Am I a "Vampire" Author?
It has been said, albeit in jest
At my very first book signing, my table-neighbor, Jessica Mathews was wrapped up in a blanket because of the colder-than-a-witch's-you-know air conditioning. Most everyone else in the room had on long sleeves or jackets of some kind. Meanwhile, I was as comfortable as could be in a short-sleeve, knee-high dress.
I've always loved the cold. I'm one of those freaks that say winter is my favorite season. There's something so pure and clean about crisp, cold air. There's simple beauty in the world asleep, appearing dead in the depths of winter yet still being so alive. Some people may prefer the bright colors of springtime or the warm colors of autumn, but for me the silent, white world after a blizzard is the most beautiful scene of all.
That day, Jessica (jokingly) accused me of being a real vampire on account of how much I liked the cold. Of course, she was probably poking a little harmless fun at my book, which incidentally has a couple vampires in it. Sure, I think I look best in red and black, prefer not to get tanned if I can help it, and love the cold, but I'm not a vampire (that you know of, winkwink). But am I a vampire author?
First Billy, and now Archer
It's true; my first book, The Un-Life of William Moore, centers around the un-life of one William Moore, who is, in fact, a vampire. The book I am currently querying, The Blood Knight, focuses on the adventures of Archer, a vampire hunter who gets turned into a vampire. Coincidence? The answer is yes!
At a glance, having 2 out of 2 of my published/announced projects being vampire books, one could probably make the assumption that that the pale undead is all I write about. Far from it!
I write urban fantasy, sometimes called magical realism or low fantasy, which I tell people basically means I write about fantasy occurring in the modern world. Vampires surviving in the 21st century is one way to do urban fantasy, and a very popular one at that, but that's not all. Other popular urban fantasy books may feature werewolves, faries or fae, or witches. Sometimes all of the above!
I'd even go so far as to say I write dark urban fantasy. You won't find many happily-ever-afters in my stories, and they'll often have dark themes. No fairy godmothers are going to save the day, heroes are flawed and complicated, and the villains can be exceptionally wicked. I write the bitter, real struggles of the lives of those cursed or blessed (but mostly cursed) with supernatural power.
The darker side of urban fantasy
It's sort of an accident that my next book after The Un-Life was another vampire book. My next project was planned to be this little thing with the working title Inner Demons, which has, you guessed it, demons as main characters. However, I've been a little stuck on this book for a while. I am about 25k words in, and have a general middle and end planned out, but filling in the gaps between those events has proven difficult.
So when I hit a road bump in the demon story, I took up The Blood Knight again to be working on something. Incidentally, I was blessed by the Muses with idea after idea after idea for BK. The story that was only meant to be a backstory for Archer (a rather minor character in the grand scheme of things at the time) turned into Archer being the main character for the entire trilogy. The hero! The title character, even. But it didn't stop there. By the time I was done with first draft of book one, I was dreaming up spin-offs of Blood Knights, which will all feature a different type of monster and their culture.
Unfortunately my preferred title, "Moon Knight," is taken (thanks, Marvel/Disney), but I have intentions of writing a spin-off about a werewolf hunter that turns into a werewolf! It will be similar to its predecessor, but also vastly different, possibly even taking place in a different country.
I also have a pretty good grasp on a spin-off centered around demons (unrelated to Inner Demons). About a...wait for it...someone who gets possessed by a demon (you thought I want going to say "a demon hunter that gets turned into a demon," didntja?). All of these "Knight" stories will take place in the same universe. These numerous knights may end up meeting each other some day... (Epic crossover, anyone?)
Answering the original question...
Long story short, no, I'm not just a vampire author. Maybe a monster author, but that's not even a perfect title. I don't strictly only write urban fantasy. I have an emotional realistic fiction on the back burner, a sci-fi concept struggling to come to fruition, and a couple plain-ol' high fantasy novels cookin' (one of them is romance, ooooh). Speaking of romance, I've also been debating putting all these romantic thoughts in my head that I can't somehow vomit out to my crush into a book instead. Vanilla romance with no monsters involved. So weird, but I want to give it a try!
When the fiction Muses aren't with me, I dabble in poetry, and hope to have enough poetry to publish in a book someday. In fact, it's on my to-do list (which you might be noticing by now is a rather long list!).
So put away your pitchforks and wooden stakes. I'm just a beautifully flawed human being, just like you.
Stay tuned for an update on my upcoming audiobook release of The Un-Life of William Moore!
We're all a little mad here,
Welcome home! Thank you for following me to yet another platform. Wordpress wasn't doing it for me, and then Blogger just didn't feel like enough, but now I feel like I've made a good home on Weebly. Everything looks so nice and professional. What do you think?
I'm a big kid now...
I've been unhappy with my website for a while now. When I was younger, I thought blog-websites were so cool, so I formatted my author website as a blog. After all, I planned on doing lots of blogging and making the blog the centerpiece of the website. However, as time went on, I realized that most serious authors don't make their blog the first page you see. It's usually only a tab on the home row. I felt like my website looked unprofessional and childish, but didn't know what I could do - until now.
The grand opening of my online store
With COVID-19 making book signings impossible (where most authors make the most money), I knew I had to adapt or stagnate. The logical solution was to create some way for me to sell my books online. I also, preferably, wanted to have my own online store. I didn't want to just sell on Amazon or Ebay, but wanted to have my own exclusive website that only sold my content.
Then, Square emailed me the solution, advertising their free online store. I already use Square readers for credit card sales in person, so having another outlet to sell using Square seemed like a logical choice. It also turned out to be the right choice!
I made my online store through Weebly, and fell in love with the ease and beauty of it's design. The drag-and-drop feature made designing a breeze, and within two days I had a fully fledged online store.
So I took it a step further, and decided to make an entirely new website using Weebly. This time, it wasn't quite as easy, as I had to call upon my old web design knowledge from college to change the color of unchangeable elements, but it was all worth it. I'm ridiculously happy with the end result. I now feel like I have a professional-grade website I can be truly proud of. I may still yet make some font changes in the future, but she's more or less done.
So what else is new...
I haven't been blogging all that much because there's honestly not much to report. I'm still querying my baby, The Blood Knight, but haven't heard anything from agents or publishers yet. I have gotten back all my beta-reader feedback, though, and so far so good!
However, with the announced release of Midnight Sun, an entry in the Twilight Saga, I'm not sure what the future holds for BK right now. It's either going to be really good if the market wants to publish vampire stories again, or it's going to be really bad if no one wants to publish a competing book. Time will tell if this is the perfect time for BK to be picked up, or the worst time.
In other news, things are personally looking up for me financially. My beautiful PC Divinity has been down for months, but I'm going to be able to buy a brand new beast of a machine within a few weeks. That means I'll have the power to do more live streams, only this time in ultra high quality!
In the meantime...
I'll wrack my brain for more blog topics other than essential-updates in the near future. I'm going to be figuring out what I want to talk about, and what I need to talk about. They say you should blog about things related to the books you write, but I don't want to just prattle on about the undead all the time. I like sharing my knowledge and experience in writing, but the audience for my books are more likely to be readers than writers.
It's something I'll have to work out before I start blogging regularly again. Let me know what you want me to blog about in the comments! I'm open to suggestions.
I will be making my previous website available to view so you can check out my old blog posts, but I'm fighting with Google to make that happen because it's currently bugged out. If all else fails, I'll just re-post my most popular blog posts here, eventually.
Until next time..
Author - Dana Lockhart
Lockhart is an urban fantasy author and writing community leader.