And 2014 is Almost Half Over!!! Yikes!
I began the year planning to write my straight forward Vampire story, Dark Reliquary: Prelude to Roses of the Moon, and the more arcane, The Lucifer Tree, its sequel. Though Roses of the Moon was downloaded over 6000 times for free and gotten excellent reviews, it has not been a hot seller. I think this was partly due to my mis-catagorizing it. And it is a weird book, taking place in a mythical 17th century Hungary, an undiscovered world that is far more fascinating than people realize. I hope it will find its audience, but its not happening yet.
Word on the street is that you have to have four to five books published in a series before it takes off. I understand. Readers want the whole thing in case they get really involved. They don’t get stuck on a cliff hanger. So I’d planned to get the Prequel, Dark Reliquary finished and Perma-Free, and get the second book out there this year. A third and a fourth are planned in this series as well. If people like it, there could be any number of spin-offs as this a deep world.
Then The Lady in Yellow took off.
This rather old fashioned Gothic Romance was always my most promising book. I am surpised how well it does in Werewolves and Shifters, the lone Romance amongst all the graphic sex and violence of the typical werewolf story. Anne Rice’s Wolf Gift is #1. I feel honored to be in her company. The trick is to follow The Lady in Yellow with something those readers will love. My ghost story, Memento Mori, is not it.
As I work on a several books in tandem in oder to give them shelf time, I browse my story cupboard looking for something that will come together quickly enough to please my readers. Now that the first draft of Dark Reliquary: Prequel to Roses of the Moon is finished, I have three choices: Infernal Muses based on the life of Pre-Raphaelite model Lizzie Siddal, and Dark Night, Lily Bright, a more mainstream novelization about Suzanne de Montmorency the ghost in Memento Mori, that will be a much better book. I also have Daemon Lover, a big, very dark project that I am not quite ready to tackle yet.
Infernal Muses is now a screenplay, Beata Beatrix, so is already much like a first draft. As I write I find out how much work filling in the details is, especially creating an accurate picture of Victorian London. There are no werewolves in this story, so I can’t cover my butt by calling it Fantasy. But there are supernatural elements: seances, ghosts and psychic vampirism. Dante Gabriel Rossetti was the nephew of John Polidori, author of the very first vampire novel, The Vampyre, written on a dark and stormy night in Switzerland on the very same ocassion responsible for Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.
The Pre-Raphaelites come in and out of popularity, but have their perrenial fans. I will make Lizzie’s story different. I will make it as Gothic as the thunderstorms and lightning flashes that inspired Polidori. I will infuse a Bram Stokerish atmosphere. Having lived with these artists in my psyche since I was an art student in the late 1970s, I feel a great resonance with their souls. Perhaps that is why the writing is flowing so easily. The only thing slowing me down is the research.
I hope readers of The Lady in Yellow will love this book. The Lady is a tough act to follow. She does stand alone.