Saturday, April 20, 2013

The A to Z Challenge! R is for Roland!

Of course R must be for Roland, the 13 year old vampire child and costar of the Night Children series. As a major character, Roland has had multiple entrees on this blog devoted to him. I thought instead of simply re posting those, I'd show you some pictures I've collected on the web that make me think of him.

Of course I'm grateful to Adam Diller for Roland's very own picture...

Friday, April 19, 2013

The A to Z Challenge! Q is for Quilts...

Q is for Quilts, specifically the quilt scene from NIGHT CHILDREN: DARK BIRTH. To set the scene, vampire boy Roland was captured along with his human friend Henry. The terrible tracker-vampire Fenroth had them inside his converted wagon. They, along with Fenroth's vampire assistants, were safe from the sun's rays inside the coach.

Thomas, Annabelle and Roland's other human friend, thought the best way to rescue them was by day. To protect her from the sun's lethal rays, Annabelle had a heavy quilt draped over her. Thomas guided her to the wagon...

Chapter Twenty-Seven: Dangerous Gambit

Annabelle slowly walked under the quilt, clutching her long stake while Tom led her toward Fenroth’s wagon.  This must be what a blind person felt like.  Engulfed in total blackness, she took each step cautiously and relied completely on Thomas to help her.  The sweltering heat was stifling.  Annabelle wanted to throw off the heavy quilt but she knew the disaster that would result if she did. 

“How are you?”  He draped his left arm over her as he guided her safely.  Despite the danger, she felt safe with him watching. 

“I’m all right.  I wish I could throw off this hot thing and look at the beautiful sun.  It’s been too long since I’ve seen it.” 

“But Annabelle--” 

“I know, I know.  Don’t worry.  I’m not suicidal.  How much further?” 

“Just ahead.  That’s got to be it.  On the left side of the wagon there’s some pull-down stairs that lead to a door.  I wish there was more than one way in or out.” 

A spike of fright made her wonder if they could be fast enough to avoid getting trapped.  His plan suddenly seemed foolish.  So many things could go wrong. 

Tom continued to describe Fenroth’s carriage, “The whole thing looks like some kind of big wooden box.  There’s a bench in front so he can control the horses, and its wheels look like ours, but the wood makes it look so strange.”

“I really don’t think Fenroth cares how it looks.” 

Thomas stopped moving.  “Annabelle, I’ll need a free arm to open the door so I’ll switch this cross to my left.  You’ll have to pull off the quilt when I give word.  Are you sure you want to go through with this?  Once we’re inside that wagon, the sunlight will be blocked out.  Fenroth will know when we enter.  We could wind up captured or worse.” 

Annabelle knew when he said “worse”; he meant he could be killed.  She hated putting him in that situation, but there was no other way.  She responded with the only thing she could.  “He’s my brother, Thomas.  I have to try.” 

“I feel the same way.”

Wasting no more time, Thomas gently moved Annabelle to the side of Fenroth’s converted wagon.  She pushed the front of the quilt to the wagon wall, feeling her way through it to the steps that led to the door.  Annabelle could hardly breathe.  Blind and extremely vulnerable, she felt like the frightened child instead of an angry vampire.

Thomas helped her up the steps until she reached the top one beside the front door.  Her acute hearing picked up the sound of snoring inside.  She felt the press of the cross against her back and knew Tom was ready to push her inside.

Thomas opened the door and gently shoved Annabelle in.  She yanked off the quilt, at the same time he shut the door behind them. 

The small room erupted in noise as two large wolves barked and growled from their cages.  Those sounds were lost among the crazed snarls of a strange wild vampire crouched on the floor to the back right.  It could only be Wildes Blut-Tier.  An Indian girl woke up and hissed from the back left.


For more check out Dark Birth at your local online store. Links to Dark Birth on the web can be found on the Store Page on this blog or you could just go here, Dark Birth on Amazon.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The A to Z Challenge! P is for PPP

P is for PPP.

Now before you think I'm getting lazy, a PPP is a real thing in my multiverse of stories. PPP is short for Portable Portal Projector. It's a device that allows the stockbots of the Multi-Mart to deliver groceries and other items to those customers who can't leave their worlds. Sort of like how some stores used to deliver items to shut ins.

PPPs are similar to remote controls or cell phones. Here is an excerpt from Multi-Mart to explain what they look like and do...

The stockbot walked over to one of the consuls and pulled a small lever.  A panel on the wall behind them flipped open and revealed shelves of small, blinking devices that resembled cell phones.

The stockbot picked up a device and handed it to Gym.  The manager showed it to Kyle, “This is the newest model Portable Portal Projector, or PPP for short.  It can open portals to other Earths and return back.  It can even travel from Earth to Earth and even cross through closed Earths.”

Gym pointed to the front face of the device, “You see here on its front there is a key pad where you can dial in any Earth’s number.  Then you press the button with the star and it’ll open a portal to that world.  If you’re in a hurry you can just hit this arrow key and it’ll open a random portal to the first universe it finds.  The return key brings you back to the store.”

So imagine your cell phone could take you here...

and then take you here...

or here...

or here...

and where ever you went, after a small period of time for the PPP to reset, you could just leave whatever environment...

and enter a new world...

If you don't like the Earth you are on, you can simply try a new one...


Some would be set in what would appear to be the past for you...

And the next one could be the future...

While in some universes, Earth wouldn't resemble itself at all. Maybe a different planet in the solar system would be the designated "Earth" that the Multi-Mart uses...

"Imagine the possibilities!" - Quinn Mallory from Sliders

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The A to Z Challenge! O is for Orphans

O is for Orphans, namely the vampire orphans of Palmer Orphanage.  Annabelle and Thomas meet them in London while she searches for her brother in NIGHT CHILDREN: DARK CHANGES.

Known History:
In London, when the vampire Rake known as Ryan turned teacher Molly O' Connell, she was upset. She rejected him so he captured five of her students and turned them into vampires in their sleep. Molly gathered them and escaped Ryan's clutches. She found an abandoned building in the heart of London where they could hide. She named their home the Palmer Orphanage after a famous vampire hunter. It was her way of rejecting their new life. Despite her feelings, Molly continued to teach the children what little she knew.
The American vampires Annabelle Foresight and Thomas Dunston were running from vampire hunter Hawke. They stumbled upon the orphanage and Molly gave them shelter. Annabelle and Thomas soon moved in with the orphans and eventually everyone relocated to Germany's Black Forest where they joined up with the Mullo vampire gypsy tribe.

Who they are:
Mary Stilton(Age 16)
Eric (Age 14)
Selina and Samuel (Age 10)
Charlotte (Age 7)

Here are some pics of vampire children and teens I've found on the web...


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The A to Z Challenge! N is for Night

N is for night.
I love the night. I used to be scared of walking my dogs along at night but then the ideas for my Night Children series came to me. As I got swallowed up in inspiration for the books, I could really feel Annabelle's love of the peaceful night time. Suddenly I was no longer afraid of the shadows but welcomed them. The moon was intoxicating, especially when it was full.

I have no idea why the switch. I don't know how I could feel my character so strongly. Beta readers have told me I am really in touch with Annabelle. That you could truly feel her voice.

Sure, it's all made up, but for some reason I can feel a connection to Annabelle, more than my other characters. Maybe other authors experience the same thing with their creations?

Anyway, here are some fun night pictures.

Monday, April 15, 2013

The A to Z Challenge! M is for Multi-Mart

"Welcome to Wal-Mart.  How may I help you?"

How many times have you walked into a Wal-Mart and had a greeter welcome you to the store? What about the check stands? The isles of merchandise? The stockmen grabbing carts from the snow? These are all experiences that we are very used to in the early part of the 21st century. It's the new town hall, where neighbors, friends, coworkers and family meet and greet while browsing the current DVDs or picking up their milk.

I'm not saying I'm Wal-Mart's #1 fan. I realise they creep into towns, shut down the local businesses and set up mini-monopolies in every American town. But regardless of whether they are "good" or "bad" or somewhere in the middle, Wal-Mart is part of our culture.

So I go there every week. It's the only game in town and the city is 45 minutes away. I used to work for them as a stockman. I know them pretty well and you're suppose to write what you know.

Meanwhile, I've always been obsessed with alternate Earths. String Theory says that there could be billions of alternate worlds out there. Worlds where you might have turned left instead of right. Worlds where America lost the war of independence, Hitler won World War Two, dinosaurs still roam the earth or JFK was never shot.

I love the possibilities, understand the mechanics and thrill to the stories. It's all thanks to DC Comics and their many adventures with Earths 1,2, 3, X and S. Two Supermen or Wonder Women in an adventure, alternate Flashes and Green Lanterns, so many similarities and yet differences.

It didn't take long for these ideas to shape in my mind while strolling the isles of Wal-Mart. What of there was a store that set in-between ALL universes, where any number of characters could cross paths with each other? And if there is a place that touches all universes, who would see it as a perfect beachhead for multiversal domination?

These are the concepts in one of my favorite stories. It's half finished and I can't wait to return to it.
M is for Multi-Mart.
Multi-Mart stars Kyle Jordan as a kid thrown into the store whom has to escape with a Stockbot into the multiverse to get help before a tyrant takes over the store. It features Kelli the vampire girl from NIGHT CHILDREN: DARK THREATS and Bril the elf and younger brother to Eli from Farnalla.

Now as you ponder these concepts, here are some pics of alternate Earths...