Ardy's Blog: Ardy's Blog

July 20, 2013

Hey, everybody. At my sister's house using her computer right now so I thought I would get back on goodreads for a bit and give everyone an update. No, I haven't disappeared off the face of the earth. I've been working very hard at my new job, and am still working out my budget so that I can get TV, phone, and internet at my new place. Once I do, you can expect me back here regularly. Goodreads is the one thing I miss the most, especially all my warped friends at HA.
It's been a busy few months. My job is great, but very physically demanding and tiring. Working forty-four hours a week at an apple orchard is unlike anything I've ever done before, but it's awesome. I love working outside, though when it's over a hundred degrees out and I'm being eaten alive my mosquitoes and deer flies I almost miss fast food. Almost. Got my new place set up with an entire room set aside as a library. Only five hundred books so far, but it's growing. I've even had time to read four books when I'm not too tired, and I'm currently reading three others. Also getting some writing done, so expect new stories and the long overdue Akeldama sequel soon.
I've finally overcome my fear of ladders. All it took was clmibing one with an active chainsaw in my hand. Chainsaws may be the cure for all my fears. If I could go at a tiger with one, that could really go a log way towards destroying that phobia.
Got a new kitten. He's small, black, and very annoying. Any Akeldama readers would be able to guess his name.
On a sadder note, I lost my grandmother last week. She was ready, and it was almost a relief. She had been suffering for a while. When I was a kid I lost a cousin to leukemia. At his funeral we sent up a whole bunch of a balloons. My mother told me that they were for Nicky to play with, and ever since then every time I see a balloon flying through the air I think of him. My parents and I sent up a balloon today for my grandmother. I tied a cigarette to the string for her. I don't know if they smoke in Heaven, but it kind of brought me some closure since I wasn't in Florida to say goodbye.
Anyway, I hope to be back here and active soon, hopefully by the end of August. In the meantime, thanks for all the reviews and ratings I've been getting here on gr. (BTW, a Barnes and Noble review recently called on of my stories demented and twisted, and there is no better compliment for a horror writer.)
And check out smashwords.com for their summer/winter promotion. Many of their thousands of books are available this month at incredible discounts, most of them (including Dawn is Coming and The Noble Mr. Prickles) free! Akeldama: The Field of Blood is only a dollar.
Well, until next time, which hopefully won't be another three months, hope you all are well.
Ardy
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Published on July 20, 2013 22:09 • 51 views

January 11, 2013

I began what I hope to one day call my writing career in 2012 and in many ways it was an amazing year for me. I just went through my Smashwords.com dashboard, where they give you the statistics on all of your books including downloads at smashwords and sales reported from other retailers and affiliates. I thought that I would share some stats here and also respond, both negatively and positively, to a few of my reviews. I would respond to each one, but so many people have reviewed my books and stories that doing so would fill this entire post.
First off, what I call my "paybooks", or books that actually cost money. My smashwords stats are admittedly a little skewed since many of the sales were made with coupons that made the books free or as gifts for others, purchased either by myself or someone else.
Akeldama: The Field of Blood is by far my best selling paybook, selling copies in four countries on three continents. This is not my favorite work, but it seems to be the most popular so far, and it is one that I really loved writing. At Smashwords it has sold 38 copies and received two 5 star reviews. I have also sold 22 copies at Barnes and Noble's website, in both England and the United States and have two 5 star reviews there as well. One called it a "must read" and one review, my all time favorite, called it "a keep-the-lights-on scary, bloodsucking good, action filled, good old fashioned vampire novel." At Apple's site it has sold four copies, two in Australia, putting me on the iTune's horror book chart in two countries. That was exciting. I've also sold a copy through Sony's ebook store, this one in Canada. All told, Akeldama has 65 sales and six 5 star reviews.
Dawn is Coming my Christian fantasy novel is doing pretty well a well and seems to be finding an audience. With 36 sales at Smashwords, two at Apple (US and Aus) and one at Barnes and Noble, it has a grand total of 39 copies sold. I hope this one begins to gain more of an audience because, in my opinion, it is my best work. Two reviews so far, both 5 stars.
The Noble Mr. Prickles is my comedy/fantasy novella. It was a lot of fun to write and I believe it would be fun to read as well. 29 copies total and one 4 and one 5 star review, but it too is beginning to see sales outside of smashwords.com.
Now to my free stories. I have published seven so far and they are all doing well. Two of the stories are prequels to Akeldama. "Shawn Black: Vampire Hunter" was my first free story. It has numerous reviews on BN.com and smashwords, averaging out to about 4.5 stars and is my most downloaded story with a total of 969 downloads on four different sites. (Short stories are harder to track because some sites don't report them, but I do know that it has been downloaded on other sites as well, based on sales rankings or other indicators). "Bloody Halloween: An Akeldama Story" is another prequel, this one shorter and faster paced. 647 downloads so far with eight reviews, averaging about 4.5 stars. All told, in series Akeldama has "sold" 1681 copies so far.
Three other stories fit loosely into another series: The Fairview Estates. Fairview is a small gated community in Colorado that seems to have some sort of paranormal activity going on. The three stories aren't related by anything but the location, and "Mommy" doesn't even mention the Estates, but there will be more visits to this place in the future. "Mommy, there's something under my bed." which is my all time favorite short story has 639 total downloads and is also my most reviewed story. Most of reviews are 4 or 5 star, with a couple 3 star thrown in. I love this quick little story and it received my seconds favorite review within minutes of publication. The review simply said, "Goosebumps, everyone!" One reviewer on BN.com gave it five stars and then ruined the twist ending that has made this story so popular. If you buy it off of Barnes and Noble, don't read the reviews until afterwards. The second story in this series is "Necrosis." Only 228 downloads/sales so far, but it has seen a spike in readers over the past month. I like this story, though it's a bit different from some of my other works. There are some really scary parts to it, but it reads more like a Twilight Zone episode than anything. A reviewer on BN.com made that comparison which pleased me because that was what I was going for. The third story, and my most recent, is "Second Chance", a story about a man who is granted a chance to go back in time and fix his greatest mistake. There are some very frightening images in this story, but it is more of a fantasy tale than anything. I published it in late November and it has just barely started to show up in ebook stores, but it has 125 downloads already.
"Right to Life?" is a very different story than my other works. It's a futuristic, almost sci-fi tale about genetic testing and one couple's dilema when they find out that the fetus the wife is carrying has a gene that will make the child prone to extreme violence. It was slow to gain an audience, since most of my readers expect horror or fantasy, but its managed to get 429 downloads. Some of th reviews for this story weren't that good. I got two 2 star reviews on BN.com, compared to two 5 star and one 4 star at smashwords. Not to say anything against Barnes and Noble readers, but when one reviewer said that they couldn't get past the first chapter on a ten page short story that has no chapters, it makes me wonder... Some readers did understand what I was trying to convey with this story though, and they seemed to really enjoy it.
And now for my last story, and the one with my favorite title of all time: "Welcome to Hell, would you like fries with that?" The idea for this story came to me during a shift at a fast food restaurant. I found myself wondering one day, "What if this shift never ended? What if I died and this is Hell?" Simple little concept, very predictable, but an enjoyable read. It took me all of half an hour to write this story and it seems to resonate with many people who have had similar experiences at work. Our hero, a college student named Justin, finds himself repeating the same hour over and over again at a job he hates. It's like the movie "Groundhog's Day," but with a much more terrifying twist. It's a little scary, but mostly it's a long set up for the punchline, which is just the title. Everyone knows how the story will end from the first couple of pages, but that's what makes it fun. Only one bad review so far: "Why bother? The story just repeats itself. You wait for it to end and it doesn't." My response: DUH! I told you that in the description! I bet this guy walked out of "Groundhog's Day" cause he thought the movie was repeating itself. Other than that review, every other person has seemed to really like this story, leaving reviews that were partly critiques of the story and partly gripes about jobs they hated.
Well, that's pretty much my 2012 in review. Hope I didn't bore anybody. I can't wait to see what 2013 has in store. I am very close to finishing Akeldama: This Dark World and have a few other works in progress. More free stories are coming, including more Akeldama stories and more visits to Fairview.
If you're interested in reading any of the stories I've talked about here you can find them at Barnes and Noble's website, iTunes, Sony's ebook store, Kobo, Diesel, and others, or just go to https://www.smashwords.com/profile/vi...
My next post should be about the release of the Akeldama sequel.
Until next time, Ardy
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Published on January 11, 2013 23:33 • 91 views

November 26, 2012

I posted a couple of months ago that I might be gone for a while due to losing my internet. Well, internet's back and so am I. Actually, I got my access back about a month ago, but I have been busy looking for work, working at my new money making hobby (think Storage Wars), and, of course, writing, but I decided that it was time I rejoined the goodreads community. I have missed coming here, playing the games, discussing writing and reading, and even arguing with some of the people here (you know who you are :)). While I may not be as active as I would like to be, at least until things settle down (still unemployed, but I spend about thity hours a week sorting through stuff so I can spend all weekend selling it at the flea market) and I find steady work, I will try to get here at least once a day.
Some good things while I was gone: Akeldama: The Field of Blood is selling very well at Barnes and Noble and it getting rave reviews from readers as far away as Austrailia and my short stories, especially the Akeldama stories and "Mommy, there's something under my bed." have been downloaded by the hundreds! I just posted a new short story on Smashwords called "Second Chance" that has been downloaded thirty-three times since last night and has over two hundred page views in less than twenty hours. Check it out at http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/.... I haven't finished the Akeldama sequel, but I intend to publish it by Christmas and my readers on goodreads will be the first to know!
Just thought I would say hi to everyone and let them know that I haven't disappeared off the face of the Earth. Now I have to go check out everything I missed in my long absense.
Great to be back!
Ardy
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Published on November 26, 2012 15:18 • 39 views

September 4, 2012

This post is about my first published piece, a short fantasy book called The Noble Mr. Prickles.
This was actually the first piece that I ever submitted to a publisher and it was my first rejection. I was discouraged for a while, but I know that rejections are part of the game and just because one magazine editor didn't appreciate this short tale didn't mean that I was a bad writer or that it wasn't a good story. When I first decided to self publish on Smashwords, this was the first book that came to mind.
I had the idea for this story after reading that a certain Sci-fi and Fantasy magazine (which shall remain nameless) was looking for fantasy/comedy stories. I have always been a fan of fantasy and a lot of people think I'm pretty funny, so I thought I could do it. Fantasy is pretty easy to write, in my opinion. The good thing about the genre is that you can write your own rules. While sci-fi, for the most part, needs to correspond with reality and actual scientific possibilities, and horror isn't horror if it's not scary, fantasy is much more liberating. However, comedy is much harder. I have read many authors who were attempting to be funny and the jokes fall flat. Every year movies come out that are supposed to be comedic and nobody laughs. If you call your stuff comedy, there are certain expectations. I didn't want to put out a comedy story that nobody found humorous.
I started off with the concept that once wise and powerful king had gone insane. King Orvan had once been a great ruler, but over the period of a decade he had lost his mind. The first few paragraphs of the story tell of his many crazy laws, the missions he had sent his once noble army on, and how he had chosen to take advice from his dog. Enter Javan, a great warrior who had known the king when they were younger. After fighting beside the king for years, he had retired from the army and was running a military academy. He is the king's closest friend and had sworn an oath to Orvan that if he were needed, he would do whatever the king asked.
Javan is a very serious character, basically the straight man throughout the entire tale. He is instructed to take his three best warriors on a mission to retrieve a magic orange rose petal from the Giant Kingdom. While he's not exactly intended as a comic relief character, one of the warriors is a Dwarf named Advan. Advan is one of my all time favorite characters. The others are two young students from the academy. Burgy, the king's dog, has ordered the mission and they all think it's nothing more than the ravings of a crazy man, until they discover that the mission is actually vital to the survival of their kingdom.
They encounter an insane wizard known as the Mad Forester and end up becoming the living dolls of an obnoxious and sadistic giant princess who dresses poor Advan up as a princess doll and makes the humans act out whatever scenarios her twisted mind can think up. Princess Tabby is another character I love. Her relationship with her new dolls, especially with Advan, is very funny and actually kind of sweet.
The story gets its name from Mr. Prickles, a chimpanzee that Orvan insists goes on the mission with Javan and his companions. I won't reveal how, but Mr. Prickles turns out to be vital to their success. It took me forever to name this story. I had no idea what to call it and finally settled on naming it after the ape. Other possible titles were "The Quest for Sanity" and "Anybody can Roast Beef." But neither of them worked.
In order to test whether or not this story was actually funny, I read it aloud to a few people. All of them laughed, especially at the bar brawl that Advan starts at the beginning of the story and at the things that Tabby has her dolls do. I've gotten good responses from my readers about this story, but sadly it's my least read work. It's not the best thing I've written, but it's one of my favorite pieces just because it's so fun. Unlike Dawn is Coming it doesn't have a message, not to mention epic battles and philosophical arguments, and unlike the Akeldama stories, it's not very scary. But if you want a fast paced fantasy piece that will make you laugh, I think you won't be disappointed. That's why I've made it free on Smashwords. It's just a fun piece that I want to share with my friends and fans.
The book can be found at https://smashwords.com/books/view/161651
The coupon code is BK85L
Type it in at checkout and the book will be free. I hope you enjoy it and I would love to hear what you think. The coupon expires on October 4th, 2012.
And, BTW, the coupon for Dawn is Coming expires on September 7th. See the post on DIC for details.
Thanks.
Ardy
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Published on September 04, 2012 13:07 • 74 views

August 25, 2012

If anyone read my gripe in the Horror Affiocnados group they know that I lost my job today. As a result, I might lose my internet access for a while. I won't know for a few days, but I might not be able to post here at goodreads or upload any new books until it's all resolved. Be patient with me. Akeldama: This Dark World is almost done and will be posted as soon as I can do it, but my release date of August 2012 will most likely be delayed. The good news? This gives the first book a chance to gain more readers and get more sales. I know a few people have bought it already and the response has been pretty good.
In the meantime, please enjoy my other works at smashwords.com. With the two novels, two novellas, and five short stories, they should keep you busy until I rejoin the internet world. Hopefully, God willing, I'll be able to stick around anyway, but just in case, I will miss this place while I'm gone. Goodreads has been very good to me and I hope that while I've been here I've scared a few people and made a few people laugh. Those are my two favortie things to do while writing.
Once again, the site where you can find my stuff is https://www.smashwords.com/profile/vi...
Happy reading. Until next time,
Ardy
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Published on August 25, 2012 23:00 • 110 views

August 14, 2012

August 15th is my birthday. All I want this year is to see my sales go up, so, in addition to all of my free short stories and the coupon for Dawn is Coming in the above post, I am posting a coupon code for my vampire novel Akeldama: The Field of Blood that will make it free at smashwords.com untill August 16th. The code is TX43P. Just enter it at checkout and get the book for free.
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view...
And while you're there, check out my other works, including the two free prequels to Akeldama.
Till next time, Ardy.
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Published on August 14, 2012 22:34 • 83 views

August 7, 2012

This is a post about my novel Dawn is Coming, which is currently available at Smashwords.com, Barnes and Nobel, the Sony Ereader Store, Deisel, ITunes, and more.
This book was a labor of love for me. I have never put more time or effort into any work, nor has anything I have ever written impacted me as much as DIC.
A long time fan of C.S. Lewis's work, I always thought that there should be more Christian Fantasy out there. There are a few others, but none of them appealed to me like the Narnia books. There was a lot of Christian Sci-fi and even some Christian "horror" (Ted Dekker, Frank Peretti, etc.), but there just wasn't that much fantasy available. While I do write mainly horror, and am currently working on a couple of science fiction novels, including a Christian one, I have loved reading and writing fantasy ever since I was a kid. I decided that I would give writing a Christian fantasy novel a shot.
I wrote Dawn over a period of about two years, all by hand. I filled three whole notebooks with the first draft and another three with the rewrite before finally sitting down to type it. I think that the constant labor of actually putting pen to paper made this story more personal for me. It also made for a very sloppy and note covered manuscript. With a word processor all you have to do is highlight a section and edit or delete it if it doesn't work. While I prefer doing it the easy way, I rather enjoyed writing this novel the old fashioned way.
I started with a simple premise: The world is dark, night is eternal, and it has been that way so long that nobody can even imagine anything different. There is a king on the throne who has been there for a thousand years and that king is evil. I named him Morningstar, which is what Lucifer literally translates to (or Daystar, or Son of the Morning). Since the king is evil, the Kingdom (which in this case is the whole known world) is also evil. The darkness of the world reflects the darkness of the people who live in it. Morningstar has gone to great lengths to make sure that the people under his riegn love and adore him. He has indoctrinated all of the citizens to believe that the world has always been dark and that it always will be.
However, for as long as Morningstar has been in power there has been talk of "Dawn." A few people refused to accept the darkness and the evil around them, remembering that before Morningstar was king there was a good and benevolent ruler who wasn't the monster that Morningstar is.
I set this backstory up before writing and worked it into the story through the thoughts and revelations of the main character, a young man named Peter who is introduced to an underground movement of Dawn believers.
I wrote the book in the first person. It is Peter's account of how he was introduced to the movement and how within just a few short weeks, he was the leader of the army that would overthrow the king.
Peter's story is an incredible roller coaster ride of emotions as he deals with his own doubts, betrayals, loves and losses, and as he struggles to understand his place in the world that he finds himself working to transform.
When I began writing this book I had no idea what the final work would look like. I knew that (spoiler!) somehow the True King would return and that the sun would rise again. That is obvious from the first few pages. But getting to that point was as much an adventure and struggle for me as it was for my character. I had to create a world so dark, yet so accepted by the people who lived there that they saw nothing wrong with it. I had to throw obstacles in Peter's way that broke my heart to write. I wanted Peter to be a very flawed person, one who clearly wasn't worthy to be leading the army, but a man who would grow so much throughout the story that at the end he is hardly recognizable as the same person who was stopped by what he thought was a crazy old man outside a tavern and asked the question, "Don't you realize it's dark?"
There are some elements in this story that readers of my other works will recognize. As I said on my smashwords profile page, my proclivity for horror tends to show up in even my Christian pieces, and in those stories that aren't meant to be scary. In my novella "The Noble Mr. Prickles" there is a point where the characters are actually fighting zombies. I couldn't write the character of Morningstar (who is, in essence, Satan himself) without getting a little dark. There are nightmare scenes in DIC that are as scary as anything I've ever written, and the first time that Peter comes face to face with the evil king made my own heart skip a beat. Morningstar is by far the most evil character I have ever written, and some ways he was the most fun. I hated him, and since my story is written from the point of view of a character that hates him, it is clear in my writing how I felt about this monster. He does and says thing that make my skin crawl and whenever I go back and read the book, I find myself cringing at times, crying at times, and sometimes even having to put the book down and take a break.
But there are some characters in this book I just loved. One of them was John, the old man who started Peter on his journey. Based very loosely on John the Baptist, this old man is one of my favorite characters of all time. He is wise, kind, but very brave and very strong. I know more about this character than shows up in the novel. Hopefully, I can revisit him in a prequel sometime soon. I think he deserves more than he got in DIC.
Now I began this post (and if you're still reading, thanks) by saying that I was inspired by the works of C.S. Lewis. That brilliant author proved that there was a place in Christian literature for science fiction and fantasy, and vice versa. When asked to describe this book in just a few words I say that it's like Narnia for grownups. That isn't entirely true. There aren't that many similarities between that series intended as a parable for children and my book, which is an allegorical tale set in a much darker and more evil world. I got the idea reading Narnia though, and Lewis is one of my biggest literary influences. I did put a few homages to him in the book. (The naming of two of my characters Peter and Lucy was coincidence. Peter was chosen because of the apostle and Lucy was chosen because the name is derived, at least in DIC, from Morningstar's name)
I named a city after Lewis and John lives on Nalsa Street (spell it backwards). The other similarities come from the story that inspired both works.
I call this a Christian novel, and it is, but there is no mention of God, no direct quotes from the Bible, and no place where it turns into a sermon. There are many symbolic images taken from the Bible or from Church history, and there are moral lessons, mostly in the form of things that Peter learns or realizes during his journey. Though I consider this to be my best writing ever, and some of my readers seem to agree, I didn't expect it to do as well as my more secular pieces. That is why I was surprised to see that it outsold all my other books during my three day free book promotion at smashwords. It seems to be doing well in the other ebook outlets as well, but I will have to wait a few weeks for the numbers to come in.
I have added a coupon that I am only announcing here on this blog post and in the author promotion folder at goodreads that lowers the price of the novel by 78 percent, making it only ninety-nine cents. The coupon expires on September 7th, 2012. If you want to purchase this novel, feel free to take advantage of this coupon. I hope you enjoy it.
The coupon code is JB64L<?b> and is only available at smashwords.com. Just type it in at checkout.
The book can be found here: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view...

Thanks for reaading this post. Like the novel, I didn't intend for it to be this long.
Till next time, Ardy
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Published on August 07, 2012 22:28 • 117 views

August 2, 2012

Well, the free smashwords promotion is over and I couldn't be happier. Well, I could be. If I actually got paid for all those sales, I would be happier, but it's nice to see the numbers go up the way that they did.
Since goodreads is the only place that I advertised the promotion, I know that most of those sales and downloads of my free stories came from GR members. Thank you! Before I announced the coupons I had 33 sales and just under 900 downloads. Now I have 102 sales and well over a thousand downloads. Strangely enough, and very surprising to me, my Christian novel Dawn is Coming outsold all my other books. While, in my opinion, this is my best work, I wasn't expecting it to do so well when up against Akeldama, which also did well. My next blog post will be about DIS. Even my little fantasy/comedy novella tripled in sales!
I've been watching the sales ranks on BN.com and am pleased to see most of my books moving up on those lists. The four free books I have there have consistently moved up on the list and reviews are starting to come in. I actually got my first "bad" review for "Right to Life?" A reader gave me two stars, but on smashwords that same story has three reviews averaging 4.67 stars, so I guess it's not that bad.
Anyway, just wanted to say thanks to goodreads and keep watching the blog for further coupons and promotions.
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Published on August 02, 2012 07:42 • 63 views

July 28, 2012

Announcement. Tonight at midnight (my time) I will go to smashwords.com and update the coupons for the sitewide promotion to make my three novels free. They will remain free until the end of the promotion on July 31st, so for three days you can go to smashwords and get the books at no cost to you. My free stories are all being downloaded by the hundreds at smashwords and at BN.com, and I would like just as many people to read the longer stuff. Hurry, this is only for three days!
https://www.smashwords.com/profile/vi...
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Published on July 28, 2012 12:40 • 63 views

July 27, 2012

I kind of wanted to start doing this with The Noble Mr. Prickles since it was the first book I published, but Akeldama is the freshest in my mind since it is the most recent, and I am hard at work at finishing up the first sequel that I plan to publish in August.
I have told this story a few times, but the inspiration for Akeldama came from a very lousy movie that I saw about ten years ago. I don't remember what it was called, only that it was one of those straight to video horror movies that probably wouldn't have even made it as a made for cable flick. In this movie vampires came into our world from an alternate dimension. In their world they had taken over the planet. These bloodsuckers had killed pretty much every human in their world and had turned on each other for food. Then they found a portal into ours and started feeding on the humans here. A group of hunters followed. It was an interesting plot, but one thing bothered me. These vampires were so stupid. One thing I have learned from all of the legends and literature and movies about the undead is that they are not stupid. If vampires were to take over the world, they would take efforts to ensure their own survival. They would keep a food supply.
That got me thinking and sparked an idea that stuck with me more than any other since I began writing. What would a world ruled by vampires look like? How would they maintain their food supply? Could vampires actually conquer the planet? I started writing almost immediately.
My first attempt was pretty good. It took place hundreds of years in the future where vampires had been in control for centuries and humans were kept on farms and harvested for their blood. In this version a small group of humans learned that their masters could be killed and started a war against them to take back the planet. I liked it, but it just didn't work. For some reason after only a few chapters, I gave up.
My second attempt was horrible. I won't even get into it. The plot was good, but I just couldn't get into it, and if the writer can't get into a story, then the reader won't be able to either.
There were others, most notably the idea that I would start a year before the war and build up to it. There would be a small minority of people who saw what was coming and were trying to warn others. I liked this idea, but forgot about it. I found the first few pages of this draft a few weeks ago and reworked it into the prequel "Bloody Halloween: An Akeldama Story" http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/...
I incorporated a few characters from the finished novel and reset a few things, deleted some characters that were orignally intended to be the main characters in the novel, and I think it worked. It's a fast paced little story that stands on its own and it's the first of a few prequels that will take place during that year before the vampire war.
But finally it came to me. The idea had been floating around my head for years, almost torturing me with how good I knew it could be and my inability to get it into a working form. I had most of the main characters clearly formed and the plot in place, but I was lacking that inspiration that let me know it was time to begin. Then, one night, it happened.
I was trying to quit smoking. I had done pretty well, only having a few cigarettes a day, but occasionally I would smoke a cigar before going to bed. One night in October about two years ago I was outside smoking one of these. I was outside for two reasons. First, they smelled and my roommate never let me smoke them in the house. Second, her daughters, who are my "sisters" would beat the crap out of me if they saw me smoking again. It was a clear night, full moon, pleasant breeze, and I was leaning against my car watching the stars. My sister's cat, a big fat black cat named Harry Potter, jumped up on the car and rubbed against me. That was the moment. I had a clear image of the start of the book and the character of Dimitri Milton was formed almost completely in that instant. I put out the cigar, went inside, turned on my computer, and by midnight that night I had a good thirty pages done. The rest of the book came just as quickly. I knew I was onto something by the reaction of my little sisters, both Twilight fans and vampire freaks. Though it was absolutely nothing like the books they usually read, they loved it, and not just because I named two of the main characters after them. They started taking the printed pages to school with them and before I had even finished writing the book I had a following. Anita and her friends even went trick or treating as characters from the book last year.
This is one of those books that practically wrote itself. That's a sign to me that it's good. If I have to labor to write the thing, then it feels forced and dry. If there comes a point that I'm just along for the ride, being entertained by my own creation, surprised by developements I didn't even see coming, then I know it's something special.
I wrote this book for a few reasons. One was to entertain my sisters. It was written for them and dedicated to them. They take it very seriously too. There's a point in the sequel where something bad happens to the boyfriend of the character named after my sister LaCai. Actually, he does something bad which leads to worse things, and when LaCai read this she didn't talk to me for about a month. I even had to go back and rewrite this part just so she'd speak to me again (the new version is better though).
I also wanted to "take back the vampire." I wanted to write a horror novel, one that would scare people and bring the vampire back to his rightful place as a monster. This is definitely not your little sister's vampire book!
There are a lot of strong Christian themes in the book, as well as a lot of mention of old vampire legends. I picked up a book at a thrift store that was an encylopedia of vampires and legends and history. I read through this and did other research, trying to stay true to the legends and learning all sorts of interesting things that I incorporated into the story.
I could talk for hours, write pages and pages about this book, but I am getting close to revealing too much. I only hope that this book does well. Of course I hope it makes money, but more than that, I hope it gets read. This is some of the best writing I have ever done and I want to share it with as many people as possible. Based on the success of the two prequels I have published so far, I think it's only a matter of time. And the sequels are coming. I know how it ends, but getting there will be a lot of fun for me and hopefully for my readers as well.
By the way, Akeldama: The Field of Blood is the only thing I have ever written that actually gave me nightmares.
You can find the book on Barnes and Noble's website, the Deisel bookstore, and other places, but I reccomend Smashwords.com, especially now since it's on discount.
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/...
and check out Bloody Halloween and the other free prequel Shawn Black: Vampire Hunter http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/...
That book has about two hundred downloads on smashwords and is also doing well on BN.com.
The next book I will discuss is Dawn is Coming
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/...
Again, I would love feedback, comments, and reviews.
Have fun reading, and if you have nightmares too, then I've done my job.
Ardy
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Published on July 27, 2012 09:47 • 60 views • Tags: akeldama-vampires-ardy

Ardy's Blog

Ardy
Just a place for me to talk about my writing, the process behind it, where I get my ideas, talk about what things I have recently read or watched, and respond to my critics. Here I will announce new s...more
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