Photo Courtesy of Lynne Anders

In “Change Me Back,” shortly after a suspicious encounter at her senior prom, Emma Christiansen learns that someone has changed her into a vampire. She vows to find out who turned her as well as to discover a way to restore her humanity.

Ten years later, Emma identifies her maker as her friend and first love, Zach Matthews, who stole her mortal life at the insistence of his sire. She is suddenly torn between deep feelings for her irresistible life-mate and the desire to regain her humanity.

Phyllis consoled me for the few minutes we had before our next class. I thought about ditching, but I’d already missed two days.

“You’ll get used to it. And, wait until the first full moon. It isn’t just for werewolves. Our kind blossoms in the moonlight, remember?” She patted my hand. “Don’t worry. I’ll be with you all the way through until you leave for college. I’ll teach you all I know.”

Werewolves were real, too? My head shook. My life, as I’d known it, was gone. My hopes for a future with Zach or any man, raising a family, living and growing old with him, were ancient history. I nodded, picked up the remnants of my mostly uneaten lunch, tossed it in the trash bin, and trudged back to class. I had three more to work through before I could go home and absorb everything Phyllis had disclosed. I wasn’t me and never would be me again… unless.

Damn. My family. How will I hide my new identity from them?

Throughout my afternoon classes, I pondered my new existence. I supposed it could be worse. After reading most of the vampire books written and believing them to be pure fiction, I half expected I’d be running around with my fangs hanging out in search of my next victim. The fact that I could survive without drinking from a live person or animal relieved some of my pent-up anxiety.

However, alone in my room that night, I sat crossed-legged on my flowery print comforter pondering my new life, or death, if you will. My friends would all be dead to me soon, my family, everyone I knew would disappear from my life forever.

I climbed from my bed and slowly stumbled toward the window. As I looked out over the dark lifeless street, tears pooled in my eyes. Why? Why do this to me? How could I find comfort knowing how lonely my life would become? My head dropped into my hands. I wept for my youth and for all the stolen moments lost to me forever.

“Change Me Back” by Lynn Anders

The paranormal romance novel was written by Lynne Anders. Although the author lives in Casa Grande the majority of the year, she escapes Arizona’s heat three months out of the year by traveling in an RV with her husband. The couple also travels to New York City twice each year to see plays.

Images Arizona recently caught up with Anders, whose hobbies include line-dancing and creating beaded jewelry, to ask the author a few questions about “Change Me Back — the latest selection in its summer book club.

From where did you receive your inspiration for this book?
The inspiration for this book came to me one afternoon while I was editing another book. I wanted to delve into paranormal from contemporary romance and was surprised when Emma — the protagonist — spoke to me, asking me to find a way to have her humanity restored. I jotted notes and, once I had time, I began this story. Emma and Zach — her best friend from high school and, unknown to her, a vampire — led me on this journey. What began as a stand-alone became a three-book series.

What themes did you aspire to tackle with this particular work?
With paranormal, especially vampires, most are dark and violent. My vampires do not use humans as a food source, so no mortals were killed in creating this novel. I did not want that to be the focus. Instead, decades ago, a special drink was invented which sustains vampires without the need for human blood. The drink is called Velvet Crimson and is concocted of animal blood.

I wanted to showcase how two vampires can exist in the human world, one in which her parents are still alive and the problems that creates for the couple, as well as the reason he changed her in the first place. His master wanted the sweet young girl for his own. If not for Zach changing her when he did, Emma would belong to that beast and Zach would have to watch Emma destroyed in front of him.

What takeaways do you hope that readers have? Did your characters teach you anything?
The takeaways are to understand that other world creatures love as deeply as humans, that they do exist side-by-side with humans and that there is always hope at the end of the day. What I learned is to trust your first impressions, what you see is not always what you get, to follow your heart and to believe.

“Change Me Back” was published in 2020 and is currently available on Amazon and on the author’s website.