Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Interview with a Character: Link 4 in the AW W1S1 Blog Chain

Interview with the Vampire... Baron

Me: Oh, I was so nervous about this...

The Baron: *with raised eyebrow* But why? 

Me: Well, I've never interviewed a character before, much less had a vampire in my apartment! And you know, the cat litter. I understand you have a superhuman sense of smell...

The Baron: Well, I'm flattered to have been invited. And cat litter, well, even in Anguria, excrement happens.

*We both laugh, well, he politely titters, and I giggle like a Girl Scout who just sold a truckload of thin mints. It's true what they say about being in their presence. I'm all a flutter. Of course, this one is incredibly good looking! Oh gosh... I forgot they can skim what's in the front of your mind... oh I'm starting to ramble! And his eyes are starting to glaze over...*

Me: We're the fourth in the blog chain for the Write One Sub One Novel Challenge. People have high expectations at this point! Ria Rees had the previous post. And then Hunter Emkay is up next. (The complete list is available here.)

The Baron: *lifting his tea cup* Then let's make this a good one!

Me: *slightly goofy* All right! So - tell me something about vampires. What does popular culture have right? What do they get wrong?

The Baron: I hate to speak for all of my kin, but most vampires understand that we represent an almost primordial, primitive fear to non-vampires. Much of it is a holdover from superstitions in the dark ages; a truly primitive people trying to understand a race that lives on blood, is stronger and faster, able to see in the dark, and seemingly to read your minds, *here, he looks away from me and I try not to think how cute he is* Of course they thought us monsters, that we wanted to steal their children, we wanted to "make" more vampires, or worse, slaves. All that's nonsense of course. There are always those who are attracted to us, and they want to come to us to be "turned", as it were. If you want to be a vampire, you have to be born one, I'm afraid. If we take a human wife, or in some cases other donors, they could come to share some of our traits, such as a longer life or slower aging, but only after long contact. Drinking another's blood is all about sharing the baser means of life. It is life. It's only right we share some of our gifts with those who give us life, but they don't come to require blood themselves. The modern idea, or literary device, that we are somehow infectious or the result of disease I find a little insulting, but again, we have to give allowances. Or perhaps it's better than the belief that we are re-animated corpses, the result of suicide or the son of the devil. I'm glad those beliefs have fallen by the wayside.

Me: And your eyes are freaky!

The Baron, laughing: Yes, and our eyes are different. We've hardly any color to them. I think it's a matter of natural selection. We can see in the dark, we can see in ultraviolet, in other words, we don't need eye contact to see one another. But I'm no scientist. I could be wrong.

Me: Are our eyes freaky to you?

The Baron: Well...

Me: Oh, you're too polite to answer that, aren't you? Let's carry on! Do vampires believe in God?

The Baron: *pursing his lips slightly, as if surprised at the question. Did the temperature just plummet, or is that me?* I would say we are much like humans in this regard. Some do, some don't. Some of us believe in alternative deities. Spirituality is hardly governed by race.

Me: True, true! So tell me, is it rude to ask a vampire his age?

The Baron: Perhaps it is of the ladies, *he smiles... I nearly faint* but I do not mind the question. At the time of your story, I am about 150 years old. I was just coming up to my middle years.

Me: And yet you aren't married.

The Baron: Gentlemen vampires tend to marry later in life. Probably because it is rare for us to have more than one child. We believe in keeping our numbers low, we always have, so we marry late. It's a survival mechanism.

Me: While we're on the subject of marriage and love and whatnot, what do you look for in a woman, one you might eventually marry?

The Baron: She must have an independent mind, and not be caught up in the changing whims of fashion. I loathe social climbing in all its forms. An education is important, and not just parlor accomplishments, like singing and dancing. I don't plan on keeping my wife in the parlor, at least, not all the time. *laughs*

Me: You were surprised at Ophelia's lack of language skill. (I am referring to his leading lady, who he teases for having no French or German.)

The Baron: *smiling* I manage to overlook it, though. 

Me: *relieved the temperature has come back up* So you are willing to compromise?

The Baron: The heart will override the intellect. And she has the intelligence, of course, she simply hasn't had the tutelage.

Me: Fair enough! What about beauty? How important is that?

The Baron: Beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder. Don't groan! Some of the old cliches are true. Beauty is found in love. When you care for someone, their physical appearance hardly matters. Ophelia they say is fetching, or pretty, but only because they compare her to her mother's beauty. If they saw her as I do, they wouldn't compare her to anyone.

Me: Ok. You just made a bunch of ladies go da'aawwww.....

The Baron: Is that a good thing?

Me: Oh yes! Now, before you go, I guess the "character interview" question I'm supposed to ask is, "What do you want?"

The Baron:*laughing* Oh, but that's such a broad question! I want world peace. I want better road surfaces in the upper mountain regions, so they don't turn to bloody rivers in the springtime. What do you want? What did you want this morning? Is it different from what you want now? Can you narrow it down for me?

Me: *sighing* And this people, is why the book is 126k at the first draft. *Aside to the vampire* You have to be difficult, don't you? 

Monday, January 16, 2012


The first draft of The Vampire Baron is done! It's a whopping 126k of rambling gothic romance. Oh yes. There will be edits. There will be blood. I can already think of three scenes that need adding, and many more that need a serious weeding and hoeing to get them into shape. That will wait though, as I am going straight into edits on Darklight, my urban fantasy, starting tomorrow. 

But that's tomorrow. Tonight, we watch English period drama and dream our beautiful dreams.

Friday, January 13, 2012

A Confession: A Post

Hello everyone. Can't believe I haven't done a real-for-true blog post for 2012. I began le Grand Experiment and got tripped up by the short story exercise... First: because short stories are the bane of my existence. I can read them. I don't write them. And, too-also, I've been writing up a damn storm! So I think it's no tragedy that le Grand Experiment went belly up, because the whole point was to try and kick start the writing again.

To that end: I was getting so caught up in the whole: publish, publish, publish noise that I was feeling very down. Well, that and the fact I have three unedited novels that I haven't even begun to get in query shape. I've been avoiding a lot of blog reading. Instead, amidst the storm of writing, I've been like... reading. Trying to find the love of the craft again. I know that a writer has to be informed in regards to the publishing industry. However. I think the advice of publishers and agents, with their lists of what you should do, what they want, what is "selling" (as well informed and knowledgeable as it is) can be soul crushing to the muse. I hate to come to my writing sessions with some sort of agenda. I just want to write the story the way it wants to be written. I forgot that the first draft is for me. If I can polish and hone it, and make it marketable, well, that should come after the fact.

Depending on how you look at it, I'm either way over or on track for my intended word count for The Vampire Baron. If only I could keep track of what word count I had intended! I'm a little over 106,00. I feared, due to the length of the outline, it could be as much as 140k. Then I got that under control and feared it would be 120k, but I would do a lot of editing, and shave that down. Then I thought I was on track for 100k. But that didn't happen. Right now, I just think it'll be done when it's done. Which I really hope will be this weekend. I need to get editing on my Urban Fantasy! It's gonna be a good long weekend.