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Write a Vampire book > Asking opinions on my novel teaser

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message 1: by Robin (new)

Robin (robinlayne) | 141 comments Let me know what you think of the following teaser for the book jacket or back cover of the novel I am writing. Would you read the book? Would it appeal to teens? Agents and publishers? Can you suggest any improvements? Would a different approach be better?

On the front cover, the title of the book and series will be:
Blood of the Willing
Book 1 of AVS: the Anti-Vampirism Society

On the jacket or back:

The new girl in town is hungry for blood
. . . and for Mary’s boyfriend.

It seems the only way Mary can stop her worst enemy is to help her.

All Mary’s hopes sink in a pit of horror as she watches Carletta dig her teeth into Hugh’s jugular and relish Hugh’s blood. He’s rushing into the arms of someone—or something—threatening to turn him into a creature of nightmare. Somehow, Mary can’t even convince him his new flame is a vampire. She turns to the messages of her prophetic dreams and her friends for help.

“Are you crazy?” Darrell yells. “You don’t cure vampires! You kill ′em!”

As Mary’s friends argue over what to do, her mother scolds in unbelief, and the vampire’s mother expects her to find a cure.

Trying to protect Hugh and end the murders that have plagued the town since Carletta’s arrival, Mary and her hastily-formed Anti-Vampirism Society face a puzzling quest fraught with danger, compromise, and anguish, destined to shake them to the core.

Oblivious, Hugh thinks he’s found the love of his life . . . as Carletta lures him ever deeper into her dark world . . .


message 2: by Francis (new)

Francis Franklin (francisjamesfranklin) | 542 comments The new girl in town has her sights set on Mary's boyfriend... and she's hungry for blood. To save him from Carletta's lust, Mary will have to overcome her fear and hatred, and confront her evil rival. She can't do it alone. This is a job for the Anti-Vampirism Society.

...

Although that's quite a mouthful - wouldn't 'Anti-Vamp Society' work better?


message 3: by Gemma (new)

Gemma Newey (GemmaNewey) | 19 comments Sounds quite interesting.
To cure a vampire ... Sounds like an interesting journey. Hopefully there will be plenty of twists and turns!
You'll have to tell me when it's released!
Think Francis has a point in relation to the name, does seem a bit long.


message 4: by Robin (new)

Robin (robinlayne) | 141 comments Francis wrote: "The new girl in town has her sights set on Mary's boyfriend... and she's hungry for blood. To save him from Carletta's lust, Mary will have to overcome her fear and hatred, and confront her evil ri..."

Thank you for your suggestions. That is certainly siccinct, Francis, and something like it could be used for a shorter teaser. I might be able to use the first part of it. The second part sounds like something like a comic book to me. I'm looking at each part of your version and considering each separately. You don't think I should say anything about having to CURE her enemy? That is the twist that makes this novel different from most. It is in the first confrontation scene (instigated by the vampire) that the idea occurs to Mary--after trying to kill her fails, and Mary's dreams of being a monster herself flood back into her memory.
The Anti-Vampirism Society is brand new here, formed within this book. "This is a job for them" would make more sense in a sequel in which it is already established and has had some success. It is, at this point, just a group of four misfit teen friends who have found themselves in a desperate situation.
As for the name of the AVS being long, you have a point. Someone else thought the name was "old-fashioned," something they also said about the kids' names. But "vamp" has another meaning: "a woman who uses her charm or wiles to seduce and exploit men." Although this description fits Carletta, it's not the main point and doesn't apply to all vampires that the AVS might face.
In their first meeting about the problem (before the aforementioned confrontation), the kids talk about what to call themselves, and one suggests "Anti-Vampire Crew." Mary objects because Carletta has already bitten her boyfriend, and she doesn't want the group to be against him if he becomes a vampire. She suggests Anti-Vampirism Society, and someone objects it sounds "so intellectual." Mary says, "Well, we have to get smart in a hurry!" On that, they cannot disagree. It fits all the more when they decide to find a cure rather than killing the vampire.
It occurs to me that another way to shorten the name would be to call it the Anti-Vampirism LEAGUE. League is a pretty popular word these days, and suggests something active and effective rather than studious and "old-fashioned." If I use that, I shall have to re-do my logo for the series. But I already thought this would have to be redone for the actual books because I'm not that great an artist and don't have great equipment or great ideas for cover art. AVL may look better as a logo, and could also be shortened to Av'l, or Avail.


message 5: by Robin (new)

Robin (robinlayne) | 141 comments Faye wrote: "Sounds quite interesting.
To cure a vampire ... Sounds like an interesting journey. Hopefully there will be plenty of twists and turns!
You'll have to tell me when it's released!
Think Francis has ..."


Yes,there are many twists and turns. Too many at this stage, perhaps. The darn thing is over 500 pages right now and the draft isn't finished. I am in the process of trimming the prose, and I will be taking out some unnecessary scenes after the first draft is finished. It will be a while before it is ready for publication, and I'm not sure what publishing route I will pursue. I'm quite short on money, but I want it to have good graphics and reach a large audience.
When it's published, I will post it on this site and announce it in all my groups here. But if you need a personal note, send me a message. We can be friends on the site, and that would help me remember.


message 6: by Francis (new)

Francis Franklin (francisjamesfranklin) | 542 comments I wasn't meaning for that to be the whole of it, just an alternative start.

You're right that it's a bit comic-book-y (there must be an adjective like that), but...

Curing vampires is a tricky subject, and I don't remember seeing it in print, but maybe my memory is tricky. Lost Boys and Near Dark both do it, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer had a theme of restoring souls to vampires, which is similar.

My feeling is that people won't want be told that this is about curing vampires, unless they're reassured that the cure can only be achieved with a journey into darkness.

How about:

The new girl in town has her sights set on Mary's boyfriend... and she's hungry for blood. To save him from Carletta's lust, Mary will have to overcome her fear and hatred, and confront her evil rival.

As if killing vampires isn't hard enough, Mary is troubled by dark dreams of blood that offer a tantalising hint that maybe, just maybe, there is a cure.

The problem is bigger than just one boyfriend-stealing vamp, but Mary's not alone. She and her friends form the Anti-Vampirism Society and set out on a perilous quest to save the town.


(I'm just throwing ideas out there.)

Q. Is the objective to cure Carletta or Hugh or both?


message 7: by Gemma (new)

Gemma Newey (GemmaNewey) | 19 comments Robin Layne wrote: "Faye wrote: "Sounds quite interesting.
To cure a vampire ... Sounds like an interesting journey. Hopefully there will be plenty of twists and turns!
You'll have to tell me when it's released!
Think..."


Well amazon route is always good for getting the book out there if you hav little money, you don't ave to spend lads of publishing or you could try dong it yourself. Have a look on my blog, there's some helpful hints if your interested, just have a look on my profile .... I won't post it here because this is about your work. If you need help with cover art, I have a friend who I'm sure wouldn't mind helping out. She doesn't charge, she does it for fun at the moment. If your interested I can pm you her email address and you can get in touch!

Your book does sound very, very interested. I can't wait to read!


message 8: by Robin (new)

Robin (robinlayne) | 141 comments Thanks for the encouragement, all. The aim is to cure Carletta and, if necesary, Hugh--as Hugh is not a vampire as yet and Mary hopes he won't reach that stage. It may be premature for me to try to get cover art done, but I have fiddled with a few ideas and it encourages me to think about what the finished product will be like. I have to figure out whether League or Society is better for the name of their group, and I am leaning toward the change. What do you think? The logo would have to be redesigned, and I wasn't very happy with the way the S looked in my version of the art, anyway. I am pretty good at painting portraits of the characters and such, but I am more of a writer than an artist.
Although the cure idea may be rare, it has been done. I heard that in Dark Shadows Barnabas was cured twice (once by a blood transfusion, which doesn't work for Carletta), but that he was re-vamped (haha) both times. Couldn't find out what his other cure was. I also ran into mention of a cure in probably lesser-known book I have.
I will copy your ideas for the teaser down in my files and think about them.


message 9: by Robin (new)

Robin (robinlayne) | 141 comments I spent a long time working with what I had plus what you guys suggested, and currently I have two different versions. Not sure which is better or how I might combine them to work something best of all. I am sitting on them for awhile and will look at them fresh some time in the future. Thanks again! And if you read my short story based on part of the novel (the short story is called "Blood Ties"), please let me know what you think.


message 10: by Francis (new)

Francis Franklin (francisjamesfranklin) | 542 comments At the risk of being annoying and telling you what you already know...

1. I think you have a habit of telling when showing would be better.
2. Sometimes it's better to imply than state.
3. It's not good really to say: 'He thought about X.' Better to follow thoughts.

(I've certainly been guilty of these.)

So, for example:

Hugh listened to Carletta’s even breathing, then gently kissed her cheek. Although reluctant to lose sight of his girlfriend's small form, he closed her closet door so she could sleep peacefully. She needed complete darkness to sleep. He stood pressed against the door, trying to sense her through the wood. He knew he should rest, but he didn't dare, not with so many dangers out there. She needed him. His friends said he should leave her. Hugh shook his head. Never.

And feel free to tell me to shut up...


message 11: by Robin (new)

Robin (robinlayne) | 141 comments No, don't shut up, Francis, I like that advice (and I like that someone has at least read the story!). I didn't feel good about that line, "The reason: She was a vampire." Lately it has felt melodramatic and, for these times, even mundane. That line was suggested by someone else who critiqued the story in the past.
I think the teaser should have showing in it, as well. That's why I will probably keep the part in which I described what Mary saw when Carletta bit Hugh. Thank you!
The "show, don't tell" idea has been modified in the reading I've done more recently to "show AND tell," because some details are just not worth showing and ought to be summarized. But you are not saying that everything should be shown, anyway--only that I picked a bad time to tell. And you're right.


message 12: by Francis (new)

Francis Franklin (francisjamesfranklin) | 542 comments No... What I mean is that there's no need to state she's a vampire because:
1. You say she needs complete dark to sleep.
2. Any ambiguity is removed a few paragraphs later.
The reader doesn't need things to be immediately explicit.

Similarly, don't state that she 'awakened his need to pity and protect' - it's too removed. His actions and thoughts should reflect these feelings, and again it doesn't have to be immediately explicit.


message 13: by Robin (new)

Robin (robinlayne) | 141 comments That makes a lot of sense. It is a matter of staying in his head and heart. Thank you.


message 14: by Francis (new)

Francis Franklin (francisjamesfranklin) | 542 comments How did he get into this mess? He fell in love with a girl. Then I found out she lived on blood . . . but he still couldn't stop loving her. She needed him. If she drank enough of his blood, she wouldn't have to kill. But she was asking him to be filled with those urges myself.

(You're shifting between 1st & 3rd person narrative...)


message 15: by Robin (new)

Robin (robinlayne) | 141 comments Thanks for catching that, Francis! It used to be his direct thoughts, but, following the advice of an instructor I had at college, I have been trying cutting direct thoughts out of my stories. When I redid this one last night, I changed from present to passt tense in "she lived on blood," but I missed the "I" just before it. You have a good eye. What makes me feel even better is you actually read that far, and read it recently. I don't know if anyone else on here has read it.
I also posted the second installment of my other short story, "Manuel Pascal." It's not a vampire story, or even horror, but there is some blood and a few edgy subjects are touched upon,if that interests you.


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