Posts Tagged ‘vampire’

Demon Rising is Live

June 2, 2017

500 pages and one masterpiece later, Stephan makes a horrifying discovery.Almost two years ago my brain was bubbling with too much Walking Dead and zombies when I figured I would like to write such a novel. Flicking over a unique take, a decided to do a fantasy as it seemed to me most zombie apocalypse shows and books were set in the modern world. What exactly would happen if the dead were unleashed on the land in the 17th or 18th century? Would the lower population numbers mean that it was less of a threat, unable to spread itself as much? Or perhaps tougher times would mean they people would be able to fight off the new terror. Would there be a supernatural reasoning behind it, bringing in magic and the unexplainable? Or would it have a scientific basis like many zombie apocalypse programs?

Nailing myself down in front of my laptop to actually complete this book, I started forcing myself to write a couple of thousand words a day. As usual my imagination shaped the pathway by book would take, coming up with ideas that I weaved into the novel. I decided that I would write it from the protagonists views, exploring the minds of each character and how they perceived the scenes. At that point I hadn’t read Game of Thrones so hadn’t seen a book done in such a way and it seemed like a different take.

By the end of the year it was finished with beta readers giving the thumbs up for the first five chapters. However, to my horror I realised I’d slipped back into past tense since chapter two! Having the change the tense of the whole book disheartened me and, with the year becoming busier than ever, I put down the quill and returned to the tedium of teaching and tutoring. Several months ago I promised to finish the redraft. I’d already written two short stories, Heart’s Siege and Into the Desert (only £0.99), based in the same world, stories taken from the characters backgrounds, and so I began to trudge through the chapters to finally reach the glorious day that is today.

I’m definitely not expecting big sales, possibly any sales lol, but its satisfying to finally publish my first book. There’s a proper cover being made but for the time being the one I’ve dug up seems pretty good. If you’re into fantasy books try Demon Rising , its only £3.10, and I hope you enjoy!

You can find out more about me and my books at my website at my website. You can read snippets about the book and look for other info in my updates page here or even give me a shout on the contacts page!

Happy reading!

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My Last Scene

April 26, 2017

stake vampireEmile, Wilhelm and Aldar were sorted, it was just Rondur and Heinrich to finish off. I wanted to end it on an exciting note and this I managed. After setting Olrev on fire by ripping the Governor’s curtains back, Rondur had saved Heinrich’s life when he burst in through the window. What fun! Fleeing out of the zombie swarming city became a priority and they headed for the back door.

It was easy to picture the back yard; large but quaintly decorated with a sizeable stable. The Royal Welsh flooded back to me, and how the show sheds had the stalls either side with both a back and front entrance. I’d been in my share of stables and realised this could be the ideal way to escape. A spare horse to escape on and they could burst out the back of the stables where the undead hadn’t invaded yet. Perfect.

Only it had to be better than that. That’s when I had the idea to have Olrev back in the game. As Heinrich came out into the yard to tell Rondur of the escape route, he was met by the giant strigoi clamping his teeth into Gypsy. I’d downloaded a horse acting out a death in a film and it allowed me to paint quite a sad picture. Drinking the blood, Olrev was regenerating despite the sun and he was about to turn on Heinrich.

Good old Rondur to the rescue again, plunging Heinrich’s broken spear through Olrev’s heart from behind and finally defeating the vampire. It was a sad moment, striking vengeance for his pet’s life and I knew how he felt having had my own cat put down. It can be pretty upsetting and yet they had to keep moving. Ideally, I hope it stirred emotions in the reader as well.


April 24, 2017

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere had to be a death. Any good zombie book has a load of deaths, and not just the bit part characters who get ripped to shreds. Valen had died at the start but we never knew her, she was just telling the readers that death could happen to anyone. Helmvich was killed next but then Khazar resurrected him as a strigoi. Of course he’d ‘died’ a second time but he was the bad guy, you’d expect it, and the twist of him becoming trapped by the water rather than destroyed was more interesting. The first big death was Tom, but then again I didn’t really like Tom. He was sulky and of all the characters I hadn’t really bonded with him, it was easy to have him lose his jugular vein and the majority of his blood. Who to chose, who to chose?

I liked Wilhelm, Emile and Rondur. I just couldn’t kill them yet, I wanted to explore their characters more before finally knocking one or two of them on their heads. They had to appear in the sequel. This pretty much left Aldar and Heinrich. Who to chose, who to chose?

Aldar was ok, her character was developing and I liked her changing from a romantic infatuated girl into a survival woman. She hadn’t yet gone that way (in fact I don’t think she does anything big in the book) but that could happen more in the sequel. At the time, I wanted the sequel to end with the beginning of Demon Rising in the mind of Heinrich (an idea that has now since been dispersed) so I was left with…um…no-one to chose, no-one to chose.

Then it hit me, the best kill I could use to move the reader. Gypsy. Ok so I haven’t mentioned Gypsy in my blog before so perhaps an explanation is due. Rondur has a horse (called Gypsy) with quite a personality and someone I really did want to write more about. Really. But someone had to die. People like animals, people like animals with cute loveable faithful personalities, people would be shocked when the strigoi Olrev sinks his teeth into her and slays her in front of Rondur. Sigh, poor old Gypsy…

You can read up on Wilhelm’s biography, recently posted on my Facebook page here or visit my website here to find out more about my writing and myself. If you want to go straight to my library to see Into the Desert and Heart’s Siege (two short stories based in the same world as Demon Rising), just click here.

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Escaping the Clutches

April 23, 2017

drowning vampire     Much earlier in the book I had researched the weaknesses of vampires and even brought it in. One of the lesser known ones is their susceptibility to water, being unable to cross could be used against them. This is what ended the chase after Wilhelm and Aldar.

I’d earlier put Olrev trying to cross the river as a short cut to catching up with Wilhelm, only to find himself stuck as if he was wading through quicksand. Once rescued by Alaric (the third vampire in the party) I’d planted a seed that I would use later on. This would take place down by the docks.

After escaping the clutches of Helmvich several times (once by fighting in the shade and then ripping a blanket away to roast the vampire’s face on fire as the sun pointed directly at it) Wilhelm finally managed to get on board a ship. Alaric had headed out by this point, happy to see Helmvich having a hard time so he could be promoted to second in command by Khazar and also starting to roast thanks to the sun. Furious and losing the plot, Helmvich leapt for the Wilhelm’s boat.

Suffice to say this action sequence had a mirky end for Helmvich as he sank beneath the waves. What I liked was the fact that he had the potential to come back as the water does not kill, it just traps like cement. As Wilhelm and Aldar finally managed to escape by boat, away from zombie and strigoi alike, Helmvich dropped down to the river bed, wanting only to seek vengeance.


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A Final Confrontation

April 20, 2017

OlrevMan I’m going into complete relaxed mode this holiday. One post a day and even this one is late! My partner and I actually had the morning to ourselves for the first time in ages! Man that was a strange sensation! BBQ, followed by Fantastic Animals, a meal out and then time in the pool – who could want anything more.

There needed to be a climax for Heinrich and the story came together well. Whilst Wilhelm was fighting off his demons, Henirch had tracked Joseph back to governor’s house where the later was searching for Emile. As it happens, someone else was waiting for them as well.

Throughout this blog I’ve been referring to Helmvich’s henchmen but they do actually have names and some personality to them, not just being two dimensional robots. Whilst one stayed at the docks to find Wilhelm (and eventually finished off Tom) the other hunted through Abendale instead and ended up finding Joseph. This one was called Olrev, a hairy brute of a chap with face obscured by a massive bush and huge body matched by broad hands that could now tear a man in two. You wouldn’t believe it but I actually based the image on Hagrid from Harry Potter, though I have to say the personality was some what different.

When Joseph finally confronts Heinrich this was the point where the reader can finally see he’s tipped over the edge. He’s reading off diabolic plans and reasons like some crazed maniac genius; think of Dr Evil but on a more mad scale. Unfortunately, the guard who was brained by Emile is used to extract information and its not a pleasant sight.

This was a confrontation that we knew Heinrich could not win. With Joseph escaping once more, leaving Heinrich to realise Emile is about to be caught by him for whatever reason, the hero has to die at the hands of Olrev. The vampire is just too strong, too fast, and too deadly.

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Lie In

April 19, 2017


Ok, apologies, apologies – sleep overtook me and a lie in on my holiday was impossible to avoid. With an episode of Red Dwarf on TV, a meaty fry up only around the corridor and BBQ tonight, today will be another fantastic day. Brilliant episode today too – Lister is actually getting quite intelligent. Who knew!

So this was it. Hilmvich and his two henchmen had caught up with Wilhelm and the final confrontation was on. They had now made it to the edge of escaping. I remembered seeing picture of the river Thames with the wide river splitting the city into two. This was the way I saw things with ship after ship docked at the side. The citizens were trying to fight their way onboard like a mass of swarming rats escaping a sinking ship and the merchants were trying to hold them back.

I guess I knew it was time for a death. Lets face it, you have to have deaths in zombie books. I was watching an interview about such a show once (either that or reading an author’s work) and they said you mustn’t be afraid to kill the odd main character every now and again. I’d killed Valen straight away to show I didn’t mean the slaughter and tricked the reader into thinking Helmvich had died in the original fight scene. Aldar’s father and brother were finished off at the mill but no main character had gone for the choppy choppy so far. That was about to change.

Tom hadn’t been an amazing character. Though there was that relationship between him and his sister that I’d worked on, I hadn’t delved into him as much. He seemed sulky and almost childish so he had to go. It also invoked a lot of emotions in my characters. Aldar was seeing yet another family member die. Despite Tom not liking Wilhelm, the dark hero is one to help the weaker and so he is drawn into the fight that will end their tale. The question is: will Wilhelm survive?

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Hulk Smash

April 10, 2017

hulkI think Heinrich getting punched through the stable door had to have come from a superhero movie.

The Marvel films are certainly a major part of my film schedule and YouTube channels such as WhatCulture have solidified the images and battles in my brain. So when it came to Heinrich being attacked (and just about surviving) the blow that a he receives throws him backwards across the yards to his the stable door unconscious. Luckily, the strigoi are too eager too kill the tavern’s residence to see if the job is complete. Well, luckily for Heinrich.

With Heinrich asleep in the stables, my next contemplation was how Rondur survives. I’d already read about wells that inns used to have for watering traveller’s horses, so it was easy to write one in with a small wooden roof to it. Within leaping distance of Rondur’s bedroom window, he throws himself across only to crash through the well’s roof at into the depths below. Thankfully the roof does not give straight away under gradually gives way underneath him, slowing his descent.

The final escapees were Emile and Joseph. By now I’d described how Khazar has a special role for Emile (and I’ll be adding more about it to the epilogue) so it was a fairly easy escape route. They don’t get attacked with the strigoi under Khazar’s orders. This also allowed me to have Emile questioning why this is happened so that her doubts about Joseph grow, but in the heat of the moment such matters are dismissed.

You can now read character biographies, snippets from my latest work and other news at my Facebook page

Other supernatural occurrences

April 9, 2017

strigoi 2I could do the whole book as a zombie apocalypse or I could bring in other supernatural phenomenon. Like I’ve already said, I didn’t want this to be a huge world with orcs and dwarves and elves fighting it out as we seen in Warhammer, D&D and Middle Earth. Instead, I wanted any supernatural occurrences to be rarities, more myths and legends to the everyday Joe Bloggs. This would give an altogetherstrigoi more shocking effect on the Kingdom’s residence when there’s suddenly an apocalypse of the walking dead!

At the inn, three thugs became possessed by the spiritual forms of Helmvich and two of the cultists, eventually transforming them into vampires. Actually I called them strigoi, the concept that vampires developed from. In Romanian culture, they believed that these were the spirits of the dead that arose from the ground.

The following scene would be a slaughter fest, with the strigoi’s new powers over taking their minds and a bloodlust making the kill the residence. With new strength and speed, none survive. I liked this idea as it then got the readers thinking how the characters can even live through it. Come to think of it, I was thinking pretty much the same!

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Picture taken from, original from The Strain