It was 2012. I had recently seen The Rite, featuring a certain dark-haired Irish actor playing a super-serious priest-in-training of Eastern European descent. I was writing Dominion of the Damned, which featured a super-serious vampire doctor of Czech origins. While I tried to match a number of different faces and voices to Aleksandr Konstantin as I worked my way through the book, it was Colin O’Donoghue’s face that kept resurfacing any time I tried to summon a vision of Alek. And it stuck.
Of course, by the time I finally got around to writing the soon-to-be-released sequel last year, I had several seasons of Once Upon a Time under my belt. All that exposure to Captain Hook did nothing to interfere with my vision of O’Donoghue as my Alek — on the contrary, it made him more fun to write.
A lot of research went into the character of Alek Konstantin, particularly when choosing his name. I settled on an Eastern European spelling of both Alexander, which means defender or protector, and Constantine, which means steadfast and constant. Taken together, his name means steadfast protector, a perfect name for this vampire doctor with a tortured past who still believes in his Hippocratic oath and has made it his personal mission to free humanity from both their vulnerability to the zombie virus and their oppression at the hands of his own race.
You can read all about that mission, the motivations behind it, and how a young nursing student named Hannah Jordan plays into it in Dominion of the Damned, available in both paperback and ebook. And you’ll get to see how that mission is going once Deliverance of the Damned hits stores in a few months!