The Romance Reviews

The Romance Reviews

Patricia Carrigan on The Importance of Having Backstories

Author of Antiserum, Part I - Patricia Carrigan

Hey there! If you all don’t know me already, I am Patricia Carrigan, and I wrote a vampire novel called Antiserum Part I.   

Minnie is the bestest BFF I could ever ask to get. We met on Twitter. J  I love her, she’s the best.  I mean it.. it’s like we knew each other before somewhere J

Anywho, I am here, writing a guest post about my writing because after hours and hours of thinking about what I was going to write it finally hit me.  I’ll write about what’s important in my writing…

“What was the most important thing that I had to do when I decided I was going to write about vampires?” I asked myself. 

I tilted my head, stared at the ceiling, scratched my invisible thinking beard, and my lightbulb lit up.

“I got it!”  I exclaimed.  

“Backstories! Everyone needs backstories!”

Seriously, backstories or histories were my answer, and that is because when you have a vampire like Emil (from my book) who is the first Genetic vampire… well then you can bet he’s bound to have some history to him!  So, just for an example, here is the backstory that I created for Emil.

Emil is born in 1416.  His mother was the very last full-blooded vampire named Celestina who had fallen in love with human named Beryx. Unfortunately, Celestina wasn’t strong enough and passed away during childbirth but not before letting Beryx know that baby Emil was different; the first of his kind.

When Emil reached 16, the age of a Genetic Vampire’s transition from full human to vampire, he… Let’s just say he ran into some conflicts with his father… anyway, the same year he elopes with his first love Victoria (a human).  In 1433, he leaves her shortly after Vasile and Millicent - who died at birth - are born to an experiment with creating more genetically born vampires.

Vasile, at this point in Emil’s life, is completely forgotten until Emil receives a notice that Victoria had passed away in 1450. When he goes to her funeral, he meets Vasile again (who had grown to the age of his transition) and passes himself off as someone his mother talked to regularly in the village market. Soon Vasile is recruited by Emil as an apprentice. Vasile’s apprenticeship only lasts half a century or so until Emil marries Jacklyn (a human girl that he then changes into a vampire; a bitten vampire, as they’re called),  in the 1500s.

About a century later -- the 1600s, after going to America and leaving Jacklyn to tend to his castle, Emil is married to a woman named Rose, who he changes into a Bitten Vampire. She gives birth to his son Thomas. But in a turn of unfortunate events, Rose was burned at the stake soon after Thomas’ birth after being accused of being a witch.

This causes Emil and Thomas to go back to Trannsylvania in an attempt to forget about their sorrows. Thomas later returns to America (in 1988), and marries a woman named Miriam who gives birth to Justin and Sadie. (Sadie is another main character in the plot of Antiserum Part I).

You see?? Because I wrote such a detailed backstory for Emil, it makes it easier for me to create more plot twists and acquaintances that can be linked into my story giving me the ability to give a more in depth feel to Antiserum Part II, The Rising.

Having a backstory written out also keep all of your details and dates consistent with each other. Trust me, there were a few times where I had to go back and look at my backstories to make sure I had my facts straight.

Just imagine how bad it would be to find out later in your process of writing that you had everything wrong??? That your dates and timelines didn’t match up. It’s happened to me before, and it’s not fun. Haha.

I can laugh about it now though, no worries. J  I have my backstories… NOW.

So, what I’m trying to say is, I believe backstories and histories will help all fiction authors with their writing.  I have to say though, that if you are writing about a character that is old… like anciently old, make sure to have a backstory for him/her, because someone that old is bound to have some history!

Stay writing! And a huge “thank you” and big huge hug to Minnie for letting me write a guest post!

<3 Patricia Carrigan


  1. You've really put a lot of thought into this Patti. The day you get your award for Best Film Script I'd better get my invitation or else !

    1. I'll expect you in the front row! Lol.

      The biggest of bear hugs,