ABOUT 2011, when I was working on the novel Blood and Dust, the first of my Vampires in the Sunburnt Country duology, I found my former police detective Phillip Reece musing about the fateful day that he stumbled into the shadow world of Maximilian von Schiller's vampire organisation: 'The moment he'd faced Mira in West End and said yes.' But what was that moment? I had half an idea that his role as a Special Branch detective in 1970s Brisbane had brought him into contact with Maximilian's right-hand weapon, Mira, and the details didn't matter so much. But as Reece developed as a character, the facts came to matter, if only so his reflections on his past had veracity and consistency. The reader didn't need to know the specifics but I did. And so I penned this 'origin' story of a major moment in Reece's life, and Mira's too, to some extent: a moment that would come to ensnare Kevin Matheson - mechanic, renegade, vampire.