Thursday, March 24, 2016
It's been a while since I last wrote anything here, but that was mostly because I haven't seen Nathan since just after New Year's Day. Dad told me Nathan had gone off to Europe for a couple of months and that he'd be back around June. But the fact that none of us had gotten a phone call or e-mail, made me start to worry. I began to think that telling Nathan I was in love with him during my Sweet Sixteen party had scared him off or something.
The thought got so strong that I barely ate any dinner and headed off for a walk as soon as the sun went down. Of course I headed downtown and eventually found myself staring up at the building that housed "The Crypt". Being a Sunday night, the club was closed, yet I spotted lights on in a couple of the third floor windows.
I knew Nathan rented out some of the rooms up there as studios to local artists, musicians, and dancers. But last I heard, none of the rooms were currently being used. Curious, I decided to head inside and check things out.
Pulling out the set of keys that Nathan had given me as part of my birthday gift last December, I unlocked the main doors and let myself in. Like most older buildings around here there was a short flight of steps that led to a lobby that felt right out of a 1940's Noir film.
Naturally the area was empty, but it was also very silent. After standing and listening near the main stairs that led to the upper floors, I decided that whoever was up there was not a musician or dancer. It could have been one of the artists, or... it was Nathan himself.
That last thought got my feet moving.
Taking the steps two-at-time, reached the second floor within seconds. Pausing at the landing I didn't see any signs of life anywhere. There were no lights coming from underneath any of the doors in that hallway, nor was there any sounds of music or movement.
But that made sense. After all I saw the lights on the third floor. So I started on the next flight of steps then stopped about halfway up. If whoever was up there wasn't Nathan or any of his 'renters' I could be busting in on someone who didn't belong here, like a prowler or some gang-bangers.
Carefully I pulled out my cellphone and made sure it was in Silent Mode. Then I put it in my hand with a finger over the 9 key, in case there was trouble. Bracing myself, I continued up the rest of the steps as quietly as possible. When I reached the landing I carefully peaked around the corner.
It was empty and I noted that several doors were open, including one or two which had lights on in them.
I waited but didn't hear any sound, nor did I spot any shadows moving in the lit rooms. Feeling a little more confident I headed down the hallway. I was wearing sneakers instead of my usual Goth-style boots, which muffled my footsteps.
Soon I reached the first open door and peaked inside. At first it didn't seem like anything was out of place nor was there anyone in sight. But then I noticed a man's shoes and ankles speaking out from behind the desk. It appeared that whoever they belonged to was stretched out on the floor.
"Hello?" I called gently but received no answer.
Drawing a little closer I could see more of the man's lower legs. He was definitely laid out on the floor and not moving.
I began to shake a little at that point. Whoever it was could be asleep, but on the floor? That didn't seem right at all. Bracing myself I moved closer until I was able to just peer over the desk to see the rest of the figure.
Yet in spite of all my precautions, I couldn't help but gasp at what I saw.
TO BE CONTINUED...
Wednesday, January 20, 2016
Greetings dear readers. I know its already 2/3rs of the way through January and there's been no new posts here, which of course has prompted a number of questions such as "Are we getting any new stories?", "Tell us you your still writing about these characters...", "The book is still coming later this year, right?"and even "Are you planning on keeping this blog going?"
So many questions, but luckily I have a simple answer for all of them:
The blog is continuing and new stories are coming. The book is still on schedule to be released around Sept/Oct of this year.
The reason why I haven't been posting anything new lately has been because of a little thing called
I had really hoped that during the winter break from university I'd have a chance to catch up on my writing and get a bunch of stories lined up. As it turns out, life had other plans for me. Between the holidays and having family visiting, December and early January were quite busy.
Then as things started to quiet down I got a job offer, which I have accepted, with the County of Monterey. This will be a full-time job which means I can only take 6 units of school at a time. However, in order to keep my current housing situation here at campus I need to be full-time. I still have a lease here that lasts until the end of May, so my wife and I have sent an appeal to allow us to stay until then while we arrange for new housing elsewhere. If that is accepted, we'll be okay. Otherwise, we'll have to scramble and find a new place much sooner.
I should have answer by this weekend or early next week. If our appeal is refused... things could get complicated for a while. So please bear with me and I'll fill you all in as soon as I have an answer and know what the next few months have in store for us.
Also, if you don't mind, keep your fingers crossed for us as well...
We need all the luck we can get right now.
In the meantime, know that Nathan has been kept busy elsewhere. I have been working on "The Door" which comes out before "The Vampyre Blogs-Coming Home", and will guest star Nathan along with the characters from my first two books "The Bridge" and "The Ship".
"The Door" will wrap up those storylines, as well as reveal more of Nathan's past experiences that have been hinted at in several entries here and will be well-worth checking out.
So stay tuned and thank you for your continued patience. I'm eager to get back to more stories involving Nathan, Marisa, Lisa and everyone else. And believe me all of them have been clamouring inside my head with story ideas they want to see written next as well.
I might have to have them draw straws to see who gets their story told first.
That's all I have for now. Until next time my friends...
Monday, December 28, 2015
Once more, with the permission of Nathan and the rest of the cast here at the Vampyre Blogs, the author has a few words about what you can expect to see here in the coming year:
As the New Year draws closer, I have been thinking a great deal about my writing and in particular about "The Vampyre Blogs - I: Coming Home". As you can see just from the title I've begun making changes. I wanted to make it clear to anyone not already familiar with this blog, that this first book is the beginning of a series that will continue for some time to come. Or at least, that is my hope. Nathan and company have already assured me that they have many stories they want share both on the blog and in book form, so I feel safe to say that this series will continue to grow.
Currently, I've finally begun work on the cover of the book. I know a number of you are already familiar with this image that I made using Adobe Photoshop:
While interesting, it also shows that I did not have a completely clear idea of where the story was going to go when I began writing about Nathan and his friends. But since I've had the chance to tell so many short stories here on the blog, as well as finish a first draft of the novel, I have a much clearer vision of the kind of image I wanted for the book. Plus, a number of readers who are already familiar with my other two novels "The Bridge" and "The Ship" expressed a desire for me to continue rendering the covers myself as I have for those novels. I always work in soft pastels, but had a difficult time coming to grips with what the image should look likefor this book. I wanted it to come from the story itself, a scene that takes place which not only catches the eye but captures the imagination. Here is a sneak peak of the cover as I continue to work on it:
Rest assured there will be quite a bit more tweaking to the piece and reworking the foreground colors. But I am very pleased with how I captured the fall leaves on the ground and the family plot located in the back of Nathan's family manor. As for the doll... well that would be telling at this point, but rest assured its presence is a foreshadowing of things to come in the story. However, I will share with you that the manor is not quite as empty as Nathan has believed for the last 150 years...
Anyway, the next thing I wanted to share with you all is the fact that my name will not be the only one appearing on the book cover. For some time my wife Helen has been my biggest supporter and helper in more ways than one. Not only have I used her for a sounding board, but she has also played a critical role in the scientific aspects of the Para-Earth Series (which this book and blog are part of). It has been through her vast knowledge of science and fiction that I've been able create Nathan's condition, as well as coming up with visions of what some of the other Para-Earths are like: the kind of life forms that evolved for instance and why it happened.
But most important of all, she created a character who you've met on this blog before. Professor Otto Hofstadter,was a character she literally dreamed up one night, long before I settled on the idea of doing a vampyre piece. In the dream, one of the main characters from "The Bridge", Police Sergeant Veronica Ross, encountered him at a crime scene crouching over a dead body. Of course in the dream Veronica had no idea that this strange little man who appeared to be in his 50's had nothing to do with the victim's death. So it was only natural that she drew her weapon and told Otto to freeze and put his hands in the air. She was totally unprepared for Otto to put a finger to the side of his nose and do a back-flip out of the window behind him and nail the landing two stories below. Furthermore, she certainly wasn't expecting this strange older man to race across the lawn, jumping over objects and the fence like an Olympic athlete and disappear into the night.
As for Helen, she only had one name for the fellow when she woke up "The Professor". Since then she's fleshed Otto's history and personality out quite a bit, and he plays a pivotal role in the upcoming novel itself. So it is only right, in my opinion, that her name will appear alongside mine on the cover of the book and all those that follow in "The Vampyre Blogs" saga of my Para-Earth Series.
We have plans for Otto in stories of his own as well and will be partnering him with two of the supporting characters from my second novel "The Ship". I'm hoping to have Otto share a couple of his own stories here on the blog as well, so keep an eye out for them because he has a number of good stories (and sometimes, embarrassing ones) about Nathan. I hope you'll find him as fascinating and amusing as I have.
So now you know what to expect in the coming year and those that will follow. As I've said before, Nathan and company, have many adventures to share with us all and I for one am looking forward to them.
I do not know if I'll have time to post another entry here before New Year's Eve, but in case I don't I wish to leave you all with this image...
Thursday, December 24, 2015
Tonight we got our Christmas tree. Some of you may may think we'd left it a bit late, but since I'm a December baby, my parents got into the habit of waiting until after my birthday to put up any Christmas decorations. One of my mother's sisters was also a December baby who often complain about how her birthday got overshadowed by Christmas, so my parents go out of their way to make sure that did not happen with me. Especially not this year when I turned sixteen.
But that had been over a week ago and I was more than ready for Christmas now. In fact, I'm thinking of telling my parents next year that we should get our tree the day after Thanksgiving. We could just decorate it for my birthday and then redo it again for Christmas.
You see I love the smell of pine trees and forests. Especially in wintertime and at night. Which is why going out to get our tree was so much fun this time. As soon as dinner was over, Dad told us to get our coats and pile into the Suburban. "It's tree time!" he smiled.
"More like about time," Mom muttered under her breath, while getting her coat on in record time.
Soon we were driving down a snowy lane with snow covered trees on either side of us. There was no one else on the road, so it felt kind of spooky in some ways. I swear, there's nothing like being surrounded by huge trees at night to make you feel really small. Yet it was beautiful at the same time.
After a while Mom said, "Where are going? There aren't any tree lots out this way."
"We're getting our tree the old fashion way, straight out of the best supplier known to man. The forest itself," Dad smiled.
"We're going to chop one down?" I cried in dismay.
"No, Sweetie, we're going to dig one up," Dad corrected me. "Remember, cut trees don't last very long around Uncle Nate."
Immediately, my mood skyrocketed even higher. "He's coming this year?"
"Dear, you weren't supposed to say anything," Mom scolded.
"She was going to find out anyway," he told her, "See, that's him up ahead waiting for us."
I practically climbed into the front seat with them to get a better look. Sure enough, in a clearing up ahead stood Nathan wearing a an old fashion burgundy frock coat, with a black cape over it. While on top of his blonde hear, he had a black beaver hat angled every so slightly to give him a dashing look.
By now my little brother Geoffrey, who had been sleeping the whole time woke up and started yelling, "Unca Nate... Unca Nate..." at the top of his little lungs. If you haven't guessed, he adores our godfather.
Luckily we were able to park quickly and got him out of the car. Since I was right next to him, I 'fun' of getting him out of his car-seat. Let me tell you, trying to deal with an overexcited two-year old who won't stop squirming is an experience I won't soon forget. Nor will my stomach where he kept kicking me without realizing it, because he wanted to get to Nathan so badly.
Thank goodness Nathan saw my plight and took Geoffrey from me. Immediately, my baby brother calmed down and started babbling at him in a mix of words and childish gibberish. Mom and Dad looked on with amusement while Nathan hung on my brother's every 'word' until he was finished.
"Well you certainly have had an interesting day," Nathan told him, "I look forward to having more of these talks with you over the coming days. But for now, we need to find a good tree and we have lots to choose from."
Looking around I saw he was right. We did have a lot of choices, but there was one slight problem. "Kind of big aren't they?" my Mom remarked, taking Geoffrey from him.
Nathan turned to my dad the two began muttering to one another. I managed to catch a few snippets like: "I thought you said she'd be okay with punching a holes into the ceiling and possibly the roof..." and "....we'd have had to cut through some of the crossbeams and..."
I noticed Mom rolling her eyes several times before they finally finished.
Clapping his gloved hands Dad said, "Nathan says there's some really nice trees over on the north slope just a few hundred yards from here. I just need to get the sled and pot out from the back of the car."
"Did you remember the shovels?" Mom asked, and he froze.
Immediately my father froze and winced. "Oops."
"Dad!" I cried but Nathan intervened saying, "Don't worry, I've got it covered. Just follow me." and with that he started heading off towards the north slope.
Naturally I raced to join him. Soon the whole family was following close behind as we slowly made our way through the snowy woods.
At one point we spotted some deer nearby, who did not seem to mind our presence at all. They stared at us for a while, until they were sure we didn't have anything to offer them and then moved on. Soon we emerged from the forest and into what was undoubtedly the north slope.
All around us stood pines ranging from four feet to heaven knows, all covered in snow. It was a beautiful sight. I almost felt guilty for our intruding on such a festive scene. But, we were here on a mission and I knew weren't going to leave until we located and secured our quarry.
After a few minutes, of knocking snow off a few of the six foot trees, my parents found one they liked. I had to agree, that their choice was a good one. It had a lovely shape and would fit nicely in the living room. But first we had to get it out of the ground.
Turning to Nathan I said, "So how do you plan to get this puppy out of the ground without shovels?"
Smiling he said, "Funny you should mention the word 'puppy'." With that he took a few steps away from me and knelt down in the snow, covering himself entirely with the black cloak. For several seconds nothing happened. Then there was movement under the ebony cloth and soon two large black dogs emerged from underneath the cape which fell to the ground and became flat.
"PUPPIES!" my little brother cried excitedly. He loves dogs, but can't play with them because he's very allergic to their fur. A part of me quickly surmised that this would not be a problem with these two beasts. As if to prove my point, they went over to where my mother was holding Geoffrey, and allowed him to pet them.
Then the pair trotted over to where the tree we'd chosen stood and began digging in a circle. Snow went flying in all directions, making the rest of us take a few steps back to keep out of range. But soon, the dark soil began to replace the white stuff letting us know the real work had begun. Out of curiosity I bent down and picked up a piece of the thrown soil and found it was still quite solid and frozen.
I shook my head in wonder and marveled at the power of my godfather once more. I've long known of his shape-shifting talents, but sometimes forget just how much strength he is capable of demonstrating.
Within minutes the tree wobbles and tilts to one side, as the two dogs emerge from behind it and slip back under the black coat from which they'd emerged. As my father brings the sled with the big pot on it near the tree, I watch the shapes moving beneath the cape and breathe a sigh of relief when I see hands appear and Nathan stands up. As he readjusted his hat, I could see that there's not a speck of anywhere on his hands or face. He truly is a wonder to behold sometimes.
Anyway, he and Dad managed to lift the tree with its large ball of dirt and roots, into the big pot... or rather tub on the sleigh and quickly made sure it was a good fit. Then we headed back to the cars and stood it upright in the back of the pickup, Nathan had brought. In a few weeks, we'll bring it back and replant it, just as Nathan has shown us so it can continue its life among its siblings.
Two hours later, we had the tree back at home and fully decorated. Dad has just lit the log in the fireplace, while Nathan is resting on the sofa with a blanket over his legs. Or rather where his legs would be. On the floor nearby, Geoffrey is playing with a couple of smaller versions of the black dogs who dug our Christmas tree out of the ground.
Poor Nathan, he's going to be legless for a good hour or more, meaning he'll be stuck on the sofa. I'm going to join him after I finish this post. He's going to be staying with us all throughout the holidays this year. Normally he heads to Connecticut to visit another part of his 'extended' family to spend Christmas Eve, but they are celebrating elsewhere this year which means he's all mine... or rather ours this time.
Glancing over at the archway that leads to the kitchen I can see my mom and dad enjoying a good long kiss under the mistletoe. I love seeing them like that. It really makes the season all the more right to me.
Love, family and friends, those are the greatest gifts to have at this time of year. And I'm going to go get a little of the first, right now. I've got a little bit of mistletoe of my own in my pocket and there's a very inviting spot right next to Nathan on the sofa.
This is going to be very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year indeed....
****So ends this year's holiday installment of The Vampyre Blogs - Private Edition. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did writing it. May all your hopes and wishes come true during this festive season. And may each and everyone one of you enjoy some of the magic of this season.
MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE
Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Now, the sight of a roasted turkey, with no head, getting up and shaking a fist was weird enough. But watching it grab one of the nearby carving knives and taking a dueler's stance took it to a whole new level of silliness.
Even before Uncle Nathan reached for the other carving knife, the rest of us automatically took several steps backwards, away from the table. We all knew what was coming and didn't feel like getting caught in the middle of what was undoubtedly going to be a memorable battle. Man and roast bird saluted each other with their weapons, followed by each taking a dueling stance.
"I knew I should've left you in the oven for another ten minutes, you over-sized chicken," Uncle Nathan grunted, while parrying an attack.
The turkey, unable to speak, merely flipped him the bird in return. Then it retreated across the table and waved its backside at him.
Looking properly offended, Uncle Nathan muttered, "Oooo... I'm going cram an onion the size of a bowling ball in you for that."
Our intended dinner responded by making the 'Bring it,' gesture.
Leaping up onto the table Uncle Nathan rushed towards his opponent across the length of the table and their carving knives clashed once again.
For the next minute, man and dinner, battled across the table in a remarkably silly yet athletic duel, while managing to avoid knocking over candelabras or glasses, or even stepping on a plate or utensil.
I glanced over at Dr. Jack and my father who were both shaking there heads and trying to suppress smiles, as their wives gave each other resigned sighs. Meanwhile Joe and Darlene, who hang out with me at school, are both enjoying the spectacle as much as I am.
Finally, my mother steps forward and puts her hands on her hips. Then she yells, "No feet on the dinner table!"
Both bird and man freeze in mid-fight. The two of them stare at her for a moment and then take very guilty stances and point at each other. "He started it," Uncle Nathan murmured, while his opponent took advantage of the moment to slap the knife out of his hand.
Immediately, our host, did a double-back flip off the table and retreatede behind the nearby harp. His opponent beat its breast in triumph and leapt after him, waving its weapon angrily. Now began a game of cat and mouse, with Uncle Nathan using the harp as a shield. At first the roast bird, tried chasing him around the harp, then it tried to stab at him through the strings, which proved to be a mistake.
Uncle Nathan kicked the weapon out of its grip and then pushed the harp down on top of the bird. The strings of the harp sliced through the bird, leaving it carved in pieces on the floor.
Straightening up, Uncle Nathan looked at his handiwork and shook his head. "Wow, the guy at the butcher shop told this bird might be a little tough, and he wasn't kidding. Okay, who wanted white meat?" he asked turning towards us.
Naturally no one spoke. We all just glared at him.
"Oh come on, how many times do you get to have dinner and a show?" he insisted.
At this point I saw the green mist slipping out from the remains of our 'dinner' and into the cuffs of his pants and knew what was really going on. Stepping over to where the harp lay I took a close look at the 'remains' and saw the that the bird had actually been made of foam, covered in latex and painted to look like a roast turkey skin.
"You didn't get a turkey did you?" I said pointedly.
Uncle Nathan bowed his head and said, "They were all sold out by the time I got back this morning."
"This morning?" I cried in disbelief. "Where were you?"
"I was out of town, sort of..." he began, when a loud boisterous voice, with a thick German accent, rang out from the area of the kitchen saying, "Happy Thanks-Pizza everyone!"
A moment later, a short stocky man with a greying beard and moustache appeared pushing a cart with the biggest pizza I'd ever seen on it. He was wearing a chef's hat and moving around so quickly, it took me a moment to recognize him. His name was Professor Otto Hofstadter, and he was one of Uncle Nathan's closest and oldest friends. They'd known each other for years, according to Uncle Nathan, but there was always something about the way he said it that had made me wonder if there was more that he was not telling me. But now was not the time to ask questions. Dinner had arrived and everyone was starving.
My mother shook her head as we all sat down around the table and said, "Well, it might not be a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with turkey, but at least we'll all be eating well."
"On the contrary, my dear," the professor corrected as he and Uncle Nathan started serving huge pizza slices. "I made sure that we used turkey sausage as part of the toppings."
"Oh well, that makes all the difference," said Dr. Jack as he helped pass the food around to those farthest from the pie.
A part of me wanted to ask where they'd gotten an oven big enough to cook a pizza this size, but I decided not to. I was more interested in knowing where Uncle Nathan had been and what had kept him away all this time. The fact that Professor Hofstadter was with us, told me that an adventure had taken place in one of those strange places Uncle Nathan has always hinted at, but has never fully explained to me.
I decided there and then that I was going to keep a close eye on those two and maybe follow them if possible and see what they got up to when the next opportunity presented itself.
*This concludes this year's Thanksgiving tale. I hope you all found it amusing and entertaining. May all of you have a Happy Thanksgiving and may all your travels be safe and enjoyable -- Allan Krummenacker*
Saturday, November 21, 2015
I think everyone has memories of certain holiday gatherings that they'll never forget. Usually it's because something really special or very unfortunate happened. But how many of us can say they'll never forget a certain Thanksgiving dinner because the host wound up fighting a duel with the intended dinner?
Well that's what happened this year and I don't think I'll even need to watch the video I took of it, to help me remember. However, I will be saving it to show any children or grandchildren I have down the road, so they can see what craziness can ensue when you let Uncle Nathan try to prepare a holiday dinner.
It all started about a week ago, right after Mom gave birth to my new baby brother Geoffrey. I was on hand for the event, while Dad and Uncle Nathan stayed in the Waiting Room. Mom had given strict instructions that neither of them were allowed to be on hand to watch. In fact part of my job was to make sure they didn't come in.
I asked Doctor Jack about it later and all he did was smirk and mumble something about a Dr. Quackenbush and associate, who had been on hand to help keep the patient relaxed. The name sounded familiar to me so I Googled it afterwards on my laptop and found it was one of Groucho Marx's personas from a movie called "A Day At the Races". Apparently, he'd played a veterinarian who also treated a rich woman as one of his patients. Having seen Uncle Nathan's Groucho impression I could only imagine what kind of nonsense he and Dad must've gotten up to inside the delivery room that day until Mom ordered the two of them out.
Anyway, right after Geoffrey arrived, Uncle Nathan offered to host Thanksgiving over at The Crypt. "Between late night feedings and changing diapers I don't think any of you are going to be up to shopping and prepping a big meal," he pointed out.
Needless to say, none of us disagreed with him. He even invited Dr. Jack and his family to join the festivities, which my favorite physician readily agreed to. We didn't see or hear from Uncle Nathan again for the rest of the week, which made my parents wonder if dinner was still on. Then last night he phoned to let us know he'd been called away to help his old friend, Professor Otto Hofstadter, with a little 'problem' which they'd successfully resolved, and that we were still expected the next day at 5:00 PM.
Needless to say we left the house today and headed downtown. Once we reached the building that housed The Crypt, we headed down the side alley where the stairs leading down to The Crypt awaited. Dr. Jack and his family were just heading down the steps when we showed up and after the usual Thanksgiving greetings were exchanged, we all carefully made our way down the steps. The door at the bottom was unlocked so we let ourselves in only to have our breaths taken away.
As usual, Uncle Nathan had really gone all out with decorating the place. There was a huge table that could seat a couple of dozen people just on one side, in the center of the main room. It was all decked out with candles, plates,fancy napkins, the works. There was also a very expensive looking harp nearby, which meant we would probably be treated to some fine music afterwards. As we all gazed around in wonder, I couldn't believe he'd gone to so much trouble just for us, but I was glad at the same time. "This was going to be one of the most memorable Thanksgiving dinners ever," I breathed aloud, while everyone nodded in agreement.
Uncle Nathan appeared a moment later, wearing a white apron and a big chef's hat. After greeting each of us, he got everyone settled in and disappeared back to the kitchen area. We were all excited and eager to see what he had prepared for us. A moment later, he came back out carrying a huge glimmering silver platter. Naturally it had a very shiny lid which was rather tall, leaving us all wondering how big a turkey he had gotten for the occasion. However, knowing his sense of humor, I I half expected it to be a very small bird no bigger than a pigeon, But much to my surprise and delight, when the cover was removed, there was indeed a very large bird on the platter.
After running back into the kitchen and returning with more dishes, he removed his hat and apron, and proceeded to brandish a very large fork, which he deftly sank into the turkey. Only to have the bird jump up, remove the fork from itself and then waved an angry fist at him.
Thursday, November 5, 2015
Every writer, dreams about the moment your latest work is about to be unleashed. You've worked long and hard for it and the day has finally come. You've shed blood (preferably not someone else's), sweat (and boy didn't you look hot at that moment), and more than a few tears (I'm not even going to try and make a joke on this one, I know damn well I've shed more than few in frustration, or because I wrote a section that moved me enough to shed them). So you're all set and ready for your book's release, but in the back of your mind you have to keep asking "Is my work truly ready to be released?"
In my case the answer was a resounding "NOT EVEN CLOSE!"
So, as a result of this fact, I've decided not to release "The Vampyre Blogs - Coming Home" until September/October of next year.
How and why did this happen? The answer is simple. In spite of my best efforts I could not give my project the full attention and care it needs to be ready. For those who don't already know, I am currently attending university over in Monterey, California. I've been studying Business Administration, with a focus on Marketing as my goal. However, there have been ever increasing demands by my classes which makes giving any attention to my writing, almost impossible at this point and time. In fact, I'm only third of the way through the 2nd draft of the book.
Furthermore, I still have to have that draft edited and cleaned up before I can try to locate beta-readers to give me feedback. Originally, I had hoped to have the book already in their hands at this point, but it didn't happen. And I';m certainly not going to ask people to sign up at this point, not with the holidays coming hard and fast on us all. Most folks will have family gatherings to plan for, travel itineraries to arrange and a host of cooking and decorating jobs to do.
Finally, there's still one last thing I like to do before declaring a book ready to be released and that is to read it aloud with someone who is a good listener and can hear where there might be an issue with the writing. This takes a long time to do in my case, because I do it via Skype with my editor. Even after she's gone over the drafts I've sent and everything looks right, she and I like to read it out loud to each other to make sure everything it reads correctly if someone was doing an audio recording of the work.
An idea that sounded great in my head, or a turn of phrase that both of us thought was really cool, may not come across the same way as planned, which is why we do this. I know a lot of authors read their works out loud and although it takes time it is TOTALLY worth it.
Why am I so picky about this? Simple, I released my first novel "The Bridge" too quickly (and had to do subsequent re-releases after a number of errors were discovered). It was an amateur mistake to make, and even though I was forgiven for it (because, I WAS an amateur at the time) I felt I let myself and lot of others down. So I made it my policy to not release a book that has not been thoroughly vetted. I want people to get their monies worth and be able to enjoy a really nice finished product.
So when do I feel is a good time to release one of my works? Three to six months after I've got it FULLY finished. In this case, I still haven't even settled on a final cover design. Plus I still haven't reached the stage where I've got a 'Proof-copy' to look over and see how the book looks in printed form.
So I came to the decision that I had to hit THE button...
Mind you, I do have plans for publishing the novelette that appeared on this blog last December. This will be the first time the story will be in book form, and I know it is ready to go. I also will be starting another winter-themed tale here on this blog as well. Without giving too much away, I can assure you all that we'll be seeing some familiar faces you've come to know and love not only from this blog but from my other books "The Bridge" and "The Ship".
My plans for having something published in December at this point is to possibly release a novelette that appeared on one of my other blogs called: "The Vampyre Blogs - Private Edition". It appeared in six installments, but has never been released as a whole book. It's a holiday piece that takes place fifteen years before the events in "The Bridge" and involves several characters from that novel, along with my vampyre Nathan. If I do release that novelette, I will make it available in ALL e-book formats: Kindle, Nook, Sony, Apple, etc. I might also do a printed version, but I'll want to see what kind of demand there is for it first.
I apologize for disappointing anyone with the delayed release, but not having the time to make sure the book is as good as it can be is crucial to me. I don't like to skimp or rush things. I want "The Vampyre Blogs - Coming Home" to be in the best shape possible so all of you can enjoy the story to its fullest.
And now I'd like to thank you all for all of your support and hope you continue to come and enjoy the stories Nathan and his 'extended family' have to share with you all. Take care and God bless.
And now I'd like to thank you all for all of your support and hope you continue to come and enjoy the stories Nathan and his 'extended family' have to share with you all. Take care and God bless.