“I hadn’t even been considering writing a book much less a series,” said Antoinette. “I started scribbling random dialogue in my notebook [during my Classic Victorian Literature class]. They were just two nameless characters talking in a graveyard and it became something more somehow.”
And that something more turned into Antoinette’s debut Remains.
Remains follows young Victoria Wesley, a sassy teen who is on a journey to avenge her murdered parents. But Victoria, the last witch in her family’s lineage, is also the target of the vampires who killed her parents. Through years of traveling, finding answers, and finally teaming up with a group of witches and a puzzling vampire name Adrien, Victoria is ready to come to face to face with her enemies… or is she?
That random dialogue scene evolved from thoughts Antoinette had been having before ultimately turning into Remains.
“I was sort of disillusioned with school and unsure what career I would be heading into. On top of that I had insomnia that just wouldn’t go away.
“I was sitting in class thinking about what modern day vampires would be like in college. What classes would they take? Would they join sports teams? Do they like pizza?”
Growing up watching shows such as Charmed and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Antoinette quickly fell in love with all things supernatural. But she noticed was the lack of diversity in these shows.
“Somehow in between all of those character and stories I realized about a handful of them weren’t white and I began to wonder why that was … It made me want to write a more culturally realistic story.”
And the cast of characters in Remains is as diverse as the world we see around us and mirror people in real life. The protagonist Victoria is Black American. The people she meets and the friends she makes are all different ethnicities – Irish, Chinese, and Native American, to name a few.
While people of all different cultures and backgrounds surround us, we don’t usually see supernatural creatures. To write Remains, Antoinette had to do a lot of research.
“I began with the witches and then seeing how diverse my group of characters are I wanted to explore the different types of witchcrafts around the world.”
With the vampires and werewolves I had to look into the different origins, pick one, and then mold it to fit with my story. Making sure the dates were accurate for flashbacks was the most difficult part for me.”
Mixing together supernatural origins and sassy characters, Remains was born. The title was actually taken from the song ‘Remains’ by Maurissa Tancharoen and Jed Whedon. At the time, it was featured on the show The Sarah Conner Chronicles. “I loved the lyrics and it just happened to match my main character, Victoria’s, mind set perfectly.”