The Mouse That Roared—Invasion of the Micro-Trend & Why Indies Hold Increasing Power

Her post explains why I’m glad to be on PDMI instead of the Big Five…

Kristen Lamb's Blog


The Digital Age has arrived, and the ramifications of a connected world are still being revealed daily. But, there’s one trend I’d be hard-pressed to argue with. The 20th Century was all about homogeneity. Madison Avenue flourished by telling us which clothing brands made us cool, which car made us special, what foods were “healthy.” Tower Records controlled what music we heard and The Big Six selected which books we read.

Gatekeepers controlled information and retailers restricted commodities because homogeneity dictated many business decisions. Homogeneity was simpler and required less paperwork and thinking.

Generations bought Wonderbread because it was “fortified with vitamins” and “good for your kids.” In 1986? Hope you liked stirrup pants. There was a cultural need to “fit in” and be like everyone else, especially those who were the “cool kids.”

“Pillars of Same” Go Crashing Down

With the advent of the Internet and widespread use of social…

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Vampire Syndrome Sells Out?

Well, folks, I’ve made the big commitment.
The entire Vampire Syndrome saga (the three main books, short stories, etc.) is now contracted to PDMI Publishing LLC.

Next year is the time for PDMI and “Vampire Syndrome” to Rock And Roll.
The risks are big, but so are the rewards.

I couldn’t be happier to be signed with a publisher on the right path of expansion, ready to reap the rewards of the Big Five’s ever-increasing weaknesses regarding new/midlist authors, as the Big Five tighten the reins on any acquisitions that do not fit into their ever-more-rigid, bottom-dollar-driven marketing formulas.

This gap is becoming so wide, the Big Five are letting potential number-one best-sellers slip through their fingers, leaving these authors to the wilds of e-book self-publishing.
Or right into the arms of an ‘indie’ publisher who is preparing to make the big leap to a larger scale of operations.
The time is right for a company to be what the Big Five used to be decades ago.
A company devoted to quality, with a belief that quality work can succeed.

I would now rather be on PDMI Publishing LLC than any of the Big Five.
Yes, I mean it!
PDMI will support my artistic vision far more than the Big Five ever would, and PDMI is now poised to reap the rewards of success in a way they never were before.

And I can honestly say this for one reason: I know enough now to where I could re-write Vampire Syndrome to be a sure-fire Big Five contract-getter.
But I don’t want to.
With PDMI behind me, you get Vampire Syndrome the way it was meant to be.
Not a version crippled to fit the Big Five’s narrow templates. And what scares even me is that 90+% of Vampire Syndrome’s basic plot is retained in the “Alt” storyline… 😈
And, without further ado, here is that version:


Seventeen year old JACQUELINE KENNEDY (“Jackie”) WENDELL, high school state champion track star, prom queen and class valedictorian (and NOT differently abled); dances at the prom with a Prom King who has Down Syndrome. (the “token nod” to the original project, as often seen in bad Hollywood movie butcherings of novels)

Later that night, Jackie succumbs to the charms of outlaw Vampire gang member JAMES PERRINO. Jackie’s one-night stand with James transforms her into a Vampire (note that the sexual transmission method of vampirism stays!).

Chief Venator DAMIEN TEPESH sights Jackie with James and targets the pair for death. Damien kills James and the rest of his outlaw comrades, but Jackie escapes, because she is now the world’s fastest-running Vampire.

Vampire President LILITH MORRIGAN secretly sympathizes with Jackie’s plight, due to her own marital troubles. Lilith sequesters Jackie in the Secret Room, and begins to realize Jackie’s incredible potential as the world’s fastest-running Vampire.

Damien contacts Romanian Venator ZETANIA VINESCU to hunt down Jackie. Lilith assigns Zetania to protect Jackie. Once they meet, lesbian Zetania immediately falls in love with Jackie. Bisexual Jackie consummates this mutual attraction with Zetania.

(Note here that Jackie’s bisexuality serves as the “controversial, daring and ground-breaking issue” to ‘replace’ Jack’s special-needs status. The YA target audience is very accepting of bisexuality, and the inevitable pockets of parental controversy add a ‘cool’ cachet. Zetania is also reduced in age to physical-equivalent eighteen years old, since this worked for Edward Cullen in Twilight.)

Zetania and Jackie, now a couple, encounter Jackie’s former track coach RON PEPPER and his wife DIANE during a cattle mutilation investigation. Jackie discloses her Vampire status to the Peppers. Damien and Lilith visit the Peppers shortly thereafter, and transform the pair into Vampires via a “vampire wife swap”.

Jackie receives a telepathic message from Pure Vampire MEL’AG, who is hiding in the distance. Mel’Ag runs to her boyfriend TIVOR’S truck and escapes the human Vampires’ pursuit. (Note that the reason for Jackie’s telepathic ability is never explained in this version!)

Jackie and Zetania go to the Vampires’ headquarters, and are presented with bravery medals by Damien and Lilith.

Jackie’s plans to move to Romania with Zetania are rudely interrupted when Mel’Ag and Tivor break into the compound and kidnap Jackie. Damien, Lilith, Zetania and others leap into their cars to pursue Mel’Ag and Tivor in a wild car chase through US 285. Jackie escapes her captors and runs to the Peppers’ car.

Jackie and Zetania fly in Lilith’s jet to Romania to live happily ever after, which of course they won’t. As they walk hand-in-hand inside the gates of the Romanian compound, Jackie gets another telepathic message. This time. it’s from the Pures’ leader GL’AG.

(the end of “Alt-Version” Volume One)


Thanks to PDMI, you won’t have to suffer through reading this kind of butcher job. 🙂

Next Big Thing interview questions

Tagged by Deadly Ever After blog.

What is the title of your book?
Vampire Syndrome

Where did the idea come from for the book?
I finished reading the four Twilight books, and thought I could write something better. A special-needs vampire protagonist hero was the first thing that came to mind.

What genre does your book fall under?
Two versions, young adult and “erotica”.
I wrote one little vampire wife swap scene and I get tagged “erotica”! Geez Louise… 😉

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
An unknown young male actor with Down Syndrome as Jack
Christian Bale as Damien
Jessica Chastain as Lilith
Minka Kelly as Zetania
Alan Cumming as Les

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Can Down Syndrome vampire Jack Wendell overcome his fellow vampires’ prejudice against his kind and take his rightful place in the vampire community?

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I’m signed to PDMI Publishing.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
First draft in omniscent POV = six months. Ground-up re-write in limited-multi first-person POV’s = another year and a half!

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
My book is truly unique in its genre. There are no other books I know of that feature a special-needs vampire. Basically, if you take the mawkish sentimentality out of Forrest Gump, then add vampires, sex, violence and aliens, you have “Vampire Syndrome”. 😈

Who or What inspired you to write this book?
The special-needs individuals I’ve worked with for the past two decades inspired me to create a dignified, wise special-needs hero that they could be proud of! 😀

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
I invented a whole new vampire mythos that makes sense in both scientific and folkloric terms. There are two types of vampires in my story, humans and “Pures” (the latter are humanoid carnivorous predators of extra-terrestrial origin). Pures’ skin burns in sunlight, due to their home plant having full cloud cover, and they are averse to garlic/onions because no acidic plants exist on their home planet. Pures also have inner gravity (enabling them to cling to walls and ceilings) and are “immortal” (ie: no “end-of-life” sequence in their DNA).

The interesting factor here is that the human vampires traditionally view special-needs vampires as a liability, but the fearsome Pures see the potential in Jack. 😉

Real spooky stuff for Halloween

Disney buys “Star Wars”

Random House Penguin

“Random House Penguin”: sounds like a Captain Beefheart lyric or a Zippy catchphrase, doesn’t it?

A few years from now, the people in my critique group will still be trying to get signed on HachHarpMacmilPengRandSimoSchuHouse, or whatever the “Big One” will be called. 😈