I’ve just released a trio of Halloween Stories. Last year my theme was along the lines of ghosts, witchery and a general fascination with this time of year being one of ‘openness’ to the other side. The title of last year’s Halloween trio was ‘The Eve on Which the Veil Fades’.
This year, the theme is vampires. The title is Born By Blood: Three Stories of Vampires, Blood and Piercing the Veil. My stories are fairly light horror. There is a bit of sensuality, some moments of fantasizing, references to intimacy, but no ‘below the belt’ bits are mentioned. So, sadly…erotica fans I haven’t done anything too sexy. Not that I have a problem with that sort of thing, as long as there is a story to tell and an ‘adults only’ policy/rating is adhered to. I really wouldn’t say these stories are for the kids.
I feel that kids can far too easily gain access to depictions of very grown up situations these days, be that on the internet, Netflix, or via their e-reader, etc. Sex does sell, and teenagers who are discovering that part of their humanity are bound to be curious. Parenting in this era of ‘put-parenting-controls-on-every-device-you-have-yet-mainstream-morning-radio-refers-to-sexual-pleasure-on-the-fucking-school-run’ is difficult.
That said, I’ve blogged about wanting to write about vampires before. Sex isn’t something you can avoid when writing about vampires. I suppose you could focus on the blood and use a young vampire wanting to drink it and compare it to wanting to eat too many sweets, or i.e. a teenage Christian vampire story and use it as a metaphor for chastity…#Twilight. That might not be for you, but I’m cool with that. Whatever.
Or you could use really young, crazy attractive people and have a sexual tension mixed with bloodlust party. It’s a writer’s discretion, or that of some producer who wants to use youthful sexuality to sell horror stories. Meh.
As for these stories, I’ve used characters over eighteen and in their twenties. I just didn’t feel comfortable using anyone under eighteen and frankly I took advantage of that age being the one where (in my own personal experience and I suppose in traditional NA ‘New Adult’ stories), people find grown up love for the first time and are of age to marry. I didn’t stick to that age purely because I didn’t think older vampires could be interesting, quite the contrary. Now that I’ve said that…I may have come up with a new story concept.
The opening story, ‘Bed Time Moira’ is the only story with a contemporary setting. It’s the shortest of the tales, it focuses on how vampires prey upon their victims. It begins with the reader picking up that Moira has been somehow chosen. But how will it happen? Who is it? Will anyone save her? How does she feel knowing that this day in age, she has been targeted by a vampire? That was fun to play with.
The middle story, ‘Lady by the River’ begins in the historical region of Lorraine (today Eastern France) in the 1720s. We find a woman who has been pushed to marry someone whom she doesn’t know and then she is forced to immigrate from Lorraine to Eastern Europe (today the Banat, where Hungary, Romania and Serbia share a border). So, there is a bit of that history, which is by the way tediously related to my current novel length project (I’m approving edits and deciding final chapter order on that one).
Camille, the protagonist is a woman who would have welcomed love and intimacy as an escape from the drudgery of her peasant life, yet she finds something different not long after marrying. Sexuality is a part of this story in that this was a time and place when many found such urges and desires as something to be suppressed and controlled.
The final story, ‘Puritanical Blood’ is from the perspective of a young man in colonial Rhode Island in the early 1700s. He is of Puritan stock as are his neighbors. They all own slaves and some make their money in rum production. Writing characters who were slaves I did find uncomfortable and sad. It’s not a part of history I enjoy delving into.
Yet delve I did, because it was there and in my opinion still casts its traumatized shadow over us. Owning kidnapped, trafficked human beings and considering them property was a part of every-day American life in the North and South in that era. That’s a horror story in itself…nonfiction.
Thomas Winterborn is in love with his neighbor, Mary. He fantasizes about her and wants to be an important, successful man with her at his side. Unfortunately he suffers at the hands of an alcoholic, rather rum soaked father. He is also reliant on the skills and expertise of their slave, Prince. In this story there is a sense of things not being what they seem. This story also has the most grisly scene.
So, there you have it. Three stories, for 99 pence or 99 cents on your #kindle.
Soon it will be All Hallows Eve and the veil will fade. It’s a time when creatures of the night, spirits, even lesser appreciated deities can cross over and get close to us. Maybe you’d like that sort of thing. Maybe not so much.
I will leave below links to The Eve on Which the Veil Fades and for Born by Blood: Three Stories of Vampires, Blood and Piercing the Veil.
US Amazon links:
UK Amazon links:
The Eve on Which the Veil Fades: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Eve-Which-Veil-Fades-ebook/dp/B01M7V680M/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1509112840&sr=1-1&keywords=The+Eve+On+Which+the+Veil+Fades+jessica+nicholls