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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.