UPDATED 75% OFF-So Out with the Old, in with the New

SPECIAL UPDATE-I wanted to update this blog with a quick thank you to the HUNDREDS that downloaded my free books AND to announce that through 12/30/14 ALL items in my Etsy store are 75% OFF with code NEWYEARS75. Please feel free to share it. I have everything from steampunk fashion, art and antiques that MUST go in order to make room for new items I have ready to add, including photo prints, more steamy and fun hats, and of course more dog items.

Thank you as always for reading and your patronage!

Victoria

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I hope that you are having a most lovely holiday season! If you aren’t, I hope things get better soon.

And maybe some FREE downloads will help? OR 50% OFF in my Etsy store? Read on!

Today, 12/26 only, the whole Vampire’s Little Black Book Series is FREE for the last time, for volumes 1-10. The covers are redone and I am working on a compilation to be released next year. I hope you will share this with friends and feel free to comment/critique on amazon and goodreads. My link to my author page (and all my titles) is here:

http://www.amazon.com/Victoria-L.-Szulc/e/B00CDFDIBI/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1419620251&sr=1-2-ent

10 The Vamp Hit List

Not a big reader? Like to shop, like dogs, unique fashion and jewelry? Use code XMAS50 for 50% in my Etsy store. Offer good for a limited time, so please check out the store, link below:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheHauteHen

K7

As always, thank you for reading!

-Victoria

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-A new photo/comic book/essay “The Heroine” is coming soon to Amazon/Kindle.

-THE LADY HAS ARRIVED AT HER DESTINATION-“Strax and the Widow” is an ebook on Amazon/Kindle. Please take a peek, enjoy and review on amazon and goodreads! The sequel, “Revenge and Machinery” is coming soon!

Image

-Like on Facebook-The Countess, Official Fanpage of Victoria L. Szulc

-Follow on Twitter-@TheCountessSP

-On Pinterest-Victoria Szulc (nee Schultz)

-Etsy-TheHauteHen

-Instagram-Steampunkcountess

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-Fine Art America-store coming soon

 

 

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Revamping the Vamp, Get to Know Will

When I was writing my first steampunk novel “Strax and the Widow”, I got distracted by whole different genre and character. I wondered what would it be like for a modern day vampire searching for “the one” in modern times. What do you do with eternity on your hands? Could you really fall in love with one person? And if that person were human, could you avoid killing them? Would you tire of an endless life?

I know that this theme is not exactly unique, but I wanted to write a series from the view point of the vampire. Climb into his mind and share his story. And thus my character Will and “The Vampire’s Little Black Book” series was born.

I like the short story format for this series. Each one is written like episodic television; a new adventure or peek into Will’s past. The first in the series “The Long Moonlight” might start off a little mushy, but read it all the way through to discover what’s at the heart of Will.

I like Will. For a vampire, he’s still pretty human. He loves women, but like most men, even after being alive over 600 years, has yet to completely figure them out. He has tremendous powers and desires. He is tempted, and sometimes can’t control his undead yearnings. Will’s made some serious mistakes and like most of us, his past still haunts him. He’s sweet, dirty, passionate, smart, dangerous, sexy, and sometimes a jerk, but always complex and charming.

I’ve just released V.1o “The Vamp Hit List”. It will be available to download for FREE on Wednesday November 19th on amazon/kindle. Remember, you don’t have to have a kindle to get the ebooks. You can download the Kindle app to almost any electronic device.

The whole FIRST ebook series will be FREE FOR THE LAST TIME EVER on 11/30, 12/1, and 12/26. After that you’ll have to purchase them or the upcoming compilation of all the stories, “The First Ten Bites”. I hope to have it available in hard copies/paperbacks by late spring.

Will is going to go away for a bit for a revamp as I wrap up my second steampunk novel in “The Society Series”, “Revenge and Machinery”. Some of the titles will have new artwork and new formatting, so be sure to download on the FREE dates. More of Will’s new adventures will arrive later in 2015.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the series. Please feel free to share the free download dates and rate on amazon and goodreads. I’d love to see your comments.

As always, thank you for reading,

-Victoria

The Vampire’s Little Black Book series is always FREE if you have Kindle Unlimited!

-A new photo/comic book/essay “The Heroine” is coming soon to Amazon/Kindle.

-THE LADY HAS ARRIVED AT HER DESTINATION-“Strax and the Widow” is an ebook on Amazon/Kindle. Please take a peek, enjoy and review on amazon and goodreads! The sequel, “Revenge and Machinery” is coming soon!

Image

-Like on Facebook-The Countess, Official Fanpage of Victoria L. Szulc

-Follow on Twitter-@TheCountessSP

-On Pinterest-Victoria Szulc (nee Schultz)

-Etsy-TheHauteHen

-Instagram-Steampunkcountess

-Tumblr-thesteampunkcountess

-Fine Art America-store coming soon

 

 

 

 

 

Day of the Dead 2014

It’s been an insanely busy Halloween season. I managed to squeeze in some new creations, all with a Day of the Dead/Halloween theme. My last creation first, a Dead of the Dead, Mardi Gras bunny mask, now available in TheHauteHen Etsy store.

I built this on a pre-existing black mask, a template I have used before in “The Heroine” series.

DOD Bunny 6

After hot glue, some embroidered trim and roses, I got the result I wanted. A sassy bunny mask that’s perfect for any costume occasion.

DOD Bunny 3DOD Bunny 4DOD Bunny 5

Add a little makeup…

DOD Bunny 7

And let the photo fun begin…

DOD Bunny 1DOD Bunny 2DOD Bunny 8DOD Bunny 9

Then on to business…I had a great buyer in my Etsy store who bought my Day of the Dead Groom Hat with a few modifications…

Groom 7 Groom 8

And then she commissioned a voodoo belt for her husband, which was really fun to put together. I sent her a sketch, bought some neat pieces including a beaver skull from the Etsy store (and friend) Guiditta Testa.

Voodoo 1A Voodoo 1B Voodoo 2 Voodoo 3 Voodoo 4 Voodoo 5 Voodoo 5A Voodoo 5AA Voodoo 5B Voodoo 5BB Voodoo 5C Voodoo 6

And Elizabeth Rios and her husband looked fabulous in their creations!

Rios 1 Rios 2 Rios 3

So much more happened last month, but that is for the next blog. Thank you for reading!

Victoria

And then some style. Day of the Dead Indeed

And then some style. Day of the Dead Indeed

Will has returned in v.9 of The Vampire’s Little Black Book series, “Svetlana Red and the Chevaliers” on amazon/kindle. Volumes 1-8 are also available on amazon/kindle. They are always FREE if you have Kindle Unlimited!

-A new photo/comic book/essay “The Heroine” is coming soon to Amazon/Kindle.

-THE LADY HAS ARRIVED AT HER DESTINATION-“Strax and the Widow” is an ebook on Amazon/Kindle. Please take a peek, enjoy and review on amazon and goodreads!

Image

-Like on Facebook-The Countess, Official Fanpage of Victoria L. Szulc

-Follow on Twitter-@TheCountessSP

-On Pinterest-Victoria Szulc (nee Schultz)

-Etsy-TheHauteHen

-Instagram-Steampunkcountess

-Tumblr-thesteampunkcountess

-Fine Art America-store coming soon

33 or 28 Forever

As I prepared to release the latest installment of The Vampire’s Little Black Book on Amazon, I was shocked by the sudden death of one of my coworkers from my “day” job (thus my delays, sorry). Dominique Hardin was our receptionist. After a while, she was recruited to be my part time assistant. I taught her the basics of TV commercial order entry and she picked up on it really well. She was kind of still in that club kid phase, but I didn’t judge her and for that, I am eternally grateful. I really miss her, especially after a hard week at work.

I got to know Dominique better after training her. She was a model and actress. She’d done runway shows, photo shoots and a short independent film.  She’d dated a nationally famous rapper and a St. Louis Rams player. She’d earned the nickname “Stage”.  She had contacts in Atlanta and had hoped to move there by August 1st. A relative of mine works for a large national company with a branch there. I tried to get her a temporary “day” job until her contacts could come up with acting work for her. But some things fell through and she was stuck here in St. Louis for a while longer. Her deadline to leave town passed. I wish to God I’d been able to help her get to Atlanta.

On August 18th, around 4:30am, in East St. Louis, near “the dead man’s curve”,  Dominique, her cousin and a friend was headed to a strip club to celebrate a birthday. A minivan crossed the center line and collided head on with Dominique’s car. When they were hit, she was thrown into the backseat. She and the driver that hit them, were killed on the scene.

Much later that Sunday night I received the horrible news from my manager. I think I repeated “what?” about ten times. I cried for about an hour after I hung up the phone. She would be forever twenty-eight.

If you could pick your “forever” age, what would it be? Will doesn’t get to choose thirty-three. However, I think it’s a good age to be. You’ve made it through your twenties alive with a little wisdom and probably most of your health. And you’re not too old to have fun. I decided to create Will at this age for two reasons.

I liked my own thirty-three for the most part. I had my first house. I created a stunning piece of art in the garage. I continued building my art business. I discovered some really good music, especially Chris Botti. The atmosphere of his music helps me write. I had a fantastic garden. And I made a somewhat hilarious effort to meet Mr. Right after a local paper made my single’s ad the featured single of the week. I was the “curvaceous cutie”.  But that’s another story.

The second reason? I’m a bit superstitious. Three is a lucky number for me. It’s the holy trinity. And thirty-three is luck twice over. I also bet on it when I play roulette. But back to Will.

This is definitely one of the more melancholy stories of Will’s journey. He has the chance to give someone eternity on earth, but will she take it? Would you?

I am stunned at how oddly the completion of this volume coincided with Dominique’s passing. My own emergency surgery just a few weeks prior, made me more conscious of my mortality.

I need to continue to create and live life to the fullest; to share my art, to pursue my dreams. To de-clutter and move from the past, let my old stuff be someone else’s new. I continue to purge and sell off stuff I’m just not using or don’t need. I recycled or threw out old love letters from the last boyfriend. I recently went through my art closet and am selling almost everything through etsy, flea markets, my website or at a couple local shops and galleries, keeping only the most personal pieces. Art is meant to be shared.

I will be forty-five on October 5th this year. I don’t feel my age except for the remnants of some old injuries. Honestly, I never want to grow up. Emotionally, I want to always have the happiness of a little kid inside me. I like myself more than I have in a long time. And thank God for good genes and artistic make-up skills, I don’t look my age either. I’ll expand on this in my next blog. But meanwhile, I remind myself that time is short. I don’t feel the need to be frozen in time, but I am doing my best to sanely live in the now.

My character Will is thirty-three forever due to supernatural forces. Dominique will be twenty-eight forever in my heart due to a terrible accident. God bless you “Stage”; you’re now a star in the heavens.

“33 Forever” the latest installment of The Vampire’s Little Black Book series will be available on Amazon/Kindle by mid-October. Patrick Renfrow has been cast as the face of “Will”.  I think you’ll want to get to know him too. A free download period for the whole series and online store will come around Halloween. Be sure to follow me on Facebook at The Countess, the Official Fanpage of Victoria L. Szulc or Twitter @TheCountessSP for more details. And please follow this blog. I only post about once of month so you won’t get over notified.

Please take care and be safe.

Building a Relationship with a Vampire or the Hardest and Easiest Episodes to Write

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.