This Blog Sucks (and so does my re-blog, LoL)

I disagree that your blog “sucks,” Brian McKinley! It’s very well done. I must agree, however, that “author” is a much different skill set than “blogger”, and only a relative few authors such as Kristen Lamb have truly mastered the art of “pro-level” blogging. The best strategy for the rest of us is to concentrate on quality over quantity. Blogging at the Kristen Lamb level requires a mastery of various social skills that are NOT necessary for writing great novels (just ask J.D. Salinger!). Even most #1 NYT best-selling authors’ blogs lack the social engagement of Kristen Lamb’s Warrior Writers blog (and many of them have less followers than Lamb does!)

The Ravings of a Sick Mind

I’m going to be brutally honest here: I don’t really get blogs.


I’m only doing this because I want to sell you books. According to popular wisdom, blogs create a platform, which supposedly translates into sales. I’m not quite sure I buy that. Most of my friends and family who really know me and care about me don’t buy my books, so why should I expect you to just because I wrote some snappy article and posted it on a blog?

Blogs are supposed to let readers get to know you and feel a connection, but that doesn’t always make sense to me either. I read Stephen King, Jim Butcher, P.N. Elrod and others because I love their stories and characters. I don’t give a shit what Stephen King bought at the grocery store today or any of the other random garbage that pops up in blogs. I’ve never understood…

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Fresh Blood

An outstanding collection of seriously wicked vampire tales by the authors of Vampire Writers Support Group. (and a cute little satire of Twilight titled “Mary Sue Wants To Die Forever”, by yours truly) 😈

Fresh Blood Cover

Fresh Blood, and I’m in it…

The Vampire Writers Support Group proudly presents “Fresh Blood”, an eclectic collection of short stories set in a dark, blood-soaked world full of vampires.

The authors gracing its pages are Daven Anderson, Matthew E. Banks, Lucy Blue, Jessica Cage, Danielle DeVor, Drusiana, Donna Fernstrom, Donald L. Pitsiladis, Karen Plaisance, Selene MacLeod, Brian Patrick McKinley, Dan Shaurette, Tabitha Grace Smith, Emma Rawlin, and Jay Wilburn.

Amazon Kindle: “Fresh Blood” (Vampire Writers Support Group Anthology Volume 1)

Includes Daven Anderson’s short story “Mary Sue Wants To Die Forever.”

A tour bus driver in Forked River, Washington gives young paranormal romance fan Mary Sue Blake the (bus) ride of her life. 😈

When opposites attract, are they opposites?

I’ve been reading the five novels (so far) in Emily Guido’s Light-Bearer Series.

The central theme is “opposites attract.” The Light-Bearer (angel) Charmeine and her eternal soul mate, Blood-Hunter (vampire) Tabbruis, battle those prejudiced against their “forbidden” mixed relationship (much like my character Jack must overcome his community’s prejudice against special-needs vampires).

As you delve deeper and deeper into the saga, the question becomes: Are the attracting “opposites” in fact opposites, or merely two sides of the same coin?

1992-S JFK Half Dollar

My main character Jack Wendell’s lucky 1992 JFK Half Dollar

In Ransom, Emily titled Chapter 15 “No Shades Of Grey” :twisted:, but by the time we’re that deep into the fifth book of the Series, a whole palette of morality’s grey shades unfolds before your eyes. Just like in Vampire Syndrome: Are the villains really villains from their points of view? Or even the hero’s? A good story makes the hero question who are the heroes and villains. A great story leaves readers with questions of their own. Emily’s Series accomplishes just that, and I would say my work does the same. In Ransom, what is the titular “ransom?” Not what you would you think (even after the end of book 4, Seditious)!

What seems to be a clear “black & white”, “good vs. evil” world in book 1, Charmeine, evolves into a world painted in expressionist flourishes of greyed moral choices.

Leaving us to question if there are even “heroes” and “villains.” We are all but actors on this stage play that we call “life.” The two sides of the coin, telling the tales, singing the songs, same at our core despite our differences. All of our parts important, whether we play hero or villain. All of our free will acting alongside the supreme intelligence force driving the universe, which some would simply call God.

Even Vampires have body issues

Novels are supposed to reveal insights into their characters’ issues.
Usually, these insights come from the character’s thoughts, speech and deeds.

I have run into an interesting exception to this rule, where the two templates for a particular character’s appearance suggest suggest she has an important issue even I hadn’t considered.

Lilith, the President of the Vampires. An attractive “44-year-old” (physical age) in the present time. In my novel’s prologue, set in the 19th Century, she is “31” (physically).

The templates for her appearance are Christina Hendricks for Lilith at ‘age’ 31″ and Julianne Moore for present-day Lilith.

In case you have not compared pictures of the two, Christina Hendricks is of a much more buxom build than Julianne Moore. Hendricks’ body type is in fact historically perfect for the younger Lilith living in the 19th Century, a time when voluptuous, even rubenesque figures were the default ideal for sex appeal.

Then we get to the “44-year-old” Lilith in the present time. Her slim “Julianne Moore” appearance is the modern Hollywood ideal for “sexy”. This would indicate Lilith lost weight to fit in with modern times and body image ideals.

Here’s where the tough issues come in? Is Lilith bulimic or anorexic? Actually, no. She’s a vampire. My (human) vampires can survive on normal food or blood “indefinitely”, with a few limitations. If they subsist on normal food alone, they cannot go “vegetarian” for more than a few days before suffering from malnutrition, as they need to consume blood molecules in some form (which any form of land-animal meat can supply). If they subsist solely on blood, no “bulk” travels through the digestive system. The more abstinence from normal food, the more digestive problems they will have when they do eat normal food. Also, normal food has many nutrients blood lacks, meaning the optimum diet for my living, breathing human vampires is a combination of blood and normal food (since they have functional digestive systems).

The skinny “Hollywood” appearance of modern-day Lilith suggests she has increased her blood-to-normal-food intake ratio past what may be “healthy” for a vampire of her physical age. If this is true, she might get sick if she eats any normal food portions bigger than the decorative pieces found in certain high-end restaurants. 😳

Blood would be one heck of a “no-carb” diet… 😈

And, it just occurred to me that in two different drafts of my novel, at no time is there a scene in which Lilith eats normal food. Odd when most of my other vampire characters had at least one depiction of them eating (a supporting character is even shown to be cooking dinner!). Did I subconsciously intend Lilith to have this issue, a year before her appearance templates were picked?

Such are the mysteries of “Vampire Syndrome.” 😉