reappearance of Sire Raymound Pitout in Canada threatens and compromises Gem’s secret, and the International Vampire Council sends out its head of security Lord Malcolm Murphy – the first hybrid – to protect her and destroy Sire Pitout.
Malcolm finds things becoming complicated, especially when he falls in love with Gem.
He meets Gem’s friend, Deidre Wolff, who turns out to be an alter-seer (an oracle-vampire hunter) and Gem’s human sister Grace O’Sullivan, who has the same unique trait as her father’s twin sister Megan.
With all these unique attributes under one roof, Lord Malcolm has his job cut out for him.
In Hybrid, you’ll get a story with unexpected twists, turns, intrigue and romance.
Just like she did in her first novel, Viljoen drew inspiration for her characters from her clients and colleagues at Temptations Salon and Spa.
She’s also set scenes in familiar locales including Metro Vancouver and Cochrane, Alberta – the city she first lived in when she immigrated to Canada.
“I think it makes the characters more real,” she says.
“It’s a lot of fun because you have a power to change up the character if you want.”
Born and raised in Pretoria, South Africa, Viljoen met her husband Martin at the young age of 16, fell in love and was married soon after high school.
With a love story of her own to draw from, Viljoen felt compelled to write one for the book.
The vampires in Hybrid, unlike humans, wear their emotions on their sleeves. They are not afraid of love and show it passionately.
“I call them humans on steroid,” says Viljoen. Each couple in the book has battles to fights and battles to survive.
“I’m a romantic,” says Viljoen, unabashedly.
“I like to watch people, especially young love. Young love and new love is such an adventure. But you are never too old to be in love. When I see a couple in their 80s still holding hands, I always get the warm and fuzzies.”
Anita Viljoen’s new book Hybrid is available at Bean Around Books, 22626 Lougheed Highway and Temptations Spa, 150-22470 Dewdney Trunk Road in Maple Ridge. You can also order it online from her blog or Amazon.