I have reached a goal of completing five volumes of “The Vampire’s Little Black Book” Series by July 5th. I’ll share some really fun information on how you can get them for free at the end of this blog. This is just one part of My Steampunk Project which is going along just swimmingly.
I am creatively exploding. I’m in the final stages of wrapping up “Strax and the Widow”, the first of a Steampunk trilogy. I applied Victoriana/Steampunk aesthetics to a sculpture, “The Clockwork Cat” that I painted for the Animal Protective Association. It’s received rave reviews and I can’t wait for its public placement this summer before it’s auctioned off to benefit the APA this fall. As of this blog post it will be placed at Lambert International Airport here in my hometown of St. Louis.
The vampire series, as I explained in an earlier blog, “A Pleasant Distraction”, came completely out of nowhere. It’s definitely more Gothic “Romantasy” but I include it with My Steampunk Project because it was born out of the same creative nook in my brain.
I created Will, the main character, as kind of a psychological study on what it might be like to live forever as a vampire. Are you able to find an eternal partner? How do you deal with the continual loss of human friends? How do you keep from eating them or someone you love? What do you do with eternity on your hands?
This part project has almost written itself and I have many more stories about Will the Vampire. But it’s not been without its ups and downs. I tried to find a male model for promos, illustration inspiration and maybe even act in cosplay/character for events. Epic fail; Facebook, Craigslist, Twitter, LinkedIn and just word of mouth got me a few candidates. I thought surely some guy could use $50-$100 to sit for an hour for professional photos. Nope. Damn. Found a couple close ones, but they either flaked out or just didn’t respond to phone calls or emails for an interview. Mind you, this was totally professional. This was not some dating service (or worse) scam. So for right now, Will is a composite of a couple of gentlemen I know in the Steampunk community (both visually and emotionally). If this blows up, I’ll have to restart the process again and pray for my dark haired vampire savior to arrive for the necessary photo shoots.
The actual writing process has had its own small dramas. I can’t count how many times I was at the day job and found myself staring into the distance while plot lines called like sirens. How I stopped and hurriedly scribbled a great line down or emailed myself. Typing so much that my hands hurt. I am seriously considering buying some voice to document software. Sometimes I just can’t get the thoughts onto script fast enough. And the “oh crap” moments of dealing with a laptop or modem crash.
But “oh the joy” of writing so long I had to recharge the battery on my laptop. Cranking out the illustrations for the book covers in less than fifteen minutes. Yep, I’m that inspired. This girl is on fire.
In keeping with this theme, I ran into both the easiest and hardest chapters to write of the series so far. I wrote volumes three, four and five simultaneously. Five is an unexpected springboard to another series. Four was delightful to compose because Will, our single vampire is incredibly kind and gracious. And the target of his affection is completely unexpected. Episode three, “Esme/Tiffany”, quite frankly, was a bitch to get out. I can honestly say I almost hated to write it. Why?
Because the nasty underbelly of Will’s dark side is revealed. In true vampire fashion, he has blood lust. And in one moment it completely consumes him. I know some readers will hate it. Maybe because we have those romantic notions about our partners or partners we’d like to have. But he is after all a vampire. It is part of his nature that he can’t completely control. How do you love something that could be your next meal? This chapter was like a demon that needed to be excised. It explores the extreme dark side of our nature. I often think of Kelly Clarkson’s “Dark Side” lyrics: “There’s a place that I know, it’s not pretty there and few have ever gone. If I show it to you now, will it make you run away?” How many times should we have given someone a second chance? Or we should’ve run like hell because they were just too dangerous?
On the flip side, volume 4 “Mabel” is about true love and restraint. Will comes to care for someone that truly needs his help. He worries about her, tends to her needs and expects nothing in return. Isn’t that what most of us want? The only downside might be that our romantic provider may not be all that perfect. Everyone has secrets or some nagging personality traits. Will is certainly carrying a significant amount of baggage. But he does show his “good” side in this chapter, even to a bittersweet end.
So how can you read the first five volumes for FREE? I have a promo through amazon/kindle, FIVE BOOKS for FIVE DAYS on the FIFTH. From 7/5-7/9/13 you can download the first five titles of The Vampire’s Little Black Book by Victoria L. Szulc for free from amazon/kindle. The titles are:
“The Long Moonlight”, “Roarin’ ‘20’s”, “Esme/Tiffany”, “Mabel” and “Creating Anna”.
NOTE: You do NOT have to have a Kindle to download the books. You can download the app through your various electronic devices. I have it both on an iPhone 4S and my two year old Acer laptop. I can stop reading it on one device and go back later to read on the other and still be on the same page. Still unsure? You can preview it on amazon, also for free.
Please share this promo with your friends and rate the books on Amazon as you see fit. Please remember, you have only until 7/9/13 to download the books. Enjoy! And get to know Will as well as I do.