Today we're joined by author Ciar Cullen, whose heroine, Lillian Holmes is an heiress-turned-detective-turned-vampire, and is also an addict. Ciar's latest release, The Devil and Lillian Holmes, finds Lillian embroiled in yet another adventure, one where she has to find the devils surrounding—and within—herself. Ciar is talking about the addictive nature of both author and character today. Thanks, Ciar!
Most of us read romance fiction to escape. Whether it’s the big, sweeping epic, the cozy tale of a small-town couple reuniting years after high school graduation, or perhaps the recorded antics of a business tycoon and his wicked, wicked ways, our favorite stories help us put daily stresses behind us, a chapter at a time. Thus most romance heroes and heroines are, by modern standards, pretty together people. You’d be hard-pressed to find a hero who staggers home drunk every evening, or a heroine who downs prescription painkillers. That is the stuff we see in our communities, on our grittier TV series, and on the evening news. Hardly the stuff of standard romance fiction.
We are too familiar with the statistics: addictions kill in alarming numbers, drug crime has decimated whole neighborhoods. Substance abuse and depression are close siblings—although the jury is still out on genetic vs. environmental factors that lead to addiction—and depression affects a staggering percentage of the population. Not even the “rich and famous” are immune, and their struggles tend to be in the spotlight. The tragic recent suicide of Robin Williams touched so many. How, why? we ask. Love or hate actor Russell Brand, his 2013 interview in The Guardian is raw and gut-wrenching. “Drugs and alcohol are not my problem, reality is my problem, drugs and alcohol are my solution.” It’s terribly painful stuff, and that kind of painful stuff generally doesn’t make it into romances.