I became ill the first week of June 2016, dismissing it as a minor bug — “con crud” as conventioneers say — and something I could get over with fluids, over-the-counter meds, and rest.
Except I didn’t. I was running a fever on and off, at one point hitting 102.5 F, so after battling for a week, I reluctantly went to the doctor that Thursday. After getting a cocktail of antibiotics injected into me, I assumed all would be well…until it wasn’t. I would find out later that I was far more sick and exhausted than I knew, and when the shot took effect, it did its job so well my forty-something body was no longer up to the task.
At some point later in the evening, my short-term memory failed and I’ve been told I started babbling. I don’t remember that night or the panic that set in when my family found me the next morning before calling an ambulance. The shot had started killing off viruses so quickly that I couldn’t flush them out fast enough. Systems started shutting down, and at 340 pounds, my family couldn’t move me to the car. The ambulance drivers didn’t give me much of a chance, but they didn’t waste any time, either.
I remember having some kind of dream about being in a the bottom of a boat, moving inside, as if I was being taken somewhere. There’s a high probability it was how I imagined the ambulance ride or maybe ICU; which one I couldn’t say. Fortunately, for being big and tall, I’m pretty resilient and managed to survive the following two days until I was functioning on my own again. The doctors were afraid something might have been permanently damaged, from my kidneys all the way to my brain.
Continue reading “A Near-Life Experience”
As an author with vampire series, it’s a question I hear often.
The short answer is because people still like them…and so do I.
To my mind, it is perfectly understandable why people continue to identify with vampires. It isn’t about becoming a reanimated corpse or the need for blood; it’s the promise of eternal life after death and finding empowerment in a curse — turning a negative into a positive. Yes, there’s sex and blood and rock n’ roll, but the part that makes it so relatable — even desirable — is the empowerment.
To quote Tyler Durden from Fight Club: “All the ways you wish you could be, that’s me. I look like you wanna look, I f**k like you wanna f**k, I am smart, capable, and most importantly, I am free in all the ways that you are not.” Like Tyler, the laws of men and death no longer apply to the vampire; the undead dictate their own rules and they follow their own code. Both cursed and blessed to watch the world die around them while they endure, vampires are elevated demigods who remember once being merely human.
The promise of being insulated from the ravages of time, to become a spectator rather than a mere participant in the human condition, is the vampire’s privilege.
I’ll be running a few panels (and running around in general) at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas at Comicpalooza 2015, May 22-25. Panels, cosplay, roleplaying, celebrities, and all that kind of stuff. Plan to come on out and say “Howdy!”
A vampire must be invited in to do harm.
“Wary of a future misunderstanding, Janiss Connelly pays a surprise visit to an immortal residing in the state capital of West Virginia. The Charleston vampire isn’t amused, a slight that puts the residents and staff of Cedarcrest Sanctum at risk when their administrator goes missing.
“Forced to endure a nightmare scenario, Janiss must embrace the potential she has both envied and feared – even if she has to make a deal with the Devil to do it.”
Learn more about The Matriarch at CedarcrestSanctum.com.
As the third book enters the final phase before publication, the official title has been revealed:
The Matriarch: Changeling
A Facebook event will be take place on Friday, February 13th, 2015 along with a contest to win one of three signed softcover copies of the new book upon publication.
Join us there for a bit of fun, a few excerpts and trivia about the series!
58,800 words written in 48 days completes the first draft of this third book (out of a planned four-book series). Now it’s time for a well-earned step away, letting the words settle on the page for a bit before trading “good enough for now” up to “as near to perfect as any mere mortal can hope to be.”
Like the first two novels, I have strived to infuse as many human elements as possible into this vampire story. There are plenty of individual elements, but to bring the adventure to life, the risks and the rewards, you must also show love, hate, fear, surprise, betrayal, jealousy, and all the rest. Plot is what happens to our characters; story is how it affects them.
Coming soon: the official title, the actual cover, chapter teasers, and the publication date! As always, there is plenty more information and other goodies at Cedarcrest Sanctum.
I cannot wait to show you what I’ve been working on!
Whether you love or hate the Bard…or vampires.
When I expanded my stand-alone vampire novel into a book series, it required me to re-envision the first novel as “part one” to create a story progression (don’t you hate when a great story falls apart at the end?) I tried to think of The Matriarch as a trilogy, but it was going to take four books to get to the ending I wanted and wrap everything up with a bow.
This meant each self-contained novel – intended to be enjoyable unto itself – had to seed the entire arc to show the main character progression, especially in her capabilities and the challenges she would have to overcome. Those knowing the story line of my current work in progress, the untitled third, have dubbed it “Shakespearean” in reference to characters withholding critical information that escalates the situation. The Matriarch: Guardians did this, too, but to a much smaller degree.
It’s a classic and flexible trope: if Boy-X would have just told Girl-Y about Suitor-3, Villain-Z wouldn’t have tried to kill Girl-Y over the perceived slight from Boy-X. Then there’s my favorite: the character who knows everybody’s secrets but keeps them to manipulate others and/or just enjoy the show. If we would all just learn to talk to one another, we wouldn’t have to go around threatening to kill everyone…I know, I know: where’s the fun in that?
The first draft of The Matriarch III is nearly complete! I credit Linda S. Cowden with the title of this post; I love my wife!