Inspiration for my first book
The Clarke books were a mixture of a two ideas: one of a vampire, in the future, in space, learning how to be a vampire whilst in some military sci-fi setting; the other, vampires in the modern day, covering the ‘coming out’ period where humanity is suddenly aware of them. The only way to stick these two ideas together was time-travel, hence why the first 4-5 books are set in the future, and the rest are current era. I also wanted to do something ambitious with the time-travel, have the character move through time, weaving complex political plots and schemes, and, it seemed to me that the only way to do that reasonably was to have immortal characters. This then led to the choice of which immortal characters to choose. I could invent a new type, and I also did seriously consider using ideas from mythology where immortality was conferred by some magical substance, but in the end, vampires won out by being both well-known as a concept and allowing for pleasingly gothy storylines.
Of course, once you settle on writing about vampires, you then need to choose which type, and, as I saw it, there are two ways writers (and, er… vampiric characters) can deal with the need for blood-drinking. Either you make it so that the blood-drinking kills or turns the victim, allowing for pages and pages of angst over whether your main character really wants to kill the one they love (c.f. Twilight). Or, you make it so that blood-drinking is non-lethal, and your vampire needs to find as many victims/partners as possible, and you write about sex-crazed libertines. I chose the second one, largely as I didn’t think I could keep up the sexual tension for 200,000 words and, I felt, there was already a enough angsty teenage vampiric literature in the world.
To make my vampires, or rather the rules for them, I decided to use Dracula as the rule book, but with a twist. Clarke would, as far as possible, conform to the abilities Dracula displayed, but, because of who she is, rather than because she has to. So, for example, there are scenes of entomophagy (bug-eating) in the book as there are in Dracula, but in my book because of the existence of insect-eating humanoid aliens.