I owe vampires big. Without them, I may well not be writing anymore. Though I have told stories from an early age in some form or other, by the time I graduated college and suffered my first rejection by a publisher, I was pretty much done. There were business trips and work projects and real-world relationships that filled up my time. And after two years of graduate degree work in technology, I was certain that every creative synapse in my brain had been fried for good.
Vampires never interested me before (I mean, seriously, the whole blood drinking thing…ewww), but after reading a discussion of Anne Rice’s Interview With the Vampire, I was intrigued enough to want to check it out. The moment I started reading, I was in raptures. The lush descriptions, the erotic overtones, the alien-yet-not characters and their horrific-yet-familiar struggles—all of it simply blew me away. I inhaled every book in her Vampire Chronicles. Twice. I also began gobbling up all things vampire in print, TV and film, and I learned which ones I loved and which I still couldn’t tolerate. It’s true—character development is everything. And as characters go, few canvases are richer than the tragic figure of the vampire and the high price he pays for his immortality, supernatural powers, and often great beauty.
I was hooked. And I had to process all these creative inputs by writing, or else I risked exploding. It took a few more years (okay, a lot more years) of squeezing in writing time between work and life (and untold books and workshops on writing craft) but I did eventually end up with a manuscript I was happy with and that a publisher wanted to take on.
Dark Heart of the Sun, the tale of a new-born vampire coming to grips with his new reality, was published by Soul Mate Publishing in August of 2016. In the sequel, Dark Lord of the Night (available on KU May 31st), he continues his perilous journey together with the mortal woman who claims his heart and is the key to his humanity.
If you have a similar fascination with vampires, leave a comment below and share how you first discovered them. I love to compare notes.
About Dark Lord of the Night
The only thing standing between a new vampire and eternal darkness is the mortal woman who claims his heart.
Youngling vampire Dominic Marchant struggles to master his deadly instincts as he hunts the urban jungles of South Florida. He keeps his hunger confined to the blood of the guilty with help from Cassidy Chandler, a human woman who can literally touch his soul. Their love is his last remaining tether to humanity, which is tested beyond endurance when powerful forces from his past introduce him to terrifying new appetites he could never have imagined.
His efforts to protect Cassidy from the depravity overtaking him push their relationship to the brink of shattering. Refusing to give up on the man who is her heart, she takes an unthinkable gamble to save him. But is she fulfilling an ominous prophecy that ensnares them both? Or has she become just another pawn in a cunning game played by the five-thousand-year-old vampire who claims Dominic as his own?
Desperate to rescue her from a fate worse than death, Dominic strikes a perilous bargain with his greatest enemies only to face an impossible choice–embrace his darkest self…or destroy the woman he cannot live without.
Available for pre-order now:
Dominic Marchant hunched low over the BMW motorcycle screaming between his legs and tried to outrun a nagging sense of unease. He wove through I-95 traffic at two hundred miles per hour. He swerved between hurtling semis and darting sedans. He blew past other bikes so close he could have snatched their riders from their seats. He rode the highway’s shoulder when all three lanes were plugged.
The ghost of anxiety had no trouble keeping up.
Serge would not hunt with him tonight.
The old pirate-turned-vampire was no model of consistency—or sanity—but he never passed up a chance to ride on Dominic’s bike. Never said no to hunting the most vice-infested streets in South Florida. Never hesitated to prowl together as that rarest of all vampire social structures, a team.
Not tonight. Tonight Serge was ‘busy.’
Dominic gave a derisive snort. The excuse was thinner than air. What it concealed, he couldn’t guess. Or, more accurately, didn’t want to guess.
No matter. He would hunt alone and satisfy the beast that lived in his heart. Tonight the blood he drank had to be spiced with terror. If he waited much longer, he would make corpses, and he was in no mood to dispose of those, much less explain them to Cassidy.
Thinking of her made him impatient to return home. The November night was soaked in cold foreboding. The only place he wanted to spend it was cocooned in her intimate warmth.
He took the next available exit ramp.
The disquiet continued to nip at the back of his skull. He couldn’t forget the way Serge had looked at him earlier, looking right through him like he hadn’t done in many months, seeing what only he could see—Dominic’s immediate future presumably, his ultimate fate maybe, madness most certainly. Whatever it was, Serge had opted to conjure an excuse and stay home tonight, which did not bode well. Serge’s glimpses of the future were rarely happy, and they always transpired in the most horrific of ways. But he’d sooner be staked in the morning sun than share any details of what was to come. That would have been ‘meddling’ in ‘what must be.’
Dominic scoffed again, but with less vigor this time. He had changed his routine tonight by choosing to hunt the urban sprawl of West Palm Beach rather than the greater jungle of Ft. Lauderdale or Miami. Would that stop whatever disaster awaited him?
Or put him squarely in its path?
Continue reading: http://wp.me/P3RYkc-h3
About S.K. Ryder
S.K. Ryder is a software developer by day, a scribe by night and answers to Susan any time. She writes the type of stories she loves to read: heart-pounding adventures full of supernatural mysteries and relationships between strong, compelling characters. Though she calls South Florida home, she has also lived in Germany and Canada and has traveled widely, usually in the hot pursuit of wild and scenic nature. When not debugging code, complicating her characters’ lives or plotting her next rafting adventure down the Grand Canyon, she can be found beach combing, scuba diving, sailing or just hanging out with a good book. When push comes to shove, she can also bake a halfway decent cake and stand on her head, though not at the same time.
Thanks for hosting me, Delilah!
Great blog post and excerpt. Thanks for sharing!