Saturday, December 10, 2016
With the holidays coming fast, I thought now was the perfect time to cover a topic I'd hinted at many times: Print books vs. E-books.
I will be the first to say that when e-readers came out I was more than a little skeptical. I really didn't think they would take off the way they had. Online newspapers I could see, because for one thing it was a great way of lessening the amount of paper going into landfills (in spite of the fact that me and great number of people out there try to recycle). However, I also saw it as a chance for less trees to be cut down because let's face it, a number of them were being taken down in spite of all the paper recycling (yes I'm very much into 'green' living and recycling). But I digress. At the time I really did not see a lot of benefit coming from making books electronically available.
Besides, I was already in love with bookstores. They're like a magnets to me and my wife Helen. And the books inside are like mint to a cat (catnip for those who don't get the reference), we go bonkers over books. So you can understand why the concept of electronic books did not really capture my fancy... at first.
However, things began to change when I tried my hand at writing. I went the traditional route, looking for an agent, getting rejected, and so on and so forth for three years. During that time I was told time and again I had something unique and interesting (i. e. my Para-Earth Series), BUT it was too unique. I had crossed too many genres to the point that even agents who were interested had no idea who to try and sell the idea to. Most publishers have been quite strict about genres and from what I understand still are. So I had to take a few steps back and have a really long think about what to do.
I could go back and whittle certain elements out and make the story a more traditional horror, or a mystery, a paranormal tale, or a work of pure science fiction. But none of that appealed to me. The people who had read or heard about what I was creating were fascinated BECAUSE I had created something entirely new and different. To lose any of those elements would be tantamount to killing the entire series before it began.
Meanwhile, Helen and other writer friends had been talking about going the independent author route and use Createspace or some other print/electronic publishing system. I'd be responsible for my own marketing, but as I found out through research, most traditionally published authors were responsible for their own marketing these days as well. Unless you had the power of Stephen King, J. K. Rowling, or some other mega-star author, most publishers don't help out as much as they used to.
So I took the plunge and "The Bridge" saw the light of day. As expected, I soon found e-sales rocketing while traditional paperbacks were only so-so. This disappointed me in some ways, but I found the benefit of still having paperbacks available a benefit. Because there are no substitutes for owning a SIGNED edition of a book in the eyes of even the most devoted e-reader fan.
Still I did not invest in any e-readers. Oh from time to time I thought about it, just to see how my own works appeared so I could see if the formatting held up to the transition (I'm very particular about my work looking right for my readers). But I still bought paperbacks and haunted used bookstores left and right.
Then last Christmas something unexpected happened. Helen and I were given a Kindle by her mother as a gift.
Helen took to it right away for its photographic capabilities, while I was pleased but slightly hesitant. I guess a part of me was afraid just touching it would lead to me falling out of love with my beloved books. But over time I found the internet function useful, but still I resisted trying to read a book on it. The screen 'felt' too small and I didn't like not being able to see how much was left to read in each volume. (I've since learned how to know the # of pages left) But still, I held back.
Then some of my fellow writers online were offering free copies of their books for an honest review in return. Some had done this for me and I wanted to return the favor. Plus, with our finances being so tight, a free-read seemed acceptable. (also in one or two cases, they only had e-versions of their books) So I began downloading a couple of freebies and proceeded to read.
I soon became quite comfortable with using the Kindle and even found my reading speed increasing, much to my surprise. Eventually I started actually buying some new e-books every so often.
Now, I suspect you're all thinking "That does it! He's hooked. Good-bye paper, HELLO Electronic!"
To find out, you'll have to tune in next week when I complete this two-part entry. Please understand I'm not just doing things this way because I'm hoping to really boost my numbers. This topic is lengthy and I don't want one entry to become as long as the classic "War and Peace". So please sit tight and I'll be back next weekend or sooner to finish my tale about print vs electronic and what the results turned out to be.
Until then, take care and keep writing!
Sunday, December 4, 2016
For those of you who didn't know, I run another blog called "The Vampyre Blogs - Private Edition" which just passed the 10,000 view mark!
Here's the link for anyone who'd like to check it out: http://thevampyreblogs.blogspot.com/
I started this blog with the sole purpose of introducing the idea of a science-fiction vampyre who was truly similiar to the traditional vampires of lore. Nathan tries to avoid sunlight (although he can step out on cloudy and rainy days, and can actually walk in the light but only if he's loaded up on blood in advance since sunlight can dry him out to the point of becoming dust). He sleeps in the ground (because certain nutrients his body needs can only be absorbed from there). And he can shape-shift becoming a horde of rats, bats, dogs, mist, grow wings... but is restricted to how big he can do these things. He cannot make more than what there is of his physical being (law of mass). And of course, he is extremely long-lived.
The blog has been chronicling short stories about his long life and some of the people he has met over the last 150 years such as Mae West
the Marx Brothers,
Silent film stars like Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle and Buster Keaton
Ballroom dancer turned heart-throb Rudolph Valentino
And many others he worked with in Vaudeville before they became movie stars, along with others whose lives he's touched such as victims of the Nazi Holocaust and simple everyday people. There are also entries from the supporting cast who allow you to see Nathan through their eyes. Their stories show many sides to him and why he has come to be a guardian angel who has watched over not only them but in some cases their parents, grandparents.
To date there are over 41 short and somewhat longer stories on the blog, with many more to come. I plan on bundling some of the stories next Christmas as an anthology, since there are so many entries on the blog for people to wade through these days.
In the meantime, please share the blog link with everyone you know and then help them to check out Nathan's first full-length novel story "The Vampyre Blogs - Coming Home" where he comes back to his hometown Pointer, West Virginia. He has come back many times but this time its to stay to save the manor he called home from the wrecking ball, as well as the 1000 acres of pristine land which would fall prey to ruthless lumber companies and coal mining corporations.
Its a lonely homecoming, as far as he knows, but someone has been waiting for him to come back. Someone who saw him leave to fight in the Civil War back in 1862 and a year later died in his arms shortly after his transformation which occurred in a Para-Earth where he encountered two strange lifeforms. One which kept him alive, while the other wanted him destroyed... and still does. In fact, the latter has found its way into this reality and is now closing in on Pointer to finish him off once and for all for he's the only force that can keep it from absorbing all the dead in this world, even if it has to make more people dead to complete the job.
You can find the novel both in e-book and trade paperback form at Amazon, Barnes and Noble:
Barnes and Noble:
For Apple and Kobo readers use Smashwords:
Thanks again and stay tuned for more short stories to be posted soon, including some new holiday tales involving Nathan and his extended family. Until then, keep reading and writing my friends.
Saturday, December 3, 2016
A short while ago, I posted about gifting e-books and how simple it was. For those who missed that entry, I'll briefly recap the basic idea here. When one goes to Barnes and Noble or Amazon, you have the option of 'gifting' an e-book to someone and having a notice sent to their e-mail that they have a new book waiting for them. The e-mail will also provide a link so that person can claim their gift. Pretty straightforward and simple right? Of course it is. But there's also an added feature that allows you to determine when that e-mail goes out to the recipient. You can schedule the day that e-mail goes out so they can be notified of the present on a specific day such as a birthday...
or whatever the special occasion is.
*To see the full entry click here: http://allankrummenacker.blogspot.com/2016/11/the-holiday-season-is-coming-and-you.html
However, there was one little feature I did not mention at the time I posted that entry and that is, any sales made as gifts will NOT be reflected in your sales report.
Why? Because until the gift is actually claimed by the recipient the sale is not considered FINALIZED. I only found out about this recently myself when a person who had won a copy of "The Vampyre Blogs - Coming Home" in a poetry contest run by my fellow author/blogger Aurora Jean Alexander (blog link: https://aurorajalexander.wordpress.com/). I knew the sale had taken place from my end and that an e-mail had been sent to the recipient informing them the book was waiting. But after several days I saw no sign of the sale on my KDP Report. This confused me and as the weeks progressed I still did not see the sale show up, even though when I had 'gifted' someone an e-book previously the sale showed up rather quickly.
Puzzled, I got into contact with Amazon and was informed that until the gift was claimed the sale was not done and would not show up in the report. I am following up with Aurora Jean to have her get in contact with the recipient to check their e-mail, specifically their 'Spam' filter, so they can claim their prize.
But this experience was an eye-opener for me and based on the number of thanks and kudos I got from fellow authors about my article on gifting e-books, I felt it important to share this new piece of information here. I recently ran a 50% off sale on all the e-books in my Para-Earth Series and did not see much sales happening at all. Then I remembered, I had mentioned in my advertising the benefits of 'scheduling' when the books should arrive and will be waiting until Christmas and Hannukah to see if sales were actually much better than I'd thought.
So the lesson here is patience my friends. I still highly recommend gifting e-books and that all writers should mention the scheduling feature of when the book is to arrive. Just don't be discouraged if sales don't seem to be picking up right away. They may be waiting in the wings to surprise you especially around this holiday season.
So until next time. Take care, be safe as you shop, and keep writing.
Friday, November 25, 2016
Is there a lover of the paranormal or science fiction in your life? Wondering what you might get them for a gift this year? Well then here's a deal you won't want to pass up!
Starting now and ending at midnight on November 30th, all three books in the Para-Earth Series are just $1.49 (1/2 off the regular price of $2.99). That's right, you can now get all three books for yourself, or for someone's stocking, for less than $5.00!
And remember the Para-Earth Series has something for everyone:
Ghosts, psychics, vampyres, shamans, parallel realities, mystery, love, suspense, humor, action, suspense... in short, the WORKS!
Each novel has earned 4 and 5 star reviews! Not bad for a series that is still growing. Each story stands on its own, but is also part of an ever growing story arc.
-It all begins with "The Bridge" where a stone bridge built in the 1700's is haunted by the mysterious White Lady, who supposedly seeks the baby she lost. But in reality she is also trying to warn others of the terrifying secret that lies hidden within the bridge itself.
-The adventures continue in "The Ship" where we find Cassandra Elliott and Julie Cloudfoot, having just survived the terrifying encounter at the bridge, now find themselves facing a living ghost ship which has designs on the psychically endowed Cassandra its new navigator.
-"The Vampyre Blogs - Coming Home" introduces a whole new cast of characters which includes Nathan Steward, the last surviving soldier of the Civil War, who's extended lifespan comes from his terrifying encounter with in a Para-Earth where he encountered life forms that defied description. Only now one of those beings has found its way into this world, and Nathan is the only force who can stop it. But to do so may cost him dearly. For if he fails, it will not only mean losing his own life, but the lives the of those whose families he has watched over for the last 150 years.
Like Terry Pratchett's Discworld, all the stories in my series take place in the same universe. And with time, many of the characters will meet and encounter new threats as well as finding themselves having new adventures together. Two new books are scheduled to be added to the series next year, so dive in now because the wonders and adventures are just beginning.
Plus, if you order through Amazon or Barnes and Noble, you can not only gift any/all of these books to someone, you can also schedule what day you want the book(s) to arrive, like maybe Christmas Day or during Hannukah? Or maybe someone has a birthday coming up, you can take care of that shopping now and know it will arrive on the right day.
Simply click on the correct link below and take advantage of this offer that promises hours of reading pleasure and wonder for all:
Barnes and Noble:
For Apple, Kobo, Sony, PDFs (for desktops and laptops):
Sunday, November 20, 2016
****With the holiday season fast approaching I'm getting the word out now so everyone can take advantage of these offers****
ALL three books in our Para-Earth Series will be available for Kindle, Nook, Apple for just $1.49 each (normal price $2.99) starting the day after Thanksgiving *Black Friday* and continuing until November 30th.
That's right you can get the entire Para-Earth Series to date for under $5.00, or gift to someone you know who loves paranormal/science fiction.
You can get SIGNED trade paperback versions for just $10.00 each (normal price $15.00).
Stay tuned for more details and links for how to take advantage of this holiday deal...
Saturday, November 12, 2016
As the holiday season swiftly approaches, I began to ponder about how does one give an e-book to someone else as a gift?
Having received my first Kindle last Christmas, I am still very a much a novice at using it. Mind you I have been learning and I'm enjoying it immensely. But I'll talk more about e-books vs print in another post. For now, I wanted to focus on those of us who want to get an e-book for someone we know who has either a Kindle or a Nook. How would one go about purchasing one without having it arrive too soon?
Well, with the recent release of our latest Para-Earth book (The Vampyre Blogs - Coming Home) I found myself rewarding some of our beta-readers with a free copy of the finished product in whatever form they wished (trade paperback, Nook, Kindle, PDF, Smashwords). Most requested a signed trade paperback, but a couple asked for the Kindle version.
So I headed over to Amazon, got into my account, and pulled up "The Vampyre Blogs - Coming Home". Once there I quickly found the "Give As A Gift" button and clicked it. From there I was taken to another screen which asked me to sign into my Amazon account, which I did. From there I was taken to a final screen
This screen asked only for the e-mail address of the recipient I was sending this book to AND what day I wanted it delivered. It was the option of a delivery date that really caught my eye. Now some of you might be thinking, "Duh, you never noticed this before?" And the answer is "Obviously, I didn't. I rarely gave e-books as gifts to anyone before, even though I'm an author. Most of my readers buy the books for themselves and hardly anyone in my family owns a Nook or Kindle." So yes, this was brand new to me and very exciting.
I quickly went over to Barnes and Noble, opened an account with them and found they too had the same kind of delivery option. (It's set up pretty much same so I'm not sharing more screen caps for it).
So now I have this huge new avenue for holiday shopping before me. And with Black Friday and Cyber Monday looming on the horizon, I thought it important to share these options with all of you. Some of you may have known about all this, but for those (like me) who didn't you now have more options when it comes to shopping for gifts. I personally love the idea of having a book to place in someone's 'Cyber Stocking', or put an actual envelope in a stocking/gift box in a real stocking...
or under a tree...
or next to a dreidel...
and of course, let's not forget those who have a birthday around these holidays and could use a present that's meant strictly as a birthday present and not "two presents in one"...
...informing them to check their e-mail for a gift.
The holiday season can be a rough time for people both because of finances and trying to figure out what to get someone, especially if that someone is in another country or across the states which makes the shipping costs another concern.
So for anyone (like me) who didn't know about this option, now you do. And the best part is you can do that kind of shopping right now instead of waiting for the big rush. The e-book will not arrive before the date you set.
Of course, being an author I'm going to shamelessly promote our books by providing links below so you can visit our author pages on Amazon as well as Barnes and Noble, where all our books are listed and you can choose whichever one(s) you'd like to gift to the readers in your life.
Thanks for tuning in and don't be afraid to leave suggestions or ideas about gifting books that I overlooked in this post, in the comments section below. Until next time, take care and keep writing.
Saturday, November 5, 2016
Second book I've read by this indie author. Allan has now partnered with his wife, Helen.
Characters are fun. If you like vampires, you'll like this story. A little Twilight, a little Bram Stoker, a little Stephen King. You can see Allan's influences in his works. Nathan is a fascinating take on the immortal vampire. His family and friends are as dysfunctional as any modern group. He negotiates the modern world with great agility.
The monsters appear, the battles arise. A fun read and a nod to Helen for the scientific additions.
By Amazon Customer on October 31, 2016
This is the 1st book I have read by these authors and I was hooked!
Such a different approach to the "birth" (of the vampyre),,, and the para earths are fascinating! I look forward to the next installments!
Care to see more? Then just click on the appropriate link below and see what all the praise is about:
KINDLE USERS ($2.99):
APPLE AND ALL OTHERS E-READERS (INCLUDING PDF) CLICK HERE ($2.99):
Friday, October 28, 2016
Welcome to "The Vampyre Blogs - Coming Home". My name is Nathaniel Eoghan Steward, and I hope you'll be as pleased to meet me and my friends as we are to meet you...
After two long years of brainstorming, writing, re-writing, editing, and planning Helen and I are proud to present to you all our first collaboration: "The Vampyre Blogs - Coming Home".
Those who've been following my other blog (http://thevampyreblogs.blogspot.com/) for the last two years will be familiar with Nathan and some of the other characters who appear in this novel, but for those who are not here's a synopsis:
In 1861 sixteen year old Nathan Steward joined the 7th West Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiment to help end slavery and preserve the Union. Before he left home, Nathan promised his sister Isabella that he would not let the war change him... he was wrong.
While serving in the Union Army, Nathan found himself fighting on many battlefields. But his toughest fight took place on a parallel version of Earth (a Para-Earth) where evolution had taken a very different turn. Although he managed to get back to his own world, this particular battle left him so altered there was no going home. For now he needed to drink blood, sleep in the ground, and avoid the sunlight.
Today, after 150 years of wandering the world and touching the lives of others, he is finally coming back to claim his family mansion which has stood empty for the decades. However, unknown to Nathan, his homecoming will not be as lonely as he anticipates. For someone has bee waiting all this time to welcome him back.
But, there is another who wishes to meet up with him again as well. The being he faced and defeated in that Para-Earth, back in 1862, has found its way into this world and has caught his scent. Now it is drawing closer to his hometown, bent on his complete and utter destruction. For this foe knows he is the only force that can stop it from enveloping this world and its dead...
The book is available in Trade Paperback (including signed), and all e-reader formats. To get the version that suits your needs click on the link below which will take you to our new Para-Earth webpage. There you can find all three installments of the every-growing Para-Earth Series. Simply, choose the button for whatever format you need for any book, and a new page will appear to take your order.
Webpage for the Para-Earth Book Series
Helen and I thank you all for your support and patronage, and promise you all that we have many more stories to tell, involving all your favorite characters from the series, as well as many new ones. We also ask that you please share the links and help spread the word about "The Vampyre Blogs - Coming Home" and the rest of the Para-Earth series.
Finally, we want to wish you all a Happy and Fun-Filled Halloween!
Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Today our Trade Paperback copies of "The Vampyre Blogs - Coming Home" arrived.
For me this is the third time this has happened, but for my wife (and co-author) Helen, it was her first. So naturally, I gave the honors of opening the box and holding the first copy to her.
For anyone who hasn't had this pleasure yet, I hope you get to experience it. No matter how many books you write, seeing and holding them is something special.
Saturday, October 22, 2016
Only 6 more days until Nathan and company arrive, just in time for Halloween!
It's been a long time in the making, but "The Vampyre Blogs - Coming Home" is arriving in just 7 more days. But you don't have to wait to order your copy now. In fact you can pre-order the book and get 25% off the regular asking price. That's right, you can order an e-copy for just $2.99 (after October 28th, the price will be $3.99).
Furthermore, the book will be available in all e-reader formats such as Kindle, Nook, Sony, Apple, PDF, Kobo and others.
Signed trade paperback copies will also be available for $12.00 plus $3.00 shipping and handling anywhere in the United States. Overseas mailing will cost slightly more. For anyone interested in getting a signed copy, please e-mail us at: http://allankrummenacker.wixsite.com/allan-krummenacker/contact
Here's a sneak peak inside the novel:
I skipped my last class and headed straight over to Nathan’s place. I knew he wasn’t going to be up yet, but I wanted to be there when he woke. Plus I wanted to see how his ‘guest’ was getting on.
I let myself in through the front door and started to head upstairs when I heard noises coming from down in the cellar. My first thought was, ‘He’s up already! Good, now he can tell me what the hell happened.’ So I made a beeline for the door in the kitchen that I’d seen him disappear through this morning.
As soon as I opened it the sounds were much louder. Someone was moving down there, but something wasn’t right. It didn’t sound like him moving around. Immediately, I had a bad feeling and my first impulse was to leave and get help. But then I remembered Nathan was down there, and he would be vulnerable at this time of day.
My protective instincts must’ve kicked in, because I raced down the stairs and spotted my godfather lying on a table in the center of the room. Standing over him was the guy from last night armed with a stake and hammer.
He had his back to me, so I took advantage of the situation and jumped him.
As expected, I took him by surprise and the stake wound up hitting the light hanging over the table. Out of the corner of my eye I could see our shadows as he tried to fight me off. A part of me kind of wished someone had been filming them, it looked pretty cool-not that I was enjoying myself at the time.
For a guy who’d nearly died the night before, he was pretty lively and strong. He wound up slamming me against the wall by launching himself backwards. I always wondered how characters in movies manage to stay on someone when that happened, and now I know. It’s called an adrenaline rush with good reason. This clown was trying to kill someone dear to me, and I wasn’t about to give up.
Unfortunately, he was bigger and outweighed me by a lot. After I hung on when he slammed me against the wall, he tried a new tactic. He fell backwards on purpose and landed right on top of me, hard! I think I must’ve blacked out, because the next thing I knew he had me tied to a chair and was staring straight into my eyes.
“I’m sorry, kid. I didn’t want to hurt you, but you’re obviously under his control,” he tells me. “But don’t worry, I’m gonna dust this blood-sucker and you’ll be all right. We both will. Now just sit tight and let me do what’s gotta be done, okay?”
I couldn’t believe it. Mr. Break-In was trying to be a hero. It was almost funny in a way. But I still couldn’t let him kill Nathan. “No, you don’t understand. He’s not a monster!” I tell him. “He’s a good man. I don’t know what happened between you two last night, but he didn’t kill you. He spared you and did everything he could to keep you alive!”
As soon as the words leave my lips, I realize all of this is true. Nathan could’ve ignored me when I begged him to stop. Instead he told me to get the blood I’d brought and started giving the guy a couple of transfusions. How could I…
“That’s what he’s been telling you, kid,” the guy yells. “He’s inside your head, just like he’s been in mine. I can still feel him, but I’m able to fight back. And once he’s dead, you’ll understand. You’ll be normal again.”
Before I can say anything else he whirls around and rams the stake right into Nathan’s chest.
My godfather doesn’t cry out. Nor does he gasp, or open his eyes, the way vampyres supposedly do in movies or books. But all those writers did get one thing right; he starts to crack and crumble right before my eyes.
For an instant I can’t speak. Time has slowed down as I see the cracking spread all over his skin. Soon his chest caves in on itself, with the sound of ancient paper crackling and breaking. Then his hands start to implode and turn into fine particles. Within moments there’s nothing left except his clothes and dust.
I can’t remember exactly what happened next but I think I screamed and tried going after the guy with the stake. I kept trying to undo the ropes around my wrists and ankles, while cursing my head off at him.
The jerk just stares at me in complete shock and keeps trying to tell me that we’re both free.
But I don’t listen. Instead, I just lose it. Finally, he gives up and shouts something about sending the cops and a straightjacket for me and takes off. My mouth is still running with every curse word it knows, while tears are streaming down my face. I’m not ashamed to admit that I was crying. I’d just lost someone as dear as my parents and little brother.
I cried and screamed myself hoarse for God knows how long before I finally got control of myself. When I did, my only thought was getting out of there. I was sure Dad or Dr. Jack would be coming by sooner or later, but I couldn’t wait that long.
Once again I went after the ropes, but Ass-Hat knew his stuff; they weren’t loosening at all. As I struggled I noticed the chair was a bit wobbly. It occurred to me that if the chair broke, I might find it easier to free myself. So I tried rocking and shifting, hoping something would break. Eventually, something did - namely the two legs on the left side.
From my point of view, all I saw was the world tilting sideways slowly, then rapidly. I braced myself for a hard landing but instead I hit soft dirt, much to my relief. Then I noticed I was still going down. My shoulder was sinking into the dirt as if it were quicksand. Panic took hold as I struggled desperately to free myself from the chair, but only the two legs had broken. My hands and body were still firmly tied to it. I was going to sink into the floor, and there was nothing I could do.
The soil was just starting to touch my cheek when a hand grabbed my shoulder… from inside the ground!
-end of preview-
We hope that wets all your appetites. You can get a different peak inside the novel at the following links:
Nook, Apple, Sony, PDF and other e-readers please use this link:
We hope you enjoy what you've seen here and ask that you please not only grab your own copy, but spread the word as well. Helen and I thank you all for your support and wish you a very Happy Halloween season. Enjoy!
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Helen has been a major force behind my entire Para-Earth Series since the days before I first started to actually write "The Bridge". She's been my confidante, grammar checker, science expert, adviser, and so much more. So without further ado, allow me to let her take over today's blog and answer some questions that we've encountered recently.
Allan has already published 2 books. Why are you now a co-author on his latest?
He’s been doing fine writing on his own, I agree. I always did give him some input and advice on the other books, but while I’ve helped bring in science fiction angles and suggested some ways to improve character development, the other books were all his plots and his writing.
This one is still his plot, but there’s a specific character in it who helps explain some of the scientific elements and who was entirely my creation. We talked a lot about the relationship between my character and the main character, and developed a history together. Then Allan placed him in the rough draft, and asked me to look over all the scenes with him and make adjustments. At first, I didn’t want to touch it too much, because the novels were so much his thing, but there were areas where I really wanted to rewrite most of the scene and… he loved it. I added things that weren’t there, digressions into biology, a non-American viewpoint, and other things that helped.
Developing the relationship between the two characters: let me guess, you created a love interest for your husband’s lead character?
I think The Professor and Nathan would be VERY surprised to have someone take them for lovers. Hopefully The Professor will be very charming to the readers, but he won’t charm most of them *that way*. He’s sort of a bit Professor Challenger-ish, a bit Doctor Who-ish: a sage and a mentor who has oodles of personality.
Is he based on you?
Not much. He’s actually a figure from a dream. When Allan and I were first discussing his ideas for this series and I was giving him feedback and suggestions, I had a dream which had me having the actual viewpoint of Ronnie, the policewoman in the first novel. She went to respond to a call and found a dead man in an upstairs study and another man examining the body. She warned him to stop and he backed away to the window, then did a backflip out of it and ran. Later, he came to the police with a story about invading monsters and a plan to stop them. I was intrigued by him and worked on developing him.
Will you be participating in more of these novels?
Definitely. I’ll be helping with the second part of The Vampire Blogs, probably with a greater role in the plotting and scene development. We’ve also started on a full collaboration, working title The Misty Mountains, set in Santa Cruz again. On that, I’ve been doing at least half of it, I think, and more of the plot development. It’s also going to be far more science fiction than paranormal. The Professor is a major character in that one, along with Johnny and Michelle from The Ship. He’ll be using a different name in that one, so I’m calling him The Professor now to alert people that he basically never uses his real name.
I’ve also been writing a story about a prior adventure of his called Cretaceous Lark.
Why are you skewing things to science fiction? Don’t you like paranormal?
When Allan and I were first discussing the Para-Earth idea, we talked about how the thing that made H. P. Lovecraft’s writings so fascinating was that he gave his horror a science fiction spin. It made it much easier for me to believe. I like reading stories with ghosts and vampires, but the fact is, it tends to increase my awareness that I am reading fiction. When I read stories like “The Colour Out of Space” or “Beyond Ultraviolet”, I was genuinely scared. So we agreed the foundational idea would be science-based. But Allan isn’t confident about science. He loves that I am bringing it in. On the other hand, while I like ghost stories, I don’t think I’ve ever written one. That’s a bit outside my comfort zone. But I have an idea for Alex and The Professor and a ghost that I’d love for Allan to help me with. So basically, we each tend to develop ideas in our strong area and need the other to help build in the other direction.
Do you find it easy to work together, or do you tend to argue?
Easy. I love his ability to pace writing and keep you wanting more, and he’s a fan of my ability to cut through to the meat of a scene. I rely on him to know if something works from the point of view of a reader, and he trusts me to make words sing. Our differences make us better together.
What’s the process like for you, writing together?
Well, with the first book of The Vampire Blogs, as I say, he wrote the first draft and then I took my seat in the writer’s chair and reworked scenes. Plus I kind of demanded he rewrite one area because he forgot two characters were in the scene. But with The Misty Mountains, we talk about what we want to do in advance, and then I wrote the opening and passed it along for him to fill in the first part of the next scene, then we actually wrote some portions in real time together, each at our own computer at a shared file and writing dialog and actions in response, like we were basically improvising as actors, but with writing. Another couple of scenes cutting to minor characters I wrote, and asked him to polish one because it was more in line with his area of knowledge. We have a lot of fun, like when we used to play Dungeons and Dragons together.
What should people know about The Vampire Blogs?
It’s a very funny book, with a lot of heart. Sure, there’s a terrible monster and suspenseful stuff-- but I think people are going to smile a lot. And this is really a regular thing for us. There’s so much to stress about in the real world, fiction should, on balance, make you feel good.
Well, that's all I have for now, except for repeating the announcement that "The Vampyre Blogs - Coming Home" will be released on October 28th, just in time for the Halloween weekend, so keep your eyes open for the links to the various sites where you can get your copy. We'll be posting them soon.
Until next time, as Allan always says in this blog, take care and keep writing.
Monday, October 17, 2016
'The Vampyre Blogs - Coming Home" will be released on October 28th!
That's right folks. Halloween will be arriving a few days early this year, so get ready to grab your own copy of the next installment of the Para-Earth Series. The book will be available in Trade Paperback, Kindle, Nook, Apple, and all other e-readers.
Within these pages of this novel you'll meet a whole new breed of vampire who drinks blood, needs to sleep in the ground, avoids sunlight (because he'll start to sparkle as in slowly spontaneously combusting), and cannot eat garlic. He's also one of the best people you'd ever want to have on your side in a bad situation.
"My name is Nathaniel Eoghan Stewart, in the Spring of 1862 I joined the Union army to help end slavery and preserve our country. As I left, I promised my family I wouldn't let the war change me... but I was wrong, so very wrong..."
Keep watching this page for more entries from some of the other characters you'll be meeting in this the first novel co-written with my wife Helen, who has been an integral part of the science side of the Para-Earth Series since it all began.
If you'd like to learn more about the characters, we have a collection of short stories over on our blog titled "The Vampyre Blogs - Private Edition" (note: None of the short stories appear in the book itself. What you will be getting in the book is a brand new full-length adventure).
Below is the link to the first blog entry, where you will meet Nathan. From there, you can read the rest in order by clicking the word "Newer" at the bottom of the page or check out the Archives section located to the right of the entry.
I hope you enjoy what you find there, and look forward to the novel itself which contains the occasional reference to some of these short stories.