Scary Musings on the Future

Ah, the 2010’s, the decade where it all fell apart. 😈

As this nightmare decade draws to a close, I sit back on the sidelines and contemplate where the creative world is now, how it became that way, and what will be in the future.
We all know damn well that “Harry Potter” and “Twilight” would not get published now, in fact they almost weren’t published back in the day.
Twilight Was Rejected Fourteen Times Before Being Accepted

How Many Times Was Harry Potter Rejected By Publishers?
The Answer:

Twelve times or twenty-two times, but this doesn’t help you understand the present-day publishing climate.

The internet and the self-publishing industry have changed since the mid-1990s when Harry Potter was published. Rowling sent her submissions in as hardcopy and you would need to multiply twenty-two by at least a factor of four to get a reasonable comparison.

How many authors today are willing to get rejected (or ignored) hundreds of times?

Only the crazy ones, I’d guess.

“The Hunger Games” might still make it to print today, but it sure as hell would not be a movie trilogy in this Marvel day and age.

So now that the “movie-from-book” Golden Goose is cooked, what happens when the Marvel movie arcs runs their course, as is eventually inevitable?

Not my circus, not my white elephants… 😈

Skeleton Writer

Why I Started Writing

In 1983, a young auto-shop student named Daven Anderson was reading Stephen King’s new novel “Christine.” Daven loved the story, but he found the factual errors King made describing its 1958 Plymouth “protagonist” to be as distracting as they were amusing. Daven swore then that if he ever wrote a novel, it would have no errors in its car descriptions.

Twenty-six years later, Daven borrowed the four Twilight saga novels. Upon reading the ending of “Breaking Dawn,” he thought “I could write something better.” That same day, he laid the foundations for the Vampire Syndrome saga.

Daven started with a brainstorming exercise: “Imagine all your co-workers as vampires.” Daven’s twenty years of working retail offered him a cornucopia of choices, but the most intriguing possibilities for characters were his co-workers with special needs.

Thus was born Jack Wendell, a Special Olympics champion sprinter who becomes a vampire. Since Daven would not settle for writing just a vampire version of Forrest Gump, he needed an antagonistic vampire world that would challenge Jack’s life right from the moment of his transformation.

Enter Lilith, the President of the Vampires; and her husband Damien, the Chief Venator (law enforcer). A couple that challenge each other’s existence, not just Jack’s. Trapped in a 253-year train-wreck of a marriage, which was inspired by the gleeful nihilism of “The War Of The Roses” and “Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry.”

Jack also needed a friend to guide him through the first steps of his new life. Enter Zetania Vinescu, Chief Venator of Romania. Damien orders Zetania to kill Jack. Lilith over-rides her husband and orders Zetania to protect Jack. Zetania forced to play a cat-and-mouse game to save Jack from her fellow Venators.

By the time Daven went to bed that fateful night, he had created the four main characters and several key story elements, all of which are present in the published novels.

The next day, Daven accepted the challenge of reconciling science with the world’s vampire folklore. This ultimately led him to add a race of alien vampires, the Pures, and ascribe certain folkloric attributes (ie: harmed by sunlight and garlic) exclusively to this species.

The Vampire Syndrome saga is the culmination of years of Daven’s meticulous research and story crafting, expertly weaving truth and fiction into a seamless whole as never before. At last, a vampire saga where everything makes sense. And yes, even the cars are accurate, fulfilling the decades-old promise Daven made to himself.

A million people said they could write something “better.” Daven Anderson bought his version of “better” to life, and thanks to PDMI Publishing LLC, you too can read the “better” vampire saga.

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. 😈

The Metaphor

One of the many little details hiding in Vampire Syndrome is a metaphor.

Is is the human condition? Well, I do have the alien Pure Vampires, whose DNA bought about the existence of the genetically-mutated human Vampires. The “Humans”, as the Pures call the human Vampires, embrace their humanity with passion, even when they shouldn’t. The “Normals” (non-vampire humans) deem the human Vampires monsters, but of course no human ever considers themselves to be a monster, human Vampires included.

So, we have these beings that are basically human, yet infused with basal, predatory urges, courtesy of the mutations performed to their DNA sequence by the Pures’ DNA.
A metaphor for the human condition?
Yes, and a rather illuminating one (if I presume to say so myself).

But that’s not the metaphor I’m referring to.
The combative relationship between the human Vampires and the Pures is a metaphor for the vampire itself.

How the evolution of culture has shifted the vampire from the grave-escaping revenants of old-world folklore to the sympathetic, revered heroes of romance.
And how the core supporters of the “classic monster” verbally joust with paranormal romance fans.
Vampire versus Vampire. Old versus new. Demon versus angel.
What the vampire was, versus what the vampire is.

Not to worry, my human Vampires are not “totally Twilight”. Damien and Lilith are as twisted as their rocky 253-year marriage. Zetania feels disconnected from Normal humans after the last of her Normal human family died off. And Jack’s battle to be the champion of human Vampires will far exceed even the challenges he faced in becoming a record-setting Special Olympics champion athlete.

Yet each values their humanity. The difference between them and the carnivorous Pures. The two-legged sharks striking terror in the hearts of all human Vampires.
An apex of fear the Normal humans will never know, except in their collective subconscious. The demon monster of old, refusing to die, rising forth once more to challenge its progeny, the human Vampires of today’s stories.

Even mine.

A Tale Of Two Victorias

Victoria Run
Look out, it’s the Lady in the Water, disguised as Victoria! Run!
😈

The Twilight Saga: Just The Stares

Finally, Honest Trailers takes us straight to the true essence of the Twilight saga! 😈

(yes, it is a bit surrealist to watch 24+ minutes of staring!)

How to blow a customer’s mind

Today at work, a middle-age male customer had a Breaking Dawn Part 2 Blu-Ray in his shopping cart.

Obviously for his two adolescent daughters, who were with him.

When I finished ringing up the order, I said: “There’s a million people out there who said they could write something better than Twilight. Meet the one who did.”

I handed him a copy of Vampire Syndrome.

They were studying my novel, going “cool”.

The kicker was, they didn’t seem to realize it was my creation until I pointed to my “Daven” name tag, and said “Not too many guys out there with my first name, and as you can see it’s not just a pen name.”

Another copy of my novel, sold! 😀

Breaking Dawn Part 2: Better than the novel?!

Ah, what blasphemies I bring forth unto you! How can such be? The mere thought of a moving picture surpassing the printed word! The canes of discipline beg to strike my posterior in a most aggressive repetition.

Alas, dear readers, it has happened before. Who among us would dare to differ that even Peter Benchley’s sterling work in Jaws lacked a certain instinctual impact that one could only achieve from the witness of a mechanical shark named Bruce? ‘Twas so nice to savor quiet reposes in the deserted waters of the Los Angeles beaches circa 1975 a.d., the would-be throngs of bathers held at bay by the recall of the emerging fin and its ominous tone of accompaniment.

In the darkened twilight of the theatre, the vortex of energy from adolescent hormones would sate the most thirsty of psychic-energy vampires, leaving them full as ticks. 😈

The paid broadcasts before the feature presentation bought forth a most odd twist of what their purchasers suppose to be “demographics”. Who among the adolescent assemblance would know of these painted minstrels of generations past, or for that matter the mechanized magnetic reels used to relay their fortissimo fortitude to the common folk?

After such miscues, it was of most welcome relief to sight the fine lass Mrs. Bella Cullen finally released from her weakened state of servitude to the human condition. Verisimilitude via vampirism, the most dramatic allegory of maturation to the adult state.

And for we, dear readers, the moving picture form releases us from seeing the tale through Bella’s limitations. Differences thereof most readily apparent even years before, guided to ultimate form in the saga’s ultimate film. The screen affixed us in the clairvoyance of Alice, allowing us to visualize the visceral version of a future path not taken. A future surpassing the peaceful forever of the Cullen clan, many would propose. A future satiating the audience’s primordial lust for combat, the ghostly apparitions of gladiators embedded in our collective consciousness, springing forth once more to entertain generations anew.

But let us not forget that it is the printed word that lays the foundation for the visions that we seek.

Mary Sue Wants To Die Forever

My short story “Mary Sue Wants To Die Forever” is now featured in Fresh Blood (Vampire Writers Support Group Anthology, Volume 1)

The Real World Of Harry Potter

The Real World of Harry Potter
©July 15, 2011 by Daven Anderson

The Harry Potter saga has been a significant source of inspiration for my novel, Vampire Syndrome. No, my muse is not Severus Snape. Or Remus Lupin, for that matter. What has inspired me the most is the seamless interweaving of the magical and muggle worlds, and the power with which it bonds to all Harry Potter readers. Would any muggle pass up the opportunity to take one of London’s many Harry Potter Tours? The only downside: you might have to keep an eye on your kids to make sure they don’t smash luggage trolleys into the Platform 9¾ wall or try sneaking into the actual building used for the exterior shots of Gringotts Bank.

The power of blending fantasy and reality worlds is not limited to Harry Potter. Just ask anyone who’s been to Forks, Washington, recently. Before Twilight, you couldn’t have dragged the average young girl there, kicking and screaming. Now, if you’re a parent, your adolescent daughter(s) will drag you there, kicking and screaming. Good thing I have a pulse and my skin doesn’t sparkle, or the ever-present mob of middle-school-age girls prowling the streets of Forks would have ripped me to pieces in piranha-like fashion.

Many of us living in the Denver area write stories based in Colorado. We seem to be following a variation of an ancient rule, in this case expressed as “write where you know.” Why not? It worked for Joanne Rowling. Who among us wouldn’t smile standing next to the “real” Platform 9¾, walking into the Leaky Cauldron, or even driving your rental (excuse me, hire) car over the bridge where the Knight Bus squeezed past the double-decker buses?

Joanne Rowling made the most of her location. So should all other authors. Don’t all authors harbor the dream that people would tour our novel’s locations with the enthusiasm of those currently visiting London or Forks?

My vampire novel is set right here in Colorado. An odd choice? Ten years ago, Forks, Washington, would have seemed just as bizarre. Like Rowling, I make the most of my setting. Does anywhere else in the world have a better candidate for a “vampire” statue than Denver International Airport’s menacing, mysterious Blue Mustang? Conventional wisdom says never judge a book by its cover, but we all know people do anyway! It was a bit more complex to explain why vampires would choose to live in a location with over 300 days of sunshine a year, but I managed. This required some new interpretation of classic folklore. Again, why not? Stephenie Meyer chose cloud-covered, rainy Forks so her vampires could keep their sparkling skins hidden from direct sunlight.

For millions of readers, Rowling made actual locations magical and her fantasy world real. Others’ stories should do the same.