Entering 2013 I have big things planned. I hope to publish a number of titles that will take on a variety of formats–novels, short story collections and novella. It’s an ambitious amount of material, so I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep to my schedule. But even if I manage half of what I intend, I’ll be totally satisfied.
The first book will be Nothing Zero, which should be released during the first quarter. This will be the next installment in the Undead Chronicles. I’m currently in the process of overhauling the first draft, and I’m really excited about it. I’m looking forward to showing how the first two entries piece together, and setting the stage for the next cycle of books.
After Nothing Zero, there will be a short story collection. These stories will feature established characters from the Undead Chronicles. The members of Live Undead will feature quite prominently, as I fill out their various histories. This currently untitled collection should be published in the second quarter and will close out this cycle of the Undead Chronicles. I do to write further books and stories set in the continuity, but simply want to take some time away to create new things.
I’m really excited about where things stand. I have a lot of stories left to tell, and I’m eager to share them. Self-publishing isn’t making me rich, but I’m simply happy to have an outlet for my creative endeavors. I hope to make this coming year better than the last.
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.
Razor gnashed his teeth against the cage.
The crashing waves of guitars and the squealing wash of keyboards weren’t what drove his frenzy as he thrashed against the mesh. He could smell them. The audience. The putrid stench of stale sweat and warm beer singed his nostrils. He climbed the fence, slathered his tongue over the steel, and caught sight of an irate biker as the man chucked his beer. The bottle exploded against the fence. Smiling, Razor bounded back down to the stage and raised his middle finger to the crowd.
“Fuck you all,” he screeched into the microphone, his voice distorted horribly by the shitty PA. Their music would push the limits of a decent system, much less the cheap systems in the trashy dives they favored.
While Razor raged, King remained anchored stage left, thrashing out riffs, head swinging in circles, his hair a blackened whip slicing through the air. The nine-inch nails that studded his leather forearm bands swayed as his hand raced up and down his fretboard.
Wraith moved his pale, towering form around as if trying to seduce the audience. The burly assortment up front weren’t his type. None of them were fans. They just happened to be there, regulars none too happy to see their favorite watering hole invaded by a band of misfits and freaks. He much preferred the young, lithe goth kids who would come in droves when they played the larger cities. There were a few there tonight, but sadly not enough.
Knife in hand, Razor head-banged his way over to Leech, the keyboardist. They ripped through their final song, “God is an Excuse,” and it was time for the show’s closing theatrics. As the band’s name changed, so did their show. In recent years, the act had grown darker and more disturbing. It was only right to change with the times. The blade flashed across Leech’s throat. Arterial spray spurted into the air. He stopped playing, grasped the wound, and wobbled around like a broken spinning top. His blood slicked the stage and sprayed the audience.
Razor sank to his knees and played with the blood, smearing it across his sweaty, bone-white chest. The vitriol of the audience gave way to gasps of horror and confusion. The act they had just witnessed too shockingly realistic to be fake, yet too violent to be real. It was that twilight between what was real and what should have been impossible that allowed the band to exist.
A smile stretched across Razor’s make-up smeared face, a rictus wide enough to proudly display the incisors he had filed to razor-sharp points He reveled in the moment before turning away from the audience and launching himself into Thorn’s drum kit.
King snapped out of his fugue state, smashing his guitar across the cage, then shattering it against the stage. Wraith kicked at an audience member, knocking them off the fence, before trashing his own instrument. Razor emerged from the wreckage of the drums and found his microphone. He croaked, “Good night,” and broke into laughter.
With that whirlwind of carnage, chaos, and destruction, the Live Undead finished their set.