Thursday, November 26, 2015

Epilogues to Prologues

I'm  not really sure why I put the epilogue in at the end of TTTS. Since the novel started out as an experiment I really didn't envision a series. As writing went on however, I discovered Narain's backstory. I use the term "discovered" because there were truly times when writing the whole novel felt more like a discovery than a creation. I didn't want Narain's story to end. I loved writing the character so much an since he was in some respects starting a new life (after the death of Sophie) that it seemed almost natural to continue the saga.

But I don't know at what point the inspiration for the epilogue struck me. I simply knew that once I had committed to the idea of a series, the writing of the next few books flowed like water and ideas for future books sprang to mind. It was actually very exciting. So far I find book four to be the most romantic. That book is a bit off set from the first three, set in the 1930s, featuring a character that appears in books two and three.

The first three books very much concern an emotional arc for Narain. As I say, in the first novel he's thrown off course by the death of Sophie (and the loss of the convenience he had with her).

In number two (which takes place six months later) his life is just starting to normalize again when he's confronted by the consequences of an act he committed decades before. Events are even more shattering than in TTTS because they're incredibly personal. And the juggling act he finds necessary to do to protect his loved ones becomes more difficult.

In the third novel and I don't want to give too much away since it involves characters who first appears in Ujaali, Narain's life has at last settled down from the events of the first and second novel, not only physically but emotionally. A portion of it takes place in England where he and Dom are opening up a Khan's in London. He runs afoul however of  serial killer hired by a billionaire to hunt down vampires. After the death of his daughter by feral vampires, the billionaire pays top researchers to develop a toxin capable of killing vampires and tracks down a man who because of a freak occurrence, now has the skills to track the vampire down and use the toxin.

Confronted by the prospect of death he never thought would never occur, Narain is terrified of the prospect of losing what he's regained with Cassie.

While I envision more books in the series the first three are connected with this arc and are the only ones where I use the concept of the epilogue for one being the prologue for the next one. It seemed  like a fun way to whet people's appetites for the next one. 

Of the first three novels, I think my personal favorite is Ujaali. As I stated, TTTS was an experiment and it was fun to create the story and characters and watch them grow. Ujaali, however is the novel where I truly visualized all the potential for future stories in the series thanks to further exploration into the characters and their past. It is, in some respects, a more personal story, the major threat coming from his own actions from decades before placing Narain in a heartbreaking situation. As Reg Jameson tells him after Narain as been forced to strike a bargain with him, "I must say Khan, I really don't envy you your life. It always seems as though you're placed in situations where, no matter happens, you stand to lose something."

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Ujaali Prologue

I've recorded myself reading the prologue to Ujaali. Hope you like it. 

Ujaali is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats.

To Touch the Sun is also available on Amazon in both formats.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Ujaali Book Trailer

Well the new book trailer is here and I think it turned out pretty cool. Take a look.

The photos of Chicago are from a talented photographer named Matt Tuteur who has a great eye for this gorgeous city.

You can check out more of his work at his blog Matt Tuteur Street Photography.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Winner of The Dracula Contest

Okay, so we have a winner for the posed Oct. 16 regarding the photo of my bust of Dracula and the little extra it had that Bela Lugosi never had when he portrayed Dracula. The answer, of course, was fangs. Bela Lugosi never wore fangs when he played Dracula, which was interesting because the lack of sharp teeth didn't detract from his portrayal of the vampire. 

Of course also interesting is the fact that while creating the iconic look for the character, he portrayed Dracula only twice in his entire career. Once for the original movie and once for "Bud Abbott and Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein" (a movie in which I feel he is allowed to really shine as Dracula more so than the original movie). 

The winner of the contest was Brian McKinley who himself has a vampire book freshly released titled Drawing Dead (Faolan O'Connor Novel Book 1) available on Amazon. Brian as chosen to receive a copy of Ujaali, which will soon be on the way.

Stay tuned for more chances to win free copies. I just have to dream up more contests. ;)

In the meantime, check out To Touch the Sun or Ujaali for yourself. 

Friday, October 16, 2015

Win a Free Book

A contest is running on the Chicago Vampire Series Facebook for a chance to win either a copy To Touch the Sun or Ujaali. I've posted a photo on the Facebook page of a ceramic bust of Dracula that I painted. It's patterned after the Bela Lugosi portrayal of the character in the movie. In the photo, however, you can notice something on the bust that you wouldn't see in a photo of Lugosi as Dracula. 

So to win a copy of either Book One or Book Two (your choice), go to the Facebook page and put up a comment revealing the mistake on the bust that doesn't fit with the portrayal of Dracula by Lugosi. 

You might need to search some Dracula/Lugosi trivia on this. 

The first person to post the correct answer on the pinned post will win an autograph copy of the book. 

Visit this link, like the page and comment on the thread.  

Good luck!

Here is the photo. Take a good look.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Ujaali is a go

Ujaali, Book Two in the Chicago Vampire Series has finally been published and is available in paperback and Kindle formats.

After the events of To Touch the Sun, Book One in the Chicago Vampire Series, Narain Khan is finding his life returning to normal—or as normal as life can be for the chef and owner of one of Chicago’s premiere restaurants who also happens to be a vampire. And yet, as the romance deepens between him and microbiologist Cassie Lambert, and investors approach he and business partner Dom Amato to open a London restaurant, Narain can’t shake the feeling that something terrible is coming. 

Something he’ll be totally unprepared to deal with. 

Indeed, something terrible does come as the consequences of a careless action taken decades ago come back to haunt him. It forces him to lie to Dom, a friend he’s never lied to before, and puts at risk the relationship he’s built with Cassie after a blackout causes him to do the unthinkable one night. 

To save those he loves, victims of his mistake, Narain must turn to his greatest nemesis for help and agree to the harsh terms that Reg Jameson is only too glad to put forth.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Ujaali Nears

We're almost there. Word from the publisher is that the Kindle version of Ujaali, book two in the Chicago Vampire Series should go up on Amazon Oct. 7 while the paperback format will be available for order Oct. 8. I'm pretty excited. Don't forget, To Touch the Sun is still available should you want to catch up on the story of Narain Khan. 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Ujaali Cover Release

Dagda Publishing has released the cover for Ujaali: Book Two in the Chicago Vampire Series. I really like it and I'm pretty excited about the book's imminent release. 

I can’t say too much about Ujaali without giving some surprises away, but it takes Narain into an even darker place. Narain is tested by the death of Sophie in TTTS, and while he comes through that story, he still has lingering issues that cause his psyche to be especially tested by the events of Ujaali which are much more personal. I liken what Narain goes through in TTTS as basically a breakdown. Often times when people have breakdowns they and those around them think, okay the break has occurred, now it’s all a matter of getting better form here. But usually what happens in these cases is that while the person is getting better, sometimes they slip backward. That’s kind of how it is with Narian in Ujaali. Something very personal happens to cause him to have to fight extra hard to retain that part of himself that makes him Narain. I think it’s the personal aspect that makes this my favorite novel in the series.

I'll keep you posted on the book's release date. In the meantime, catch up on Narain's story in To Touch the Sun: Book One.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Changes and Delays

I've changed not only the look of the blog, but also the name of the series. Admittedly, The Sentient/Feral Vampire Series was a bit cumbersome, but I wasn't really sure what to call the series (I suppose I should have thought of that, but that it became a series was as much of a surprise for me as writing the first book in the first place. It's a learning game). The series has its start in Chicago, and the characters have such a connection to the city, so I decided I would call it the Chicago Vampire Series. That seems to flow a bit better. 

As for the look of the blog, I've been posting teases for the sequel Ujaali that feature some wonderful photographs of Chicago at night. They're unique photos of neighborhoods and alley ways that my friend Matt Teuter was kind enough to let me use. He's a talented photographer with a good eye in both day and nightime scapes. You can check out more of his photos at Matt Tuteur Photography Around Chicago at Night and Matt Tuteur Street Photography or click on the links. I decided to tile the blog with one photograph I find particularly haunting. 

As I wrote, I've been putting up teases for the sequel to To Touch the Sun which was supposed to be out in July. Unfortunately, we've had an issue about the cover and are currently working that out. So I don't have a firm date for when Ujaali will be released, but I will keep you informed. And will try to put up some posts about the novel itself. I'm anxious for its release. 

In the meantime you can check for further updates at my author page on Facebook, or my website, which I don't get a chance to update as much. 

In the meantime, the delay might be the perfect time for those who haven't had a chance to check out To Touch the Sun and catch up with the story.

Monday, March 16, 2015

To Touch the Sun Book Trailer

Well, just popping in for today. It took me a bit, but I finally got around to having a book trailer made for To Touch the Sun. 

I think it turned out pretty cool! It's perched nicely on my YouTube channel which I hope to start populating soon with fun and interesting videos. I'll have to get to work on the trailer for the sequel, Ujaali, which is hopefully still due to be released in May or June. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Happy Anniversary, Vampires!

Balloons to celebrate
I've been having a bit of a party on my Facebook page today. It was a bit of a special occasion. One year ago today, To Touch the Sun my vampire novel set in Chicago was published by Dagda Publishing (available on Amazon). In honor of that, Dagda is holding an ebook sale that started midnight Feb. 25 and will run through midnight Feb. 27. For .99 (cents or pence) you can order your very own ebook copy of To Touch The Sun. 

I have to admit there were times when I wasn't sure this was going to happen. As I've stated before, my writing a vampire novel was a calculated thing. I was hoping to interest an agent I was in pleasant communication with whose agency featured a vampire series. I enjoyed reading vampire novels, watching vampire movies, but I  myself never had the urge to write one. I never had a character or story I wanted to present. Since I like to try new things though this gave me the perfect chance to try my hand at a vampire novel.

Unlike past novels I've written where I had the story and characters in my head before putting pen to paper, I went into this project cold. The only thing I had to build on was "vampire chef." Slowly, as time went on, the story grew, evolving as did the characters until at last I knew where I wanted to take the story. 

Love how it looks on a library shelf.
And thus you have To Touch the Sun. You can find more posts on the process and other information regarding the novels in this series blog. I'd never written like that before and it was probably the most enjoyable writing I've ever done. Not only that, by the end of what I thought would be a one off novel, I realized that I had another story to tell. That's why the epilogue isn't so much an ending as it is a jumping off point for the next novel in the series (Ujaali, due out in a few months). 

That's right: I started with two words and I now have four novels (written while hunting for a publisher for the first one) and a spin off novel featuring two paranormal investigators that appear in the third novel. (The agent, however, did not stick around. But that's a whole other story).

The cover makes a good poster too.
I think that's why this novel is so special to me (even though I've written others). It came out of nowhere and really captured my heart. That's why it was so important for me to get it published too. And why I was so thrilled when I finally found a publisher. And why February 25 will always be a special day to me.

So come celebrate with me. I'll probably be enjoying the glow for a few more days So drop in on Facebook and say, "Hi." Visit Amazon and get your own copy of To Touch the Sun. I hope people get as much enjoyment from reading it as I had from writing it.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Wait May Not Have Been So Bad

I make no secret of the fact that I never had an urge to write a vampire novel prior to To Touch the Sun. I liked reading the genre, I just never had a character in mind or story to tell.

That all changed with TTTS. There was a huge evolution that took place in that project. I decided to take on the project in the hopes of attracting an agent I'd been in cordial communication with, but I still didn't have a character or story in mind. Just a two word Idea: Vampire Chef. I played with plot, narrative, perspective. Eventually I came up with characters I really love and a plot that suits them. I'm sure that's why the series that grew from it is so close to my heart. It came about as such a surprise. 

Once I had the novel (and the agent was a bust--a whole other story there) I became desperate to find a publisher. The desire was stronger with this novel than any other novel I'd written. It took years to find a publisher and I'm happy with Dagda Publishing, but those were frustrating years.

Looking back on it, however, I'm kind of glad for the wait because it offered me the chance to write the next three novels in the series and get to know my characters. Now when I talk of TTTS, I can also talk of the series which lends more excitement to talking about TTTS. I understand Narain, for example, in a different way then I did right after finishing TTTS. I understand the friendship between him and Dom, or the relationship between Narain and Cassie in a much more complete way.

Actually, I do have my moments of frustration having the next three novels written. There are some surprises in the next two novels that I have to be careful not to reveal. But there's an arc to some characters that I'm extremely anxious to talk about it. 

Hopefully it won't be too long before the next book is published. In the meantime, I hope people are enjoying this first one (and looking forward to the next).