Journal

May 31, 2009 at 1:48 am (Writing Journal)

For the past month, I have taken on the BAD challenge writing a blog a day. While I didn’t quite manage everyday, I  came close. But it was rather taxing since besides Darkhour Vampires, I blog on three other sites, as well as networking on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter just to mention a few. The BAD challenge was part of the Blog Book Tour class that I am taking, but starting tomorrow, we can cut back to two or three posts a week if we want. I really thought about it and since I have yet to find a balance where I can find time to work on my novels and do all the other things such as blog and Twitter, I decided I need to cut back. So what do I leave out? I like everything I have been doing.

So what is Darkhour Vampire Blog’s purpose, its goals? First, I want to journal, a personal log where I can share with my readers my progress and my achievements and my failures as I work to finish and publish the series of Darkhour books. Second, I want to share interesting information about the world of Darkhour Vampires including Prane and Valentine’s journals so readers get an inside picture and hopefully get interested in the series. Third, I want to recycle and expand on articles that I wrote for Suite 101 about vampire literature and various other topics  related to vampires. I’ve started a series on Classical Vampire Literature and I definitely want to finish it. Finally, I want to visit interesting vampire websites, interview authors, and recommend books. So I have decided to combine several of the topics.

So here is my new schedule.

Mon: Darkhour Vampires

Wed: Vampires Around the World
Currently Classical Vampire Literature

Fri: Guests, Sites, or Books

Sun: Journal

My ongoing series the Art of Blogging will continue at http://JourneyBestSeller.blogspot.com

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Darkhour Vampires Schedule

May 31, 2009 at 1:45 am (Darkhour Vampires, Guests, Sites, or Books, Vampires around the World, Writing Journal)

Monday: Visiting Darkhour
Explore the world of Darkhour Vampires
Wednesday:
Vampires Around the World
Currently Classical Vampire Literature
Friday: Guests, Sites, or Books
Visiting special guests, interesting sites, or intriguing books
Sunday: Journal

Art of Blogging has been moved to Journey to Best Seller List Also visit my other blogs On Wings of Murder and Midnightblood Reviews.

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Guest: Michele Hauf

May 29, 2009 at 1:26 am (Guests, Guests, Sites, or Books) ()

I got to know Michele Hauf years ago. We both had vampire lists and were always comparing notes. Although I stopped keep my list, she kept on and now has over 4000 titles. It is the place to stop when looking for something vampire to read. It truly is THE ULTIMATE VAMP LIST.

1. Tell us about your writing career. In visiting your site, you are a prolific writer, writing some historical, action adventure, and fantasy, but mostly paranormal. How did you come to write about vampires? What was your first vampire novel? Tell us about it?

I started writing in 1990 and haven’t stopped since. My first love has always been Historicals, but lately I seem to be doing a lot of paranormal, eh? I do love paranormals, and if I could write about vampires forever, I probably would. My first published book was a vampire romance, back when no one was really sure what a vampire romance was. Dark Rapture sold in ‘93, and was pubbed in ‘97. I thought I’d written something ‘similar to Anne Rice’ is what I recall writing in the query letter to the editor. Ha! Well, I had high hopes even then. Anyway, it featured a rock star vampire, time travel, pissed-off ghosts, a sexually ambiguous vampire villain, and hmm…I’m sure I even threw the kitchen sink in there somewhere, too.

2. Tell us about your latest vampire novel (which ever one you want to promote, published or soon to be published..)

Hmm, my next series, Wicked Games starts in July with an immortal demon hunter in The Highwayman. He used to ride the highroads in the 18th century (history! Yay!) until he managed to capture a demon shadow within him, which made him immortal, and unable to sleep, eat or…find sexual pleasure, ever since. I know, that’s a real lot of nasty to do to one hero. 🙂 The second book, Moon Kissed will feature some vampires along with werewolves and then the third book, Her Vampire Husband—guess what? Yep, vampires in that one, too. I love vamps. They’re sort of a standard character in my arsenal it seems. I’m actually working on a brand new series right now about angels and demons, and wouldn’t you know, vampires show up in those too.

3. Tell us all the Ultimate VampList.. How long have you been doing it? Why did you start it? What have you learned from it?

I started the VampList in ‘94, as a means to put my list of vampire research books in order, and well, I do like to make lists. It’s grown over the years to over 4000 vampire titles in various genres, such as: Romance, Horror, Mystery, Action/Adventure, Manga, Young Adult, and much more. It’s not meant to be a complete bibliography, but rather a list someone can print up and keep to check off titles, or to discover new titles. It has become an obsession.

What I’ve learned is that romantic vampires are HOT. The number of vampire romances has exploded since the late ‘90s, and it shows little sign of slowing down. And I like that just fine.

4. What trends have you seen develop in vampire literature, and where do you think they are leading? What is the future of vampires? Will they die out in popularity? Are they still growing or is the trend reversing?

It seems the trends are going various ways. The funny vampire. The angsting vampire who doesn’t want to be what he is. The ultra-dark vampire that pushes the boundaries of romance in ways that actually disturbs me, yet fans seem to lick it up like a vamp to a blood spill. And the vampires that don’t necessarily drink from the vein but have other means or methods to satisfy their thirst.

I don’t think vamps will ever become unpopular. They may settle a bit and creep back into their coffins for a while, but you can never put a good vampire down. They’ll always be a fixture in literature. I don’t think the trend is reversing, so much as paranormal is expanding and exploring all the dark corners that had once only been part of the horror genre. Werewolves and demons are hot. Shapeshifters and faeries. And lately, even angels. As long as we don’t run out of creatures, well, heck, even then, someone will make up something new. 😉

5. Is your Wicked Games series in the same Paranormal world as your Bewitch the Dark series, or did you create a new world? What are your vampires and their worlds like? Do the humans know about the mystical creatures or are they still in the dark? Which would you rather write about a world, like Anita Blake and Sookie Stackhouse, where vampires have come out of the closet or the real world inhabited by hidden paranormal creatures or a complete fantasy world?

Wicked Games is the same world at Bewitch the Dark. It’s just a new set of characters, sort of. Actually, my editor asked for a new series name. So there you go. One of the heroes in the new series (Severo in Moon Kissed) popped up a few times in the Bewitch the Dark books. Love that hairy werewolf dude.

The humans and vampires live alongside one another, but humans are blissfully unaware. Most of them. The reason vampire and other paranormal creatures survive so long in the mortal realm is because mortals still believe them fiction, boogie men lurking in the dark, and they intend to keep it that way.

I like that the vamps have to tread the shadows and beware discovery. It adds more mystery and allure.

Michele Hauf is a paranormal romance author.

You can find her at http://www.michelerhauf.com/
Her blog is http://www.dustedbywhimsy.blogspot.com/
Her Ultimate VampList is http://www.michelerhauf.com/vamplist.html

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A Wazimamoto

May 28, 2009 at 1:23 am (Interesting Vampires, Vampires around the World) (, , )

Recently I read YELLOW MOON by Jewell Parker Rhodes. This story takes place in New Orleans and has a very unique form of vampire. This spirit rises from the ocean, drawn by the sounds of music, it latches on to a person and drains them of blood. With each new victim it becomes more substantial and recovers more of its memory.

The novel’s heroine is Dr. Marie Laveau, a descendant of New Orleans’ great voodoo Queen Marie Laveau. She herself is a fledgling Voodoo priestess, still learning about her own powers. Powers which are pitted against this creature who is leaving an ever increasing trail of bodies and ghosts across New Orleans. In the music rich atmosphere of New Orleans, where sin and corruption fester, the creature finds a perfect home.

During Marie and Detective Daniel Park’s hunt for this creature, they met with a professor who finally names the creature. It is an African vampire, that comes of the times of Colonialism, a wazimamoto.

In an interview at http://hermitosis.blogspot.com, Jewell Parker Rhodes explains “Stoker’s Dracula seeks immortality; the wazimamoto, a vampire created from colonial oppression in Africa, seeks to destroy cultural traditions. For Africans, the British, French and Portuguese tried to steal “cultural blood.” So, Africans created oral tales of a vampire that drains blood. In America, we can talk about the slave traders as wazimamotos and folks who are mentally enslaved, who learn from the oppressors to hate their selves and their culture, can become wazimamotos, too.”

I assumed at first that the wazimamoto was a creation of the author, but I found there are some historical references. Author Luise White recorded the oral traditions which talk about the wazimamoto, in Speaking with Vampires, Rumor and History in Colonial Africa. Jewell Parker Rhodes has definitely remodeled it to suit her needs, linking it to the spirit of John, an enemy destroyed by the original Marie Laveau.

I found it most interesting how Marie Laveau kills it. She uses Voodoo, destroying the gris-gris bag that is linked to the original soul. She also uses the power of musicians and their music, not only to call the creature, but to overwhelm it. And finally as a medical doctor, she uses science. Because it came from the sea, it is partially made up of physical matter, a bacteria which she discovers is destroyed by penicillin. So she sprays it with penicillin and it dissolves. Another vampire bites the dust

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Varney the Vampyre (Part 1)

May 27, 2009 at 1:29 am (Classical Vampire Literature, Vampires around the World) (, )

Varney The Vampyre

Varney The Vampyre

VARNEY THE VAMPYRE or The Feast of Blood is considered the first vampire novel written in English. It was published as a serial novel or as they were then called a Penny Dreadful. Varney began in 1845 and ran for two years and 109 installments, 220 chapters in all.

Penny Dreadfuls, also called Penny Bloods and Blood and Thunders, were 8 page booklets that sold for a penny. At a time when the price of books were beyond the common man, Penny Dreadfuls filled the insatiable hunger of the masses. They were the soap operas of the day. You could compare Varney to Dark Shadows, each episode packed with excitement and adventure and romance.

There is a question about who actually authored Varney since Penny Dreadful authors were rarely identified, but authorship is generally credited to Thomas Preskett Prest or James Malcolm Rymer. Both men were part of Publisher Edward Lloyd’s stable of writers. Prest and Rymer were among Lloyd’s best and most prolific writers. Each was capable of working on as many as ten serial novels at one time. Though it will probably never be determined with any certainty, Rymer is thought to be the actual author.

Varney is very much a product of its times, a gothic novel filled with the dark nights, romantic castles, hauntings that were so popular at the time. It was also written as a serial novel, so it is more episodic than a story with a complex plot and storyline. This is because if the story’s popularity declined, an author might be told to end a story with the next week’s episode. Varney is a classical read, much like the books Frankenstein or even Dracula, which bear little resemblance to the vision we have of either book based on the movies.

Varney may not be great literature but it is fun to read.

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Wineries

May 26, 2009 at 1:51 am (Darkhour Vampires) (, )

In my stories, Darkhour Corporation owns V. Impaler Wineries, who produce a unique blend of red wine and blood.

In real life I came across a real winery. Vampire Wines – Sip the Blood of the Vine. www.vampire.com

From their site:

VAMPIRES INVADE CALIFORNIA’S CENTRAL COAST!

Recent sightings of vampires off California’s winding Highway 58 have sparked rumors that Paso Robles’ newest winery, Vampire Vineyards, is merely a ploy to mask the nocturnal activities of a group of ancient vampires. Investigations into the winery indicate that the CEO of the winery is actually an attorney with a history of representing unconventional clients, including rock stars, the down and out, and… vampires!

In fact, some say that the abrupt move of the winery from its base in Transylvania to Creston, California only confirms the obvious – that vampires do exist and they’re hiding out in Creston, CA.

Interesting to find a company that actually claims to be run by real vampires.

They sell wine, vodka, energy drinks, and dracola, and Witches Brew Beer. Also vampire movies and vampire gear. They also bought Vampire.com and all its materials, so if you dig deep enough you can find some of the files from that excellent but unfortunately defunct site.

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Checking out History

May 25, 2009 at 1:43 am (Guests, Sites, or Books, I Recommend) ()

Cheslea Quinn Yarbro

Cheslea Quinn Yarbro

One of the interesting things about vampires is that they live a long time. One author has really made that an important part of her stories.

Chelsea Quinn Yarbro has been writing about the Count Saint-Germain since 1978, well over 20 books, each set in a different time period, going back as far as 2000 BC and up to modern times. Her books are definitely more historical novels than vampire horror books. Even back when vampire novels usually fell into the horror category, her vampire was a kind-hearted gentleman, a true prince among men and vampires.

To learn more about the series visit www.midnightblood.com

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Journal

May 24, 2009 at 8:38 pm (Writing Journal) (, )

This past week, I lost 4 days due to flu, cold and hot spells, spending the day shivering and sweating and staring at the TV trying to ignore the roiling stomach. Thursday I finally went to the doctor. She said I obviously have something, probably a viral infection, but what she can’t tell. Call her if I don’t get better. Maybe it was just the finally taking action, getting out of the house, but I did start to feel better. Then Friday, spent half a day going to the coast for dinner and a show with my husband. We went to see the Smothers’ Brothers. What a treat. What a great show, bringing back great memories. Amazing how many of the old routines my husband and I could remember and recite, but the show wasn’t just old stuff, there was plenty new as well. I was sorry I didn’t think to invite my son-in-law, he would have enjoyed the comedy and my daughter definitely the music. But as my husband said, it wouldn’t have been as special as it was to us and all the other grey haired, wrinkled, bespectaled audience. For their age (70) the Smothers Brothers look great, more like 50, and definitely didn’t act their age. In my husband and my life time, we have had the opportunity to see Bob Hope, Bill Cosby (got to go back stage to meet him), and now the Smothers Bros. That’s quite a line up.

Friday, after dinner, we had some time to kill and we parked overlooking the ocean and my husband took a nap and I started working on my story. I have discovered that sitting in the car, overlooking some nature spot, with the peace and the quiet, is very conducive to brainstorming, thinking things through. I was able to begin to plot what sort of experiments Sir Edmund would want to do to prove his theories about vampirism being genetic and his plan to stop the fatal flaw of line stability, when the sire dies, so do all the offspring, get. It was his idea to create the Second Generation, to have five sires, then all five would have to die before you would die.

When we got home, I was still wired, realized that I had drunk coffee so watched TV and continued to work on outlining what Sir Edmund would have done to prove his theories and how he would treat his slaves as ginuea pigs. I’m sure that it is a scandal that Thom could uncover and would definitely be shocked by.

But I didn’t go to bed until 4 AM and though I slept in, I kept falling asleep at the computer, so finally went and took a long nap. I accomplished a bit more, updating the timeline and the storyline, but as I said, I kept falling asleep so the day was basically wasted.

So today, I was well behind. It took me hours to catch up on Blog Book Tour emails, then I have to post to all my blogs. I’ve been working since 7 AM and it is now 8:30 PM, took about an hour break for lunch, but I’ve been working hard. The one thing I know is it always takes a lot longer than you think it wil. Like this short post, has taken me 40 minutes to write.

I hope this week that I can keep to the schedule and get more done.

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The Ultimate VampList

May 22, 2009 at 10:44 am (Guests, Sites, or Books, Uncategorized, Vampire Blogs and Webs) ()

If you are looking for a vampire book to read, your first stop ought to be Michele Hauf’s Ultimate VampList, which now has over 4000 listings of vampire books.

The Ultimate VampList

www.vampire-books.com

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Think ahead, then post

May 19, 2009 at 1:02 am (The Art of Blogging) ()

Five things to think about before beginning your post

1. What are you going to post about? Hopefully you have a list of possible topics to choose from. Describe your topic briefly.

2. What are your key words or tags? These are the words that describe what your post is about. Your theme. By knowing them in advance you can work them into the body of your post, thereby increasing your search engine rating. They also may help you come up with that clever, catchy title.

3. Your title matters! It is what attracts the readers’ attention. A good title can cause a reader to read on. A poor title may mean the reader will skip your post. It is important and well worth spending your time on. It also becomes part of the permalink. So unless you have the ability to customize the link, you want to choose something relatively short as well as memorable.

4. The first sentence must attract the attention. It is also what is used when the article is encapsulated. It needs to be clear and on target.

5. Final sentence is almost as important as the beginning sentence. Often posts go on longer than necessary, rambling because we don’t have a closing. Knowing where you are headed and what will happen when you get there, speeds up the middle.

So following my own advice on this article:
Topic: important things to know before starting your blog, blog formula, tips on blogging, key elements, title, key words, tags, using a formula to create a post

Tags: Blogging, writing tips, tips on blogging, titles, key words, tags, writing blogs, art of blogging, lessons, search engine placement

Title: Clever titles and Key Words, Art of Blogging, 5 things to know before starting a post, 20 minute blogging – part 2, Blogging by the numbers, Steps to a successful blog, Formula Driven Blog, How I blog, Step by Step Blogging, What do know before you begin that post. Five T’s of blogging. Think ahead, then post

1st sentence: By taking the time to figure out the key elements of your post, you will decrease writing time, while increasing search engine placement and reader satisfaction. (Ok but too long perhaps.) Five things to think about before beginning your post. (Short, sweet and simple.)

Final sentence: By identifying my topic, tags and key words, I was able to focus on possible titles and well as crafting the first sentence and final sentence. It made a lot easier to write while shortening the time I spent writing this post.

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