The vampire rulebook has changed. So says author Anna J. Walner, who set out to break the mold of traditional vampire stories when she wrote Garkain (Silver Dawn Publishing), the first book in her Uluru Legacy Series.

“It’s a new and surprising way of looking at vampires in the modern age,” she says. “How would they be different from the way we’ve always perceived them? This is far from other storylines in the same genre.”

In Book One, Amelia was dropped at a hospital 25 years ago. After searching for her biological family for years, she receives a vague text: “It’s time for you to come home, we need you, the Colony needs you.” The Colony is a secret society in the Outback of Australia. Her mother is Garkain, her father Larougo. Two different bloodlines, two different societies. One vampire, one werewolf. Given away instead of killed, she’s being called home for a purpose. 

Walner told us more about the book, the series and its themes in this Q&A:

Q: Tell us about the Uluru Legacy Series.

A: Garkain is the debut book in the series, which takes you on a journey into the hidden society where vampires still exist in secret. In it, we meet our main character Amelia, who is the driving force and voice behind the book. From there, we delve deep into the heart of the Colony and its history.

It follows the beginning of her journey as she attempts to find the answers she’s been searching for all her life. The series is an intelligent and contemporary view of what vampires of today would be like.

Q: Where did you get the idea for the book?

A: I wanted to give readers a unique and original storyline in this genre of Young Adult Fantasy. It frames the Colony and its members in a new and believable way. Readers are left feeling as if this secret society could really exist. Maybe it does …

Amelia’s journey into the unknown secret world of her heritage is very unique and serves a very special purpose. It draws on my own experience of being adopted and searching for my own biological heritage, which, after taking my own DNA test, was quite surprising to me. 

Q: What are the key themes in the book?

A: Above all would be family. As fantastic as this family is, and Amelia herself is, family is at the heart of her motivations throughout the story — dealing with overcoming her past and looking forward to a future with them while finding out there may be more under the surface than she ever expected.

Acceptance is another key theme. Amelia has a lot that she needs to come to terms with after her 25-year search ends. As more questions are answered, even more are raised. And ultimately, her decisions are governed by the family bond that forms.

She’ll agree to things she never thought she would. Become something she never thought existed. And find a life worth dying for.

Q: How does this book differ from other books in the same genre?

A: “We’re not who you think we are.” 

It’s a new and surprising way of looking at vampires in the modern age. How would they be different from the way we’ve always perceived them? This is far from other storylines in the same genre.

The main thing I tried to do was stay away from expected themes. There’s a bit of everything that makes the genre enjoyable while at the same time creating a realistic and believable community that’s unlike anything you’ve seen before.  

Q: Who, if anyone, was the inspiration for your protagonist?     

A: There’s a lot of me in Amelia, from the quick-witted things she comes up with to the bravery and tenacity she has.

She’s bold and fearless, independent and strong-willed. There’s not a lot she can’t do once she sets her mind to it. She’s also smart, logical, and caring to a fault at times. But she’s also willing to make the tough choices when needed.

I really wanted to create a central female character who is more like the strong young women of today. That was how I wanted readers to come away feeling about Amelia. She’s so much more than just a girl who’s along for the ride. She’s a leader. 

Q: What would you hope readers take away from this book?

A: A new experience in the genre, a new series that feels real and authentic, as if you could really meet these characters on the street. To come away feeling like you’ve read something truly different and surprising, that leaves you hungry for more (pun intended).

I tried to create something that would appeal to a diverse audience. Adults who enjoy reading Young Adult Fantasy and young adults as well. The characters are older, but the storyline, language and situations are suitable for young adult readers. 

Q: What is your next project?

A: The Legacy continues, and the second book is currently in editing at the moment. It focuses on new developments and the journey that follows after Garkain ends.

We explore more about who the central characters truly are, not just who they appear to be. And as new threats and challenges arise, we see Amelia and Roan grow through the story while dealing with some pretty interesting and shocking twists along the way!

Garkain is currently available for pre-order and will be published on 06/22/2021.

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Anna J. Walner is a mother and a published author. She has always had a passion for writing, spending her life obsessed with literature. As an author, her creativity has grown. She not only reads the stories she loves, but she creates them too. She began this quest for her daughter. The series is written for her, with her in mind. From there, her ideas continued to form and grow.