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The Anne Rice books are a lot about infection. I read "Interview With the Vampire" a million times when I was in seventh and eighth grade. Also, [writing Gavriel's backstory] definitely came from those books: I sat down and reread them all and thought a lot about... the way in which vampirism is pushing away from humanity in interesting ways, and creating something new from humanity. I imprinted on those books pretty hard. Tanith Lee's "Sabella or the Blood Stone" was a big inspiration. I absolutely loved her books; when I was a kid, I wrote many bad Tanith Lee pastiches. Susie McKee Charnas' "The Vampire Tapestry." Poppy Z. Brite's "Lost Souls." Nancy Collins' "Sunglasses After Dark, " which sounds like the most '80s title ever. It's about a vampire named Sonja Blue, and she goes around killing vampires. She's the only vampire who's half-alive. It's a really fun, blood-filled romp. It's very "Blade" before "Blade"-with a lady.
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