Sitting down to write my first novel, LIVE UNDEAD, I never thought it would become a gay erotic vampire book. The notion of it becoming the first in a series didn’t even cross my mind. That’s just how it all worked out. I made some creative decisions, and now I’m working on a novelette that bridges the gap to the second novel in THE UNDEAD CHRONICLES.
As I worked on LIVE UNDEAD, I cooked up origins and detailed back-stories for each member of Live Undead members. I tried to work these details into the fabric of the book, but it never felt right. Above all things, I wanted LIVE UNDEAD to be a quick read. There simply wasn’t a place to pause and tell a story about Razor and his time in San Francisco during the 80s. Begrudgingly I started cutting.
One of the main inspirations for LIVE UNDEAD was Poppy Z. Brite’s LOST SOULS. Back when I was reading vampire stuff—specifically splatterpunk vampire novels—that book stood tall for me. Sure, I loved Skipp & Spector’s THE LIGHT AT THE END, Garton’s LIVE GIRLS and Somtow’s VAMPIRE JUNCTION, but LOST SOULS just felt right. It took everything I thought was great about Anne Rice, but gave it a libido. But, beyond the obvious influence Poppy had on Live Undead, he did something else that was sticking in the back of my mind as I excised the band member’s back-stories. He wrote short stories featuring some of the characters from LOST SOULS.
A couple of months after finishing LIVE UNDEAD, I returned to the stories I had excised from it. I decided that I really wanted to talk about Wraith stalking the subways of New York. I think Razor having fallen in love with someone suffering from AIDS is interesting. So I started thinking about what Poppy did with Steve and Ghost, and thought why not? Why can’t I do a batch of short stories as a companion piece to LIVE UNDEAD?
Then something happened.
In the epilogue chapter of LIVE UNDEAD, I briefly touch on someone recognizing Nothing. I decided to flesh that idea out in my first short. The story would focus on a transvestite prostitute named Brian who was obsessed with vampires. Initially planned as being under 5000 words, LOVE BITES, has steadily grown into something I feel can stand on its own. So, I’ll give it that chance in a few weeks.
During the evolution of LOVE BITES, I decided on an idea for a second novel. Now that Nothing was a big rock star, what is going to happen to him? Thanks to his celebrity, he can’t operate in secret like Live Undead had throughout their existence. But beyond that, he can’t feed without creating another reborn. How does the world react to all of this? I’ll deal with all of those ideas in my second novel, tentatively titled NOTHING ZERO.
Someday the stories I cut from LIVE UNDEAD will get their chance. But right now, I have an obsessed transvestite and a psychotic rock star calling my name.