Tag Archive: vampire


Why The New Blog?


Before I get into promoting my new blog, I thought I should explain myself to you all.  The reason why I’ve created “The Vampire Blogs” was simple.  It’s part experiment, and part story building.  With the popularity of vampires in books, it was only a matter of time before I found myself getting drawn in, although I had sworn to avoid the genre.  Yet, like any writer, I couldn’t help speculating on  “Well, if I did a vampire story, I’d make it more original and do this, this and this…”  Naturally, an idea came and began to snowball on me.

I wanted to keep most if not all the typical strengths and weaknesses of the traditional vampire, while at the same time making such a being fit into my Para-Earth Series world.  The being I would have a reasonable explanation for the various abilities such as shape-shifting, turning into mist, etc.   I would also give him a few new traits that fit with the being I had made him out of.  I won’t go into any more details at this point, because I don’t want to spoil things for the readers of the novel when it comes out.

So, I created Nathaniel and made him into a vampire.  Is he good or bad?  Well, I’ll let you all find out over at the other blog and in the book.  He’s human, let’s say that much.  He can be good or bad like any person.  It all depends on how he’s treated and if he’s pushed too far.

Still, none of this answers the original question of why I created an actual blog for a novel that isn’t going to be ready until December.  The answer is very simple.  I wanted to see if I could generate a lot of interest for the book, by giving my prospective audience and chance to get to know some of the characters in advance.  To let the readers inside these people’s heads and know where they’re coming from and what kind of lives they’ve led.  Remember, like in any book, these lives are going to be turned upside down and forever changed by the end of the novel.  Whether these changes are going to be for good or for bad, only time and the novel will tell.

But there was also a secondary purpose for creating the blog.  It is going to help me as a writer to get to know these characters as well.  I’ll have time to really figure out who they are, what events have shaped them, and what are their hopes and dreams.  I’ve encountered so many people who always wanted to know more about certain characters in books we’ve both read, but sadly the authors don’t always have the time to give us more.  Unless the writer is doing a long series, there are always so many unanswered questions about the people we meet within the pages of those books.  Maybe the author doesn’t even have all the answers, I know I didn’t sometimes.  So this time, I hope to have those answers and can share them in advance with all of you.

Whether or not this experiment is a success or failure, time will tell.  But you’re all invited to come along for the ride and see what happens.  Please leave feedback here or over at  “The Vampire Blogs”, because I’m looking forward to hearing people’s thoughts on what they are seeing.

I just finished putting up a new entry there today, where my lead character “Nathaniel Steward” has just finished his first entry.  Come and meet the vampire who I hope will capture your hearts and minds…

http://thevampyreblogs.blogspot.com/2014/01/first-blog-entry-of-nathanial-steward.html

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“The Vampyre Blogs” are here. Click below to get your first glimpse into the life of the first vampire from the Para-Earth Series.  Feedback and comments are welcome and encouraged.

http://thevampyreblogs.blogspot.com/2014/01/a-brief-introduction-to-this-blog.html

Apple MacBook Pro laptop


Since I started work on my first vampire story, I decided to see what other stories and variations have been done on the vampire myth already.  To this end I pulled out an anthology book of vampire stories that’s been in my possession for about 20 years now.

Everyone is pretty familiar with the works of Anne Rice, Stephanie Meyer, and of course Bram Stoker.  But what about other authors who’ve tapped into this vein (I know this pun sucks… but so do vampires ba-da-bum).  This collection can be a huge help to any author with plans on attacking this famous mythos by giving them a chance to see what others have done before them.  I know I found it helpful and enlightening.

THE PENGUIN BOOK OF VAMPIRE STORIES is one of the best anthologies I’ve ever found.  Part of the reason is that it covers authors who’ve touched on this subject as far back as 1816 and goes up to 1984.  There are a number of familiar names in this book like Clark Ashton Smith, Sheridan Le Fanu, Tanith Lee, and August Derleth to name just a few.  But what fascinates me the most is seeing how the vampire legend is explored.  We meet the legendary “Varney The Vampire”, the seductive and dangerous “Carmilla”, as well as  Stoker’s missing chapter from Dracula which was released as a short story several years after the novel itself was published.  I understand in some later printings, it was put back into the novel where it belonged.  Alas my copy of Dracula is one of the ones without it, so finding this missing chapter in this collection was a treat for me.

The first 2 installments in this collection: “Fragment of a Novel”  (1816) and “The Vampyre” (1819) were of particular interest to me since their creation were the direct result of a bet made between the poet Percy Shelley, his wife Mary, Lord Byron and John Polidori.  The four were spending a summer together and during a particularly boring rainy night they all agreed to a little contest.  Each was to create a full length horror story within a certain amount of time.  These 2 stories were the entries by Byron and Polidori respectively.  Neither is fully finished.  In fact Mary Shelley was the only one to complete her story the legendary “Frankenstein”.

Sheridan Le Fanu’s “Carmilla” is another brilliant piece in this collection.  Published in 1872, it predates Stoker’s more famous “Dracula” by a few decades.  Considered a ‘lesbian’ vampire story since both the victims and the antagonist are women.  But it’s here where we really find one of the first demonstrations of  the sensuous behavior that has been built upon by so many modern writers of vampire fiction.  Yet, it is not love or real affection.  I’ll quote a passage from the story so you can see what I mean.

“…the vampire is prone to be fascinated with an engrossing vehemence, resembling passion

of love, by particular persons.  In pursuit of these it will exercise inexhaustible patience and

stratagem, for access to a particular object may be obstructed in a hundred ways.  It will

never desist until it has satiated its passion, and drained the very life of its coveted victim.

But it will, in these cases, husband and protract its murderous enjoyment with the refinement

of an epicure, and heighten it by the gradual approaches of an artful courtship.  In these cases

it seems to yearn for something like sympathy and consent.  In ordinary ones it goes direct to

its object, overpowers with violence, and strangles and exhausts often at a single feast…”

So here we see that alluring nature that is so eroticized these days.  But clearly in this passage we see that clearly there is no real affection for the victim at all.  It’s fascinating to see how one idea is singled out and made romantic, while the consequences are ignored these days.  However, I cannot criticize modern writers for this.  Every author wants to put a different spin on an old legend and this can be seen throughout this collection.

We have “Luella Miller” by Mary E. Wilkins-Freeman in 1902.  No blood letting here, but the title character definitely has a kind of vampiric nature, willing or otherwise.  She is almost a sympathetic character in some ways.

Later we find C. L. Moore’s “Shambleau” in 1933, where the author takes us on a science fiction journey to another planet where we meet a vampire-like being, who also shares some resemblance to the legendary Medusa of ancient Greece.

There’s also the legendary Fritz Lieber’s offering “The Girl With The Hungry Eyes” from 1949.  Or August Derleth’s 1939 “Drifting Snow” where we meet a pair of Snow Vampires.

For almost a century authors have been putting their own spin on this famous myth and many will continue for years to come, myself included.

I give this collection a full 5 STAR rating and highly recommend it to any fan of this genre.


Well, a new month has begun and here I am already doing another entry about writing.  This is what happens when the muse takes hold and has something to say.  I hope you all enjoy today’s installment.

Yesterday, against my better judgement, I started writing a second book.  Mind you  I’m still working on “The Ship” which is the sequel to my first novel “The Bridge”.  But I was having troubles with “The Ship”.  I was making progress, but it was so slow I was going crazy at times.  I would write over a 1000 words in one day and then dump about half of them because they weren’t moving the plot along or really helping develop the characters as much.  I kept what did seem to be working and built on that the next day.  Sometimes this is one way of dealing with Writer’s Block for me.

Then yesterday, something else happened.  An idea for a different book that is part of my Para-Earth series started gelling like no one’s business.  It had sat on the back-burner for so long now it was boiling over.  Scenes and characters started coming to life to such an extent I had only one of three options:

A) Start writing the book

B) Leave it alone and hope I don’t forget all this great stuff that was coming up

C) Start taking notes and outlining the damn thing for later.

I tried opting for C but next thing I knew I had written the opening scene of the book and was plunging forward with the project.  Tentatively I’m calling it “The Vampire Blogs”.  And as a homage to Bram Stoker who gave us “Dracula” I’m doing it as a series of journal and blog entries.  I’m choosing this route because I knew I wanted to do the entire book in the 1st person perspective.  Now most 1st person narratives stick with just one character throughout the entire story. This is a great device for a mystery or thriller because the audience can only know as much as the main character.  So when he/she gets surprised by something they didn’t know, so are we.

However, I knew from the start I’d need to be showing the audience what was going on in several different people’s heads while using the 1st person voice.  So how was I going to pull that off without confusing the hell out of my readers?  I turned to my “Spare Brain”, my wife Helen who is more well read than me, and asked for advice.  She told me that from what she could recall it had been done before but that it could be tricky.  Then she struck on the idea of paying homage to Mr. Stoker and instead of just letters and journals, use blogs and journals on the internet since I was using a modern day setting.  This was a masterstroke on her part.  I now had a clear path of how to switch heads and keep the “I” voice without confusing the audience.  The other thing I loved was the fact that I could build more suspense by letting the audience know things that only some of the characters were aware of.  Nothing gets an audience going like seeing some of what’s coming and realizing the characters don’t have a clue about it yet.  Plus you can still surprise your audience at times because they don’t necessarily know everything about the characters or the situation.  They know only what your characters have shared with them so far.

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