How I overcame tough challenges to write my debut horror novel

On Donnasbookblog today I talk about the difficulties of writing a claustrophobic  siege story but still keeping it fast moving, and packed with action and nail-biting surprises. And my mission to make my human bounty hunters as vicious as their vampire prey. Plus, I reveal my writing career journey from women’s mags to monsters and mayhem.

My #AuthorInterview with Jay Raven @JayRavenAuthor #CrimsonSiege

 

 

Crimson Siege blog tour – day 4 and cartoon capers.

Hi Everyone.

Normally I wouldn’t mention a “shout-out” – that’s where a book blogger doesn’t have the time to read a book and leave a review, so simply gives it a showcase instead. But yesterday, as part of the Crimson Siege tour,  the Beardy Book Blogger did such a marvellous spotlight – filled with cartoons, vampire jokes, bloodsucker photos and film references – that it had me in stitches. And I really recommend you check it out. You’ll love it.

Simply click on the cartoon banner.

He did say he didn’t like the novel’s cover, which I found a tad surprising as no-one else has expressed anything but delight with it. But it’s interesting to get the feedback, and is something to mull over.

MEANWHILE

On the review front, Sean at Seansbookreviews wrote:  “Having been a huge fan of vampire books I can say that I was getting tired of the same old style and that they just weren’t cutting it for me. This book was anything but the boring old routine of vampires. It’s set in Transylvania, which for a book with vampires is a bit cliche, but it worked.”

He adds: “This won’t be for everyone, especially if you are used to sparkly vampires who charm everyone they meet and are vegetarian. Sorry this isn’t that type of book and shows vampires for what they truly are. Soulless, merciless and completely devoid of the compassion towards anyone other than those they sired.”

To read Sean’s review in full click HERE.

Putting the bite back into vampires

I’ve always wanted to write a chilling nosferatu series, pitting mankind against the most alluring, mysterious and deadly monsters to ever walk the Earth. I’ve been obsessed by vampires since sneaking out of school to watch Hammer Horror films at my local fleapit.

But when it came to actually planning the first of my Blood Riders books I came to a startling realisation.  Vampires had been – if you’ll pardon the pun – done to death.  A tidal wave of self-published horror novels had flooded the market with fang-filled fiends, so many that the bloodsuckers seemed hackneyed and dull.

Added to that, there was huge confusion about what a vampire was. Depending on who you spoke to, they wore tight leather cat suits and fired machine guns, acted like consumptive Victorian poets –  all lace shirts and languor – or hung around with teenagers and twinkled.

My mission was to make these creatures of the night genuinely scary again – and original, offering elements and twists that would surprise and intrigue. So I tackled the problem from two directions. Firstly, a back to basics make-over.

My monsters were going to be… well, monstrous – vicious, cold, amoral predators with supernatural speed, strength and intelligence. They’d view humans as playthings to satisfy ALL their appetites. And to up the ante, they’d be able to communicate  telepathically over short distances.

These would not be the kind of creatures to give you a playful nip on the neck, they’d rip your entire throat out in a single visceral gulp and go on to devour half your face.

Secondly, I wanted them to have a new context, a new environment in which to hunt and slay, so I made my 19th century Transylvania  a mirror of the American wild west – lawless, violent, desolate and unpredictable. A decade on from a war between mortals and monsters, the vanquished aristocratic vampire families are holed up on reservations. To stray from their safe havens makes them fair game for bounty hunters.

Crimson Siege charts the horrifying consequences when the favourite son of the feared Modjeski vampire house is kidnapped and held in a small town jail. His kin invade the town but rescuing their leader leads to death, terror and destruction for both sides,  as the small community is defended by the only man vampire-kind has good reason to fear…

I hope I’ve injected a dose of newness and awe into the genre. My fingers are crossed horror fans will think so too.

This post originally appeared on the Books ‘n’ All website as part of the launch blog tour.

Less than 24 hours to go!

Less than 24 hours to go the launch of my Gothic horror vampire chiller CRIMSON SIEGE – Blood Riders Book One and I’m beside myself with excitement. It’s my first full-length novel so I’m anxious to see what the reaction of readers will be.

I set out to write the kind of book I’d want to read, fast paced and packed with twists and surprises – as well as a number of sub-plots and mysteries. Plus, of course, loads of vampire hunting action…

This is the amazing cover for the paperback. Check it out at – http://geni.us/9E27uh