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Beginnings…

July 23, 2010

Where to begin? This is the part of the movie where one has to wait for the flashback, or the narrator to fill in the back-story. You know: the boring stuff.

“In the beginning, good always overpowered the evils of all man’s sins…” Oops! That’s Mötley Crüe.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God…” Oops! That’s the Bible.

Sigh!

I’m just kidding around; however, in doing so, I wanted to illustrate what one can expect from me: a sprinkle of God, a large measure of music and a ton of humor. Why? Because it’s who I am.

1) Ultimately, I’m a church guy.

2) I think laughter is a fantastic medicine for what ails people.

3) I would curl up into a ball and die if I didn’t have my music. No food; dead in a couple of weeks. No water; a couple of days. No music; hours. You should see me. I used to take ten minutes looking for a cd to listen to for a five-minute drive to work. My wife knows this: there will be no doing the dishes, no vacuuming, no dusting, and no yard work until I have that iPod firmly strapped to my ears.

That’s me.

What else? Well, I can write a little bit. I know, you’re saying to yourself, “you call this writing?” This cocktail napkin is only so big, you know? I don’t know how you figured that I could give you Pat Conroy on something so small. Lol!

I first discovered the writing bug about the same time I discovered I loved to read. I didn’t know I loved to read until I stumbled upon Jay Anson’s The Amityville Horror, Peter Benchley’s Jaws and Michael Slade’s Headhunter to name a few. Originally, I thought my first attempt at writing was a good one until the summer I pulled it out, dusted it off and began to read a few paragraphs. “Who in the hell wrote this?”, I exclaimed to no one. Naturally, the first read turned into the first re-write! The following summer, the events of the previous summer were repeated. “Who in the hell…?”

Isn’t that pretty much how everyone begins? Or was it just me?

Fast forward a few years through high school and some junior college. I wrote a couple of novellas and a few short stories, and soon thereafter, I began to write Dance on Fire. I always thought I would end up changing the title, but never did come up with anything better. Eventually, it grew on me. Unfortunately, the title did not end up being the largest obstacle. That was reserved for the fact the book ended up taking twenty years to complete.

Why twenty years? Well, I met my wife in college. We started a life together, children, careers, etc. Over the years, I attempted to dust off the manuscript, but something always ended up derailing me. Not too many actually realize their dreams, right? Why should I be any different? Yet, the dream would not die. About the time that I hit my 38th birthday, I began to feel that fire in the belly to not only kick-start the project, but also to see it to the end as well. When I did finish, I spent a year and a half looking for representation. Then came the realization that I had not attempted to write anything new in two decades, followed by a concern as to whether I actually could. Thankfully, the sequel to Dance on Fire took only eight months, from blank page to the end of the second draft (author wiping forehead in mock relief).

I came to understand it was not an easy thing to sell someone the idea of a Horror/Christian vampire crossover novel. The secular folks tended not to be so interested in anything Biblical, while the church folks tended to cringe anytime there was profanity or someone being butchered and used as food. I’m not sure why?

Eventually, call it fate or divine intervention, the good people over at Vamplit Publishing saw something in my writing and wrote back. I’m glad they did. The novel was published as an e-book this past February with the paperback version slated for sometime this fall. At the same time I will be handing over Dance on Fire: Flash Point to Vamplit Publishing once again for a winter 2010/spring 2011 release in both physical and e-book formats.

There. I told you it was dull…unless you were living it, of course.

And live it, I have. I have joined the blogosphere where I have met so many wonderful people and hope to continue the trend. I am also writing for a local on-line magazine in my area where I am penning non-fiction now, too. My experiences have brought me to this cool new place: Wicked Writers.

I want to thank C.J. and the team for welcoming me here. I want to thank you, dear faithful readers for enduring the back-story. I will endeavor not to bore you with those details again. For anyone among you who has a dream, I want to encourage you to see it through. Something inside me simply did not want me to grow old with regrets. I hope you won’t either.

Now that I have gotten these beginnings out of the way, we can move on to more interesting and engaging conversations. I am uncertain just what those might be, but I am eager to the challenge and looking forward to meeting more interesting people and having a lot of fun while doing it. Thanks for your time.

And as I like to say over on my blog:

We’ll talk soon.

14 Comments leave one →
  1. July 23, 2010 9:54 am

    Hi James tis alwasys nice to know where someone started, and 20 years and your dream was fullfilled that gives me hope. I have your ebook you kindly sent to me,, when I get teh time to read I will be doing so,, and now I have read this post to find there is a sequel even better.. I find myself mabye in middle life crisis at 36,, watching twilight opened my eyes to vampires and escessive reading. But I enjoy it so much,,, 😉 I have read your excperpts and look very forward to reading your book,, good luck with everything and thanks for sharing,, Maybe next time you can share with us,, how you came about your characters, music u love so much,, which inspired your characters and why you chose this type of story to being for first novel.. 😉 have a great day
    Katrina 🙂

  2. July 23, 2010 9:56 am

    Nice to meet you (again) James! I completely sympathize with the whole trying to sell Christian horror thing. For some reason, people seem to think it is an oxymoron. I’m glad to know that others realize it isn’t.

  3. July 23, 2010 9:56 am

    Welcome to the community. Hmmm…your premise is very interesting and catchy. I think there is room in Christianity for vampires – just don’t think they knew how to write about them eons ago. I once had fun with a couple of writers I met on a loop and we emailed back and forth for probably an hour about vampires in an Amish community. All the signs are there: they wear black, don’t like outsiders and marry within their ranks.
    I hope the possible mixing of elements leads to perhaps a little controversy which will mean great sales!
    Sharon

  4. July 23, 2010 10:25 am

    Thank you, ladies, and good morning! Don’t start me talking about music, Katrina. 😉
    Thanks for the comment, Sharon. It’s nice to meet you.

  5. July 23, 2010 12:47 pm

    Great to see ya here. Am enjoying Dance on Fire so far! Have fun!

  6. July 23, 2010 1:41 pm

    Ref: …the book ended up taking twenty years to complete.

    When something sticks with you that long, you know it’s for real. Good for you for seeing it through!

  7. July 23, 2010 2:26 pm

    Thanks, Michelle. It is nice to “meet” you again, too. Thanks for the note.
    Hi, Wendy. I’m glad to hear that you are enjoying “Dance on Fire” so far. I hope it doesn’t let you down!
    Thanks for stopping by, Maria. I trust that you didn’t bring any of those dreadful scorpions with you. If so, they’d better be playing music! Those are the only Scorpions that I like!

  8. July 23, 2010 3:27 pm

    Hi, James, great post. I enjoy the odd flash back… even 2oyears worth. If you keep on at this rate, your third book should take no time at all! Glad to have you with us. 🙂

    • July 23, 2010 3:45 pm

      Thank you , David. I look forward to getting to know the team well, and seeing what makes you all tick!

  9. July 24, 2010 10:16 am

    Welcome aboard, James.

    Enjoyed the intro, but I think I have you beat. I first came up with Devereaux Marshall Fox (the lead in my “Land of the Blind” novel) while still living in Medford, Massachusetts. Shockingly, I just realized after reading your intro, that I’ve been hemming and hawing with Fox for 29 years.

    But, I am going to get this guy into print or e-book at least. Reading your travails, trials and tribulations has given me new energy to get it done.

    Hope to read more interesting tidbits in the future.

  10. July 24, 2010 10:19 am

    P.S.: Vampires and Christianity can co-exist, as long as they’re kept in proper context. For instance, having vampire hunters be ordained by the Catholic Church (and I don’t mean the foul-mouthed James Woods from “John Carpenter’s Vampires”) sounds good. On the other hand, having parishioners sitting in the pews next to vampires as if they’re all one big happy congregation probably wouldn’t work (or would make one interesting novel to try to make it work).

  11. July 24, 2010 12:44 pm

    Thanks for the welcome, Gregory. The one thing that I neglected to mention was maturity. There was a time when I was much younger, that if I didn’t have a couple of hours, I wasn’t going to do any writing. Then, you get older and suddenly you’re telling yourself: “I’ve got 45 minutes!” And you start typing away!
    The whole Christian horror thing came about in parts. I loved intellectual horror. I’m not a fan of torture porn or whatever their calling it. I’m a “Silence of the Lambs” guy. When I became a Christian I went through a time when I thought I should be writing Godly things for Him only. I realized that I was reading Christian novels that weren’t frightening or gripping in the least. Eventually, I thought I might be able to be the guy who could close that gap. I’m happy to be doing it. Hopefully, others will enjoy the ride, too.
    Thanks again.

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