Avoiding Genre and How I Ended Up Writing a Vampire Story Anyway
I complain a lot in my life about how I am not yet a full time author. You can ask my wife who bears the brunt of my whining and whinging. The fact is, I am doing this the hard way. I have talked to at least one writer friend who told me how he has hundreds of books written, under many different names and what he does is look at the bestseller list and then, basically, imitate whatever's popular there. Apparently he can just turn on the spigot and create duplicates of existing stories or something.
For me, the brain just doesn't work that way. I mean, if it did, I'd have written a romantic, sparkly vampire story followed by an apocalyptic zombie story and then finished it off with some kind of BDSM erotic story that started out as fan fiction. Perhaps with stories about a boy wizard in there, too. When I open the imagination vault, stories about demons, alternate dimensions, ghostly girls, vicious dogs and ghostly phones show up and start chatting at me. I just transcribe what's there and hope it finds an audience.
The fact is, I am a cult sorta thing. You know, like Firefly or Rocky Horror Picture Show or something like that. I have a very small, but dedicated, group of fans who love my stuff and ask me for more, but it's just not enough to feed the beast.
All that being said. I wrote a story called Vermilion and it's a vampire story.
For me. vampires were never all that cool. When I was a kid I loved the werewolf and Frankenstein's monster and the silent film The Phantom of the Opera. I was fascinated by Jaws and nature turning against man (this was a thing in the 70s). I loved the bad 70s flick The Car. I loved the Creature from the Black Lagoon and War of the World. Bela Lugosi was just not scary to me.
I have come to appreciate them in later years. I remembered being terrified at the mini-series version of 'Salem's Lot and then reading the book. I shivered at the original silent film Nosferatu. I became a huge Buffy the Vampire Slayer (and it still gets my vote as one of the best written shows ever). Despite that, they just didn't interest me much when I was writing. I did not, and do not, like the handsome, romantic, vampire thing. They are death personified and they should smell like blood and death and rotting with dirt under their fingernails.
So, when I got the chance to write a vampire story for the anthology Wrapped in Red, I knew that my vampire was going to have to be different. So, I deconstructed the entire myth. No fangs. Nothing romantic. Just evil. I had this idea about a city in Illinois that was surrounded on all sides by the Mississippi River (there really is one) and the people there - hiding a great sin and that this horrible evil would come to town to make them pay for that ancient sin.
My vampire was going to be a force of nature. Something sent by fate to wreak havoc and punishment from gods we would never see.
Thus was born Vermilion.
Some day, maybe I'll find a way to re-do the werewolf stories. Maybe. I tried to do a new version of a zombie story, but I grew bored with it. I just can't figure out how to make zombies interesting to write as I watch The Walking Dead.
But, Vermilion is my vampire tale. It is now available on its own for your Kindle and it's just 99 cents. I think it's pretty chilling and scary - the way a vampire story should be.
I hope you like it