These days I'm trying to lay off buying print books and to embrace the brave new world of eBooks wholeheartedly. I had no business buying this one in particular since I'd read it many times in the past. But I couldn't resist it. Rice looked so vulnerable in her 1976 mugshot on the book jacket that I ended up buying it anyway. (Remember that in the future; if you look pathetic in your author photo, there will always be suckers like me who will come along and buy your book.)
Only a month later and the book is now a talisman on my desk. I find myself pumped to write not just a few stories about vampires as I had intended, but an actual young adult series. Along with writing horror, I have consistently enjoyed reading this genre myself, whether current or antique. And I've always credited Anne Rice as the one author who excels at depicting vampires. Her complex and uniquely troubled characters have a good deal to do with the resurrection and expansion of the vampire genre so popular today. And back then she, too, was experimenting--perhaps a lucky harbinger for me.
So what am I doing with this coming-of-age series that is different?
Well, for one thing I am publishing separate stories on Wattpad. Each Blood Tied story is being developed into a novel from the first-person perspective of that character. The suspiciously armed guy you see above is Gunther, the teenaged daughter's boyfriend and reigning star of the third story which begins this Friday on Wattpad. While Klea is a vampire, Gunther is not--he's having to cope with Klea's crazy family, though, and believe me, the axe is quite necessary.
The first Blood Tied story is a bit of a shocker and said shock relied on writing it in first person. I had no intention of writing the second story in first person--but then I wondered if the characters might not be more memorable, and the story itself more vibrant, if each book switched to the first-person viewpoint of a different major character.
After writing two stories, I've decided that the personalized approach is working quite well. It will adapt well to a short novel form (what Henry James used to call 'the blest novella'.) This will make writing the series more challenging in some ways, but I also think it will be doubly intriguing to read if I do things right.
Being an ex-reporter, I've given myself deadlines and a rough writing length. The core stories will be 10,000 words or under and the books themselves 40,000 to 50,000 words.
I like the idea of putting the stories up on Wattpad. If readers dislike reading about a particular character, they will know in advance; and if they especially enjoy one of the characters, they will know that, too. And kids without the funds to buy books will still be able to experience the full flavor of this series by reading the stories.
I think I like that best of all.