**This blog post was a featured post on Exile Asylum Network. Unfortunately, this website closed down several months back. This article is also linked from the official Don Henrie Biography. Many thanks to Don for being so kind as to give a link.
UPDATE: before you get into this blog post, I want to get a message out to Don Henrie. Like anyone with a lick of common sense who has hoards of fans, Don is smart enough to NOT put his contact information on any of his pages. This, of course, makes it incredibly hard for people like me to send him anything in private, so I am forced to air this in public. On 10.23.212 Don did me a huge kudos for me by linking to this article from his Facebook page. It inadvertently sparked a bit of a debate, and made me realize that I may have directly or indirectly offended Don in some way. I apparently pissed off at least one of his fans, and so I must apologize to Don if I have offended him in any way. It was never my attention to offend him or his fans. I have the deepest respect and admiration for him. I meant only to share with my readers some insight as to where I get my inspiration for my characters, as many of them are based on real people and personal friends. I am not fortunate enough to count Don as a personal friend, although I would very much like to get to know him better. With this said, I do hope that Don will accept my apologies if I have offended him in any way and will also accept my offer of friendship, no strings attached. In the very off chance that Don himself reads this and wishes to respond, please feel free to ping me via Facebook by searching for Nicola Chey Matthews. My Avatar is the cover of one of my novels called Vindictus, The Dark Lord.
I began jotting down notes for The Red Fang about five years ago. It all began when I joined a few on-line RP groups. One of the first ones I joined had a huge falling-out amongst the members, so I left with a fellow RPer to create a new group on our own. I ended up becoming co-owner of the group, tasked with writing a short “anatomy” book for what I thought made the perfect mythical vampire and werewolf. In addition to about four different characters for that group, I created an entire town for us to play in, drawing up maps, naming streets and buildings and neighborhoods. And thus the town of Shadow Cove was born.
Many of the characters in The Red Fang are twists on characters I had already created and had been using in my RP groups. Ethereal Oscurita originally started out as a vampire, created to play the on-line game “Vampires! The Dark Alleyway.” The friends that I made while playing this and other games sparked more and more ideas for events and characters for the mysterious, supernatural town of Shadow Cove. Soon, I had jotted down enough information in outlines, biographies, and notes to begin penning a short story that originally called “Stealth, Embraced.” That story spiraled out of control, with each new character and adventure that was introduced inspiring more and more stories until, finally, The Red Fang had been written, more than four hundred pages of action, adventure, and supernatural sex.
When I began to think about one of my characters, a vampire named Stealth, I already knew what he was going to look like. It is no accident that the character in the first novel in the BEFORE THE SUN RISES series was coined after our beloved Don Henrie. A muscular man of medium height, Stealth has silky black hair that reaches nearly to his waist, pale skin beyond compare, and eyes so dark as to be nearly black.
Stealth was born in 1739 in Japan, abandoned as an infant because his illegitimate birth was a source of shame to his family during that time period. Discovered by the vampire Requiem, Stealth was taken to the High Council where he was trained as an assassin. At the age of 26 he was sent to destroy a rogue vampire named LeeLee, the woman who was destined to become his sire. Part of Stealth’s story unfolds during the novel called Blood’s Embrace, chronicling his embracement by Lorian Emerald Lee and his subsequent quest to save her from assassination.
While Stealth doesn’t look exactly like Don, and I am sure that with his extremely vicious and cruel demeanor he acts nothing like Don, I did use Don as my base model for the physical look of the character. As I created him, writing Stealth’s biography and envisioning his adventures, I could not imagine him looking like anyone else save for Don Henrie. So, dear Don, you are now not only seen as a hero of sorts to legions of fans and the official spokesperson for the former Exile Asylum Network, but you have also spawned a character that is even now trudging his way across the pages of at least three novels. Kudos to you, my dearest one. What tangled webs I do weave within my frenzied imagination. It is because of this that I am giving serious though to dedicating the next novel in the BEFORE THE SUN RISES series, Immortal Sins, to our wonderfully erotic Don Henrie. Now if only I could talk you into posing for photos for the cover art, my hard work would be absolutely perfect. Or at least the cover would be perfect, at any rate.