I started writing fiction about 5 years ago, and while I’ve gone through bouts of productivity which included getting this website up and running, I’ve also let months pass of disuse and neglect. I realized that I’m not actually all that great at finishing the creative projects I started, though an ADHD diagnosis has helped with that a little.
But also because, you know, writing books is hard. However I’m half through edits in book four of my vampire dystopian series. The earlier, first books, I wrote quickly just to see if I could actually write fiction well enough for people to enjoy it. And book one (Taste of vampire), thankfully, has over 200 reviews.
But I’ve always wanted each book, each sequel, to be my best, and so naturally I had some reservations about completing and entire project and being *done* with everything. That said, things are coming along well. I actually split what should have been book3 into two parts, so book 3 currently feeling imbalanced to me – slower – and book4 might feel a little faster (all the events leading up into the final conflict).
Once I refresh my blog I’ll probably try to keep it better updated, and once my series are done I’ll make everything more organized and easier to find. Hopefully. But for now, here’s a little excerpt at the concept art I might use to rebrand the boxset or whole series. I still like the many variations I’ve used earlier, but will need to have a core design for this series now that it’s done.
We rode in silence for another hour, before I finally saw the intersection to the king’s road. It was familiar to me, and a flutter kicked up in my stomach as I recognized it. It had been so long since I’d seen anything familiar.
But I’d never been here at dusk, with a band of rebels and a carriage full of elixir. We followed the road, which seemed so quiet the hoofbeats echoed off the tree trunks, until the sun had set, then pulled up to rest and feed the horses.
“So does he have an alarm clock in there or—” Trevor said, jerking his thumb towards the carriage.
“I’ll wake him,” I said. Though really, I had no idea how to do that. I squeezed past Camina as she got out of the carriage, then closed the door. I’m not sure why I needed the privacy, but I felt like I was creeping into someone’s bedroom. I waited a few moments, my hand on top of the coffin. Waiting to see if I felt any movements. I even put my ear to the flat wooden top, listening for breaths, or a heartbeat. But it was quiet, and I felt foolish. So eventually I just knocked.
“Yes?” Damien’s voice came back, so close and so quickly I jumped backwards.
“We’re here,” I stammered. “I mean, it’s dark.”
I leaned back enough for him to unlatch the casket and raise the wooden lid. It was a fine piece, rimmed with silk.
“Sleep well?” I asked.
“Sleeping in someone else’s coffin is not pleasant,” he said. “Actually, sleeping in a coffin at all is pretty restrictive. But they’re effective. I am rested. And I love to see you when I wake up.”
“Can you see me?” I asked, realizing how dark it was with the windows shuddered and the door closed. I could barely make out his pale face, his eyes gleaming in the darkness.
“I can see you,” he purred, leaning forward. “Your chin, your lips, your nose, your eyelids…” I felt a flush rise through me.
“Should we, do you need to feed?” I asked.
“Better not,” he said, sitting up and crouching in the carriage. “You need your strength. Do you mind?” He pulled a flask out of his jacket pocket. I shook my head no and he took a long draught, tilting his head back[DM3] . He licked his lips, then wiped them with the back of his sleeve. I could taste blood when I kissed him. Then he nodded at me to open the door.
Damien got out and stretched, looking around. The others filled him in on what we’d seen. He glanced at me, studying my face, but I kept it neutral.
“I would have liked to be farther ahead by now,” he said. “Let’s keep moving.”
Damien kept up a brisk pace, nearly racing the horses down the road. We didn’t stop again until we’d found the turnoff, for the intersection that cut across towards Denvato.
This time, Damien showed Trevor and Luke how to lift the swiveling section of the fence to open a passageway for the carriage. The road was barely a trail, covered in dirt and ash, for several miles, but Damien seemed to know where he was going. When he found an obstacle, hand me the reins, and fly off the carriage to clear the debris. He’d be back again moments later, sometimes without even stopping the horses.
But then we crossed over to an old highway, cutting through forests and valleys, until everything started to blur and I fell asleep again. I woke up suddenly hours later, realizing that we’d stopped. The others were huddled in a circle not far away. Something was wrong. I heard it a moment later, a sound that sent shivers down my spine. A long howl in the distance, and another, a little closer, on the other side of us.
I jumped down to the carriage to join the others.
“We’re being hunted,” Trevor said.
“I heard,” I nodded. “So should we hurry?”
“We can’t outrun slagpaw,” Damien said.
PS If you haven’t read books 1~3 yet, they are available!
See also: Best vampire novels of all time.