Thursday, July 14, 2011

Blood Divided Book Trailer

video
I finally got the book trailer for BLOOD DIVIDED done.  It's actually hard coming up with a short recap of a novel for these things.  Obviously a whole lot more goes on in the novel than what is revealed here, but you have to keep them short and sweet. 

I liked the music.  I like the "heartbeat" sounding beat in the background.  And the fact that "Darkness is coming" is sung over and over.  The Darkness Matthew carries inside is real and very important to the plot of this book. 

Enjoy.

Monday, July 11, 2011

BLOOD DIVIDED

Here's the history of this gem. 

Blood Divided was written in 1990.  It passed through most all the NY Publishing houses, and through the hands of two agents.  I got a lot of wonderful feedback from editor's concerning it.  But the disheartening thing was, nobody could pigeon-hole it into a "slot" and so it was passed up time and time again.  One of the recurring comments was "It is too historical for our horror line."  I couldn't understand their reasoning.  What are vampires, if not historical? But the information editors shared with my agents at the time was enough inspiration for me to keep this manuscript hidden away in my closet.

I dug it out recently and cleaned it up and submitted it to Evening Post Books as they were looking for local authors, and I also worked there.  They accepted it and paid me 1/2 the advance, signed a contract, and then sat on it.  Up until last January 10 (2011) I heard nothing but wonderful things from the publisher and editor that were working on it.  I was even asked to start thinking of cover designs for it, and promotional info.  And then something happened and suddenly out of the blue they deemed it to be "unpublishable".  I'm still at a loss as to what happened.  I suspect they didn't want to spend the money on the project as the newspaper business is in the toilet right now (Evening Post Books is a subsidary of Evening Post Publisher, the Charleston South Carolina newspaper.).  I was forced to seek legal council, which really hit my wallet hard.  But I was glad I did as my lawyer told me that if at all possible to get out of the contract because it was horrible (all one-sided to the publisher's advantage).  When I met with the publisher I let him tell me that he didn't want to publish it, and I was fine with that.  He broke the contract, but I still had to pay the advance back (and that REALLY sank my bank account, I'm broke as hell now).  But I walked away feeling good because I was going to be true to my book and get it out there my way, come hell or high water.

So here we are today.  The book has been edited once and is now being proof-read and will have one more copy-edit and then it will be released as Book Two of my Charleston Vampire Chronicles. 

The title reveals basically what's going on in this book.  I don't want to give too much away, but the main character has a lot of learning to do and a lot of self discovery to undergo.  The book begins in 1674 and ends present day.  This isn't a teenaged angst-ridden vampire story, it's one that is character driven and full of memorable characters and wonderful history.  It's been a long time coming and I can't wait to get it out there for readers like you to enjoy.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Why I Wrote Blood Thirst

Someone asked me why I wrote Blood Thirst.  My immediate answer was, "because I'm a writer" but really its much more than that.  You see, sometimes there is no option.  I HAVE to write.  A story, a character, a situation builds and builds in my head until it has to come out.  It's that simple.

Blood Thirst was my answer to a dream I had about an old black guy tooling around Charleston in a beautifully refurbished 1957 Chevy, candy apple red and white and those big fins.  Don't as me the model, I don't know, but it was a cool car, and that's what started the story.  I had no idea who this old black guy was and as I let him invade my mind he told me his name and his backstory and then he became a vampire.

From there the story grew to include Ainjul and Matthew, but honestly Elijah was the original character of Blood Thirst.

When I wrote him, I painstakingly researched the Gullah language.  I wrote it very precisely and it was the first thing my editor had me change.  She said, "the average reader will not take the time to read this."  And I had to admit, she was correct.  So using the examples she sent me, Elijah's Gullah dialect became instead plain ole "Southern".

An exciting fact about Blood Thirst is that I had sent a copy to Anne Rice.  Her vampire stories inspired me, (and I'm sure she inspired a LOT of vampire authors) and I DID mention her books in my book, my character, Ainjul, actual reads The Vampire Lestat.   Anyway, my agent at the time was representing Katherine Ramsland  (She wrote the biography of Anne Rice. )  My agent had made a trip to New Orleans and had stayed at Anne Rice's home.  She called to tell me that my book, Blood Thirst, was on the nightstand in the guest bedroom.  Boy, that was such a thrill to know that not only had Anne Rice received the book, she had it on the nightstand!  I have to laugh today... she probably didn't read it, LOL.  But one never knows.
 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Ainjul, revisited

Ainjul is the main character of my first book, BLOOD THIRST.
She has a reprised role in the 2nd book, BLOOD THIRST, but something happens to her that leaves her incapacitated for over a year. I've decided that she needs to tell what's going on with her during that time, because even though her body can't move, her brain is very active and she's one unhappy camper.

I am going to write a short story for Ainjul to explain what's going on with her.  Hopefully I'll have it ready to go by the time the trilogy is published.  I'm thinking of offering it as an ebook only, maybe even free.  Haven't decided yet.  It will depend on how much time I have to put into it.  With writing you just never know.  Sometimes the character's spew their stories so quickly I can hardly keep pace with them.  Other times I have to work hard to get their stories on paper.  I think Ainjul is ready to spew :)  She's pretty pi$$ed off.

So that's what's happening with The Charleston Vampire Chronicles today.  Stay tuned to learn more...

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

So Much To Learn About Publishing

I've been doing a lot of research on publishing.  There is a lot to learn, from creating PDF files to coming up with cover designs, using new software and figuring out how various sites work.

I've not decided yet which company I will use to print the books.  Publishing as an ebook doesn't seem that difficult, but the print books... that's another story.

Live and learn.  Onward and upward.  I am determined to figure out how it all works and to publish a professional book(s).

In the meantime, I've revamped my website.  Check it out. www.lafingdog.com  I really have to thank my wonderful boy, Ruger, for posing with the reading glasses and the book under his paw.  He's the best guy.
He's promised to help me sell books.  I think he makes a perfect "pitch" man, don't you.  And of course my black lab, Remington, tries hard to be like his brother, but he always falls a bit short.  I still love him.

So, back to researching.  The day can't get her soon enough to get these books published!!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Synopsis

It's a daunting task  before me.  I need to come up with a synopsis for the entire trilogy.  I'm not sure how I'm going to manage it.  I want it short and to the point but then again I have three novels to cover, so short may be asking way too much.  I dunno.

Also need to come up with cover "blurbs" describing each novel so the reader will want to open the cover and actually read the story.  I've been putting off doing this because I'm just not good at this type of writing.  But I do need to buckle down and get on with it.

And there's the website, or lack thereof.  My current website might have to be transformed into a place to sell the books.  That's a solution, and one I'm thinking of.  I'd be working on it right now except my little book with all my passwords is at home, and I'm at work, and I don't know the freakin' password to get into my site to work on it.  Too many passwords, don't'cha know!

So this post has absolutely nothing to do with vampires and a lot to do with nothing :)

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Finished Editing Book Three

It was a bittersweet moment when I read the last sentence of the last book.  BLOOD FEUD will now be passed on to my proofreader and copy editor.  But the good thing is, it shouldn't be long now until I start the actual publishing process.  Yeah!

And, as much as I hate doing it, I will also have to start being my own PR person and set up book signings and tv spots locally.  I'm going in with the attitude of HAVING FUN.  Hopefully I'll sell books along the way.

Will post progress reports as I begin publishing the Charleston Vampire Chronicles! 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Vampire Power Play

In my third novel, BLOOD FEUD, my characters get tangled up in a mystery that continues to grow deeper as they try to solve it.  They surprised me with all the twists and turns they threw at me.  Yes, my characters sometimes take the reins and create their own stories.  It's fun.  It's the part of writing that I enjoy the most.

Here's a bit of their conversation from Chapter 32


Chapter 32

Marcus moved to the refrigerator and grabbed two bottles of blood, and this time I did not refuse. I had a feeling I was going to need all the strength I could get to listen to whatever it was he was about to reveal to me. He took his bottle and sat at the kitchen table. I pulled the chair out opposite him and sat down as well. I took a long drink of the blood and let it go down cold. It hit my belly like a punch to the gut, but soon fanned outward to set my insides moving on that glorious internal roller coaster ride.
"Travall is the reason I split from Vanguard," Marcus said. "As you've just said, he's not family, and yet Bishop granted him so much power, and so much leeway, that it pissed me off, for centuries. I finally couldn't take it any longer. Bishop gave me no explanation where Travall was concerned. To this day I don't understand the relationship there. I don't know why Bishop gave him the power he has. And worse still, I watched for years as Travall misused that power. I've confronted Bishop about it more times than I can tell you, and Bishop always took Travall's side," Marcus said.
I took another drink and just let my mind chew on the information Marcus was telling me. The fact that Travall was not family, but had been granted a prestigious position of power made me question Bishop's motives. There had to be a connection between him and Travall.
"Do you suppose they were lovers?" I asked.
Marcus literally choked on the blood he was swallowing. He regained his composure. "Where the hell did that come from?"
"Like you said, Travall is not family. Bishop has to have a motive. I don't think it's unthinkable."
"Travall is not that old. I'm older. If Bishop had a relationship with him, I'd have seen it. Neither of them have that kind of bond. And as you know, we don't consummate our love in a physical sense, it's all through the blood."
"I know, I'm just thinking out loud. Could Travall be the son of someone Bishop loved in the past? Could he be family of someone Bishop cared about? There has to be a connection."
Marcus finished his bottle of blood and set the empty down with a bang. "There's something else you need to know."
I looked at him. I began to realize he was a master at leaking bits and pieces of information to me. I wished he would just lay it all out on the line. But it seemed he had to reveal things at his own pace, and that was a bit infuriating.
"I suspected Travall of killing your husband," he said.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Vampires, Who Do You Love?

I grew up with vampires.  I was a Dark Shadows groupie.  I ran home from the school bus and sat spellbound as Barnabas Collins stalked around with his cane and that ring on his finger.  I loved it.  Jonathan Frid was my first taste of the undead.  My mind was warped forever.

Of course I liked Dracula and I stayed up late nights watching old B movies with Bela Lugosi and Christopher Lee.

Then came Cliffhangers in the 1970's.  Michael Nouri was a stunning vampire and I was once again spellbound to watch him on television each week.  But that was a short lived show.

Moving on, I fell in love with Forever Knight and Geraint Wyn Davies. I liked the flashbacks when they'd delve into his past.  I loved Janette, she was awesome in her role as the barkeeper.  And I even loved  Nick's mortal partner, Schanke.

The Lost Boys, what can I say.  Keifer Sutherland as a vampire was weird, but the storyline was cool and I enjoyed it.

I never really got into Buffy, I didn't see many of the episodes but need to pick them up sometime and give them a go.

Oddly, Tom Cruise was an okay Lestat, I was expecting to hate him in the role, but I didn't.  I much preferred Stuart Townsend's portrayal of Lestat in The Queen of the Damned.

The more recent, Moonlight, with Alex O'Loughlin was a fantastic show, with a great storyline going, and then CBS cancelled it. 

I am one of the few who is NOT a True Blood Fan.  I couldn't get past the nudity and sex in the first season and turned it off.

On the other hand, I've really enjoyed The Vampire Diaries.  Ian Somerhalder is FANTASTIC as an immortal, he's got the look, the moods, the humor.

Can't abide the Twilight vampires.  Robert Pattinson is just butt assed ugly and that turned me off from the get-go.

So those are some of my favorite and not so favorite on screen vampires.  I'm sure some of you have your favorites.  How about it?  Who did/do you like.  What undead blood sucker turns you on?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Can Vampires and Dogs co-exist?

Can Vampires and Dogs co-exist.  I think probably not in most cases as dogs are very sensitive to what vampires are.  However, I have featured a Great Dane in my first novel, BLOOD THIRST.  He was an awesome dog and he became a vampire dog.  Tragically, it did not go well for him, but he certainly is an endearing character.

In my third novel, BLOOD FEUD I've added a few more dogs.  Rhana and Laser are Border Collies.  They are owned and loved by one of my immortal characters.  Although they aren't the stars of the book, they do have their moment to shine.

Here is an excerpt from BLOOD FEUD, featuring Rhana and Laser.  Enjoy.


Chapter 18

We met up with Elisha Hatairik once again. She was seated at her desk and she looked up as David ushered me into her office. We both sat in the straight-backed leather chairs across from her.
"I'm glad you're going to be joining us," she said. "We just need to do a little bit of paperwork to process you, then I'll answer any questions you may have."
Her tone was sincere and as she flashed me one of her mirthful smiles.  Her demeanor put me at ease immediately.
Movement caught my eye and I glanced down. A tail wagged under her desk, I saw it going back and forth. It was black with a white tip and long feathery hair. "Do you have a dog under there?" I asked.
"Two," she said. "Rhana, Laser," she called their names and both dogs eagerly appeared beside her. They stood on hind legs, propping their front feet on either side of her chair, and gazed at her with complete love in their expressions. They were Border Collies. Their markings looked identical: same black coats, same white blazes, same white paws, same white tip on the tails. I couldn't tell them apart.
"Rhana, bring the bag please," Elisha said. The dog on her right jumped down and went under the desk again. When it came out and rounded the edge of the desk, I was elated to see that it carried my bag in its mouth.
"My bag! Oh my God, you have my bag!" I took the bag from Rhana. I dug around inside and found that everything was there.
"I had it cleaned for you. Everything that could be salvaged, was," Elisha said.
"Oh, you don't know how much this means to me." I said.
"Laser, go get the gun," she told the other dog.
Laser trotted out of the cubicle and came back about a minute later with my Ruger held carefully in his mouth. He set it in my hand and cocked his head inquisitively.
"Thank you Laser," I said.
I swear the dog winked at me and then he moved back to Elisha's side.
"Where did you get such smart dogs," I was impressed.
"I found a breeder outside of Savannah. Her dogs excel in the breed ring and at performance. Rhana and Laser are very special, aren't you?" she said. The dogs eagerly accepted her praise.  "A lot of dogs won't tolerate us, immortals that is, but these two are amazing. At times I think they're smarter than me. I have to come up with chores for them to do everyday, to keep their minds busy." Elisha beamed as she spoke about her dogs.
I watched as she gave them a silent hand signal. Both dogs immediately sat beside her wheelchair and watched her intently.
"Now, let's get your signature here, and here," she said. She slid several papers across her desk.

Update on my Vampire Chronicles

If you haven't heard, my publisher backed out of the contract for BLOOD DIVIDED and therefore I am moving forward to epublish the entire trilogy.  BLOOD THIRST, BLOOD DIVIDED and BLOOD FEUD make up The Charleston Vampire Chronicles.  I'm very excited to be working on this publishing venture and I know some of you are waiting eagerly to read the new books.

As we stand right now, BLOOD THIRST is being copy edited.  The cover design is done and as soon as we give it one more read through it will be published via smashwords.com and also createspace.com (printed copies)  This novel is a revised edition.  It was originally published in 1989 by Pinnacle Books, a division of Kensington.  It is the story of Angela Trenton, aka Ainjul, and told by her. She is brutally attacked and left for dead, but endures and is turned by a kindly black vampire named Elijah.  Through Elijah she learns that Matthew Trenton was the vampire who attacked her, and she vows revenge.  When she finally confronts Matthew she finds out she looks exactly like his long dead sister, Maria.  As she learns of Matthew's past she has a change of heart and revenge takes a back seat.  She knows she needs Matthew because she has to find out how to live among the world of the undead.

I've actually had folks as me If I am L.J. Smith (creator of the Vampire Diaries) because my book has a lot of similarities to hers.  No, I am not L. J. Smith.  My novel, BLOOD THIRST, came out before L.J. Smith's novels, so the reverse would be true, her books have similarities to mine.  And I don't mind. Great minds think alike.

I haven't made a lot of changes to BLOOD THIRST, but there are a few things that have been tweeked.  For one, Ainjul doesn't admit she loves Matthew at the end.  This is so her character development gels better with the upcoming sequels :)

I'll will post more on the other novels soon.  And I will make a better effort to keep up with this blog as I hit the publication of these books at a dead run :)

~Linda

Monday, January 24, 2011

Vampire Guts?

I've often thought about what makes a vampire... a vampire.  I can describe what my vampire characters look like on the outside, but what about inside?

I've written a little bit about what I think happens inside the body when a human becomes a vampire.  This is my opinion only based on nothing but my imagination and thought.  All of my characters (that have been 'turned') lose organs that will not be necessary for their life as an 'undead' creature.  The reproductive organs are the most visible thing to 'go'.  (i.e, my vampires notice this ;).  Do they care?  No.  Why not?  Because the human sexual urges are gone.  They are now controlled by blood alone.  Having said that, it is very evident in my books that the blood (and lust for it) is all consuming.  The act of drinking blood is indeed sexual to them.  The way it makes them feel physically is ten times beyond what physical sex was for them (or so they have exclaimed in some of my writing.)

Of course there are people today who have studied vampire lore.  They analyze why so many (of us) are attracted to vampires.  They publish papers about the sexuality of vampires, what its supposed to mean, how Freud would see it, etc.  But I say, balderdash!  Unless you are a vampire you have no clue what it feels like or what it means ;)

But you can imagine.

I often think that the circulatory system of a vampire has grown into this enormous tangled mess of arteries and veins.  I think the heart of a vampire grows, and I have sometimes entertained the idea that the vampire might have more than one heart.  I think the bone marrow becomes super charged and pumps out stem cells at an alarming rate, thus enabling the vampire to regenerate quickly, never get sick, never die (unless beheaded, burned, and spread).  In essence I think the inside of a vampire is one huge circulatory system that keeps the body animated and keeps the brain nourished. 

Think on that.  Or not.  :)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What's in a name?

When I sit down to write, one of the hardest things for me is coming up with appropriate names for my characters.  Sometimes it just doesn't gel together until I'm deep into the story.  Often I'll go ahead and write and just call someone "BLANK"  or "PUTTHEIRNAMEHERE" in my manuscript.  It's quite funny to be reading through my manuscripts and still thinking "what in the heck is his/her name!"

 But my characters never fail me.  They always, eventually, come up with their own names.  I'll be writing along and suddenly I realize I'm not writing "BLANK" anymore, but actually writing, "You can call me Matthew."
 
Matthew Trenton is the main character of my novel, BLOOD DIVIDED, (due to be released autumn 2011).  His full name is Charles Matthew Francis Trenton.  He kinda blew me away with that.  Honestly.  But Matthew suits him.  It means, "Gift of God."  I blew him away with that ;)  In a way, I think it's fitting.  Although he's a vampire he is still searching for a way to find forgiveness.  He still believes in God.  He struggles with what's left of his humanity.  And as he does, he endears himself to the reader.

I can't wait for ya'll to read his story.  Available this fall from eveningpostbooks.com

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

It's After Midnight

I've just created this blog and my brain is fried as I've been trying to learn all the ins and outs of doing blogging and twitters, etc.  It's already after midnight.  I feel like a vampire... which reminds me... I hope to talk a LOT about my vampire novels in this blog. 

 Sorry that this is so short, but I'm going to head out for now and I'll be back after the sun goes down tomorrow to continue.  Until then, wear a turtleneck ;)