“Happy New Years” From Nathan and Company

new day

This is what one of our authors posted on FB and it’s a sentiment Otto, Lisa, Marisa, Isabella and the rest of us share. I know things have been a little slow here on the blog, what with our 1st anthology , “The Vampyre Blogs – One Day At A Time” (available now in Kindle and Trade Paperback at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07KMN78B2) having just come out and all, but rest assured new tales are on the way. And so are some long overdue volumes of work such as “The Door” which will be the fourth full-length novel in the Para-Earth Series, which me and my friends are a part of.

Up until now, the authors have kind of taken a Terry Pratchett approach to the series. When Mr. Pratchett created his Discworld Series he had different groups of characters he’d focus on in each book, but all the stories were taking place in the same reality and on the same world. He had his rag-tag bunch of police constables led by the crotchety Commander Sam Vimes in ‘The Watch’ books, then he had his wizards and their Unseen University in books focusing on them, Death himself had a number of books focused on him and his granddaughter Susan Sto Helit, then there were Granny Weatherwax, Tiffany Aching, and the other witches who had their own area in the series, and so on. However, every so often Mr. Pratchett would mix his cast in some books to help solidify the idea that all of this was taking place in the same world.

Well, Allan and Helen are getting ready to do the same thing with us and the cast of characters from “The Bridge” and “The Ship”. This has been an idea that has been long in development for them, especially for Allan who we have come to lovingly refer to as “Mr. Decisive”. The reason we do this is because he’s been working on “The Door” since 2014. While he had a clear vision for a beginning, most of the middle section, and an ending for the book, he could never quite find the right sequence of events to take place in between which bring them all together in a nice cohesive tale.

Realizing he was getting nowhere fast, Allan took a break from that book and focused on us with Helen. This led to “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home” along with the creation of this blog and the short-stories contained within. For those who’ve been following this blog since the beginning, and have read “The Bridge” and “The Ship”, you will know that on a few occasions some of the characters from those books have appeared in this blog along with Otto and myself in the past. Those past encounters will be the basis for what is about to come in “The Door”, where I will come face-to-face with my old flame Police Sergeant Veronica Ross. This meeting will lead all of us to a haunted house unlike any you’ve ever seen before, as well as many more adventures to come. There will also be plenty of new short stories here on this blog.

So strap yourselves in and get ready for the long haul, because there’s a lot coming your way.

Until next time, thanks for all your support and please keep reading.

thank you

LISA’S “PRIVATE” THOUGHTS – OCTOBER 22nd, 2014 “Something Bad Is Coming” Part-I

     *With the start of the holiday season, Helen and I thought it would be nice to give you all a little glimpse into some of what has been happening between the end of “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home”, and the upcoming sequel “The Vampyre Blogs – Family Ties”.  Those who  have read the first book were given a sneak peek into the next installment where there are is a solid two week block of anxiety where Nathan is not to be found.  Nor is there any indication of when or if he will return.

     Today’s story takes place during that three week period where Lisa, one of those who witnessed Nathan’s departure, shares the growing sense of foreboding that has been building inside her.  Enjoy* 

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     It’s been two weeks since Nathan went to ground and there’s still no sign of when he may return… and I’m worried.  Not about whether or not he’s coming back, the Professor has assured both me and Marisa repeatedly that Nathan will come back to us, it’s just a question of when?  Ever since that night at the cemetery when everything went down, I’ve had a growing feeling of unease.

     I only really noticed it a couple of days after the battle, but looking back I’m certain it was already starting to gnaw at me the moment we all headed inside Nathan’s manor to tend to Marisa’s ankle.  But I didn’t dwell on it at the time because my dad arrived with Penny, who had had a bad shock earlier having seen her former pimp Tony in town.  She still doesn’t know the guy was already dead and acting as host to the ghoul slime that nearly killed me and Marisa, not that any of us plan to tell her anytime soon because that would mean possibly revealing Nathan’s secret.

     Luckily the Professor, sorry I mean Otto (he prefers Marisa and me to call him that), was on hand to smooth things over.  I always thought Nathan was a fast-talker, but he pales in comparison to Otto.  He explained to Penny that Nathan had been called away on business, leaving him in charge of overseeing further restoration of the manor in his absence. Naturally, Marisa, Richard and I all backed him up, not that we really needed to.  Otto has a disarming way about him and can be so charming that Penny seemed quite happy to have him around.

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     Of course, there was still the question of what happened to Marisa’s ankle. I wound up taking the lead on that one.  Nathan taught me long ago that half-truths are far more convincing and easier to remember than flat out lies.  So I told her that Marisa slipped and fell while running up the driveway to the manor when she and I were racing each other to see Nathan.  When we found out he wasn’t here, nor were Richard or Otto at that point, we called Dr. Jack who does house calls.  Which is also true, he does make house calls quite a bit even in this day and age.  Then again, we’re not a huge town so that makes things easy for him to give that personal touch.  And he did a great job on Marisa’s ankle, she’s doing much better.  At school today I could barely detect any sign of a limp as we walked to and from our classes.  Some movements still give her a twinge, but nothing serious.

     And right now as I type these words, I’m feeling another twinge of anxiety.  Probably because of the recurring dream I’ve been having for the past week.  It always starts out with me was standing on one of the many hillsides that overlooks our little town of Pointer.  The sun is just rising and I can see the light spreading across the valley slowing approaching the town I’ve called home all my life.  Soon the morning rays begin touching the trees, turning the yellow leaves that still cling to their branches, a brilliant gold, while at the same time making the grass seem more vibrant and welcoming.

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     The rooftops seem to spring to life and glisten with morning dew and everything just seems so beautiful and alive… then that uneasy feeling that’s been haunting me  seems to awaken and grow with a terrifying vengeance.

     I find my eyes are drawn to one of the dairy farms in the distance, where not too long ago a Tim Spratt was trampled to death when something spooked the family herd causing them to break out of the barn where they’d been kept.  Officially, the word is that a mountain lion or bear broke in and killed two of the animals, but I heard my father telling Otto just last night that he believes there is more to the story.  One of the deputies, who is part of Nathan’s “Extended Family” here in town was away at the time of the incident, but upon returning to work he learned the case was still quietly being investigated.

     It turns out Kevin, that’s the deputy’s name, learned from his co-workers that tracks were found leading in and out of the barn.  It looked more like several animals had been on the scene, including a deer, a bear and one or two others, that would not normally be found entering a barn.  Furthermore, there had been a sickly smell that still seemed to linger in the area.  Last I heard, the family is tearing down the barn and have moved the animals to another enclosure.

     Upon hearing this, my mind raced back to the cemetery where Marisa and I came under attack from creatures the Ghoul Slime had made from the bodies of dead buried there.  Each one had been a fusion of human and animal remains, which gave off a sickly unearthly smell.  I began to wonder then if Tim Spratt had been one of the Ghoul Slime’s earliest victims, which might account for what happened next in my dream…

TO BE CONTINUED…

We Interrupt Your Regular Blog Reading With A Word From The Author….

My sincerest apologies for not updating the untold chronicles of Nathaniel and company.  I’ve been very busy these last few weeks working on the 3rd and 4th drafts of my second book “The Ship” which is coming out in May during the Memorial Day Weekend.  Naturally, a lot has to be done between now and then to get that book in proper shape.  So it’s taking up a lot of my time.

That said, I want to reassure you Nathaniel, Marisa and many others will be posting here again soon.  In the meantime I thought I’d share a little of my inspirations and thoughts on Nathaniel’s personality.

I’ve been a long time fan of Doctor Who since the 1960’s when I saw my first Dalek.  Naturally, I became fascinated with the series and the many incarnations of the Doctor and his companions.  But what really struck me sometimes was the concept of someone having such a long life.  While the Doctor is not immortal, he has been around for centuries and he’s always kept himself busy.  Each incarnation makes reference to some famous person they’d met years ago such as Houdini, Einstein, HG Wells, and many others.

In a lot of vampire fiction I’ve seen over the years, it seems many of the undead spent time staked or sleeping while the centuries passed them by and they awakened into a whole new period so different from the one they remembered.  For them there is the storyline of adapting and becoming familiar with how the world has changed, in addition to whatever mischief they were about to unleash on others.

I didn’t want that for Nathaniel.  I wanted him to be a man who has witnessed and been part of the changing times.  Like the Doctor, he loves seeing how humankind is moving forward, making new discoveries and even getting to be a part of it.

However, there is still an old-world charm about him as well.  He still carries the lessons and values his parents instilled in him when he was growing up.  He’ll use modern idioms and phrases, but there’s still a lot of mannerisms that make one think he doesn’t quite fully belong to this era.  I took some inspiration from Dark Shadows vampire Barnabas Collins, in this respect.  Barnabas was originally intended to be a villain who would be destroyed when the show ended in a few months time.  But his brooding nature, and tragic past, endeared him to viewers so much the show went on to last for several more years, with him becoming a dark guardian angel to his descendants and the town they lived in.

Barnabas Collins was also one of the first good-guy vampires ever seen either in books or on television and has been a huge inspiration to those creating heroic undead.  However, he was also one of those vampires who was locked away and never fully fit in with the modern times.

I’ve been careful to make Nathaniel a mixed bag of old and new world.  If you were to meet him you’d find him funny, amusing, a bit dry in his sense of humor, but quite enjoyable to be around.  But he does have his moody side.  He’s outlived a lot of people he loved and watched over.  But he doesn’t get bogged down in the past, because there’s always so many new things happening and new people to meet.  In this respect, he’s a lot like the Doctor.  He remembers and respects the past, but knows he can only move forward with the times.

He’s also used his long life to keep busy.  Nathaniel is a man of many talents, because he’s had the time to study and develop numerous skills.  He paints, has done stage work, plays several instruments, has worked various jobs and has gone to a number of colleges and holds several degrees including a doctorate and three masters.  I won’t go into detail about what he’s studied because that will come to light in the novel.  He chose his studies carefully and with a purpose.

I really gave a lot of thought about his life when I came up with him.  What kinds of things would you do if you had an extended life-span that lasted centuries and you were fairly young all the time.  How many hobbies and skills could you learn?  What kind of talents would YOU want to develop.  Give it some thought and share some of them with us in the comments below.

Finally, I wanted to share a final image with you.  If I ever got the chance to see The Vampyre Blogs get turned into a movie for the theater or television, the person I’d most like to see as Nathaniel is Derek Hough.  His normal expression is kind of intense thanks to the arch of his eyebrows.  But he has such an animated personality, I could so see him going from intense to funny to moody all quite convincingly.  So if you’ve been wondering what Nathaniel might look like Derek’s my choice.  Well that’s all for now.  I hope to have Marisa or another new character post an entry in about a week or so.  So stay tuned, there are a lot more stories to be told.  Until then, happy reading everyone and thanks for sticking with me.