On Saturday, I sat down with fellow Inkwell Council member, Megan Manzano, and Craft Quest’s Ari Augustine and Maria Tureaud for a livestream about writers and self-care. Check it out below.
If you want to learn more about the best ways to build a character, as well as hear an inordinate amount of cinnamon roll related discussion, check out the YouTube Live panel I participated in on Saturday on Craft Quest’s channel. The archived version is currently available. Craft Quest was created by Maria Tureaud and Ari Augustine, and Megan Manzano and I had a great time chatting with them. Tune in below.
I’m usually better about giving you guys notice when I’m going to be somewhere or do something, but my 9-5 work life has been absolutely insane lately, which basically meant I worked until I came home and knocked out from sleepiness and stress. However, there is an important thing going on today, TODAY, that I would love for you guys to attend from the comfort of your own home.
Today at 5PM EST, I will be appearing on the first ever live stream over on the YouTube channel Craft Quest which you should totally subscribe to. Craft Quest is a great YouTube channel, looking to help writers, which we all know is my bag. So today, together with Craft Quest team Maria Tureaud and Ari Augustine, YA Fantasy Author Vivian Reis, and one of my Inkwell Council co-runners, Megan Manzano, we will be discussing starting your story–beginnings.
It will be a live stream, so you can send in questions and pick our brains. I’m so excited to hear what questions you have waiting for us, and to get to sit on this virtual panel with so many great people in the writing community. So come check us out, that’s 5PM EST on the Craft Quest Youtube Channel.
Oh, and you should subscribe to their channel, because they will be giving away three copies of Scrivener, an awesome writing software, once they hit 300 subscribers.
Hope to see you there!
Today, we’re continuing Urban vs. Epic Fantasy Week with Entangled Teen’s Epic Fantasy Authors discussing why they love their genre.
Erica Cameron – Island of Exiles (The Ryogan Chronicles, #1):
Why do I love epic fantasy? It’s a blank slate. We can erase all of our preconceived notions of society and law and even science, throwing all of that over the side of a cliff. Epic fantasy lets us push humanity well past the breaking point with ever more impossible landscapes and situations. It lets us see what we could be if only we let ourselves get there. Plus, epic fantasy is, well, epic!
In Khya’s world, every breath is a battle. On the isolated desert island of Shiara, dying young is inevitable. The clan comes before self, and protecting her home means Khya is a warrior above all else.
But when following the clan and obeying their leaders could cost her brother his life, Khya’s home becomes a deadly trap. The only person who can help is Tessen, her lifelong rival and the boy who challenges her at every turn. The council she hoped to join has betrayed her, and their secrets, hundreds of years deep, reach around a world she’s never seen.
To save her brother’s life and her island home, her only choice is to trust Tessen, turn against her clan, and go on the run—a betrayal and a death sentence.
Amber Mitchell – Garden of Thorns:
When I read and write, it’s because I want to escape and nothing gets you farther from your troubles than the distant shores of entirely new worlds. Epic fantasy invites you onto its tropical beaches, into its lush jungles and through its exotic cityscapes, shaking out its uncharted map for you to explore. Every page brims with fantastic characters questing, battling men and extraordinary beasts alike with magic flowing from nimble fingertips and daring sword fights. The allure of entirely new cultures, the epic stakes, swoon-worthy romances, and the flowing dresses of epic fantasy will always have my heart.
After seven grueling years of captivity in the Garden—a burlesque troupe of slave girls—sixteen-year-old Rose finds an opportunity to escape during a performance for the emperor. But the hostage she randomly chose from the crowd to aid her isn’t one of the emperor’s men—not anymore. He’s the former heir to the throne, who is now leading a rebellion against it.
Rayce is a wanted man and dangerously charismatic, the worst person for Rose to get involved with, no matter what his smile promises. But he assumes Rose’s attempt to take him hostage is part of a plot to crush the rebellion, so he takes her as his hostage. Now Rose must prove where her loyalties lie, and she offers Rayce a deal—if he helps her rescue the other girls, she’ll tell him all the Garden’s secrets.
Except the one secret she’s kept for seven years that she’ll to take to her grave if she must.
L.E. Sterling – True North (True Born, #2):
Don’t get me wrong — #TeamUrban is great. I love time jumpers and magicians running around a book. They make you blink and question what you saw. But I prefer life in a funhouse mirror. Give me a goblin market. Give me a warrior queen with immortal blood. I want the snow queen’s glass shard to be embedded in my eye. I want to completely escape the bounds of reality — not be shackled by them. I don’t want to just question my perceptions — I want to know I’m not in Kansas any longer.
Abandoned by her family in Plague-ridden Dominion City, eighteen-year-old Lucy Fox has no choice but to rely upon the kindness of the True Borns, a renegade group of genetically enhanced humans, to save her twin sister, Margot. But Nolan Storm, their mysterious leader, has his own agenda. When Storm backtracks on his promise to rescue Margot, Lucy takes her fate into her own hands and sets off for Russia with her True Born bodyguard and maybe-something-more, the lethal yet beautiful Jared Price. In Russia, there’s been whispered rumors of Plague Cure.
While Lucy fights her magnetic attraction to Jared, anxious that his loyalty to Storm will hurt her chances of finding her sister, they quickly discover that not all is as it appears…and discovering the secrets contained in the Fox sisters’ blood before they wind up dead is just the beginning.
As they say in Dominion, sometimes it’s not you…it’s your DNA.
Nicole Luiken – In Truth & Ashes (Otherselves, #3):
First for the endlessly inventive magic. Second for the fascinating new worlds to explore. Third for the fantastic creatures that dwell there: dragons, gargoyles, demi-gods and phoenixes are just a few of the ones I’ve used.
Epic fantasy gives a writer a bigger canvas to paint. Instead of a city, a country or even worlds. Wars. Heroes. Villains. Destinies. Everything is bigger is epic fantasy. The stakes are higher, instead of a single group, the fate of a world can hang in the balance.
The Mirror Worlds are but dull reflections of the True World, where magic and technology blend together…
On the True World, Belinda Loring has known from childhood that she must Bond with the son of another noble First Family. Uniting the families ensures hers will hold onto its powerful position, and so she’s always pushed down the tender feelings she has for her best friend—gorgeous, steadfast Demian, who isn’t noble.
But when the ceremonial magic goes disastrously wrong, Belinda becomes a national disgrace. Scorned as Broken, she turns to Demian for help getting revenge on the man who ruined her: the radical Malachi.
But the seeds of Malachi’s murderous plans lie buried in Belinda’s past, in the dark days of her kidnapping—a period of which she has no memory. And Demian may hold the key to recovering all that she’s lost—and saving the worlds.
Renee Collins – Relic:
After a raging fire consumes her town and kills her parents, Maggie Davis is on her own to protect her younger sister and survive best she can in the Colorado town of Burning Mesa. In Maggie’s world, the bones of long-extinct magical creatures such as dragons and sirens are mined and traded for their residual magical elements, and harnessing these relics’ powers allows the user to wield fire, turn invisible, or heal even the worst of injuries.
Working in a local saloon, Maggie befriends the spirited showgirl Adelaide and falls for the roguish cowboy Landon. But when she proves to have a particular skill at harnessing the relics’ powers, Maggie is whisked away to the glamorous hacienda of Álvar Castilla, the wealthy young relic baron who runs Burning Mesa. Though his intentions aren’t always clear, Álvar trains Maggie in the world of relic magic. But when the mysterious fires reappear in their neighboring towns, Maggie must discover who is channeling relic magic for evil before it’s too late.
Relic is a thrilling adventure set in a wholly unique world, and a spell-binding story of love, trust, and the power of good.
Rebekah L. Purdy – The Summer Marked (The Winter People, #2):
Epic Fantasy is an escape from the “real world” and takes you to other lands, places you can only dream of, which is why I love it so much. And there’s so much more opportunity to really explore new creatures and characters within these worlds. I mean, who doesn’t like the idea of stepping through a closet and finding a cool fantasy world? LOL.
I’m also a big fan of the epic battles (think Lord of the Rings or Throne of Glass). Girl with a sword=Awesome.
Fresh off a break-up with her boyfriend, Kadie’s glad to be home from college for Thanksgiving. All she needs is a rebound guy, a box of chocolates, and some girl time with her best friend, Salome. Problem is, Salome isn’t returning her calls, and her family won’t say where she is. Feeling sorry for herself, Kadie ends up at Club Blade, a place filled with pumping music, dangerous guys, and promises of a good time. However, when midnight strikes, Kadie’s fun turns into a nightmare as she’s ripped from the human world into Faerie by a vengeful Winter Prince named Etienne. For the first time in her life, she realizes the monsters Salome always spoke of are real, and they’ll stop at nothing to destroy her friend.
Salome thought the winter curse was behind her. But winter has left its mark. Not just on her, but on the whole summer court. The Kingdom of Summer is falling apart, and Nevin is hanging onto his throne by a thread. With war on his doorstep, he has no choice but to send Gareth into enemy territory, which means Salome will be left alone—vulnerable in a world she doesn’t understand. A place where beauty is deadly and humans are pawns in the macabre games the Fae play. Both Kadie and Salome will have to call on all their strength to survive in a world where humans aren’t meant to be. With death and enemies all around them, it’ll be a miracle if they can survive.
Chloe Jacobs – Greta and the Goblin King (Mylena Chronicles, #1):
While trying to save her brother from a witch’s fire four years ago, Greta was thrown in herself, falling through a portal to Mylena, a dangerous world where humans are the enemy and every ogre, ghoul, and goblin has a dark side that comes out with the eclipse.
To survive, Greta has hidden her humanity and taken the job of bounty hunter—and she’s good at what she does. So good, she’s caught the attention of Mylena’s young goblin king, the darkly enticing Isaac, who invades her dreams and undermines her will to escape.
But Greta’s not the only one looking to get out of Mylena. An ancient evil knows she’s the key to opening the portal, and with the next eclipse mere days away, every bloodthirsty creature in the realm is after her—including Isaac. If Greta fails, she and the lost boys of Mylena will die. If she succeeds, no world will be safe from what follows her back…
That’s all for today! Come visit tomorrow when I talk about my own personal choice and share a little bit of why I favor it.
Today, we’re continuing Urban vs. Epic Fantasy Week with Entangled Teen’s Urban Fantasy Authors discussing why they love their genre.
Brenda Drake – Guardian of Secrets (Library Jumpers, #2):
I’m such a fan of Urban Fantasy for many reasons, but mostly because writers can take our normal world and, either secret or not, add a dash of the fantastical to it. With mystical creatures hiding from humans or living side by side with them, deliciously nefarious things can happen. There’s just something extraordinary about urban fantasy. It’s the ability of the writer to look at something normal in the human world and mix it up. Changing a simple book into something that can transport someone from library to library or hiding a zoo of magical beasts in a common suitcase.
Being a Sentinel isn’t all fairytales and secret gardens. Sure, jumping through books into the world’s most beautiful libraries to protect humans from mystical creatures is awesome. No one knows that better than Gia Kearns, but she could do without the part where people are always trying to kill her. Oh, and the fact that Pop and her had to move away from her friends and life as she knew it.
And if that isn’t enough, her boyfriend, Arik, is acting strangely. Like, maybe she should be calling him “ex,” since he’s so into another girl. But she doesn’t have time to be mad or even jealous, because someone has to save the world from the upcoming apocalypse, and it looks like that’s going to be Gia.
Chris Cannon – Fanning the Flames (Going Down in Flames, #4):
1. There are no maidens that need to be rescued in urban fantasy. More than likely the females are the ones kicking ass.
2. I love the snarky banter that occurs when you throw modern day characters into strange/magical/supernatural circumstances.
3. Anything is possible in urban fantasy. There are no rules about what types of paranormal creatures you can have. If you want to create dragons that breathe fire, ice, wind, sonic waves, and lightning, you can, just like I did in Going Down In Flames *cough cough* shameless self promotion
She isn’t afraid of anything…except losing the knight she loves. Bryn McKenna has it all, including her smoking-hot knight turned live-in boyfriend, Valmont. Even though she’s a hybrid dragon, she’s finally fitting into the new shape-shifting dragon world that’s become her own. But her grandparents want to ruin everything by making Bryn’s nightmare of an arranged marriage to Jaxon Westgate a reality. It doesn’t help that Jaxon’s father is on a witch hunt for Rebel sympathizers and Bryn finds herself in his line of fire.
If she doesn’t say, “I do,” she’ll lose everything. Good-bye flying. Good-bye best friends. Good-bye magic. But if she bends to her grandparents’ will and agrees to marry Jaxon, she’ll lose the love of her life—her knight.
Shonna Slayton – Spindle:
Urban fantasy reminds me that our own world is magical. We are so used to the way our world works that we take for granted how incredible it is that our heart beats, our brain imagines, that our eyes see color.
As a writer, urban fantasy allows me to open up my imagination on multiple planes. I still work with the real world, but I get to add layers onto that. It’s like going from black and white TV to color. Like Dorothy in dusty old Kansas stepping into the colorful land of Oz.
In a world where fairies lurk and curses linger, love can bleed like the prick of a finger…
Briar Rose knows her life will never be a fairy tale. She’s raising her siblings on her own, her wages at the spinning mill have been cut, and the boy she thought she had a future with has eyes for someone else.
Most days it feels like her best friend, Henry Prince, is the only one in her corner…though with his endless flirty jokes, how can she ever take him seriously?
When a mysterious peddler offers her a “magic” spindle that could make her more money, sneaking it into the mill seems worth the risk. But then one by one, her fellow spinner girls come down with the mysterious sleeping sickness…and Briar’s not immune.
If Briar wants to save the girls—and herself—she’ll have to start believing in fairy tales…and in the power of a prince’s kiss.
Tara Fuller – Inbetween (Kissed by Death, #1):
Death doesn’t fall in love. Usually. Since the car crash that took her father’s life three years ago, Emma’s life has been a freaky—and unending—lesson in caution. Surviving “accidents” has taken priority over being a normal seventeen-year- old, so Emma spends her days taking pictures of life instead of living it.
Falling in love with a boy was never part of the plan. Falling for a reaper who makes her chest ache and her head spin? Not an option.
It’s not easy being dead, especially for a reaper in love with a girl fate has put on his list not once, but twice. Finn’s fellow reapers give him hell about spending time with Emma, but Finn couldn’t let her die before, and he’s not about to let her die now. He will protect the girl he loves from the evil he accidentally unleashed, even if it means sacrificing the only thing he has left…his soul.
Danielle Ellison – Salt (Salt, #1):
Whether it’s witches, demons, ghosts or other types monsters, there’s nothing like escaping the sometimes mundane reality of our world, or giving what we know every day a spice of fantasy. Filled with kick-ass heroines who aren’t afraid to fight for what they believe in (and hot, just-as- fierce love interests) Urban Fantasy inspires you to look beyond what you see and be more than you think you can be.
Plus, life is more with some magic: more dangerous, more unpredictable, more chaotic, more fun.
Penelope is a witch, part of a secret society protecting humans from demon attacks. But when she was a child, a demon killed her parents—and stole her magic. Since then, she’s been pretending to be something she’s not, using her sister’s magic to hide her own loss, to prevent being sent away.
When she’s finally given the chance to join the elite demon-hunting force, Penelope thinks that will finally change. With her sister’s help, she can squeeze through the tests and get access to the information she needs to find “her” demon. To take back what was stolen.
Then she meets Carter. He’s cute, smart, and she can borrow his magic, too. He knows her secret—but he also has one of his own.
Suddenly, Penelope’s impossible quest becomes far more complicated. Because Carter’s not telling her everything, and it’s starting to seem like the demons have their own agenda…and they’re far too interested in her.
Rachel Harris – My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century (My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century, #1):
On the precipice of her sixteenth birthday, the last thing lone wolf Cat Crawford wants is an extravagant gala thrown by her bubbly stepmother and well-meaning father. So even though Cat knows the family’s trip to Florence, Italy, is a peace offering, she embraces the magical city and all it offers. But when her curiosity leads her to an unusual gypsy tent, she exits…right into Renaissance Firenze.
Thrust into the sixteenth century armed with only a backpack full of contraband future items, Cat joins up with her ancestors, the sweet Alessandra and protective Cipriano, and soon falls for the gorgeous aspiring artist Lorenzo. But when the much-older Niccolo starts sniffing around, Cat realizes that an unwanted birthday party is nothing compared to an unwanted suitor full of creeptastic amore. Can she find her way back to modern times before her Italian adventure turns into an Italian forever?
Gloria Craw – Atlantis Rising (Atlantis Rising, #1):
I love Urban Fantasy because it infuses normal life with myth and magic. It’s so exciting to have something in common with a character who finds a magic object, special ability or a secret origin. The possible ways her courage and passion might be tested are endless. When she does triumph against fantastic odds, I’m left feeling inspired and reassured that I can overcome great obstacles in my everyday life too. Urban Fantasy reminds me that the ordinary in us can sometimes be…extraordinary.
We’ve stayed hidden too long… I am different. I have always been different, but no one can know or my life will be in danger. So I hide in plain sight, wearing drab clothes and thick glasses and trying to be invisible. I’m so good at hiding, no one has ever noticed me. Until Ian…the mysterious and oh-so-cute boy I know I need to avoid.
Now I have been seen. And more terrifying still, I am wanted—by those who would protect me and those who would destroy everything and everyone I love. But if they’re all terrified about who I am, wait until they see what I can do…
Okay, that’s it for today! Come back tomorrow and learn all about Team Epic!
Today, I’m interviewing my friend Raven Williams, who writes amazing Fantasy novels. The last book of her popular Realm Jumper Chronicles series is out today! Her work can also be found in A Horde of Dragons, an anthology with five other authors, and a true story called My Brother’s Keeper. She has hosted numerous interviews and marketed other authors, and is instrumental in the administration of Virtual FantasyCon every year. Get to know Raven and her books and find your way to a new series. All seven books, officially no more waiting!
Q – Welcome Raven. Wow, seven books. How long did it take you to go from start to finish in this series?
A – I started writing the first book, Elven-Jumper in March 2014. That one took the longest to write and released in February of 2015. After that, the words continually flowed, and now, two years later around Elven-Jumper’s anniversary date, I’m releasing the last novel, Elven Blood Oath.
Q – Can you tell us a little bit about the series?
A – When I started Elven-Jumper, the premise was what happened to Elven souls when the Elves died on Earth or other realms. The first book delves into this the most. I had originally planned for each book to focus on one character having memories of an Elven life, but during the second book, the characters had another story in mind and hijacked the series. In Elf-Witch (book 2) they revealed a prophecy and the beginning rumors of a possible war. From then on, each book features a mated pair and further steps closer to war, culminating with the final battle in Elven Blood Oath (book 7.)
Q – Which book is your favorite?
A— I love them all, but I think my absolute favorite is Elven Dreams (book 4). The mated couple in that book just manifested more fully than the others. One thing about the Elder species, they are a reserved bunch and don’t always show emotions like we humans do, so getting them to express themselves even a little was like pulling eye teeth. However, in Elven Dreams, they were quite expressive and I love how the story evolved.
Q – I really liked the Archangel Michael, and was it Tabris who was his leader?
A – Yes, Lady Tabris was originally the leader of the Angels of Light. Of course, things changed as the stories progressed and she stepped down, naming another to replace her. In the future, there will either be a novelette or novella expanding on why Tabris stepped down.
Q – Okay, I told you my favorite character. Which is yours?
A – I think Damien (one of the Guardians) is my favorite. Mainly because he appears to be on the side of Dark, but then we learn more about him and that he’s not as he appears. His journey is something I can really relate to and I think he’s the one that has come the furthest of all the characters.
Q – What was your biggest challenge when writing The Realm Jumper Chronicles?
A – Reigning in the characters. I would plot something, and then they’d run roughshod over me and I’d end up having to not only replot the book I was working on, but subsequent books as well.
Q – You have some companion stories for the series. Tell us a little bit about those.
A – Right now, I have two companion novellas published, Mixed Blood and Dragons of Pandryl. The latter one is part of a multi-author anthology, A Horde of Dragons. Mixed Blood delves into the history of two secondary characters, Solana of the Elves and Izlal of the Guardians and takes place in the distant past. Dragons of Pandryl tells the stories of the Ancient Dragons and their evolution to the Dragon-Shifters they are today. I also have two short stories that are part of a Dark Fantasy Tale & Legends Collection, Haunted by Darkness. Those two are Fall into Darkness, which tells the origins of the demon, Vaduxach, and Rise of the Dark Witch, which tells the origins of Cassie, the Dark Witch aligned with the demon.
Q – I’m crazy about worldbuilding and cultures. Do you have a favorite culture or creature?
A – I really love the Elven culture. So many things that the Elves revealed to me resonate with me and I can totally relate to.
Q – Now that you’ve finished The Realm Jumper Chronicles, what can we expect to see from you in the months ahead?
A – I’m working on a new dark paranormal series, Witch Hunter’s Society. I’ve already released two short stories, Witch Hunter’s Rise and Witch Hunter Ordained, which are part of Haunted by Darkness. I’m currently working on the first novel, Witch Hunter’s Prey and have plotted two more novels in the trilogy. I’m also working on the second novelette in my Raven’s Twisted Classics series, The Beast & the Sleeping Prince. It’s a mashup of Beauty and the Beast and Sleeping Beauty, but with a twist. For those who’ve not heard of this series, the first novelette, Down the Rabbit Hole, released this past October.
Q – I heard there’s a taste of your next series at the end of book seven; Elven Blood Oath. Is that true?
A – Yes. The main protagonists of Witch Hunter’s Society make an appearance in Elven Blood Oath. Of course, for those who’ve read the series, they also know that Daciana made a very brief appearance in Elven Dreams.
Q – When can we expect the first book?
A – I’m hoping to release Witch Hunter’s Prey late Spring or early Summer.
Q – Where can readers follow you, or learn more about you?
A – Website: http://ravenwilliamsauthor.wix.com/booksandmore
Sign-up for Raven’s Newsletter here: http://ravenwilliamsauthor.wixsite.com/booksandmore/newsletter-sign-up
Q – Do you sell signed books?
A – I do. There’s an order form on my website: http://ravenwilliamsauthor.wix.com/booksandmore
Q – Where can we purchase Realm Jumper Chronicles; Elven Blood Oath, or other books from the Realm Jumper series?
A – All the books are available in paperback and ebook on Amazon and in ebook on most ebook platforms. For those who love hard covers, I have those available on lulu.com.
Here is the universal link to order Realm Jumper Chronicles; Elven Blood Oath at your favorite book seller. https://www.books2read.com/ElvenBloodOath
Q – Thank you for joining us today. We’ll be looking forward to seeing what you’re up to in the future. Best of luck on your new series.
A – Thank you. It’s been a pleasure.
Okay, that’s all for today! If you found Raven’s books interesting, please follow her on social media, and pick up your copy today. As for me, I’ll be back with my next post very soon.
Thanks for reading!
Today I have a guest visiting me. Charles O’Keefe! Charles lives in the beautiful province of Newfoundland, Canada, with his wife and two feline ‘children,’ Jude and Eleanor. He is a co-owner of a Beauty Wholesale Business and enjoys many hobbies and activities that include writing, reading, watching fantasy/science-fiction movies and television shows, gaming, poker, walking, Pilates, martial arts and of course fantasizing about vampires. He is also a vegetarian, animal activist, environmentalist and Agnostic. His novel, The Newfoundland Vampire, will be available from Distinguished Press on April 24, 2015.
For anybody who doesn’t know him, Charles is very friendly and fun and it’s been great getting to know him. Please check out our interview below.
|JM: Tell us about your book.
CO: The a Newfoundland Vampire is my first novel and was originally published back in April of 2012 by Penumbra Publishing. It will be rereleased by Distinguished Press in March 27th of this year (2015 if you’re reading this in the future). It was a labor of love and something I originally thought of back in 2002 and wrote the first chapter only to leave it for a long time. Then, in 2010, I got inspired and finished the rough draft in about 8 months. But enough history – here’s the summary:“Like every other geek alive, Newfoundland native Joseph O’Reily secretly wants to be a superhero. At thirteen he fantasized about being a vampire, and ten years later he’s still fantasizing – but mostly about a beautiful redheaded woman who has eyes only for him. The one thing different about Joseph’s adult fantasy is that, amazingly, it comes true one night when he goes to a local university pub. Cassandra Snow, literally the woman of his dreams, invites him to her place for an evening of personal pleasure. Of course he’s not going to say no. But when strange things start happening afterward, Joseph quickly learns that not all dreams should come true.”
It’s a book for adults that tries to approach vampires from a different perspective. How does a regular guy cope with becoming a vampire? While I deal with lots of serious issues I still have a lot of fun with it. One of the main characters, Cassandra, is based on a real person from history, Catherine Mandeville Snow. She was the last woman hanged in Newfoundland and the twist here is that a hanging is not enough to kill a vampire. The other main character is Joseph is based highly on me as I was at 23. I couldn’t resist the temptation to put myself in and have fun imagining what I would do as a vampire. He gets to make a lot of choices I couldn’t make and of course does things that I never want to do. It’s a great exploration of a what if type fantasy for me, what if vampires were real and I was one? The rest you’ll have to read and find out.
JM: What made you choose your subject matter?
CO: I’ve loved vampires since I was around 12 or 13 and horror about since then too. To be more specific though, I think for me the idea of a vampire is so fascinating. You are immortal, forever young, powerful and (in some versions) still yourself in terms of your personality, feelings and memories. I think the vampire creature is familiar to everyone in the world (at least most of it) that it give you the ability to play around with, changes things but still have the reader have a good idea coming in how they work and at least partially what to expect. Plus for me someone who lives forever could be any historical figure from the past and this idea fascinated me as well.
JM: How is your approach to vampires different from other authors?
CO: I made a fair number of changes. First off my vampires are not destroyed by sunlight, rather just weakened. They are unaffected by any holy symbol, holy water or garlic. I gave them an origin story that explained why a wooden stake to the heart works and why silver can harm them. My vampires don’t sparkle and they certainly don’t go to high school for hundreds of years. I also gave my vampires the ability to change their appearance and even gender. With minor shape-changing abilities they can literally be anyone they want, so as to have many human lives without looking suspicious. I also defined how they can sense each other and how the creator and progeny relationship (as I call them) works.
JM: What was your a ha! moment? When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
CO: Excellent question! Well I had a few. First back in 2006 when my friend published a book and I got mentioned in the acknowledgements (I helped him edit it), I thought “I want more than that, I want to write a book, not just be mentioned in it.” Really thought it was just driving in the car one day listening to an interview R.A. Salvatore (who I’ll admit I’ve never even read). He talked about how great it was to be a writer and I just thought, “that’s what I want, more than anything.” So the next day I got writing and almost 2 years later I was published.
JM: Is there anything about you as a writer that you consider to be a part of your signature style?
CO: That’s a tough question! I think you pick up traits and ideas from writers you like, perhaps even on an unconscious level. I think for me though it would be I love music so much that I try to put songs (usually 10 or 11) in each book that fit the scene they are in. I have always imagined my books as movies, so I have tried hard to supply each one with a kind of soundtrack.
JM: Sound great. I can’t wait to check it out.
Check out more from Charles O’Keefe over at his website, http://www.charlesokeefe.com/.