The Slick Furies
I’ve finished writing my synopsis. The book is in the final stages of review before I get my advanced copy for proofing. As soon as I hit the button to begin that process, I thought of two things that I need to change, or clarify, so I’ll get to figure out how to do that. I’m also incredibly nervous as to whether or not I managed to get the cover for the book right. As I am doing every last bit of this myself, am I learning as I go. I know that I can do it, I can get it right, but as to whether or not it all uploaded correctly as yet, I don’t know. I’ve written the official synopsis for the book. One thing at a time, so far, right on schedule. In fact, so on schedule that I feel comfortable saying that the original deadline that I set for myself with this book was/is Halloween. I’d reveal the cover right now but I’m not sure if I got it formatted right yet! You can kind of get the idea from above.
What is this book?
Call it Pulp-Horror, call it Vampire Noir. This book doesn’t pretend to be something that it isn’t. If it were a film, it would definitely deserve at least an R-rating. This is a fun book, deadly serious fun.
How did I end up writing a Vampire Novel when I don’t like vampires?
That is a question for the ages. When I started writing this book, I was coming off of having just finished writing a western, a horror-sci-fi, romance, western mash-up, complete with a werewolf, an alien, and vampires, in it. I had not intended for there to be vampires in the western. I thought that having written that, I was done with vampires. What I intended to write was a straight crime novel, some Noir, or pulp type fiction. Before I ever wrote the first word of THE SLICK FURIES, this thought snuck into my head, “Yeah, but, what if the serial killer were a vampire? Aren’t all vampires really serial killers anyway?”
As often previously mentioned, I cut my teeth on shows like Perry Mason, The Twilight Zone, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Night Gallery, IN SEARCH OF…, Kolchak, and then there was The X-Files, and a real crime story series called CITY CONFIDENTIAL that I still watch episodes of. Heck, I still watch episodes of all of those shows, as well as new ones of that ilk that strike my fancy. In my day I’ve read horror novels, true crime novels, romances, and that all goes into the mix.
Because I don’t like vampires and didn’t see them in any kind of a romantic light, my approach to writing this story was that the characters themselves, at some point, have had to come to grips with the fact that,”Yeah, can you believe it? Vampires, are real.” Along with a variety of other creatures, monsters, and possibilities. This created room for humor. This book doesn’t take itself too seriously.
However, at 455 pages, it is a serious book. I fought myself through the first draft, getting up, walking away from the computer, fit throwing, you name it. I didn’t want to write it and I couldn’t stop writing it. I was angry through a lot of the writing of this book, some of that was just life, some of that turned out to have more to do with the stage of life that I’m at. A lot of the time it was like I couldn’t get out of my own way and it had to be something, or someone, else that was keeping me writing this instead of what I really wanted to be writing. But I’d get to certain point in the story and I’d know what happened next. At the moment when I knew what the ending had to be, there was no way that I wasn’t going to finish writing it. This was my transformation, sometimes ugly and painful, into full-fledged novelist.
Most writers put a lot of themselves into their books. To say that there is a lot of ME in this book, would be a massive understatement. In the last ten years or so, a lot of Talessia’s story came from my own, though this certainly a fictional story. There are, however, parts of me in a lot of these characters, their experiences are drawn in some way from my own, I can see some of myself in them. I learned the value of monsters, and by that I mean vampires, werewolves, creatures, as metaphor, for the expression of human emotion and experience. Writing this book, I fell completely in love with writing fiction.
This book taught me, again, to get out of my own way and just write it. If it turns out to be vampires or whatever it is, then it does. If it’s rated G, or R, or X, when it’s done, then it is.
What if the serial killer is a vampire? From there I had this poem that I’d written in January of 2012, about the hollow promise of everything, that all that glitters isn’t gold.
I had this story that was published by Solarcide, “THE LOVE”, that I’d wanted to do more with. That story introduced the idea of religious themes to the mix, as did researching my own ancestry and finding out just how far back I could go with it. I’d been reading some mythology and had written the poem Thelxiepeia. In the course of that I’d read about the Erinyes, or Furies, Greek deities of vengeance. I thought, THE SLICK FURIES, and I could see it, and, it stuck with me.
Then of course there are all of the elements of classic crime stories and vampire clichés. Hopefully there’s a new twist or two on some things, but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I say roll with it.
It’s very technical work sometimes, trying to keep track of things.
It’s all fiction but really, make things up. To me, this is one of the best things about writing fiction, just make stuff up. This story takes place in The City of New Faith, someplace that I fabricated. The streets, the buildings, the history, completely made up, including when the township was founded, in 1789, and when it was really founded, in 1607. What it all was in my head was kind of sort of someplace like New Orleans, or San Francisco, or San Diego, if those cities still had more rural outlying suburbs. The original draft centered around the workings of “The Agency” which later became entrenched as part of “The Aeternus Fidei Research and Development Center” because when you’re talking about centuries old vampires, at some point there’s going to be Latin involved. Aeternus Fidei translates to “Eternal Faith.” Writing about vampires is kind of fun, they’ve been alive for so long, a vampire could have known most any historical figure.
It isn’t quite time to give away too many details about the main characters of this story because that might give away too much of the story. But like I said, this book isn’t pretending to be anything that it isn’t. I’m working up mini-bios for them.
A glimpse of the interiors.
Will there be a sequel or a second book in a possible trilogy or series?
Right now, knowing what it took to get this first book written and that I haven’t even got it out the door yet, still having quite a bit of work to do in these final stages… I don’t know.
I will say that while I didn’t write the ending with a sequel in mind, it is, nonetheless, perfectly set up to lead into a second book. One of the other things that I love about fiction and sequels, making things up, writing stories like this, is that anything can happen in them. Did you ever watch soap operas back in the day, sometimes a character would die off but not really be dead, only hidden away somewhere, or an actor would quit or get fired, and they’d say, “The part of Hercules Rampart will now be played by Millard Bolangerie.” Well, I just always thought that was the greatest, most ridiculous thing. How many times did Freddy, Jason, Michael Myers, come back? I saw “Friday the 13th; The Final Chapter” in the theaters and we had a blast calling it, “Friday the 13th; The Final Chapter, Yeah, Right” and “Friday the 13th; The Final Chapter, Allegedly.”
Really, the second book is in my head, possibly a third. I started the research over a year ago. But that doesn’t mean that I will write those books, or, a finish writing them. Once I knew that I was going to do this myself, publish myself, it changed a lot of things. I love this process, I mean, I love it. I have learned so much. It is, however, a tremendous amount of work to write any book, particularly a book of this length. I don’t know. I do know that I definitely will complete some other projects and write something else first, I need to.
Right now, knock on wood, say a prayer, things are schedule for THE SLICK FURIES to be available for purchase in October, 2016! ( or sooner…we’ll see.)
In closing, I thanked a lot of people earlier in the day. I’m always terribly hesitant about all such things, hesitant to presume or assume. I mean, I don’t know, perhaps people don’t want to be thanked or whatever it is. I’ve acknowledged people before because I thought their work was good or webpage was cool, what have you, and sometimes people don’t appreciate it. That aside, there are many people who were kind to me, decent to me here and there, who helped in little ways or big ways, a lot of times perhaps in moments when they had no idea how much it meant, and I am so thankful and grateful to them and for them. I do tend to think that things happen for a reason and work out as they should. Finishing this book, doing this myself, has given me back a sense of myself. I’m nervous, oh yes I am. I know that I couldn’t have written it, or finished it, or managed to get through any of it, without the people who have been decent and supportive along the way, in one way or another.
Thank-you, from the bottom of my heart, so very much.
10 September, 2016
Categories: courage, grace, Halloween, heart, horror, Noir, Novel, publishing, strength, The Slick Furies, transformation, vampires, writing