*** Note: This blog is about my series, THE VAMPIRE’S HOUSEKEEPER CHRONICLES. If you haven’t yet had the pleasure, the first novella in the series –EMPLOYMENT INTERVIEW WITH A VAMPIRE – is currently just $0.99 on Amazon and in the Kindle Unlimited program. I’m totally not biased, but I think you should really check it out. ***
Last week, I sent out copies of SHOWDOWN WITH THE SUPERNATURAL HUNTER to my beta readers. Now it’s just a waiting game, and a I-really-hope-you-don’t-hate-it game. Sending out a vulnerable little draft into the cold, harsh world of critiques is always a nerve-wracking process, but I felt separation anxiety even more deeply this time.
Showdown is – at least for now – the last novella in the VAMPIRE’S HOUSEKEEPER CHRONICLES. It was allllll the way back in the ancient days of 2011 when I whipped up a fun little vampire story for my sister as part of our constant, back-and-forth emailing. My goal was simple. I wanted to write about a vampire who was not young, not handsome, and who did not sparkle in sunlight. Furthermore, knowing many seniors who still struggle with how to understand things like email and phone apps, I always believed that vampires must face similar challenges. If an 80-year-old is completely out of their depth with technology, slang, and culture, how about a 200-year-old? From these thoughts, Nathaniel was born, and it has been a joy writing about my cranky, stick-in-the-mud vampire ever since.
Not so sparkly, but I love Nathaniel anyway.
What truly surprised me is how much I enjoyed writing from the viewpoint of the protagonist, Deidre. Like Nathaniel, Deidre was hatched as an anti-heroine of the vampire genre. Not that she was evil. Worse. She was average looking. Unlike the Bellas and Elenas of the world, Deidre was overweight, self-doubting, and living a relatively mediocre life (before she met Nathaniel, that is).
Just another day in Deidre’s world.
When I scribbled down that very first story, EMPLOYMENT INTERVIEW WITH A VAMPIRE, it was just meant to make my sister laugh, but I enjoyed the characters so much, that I wrote another story for my sister, what would become THE VAMPIRE HUNTER COMES TO CALL (now part of the first novella in the series).
I kept writing the stories, not because they were huge sellers (trust me, they weren’t), but because it was a lot of fun. The amazing thing is that with each story, Deidre’s world grew. We met Dex and Sloppy Joe. Then Drew, who would become Deidre’s best friend and love interest. Next up was the bingo crew (Carl, Lenny, Polina, and Rick), and finally, Hunter, the loveable, overachieving vampire apprentice. As Deidre’s world got richer, it also got more complex. The last two novellas – APPRENTICESHIP WITH A VAMPIRE and THANKSGIVING WITH THE WEREWOLVES -add interesting themes beneath just the daily weirdness of Deidre’s life. I think that you’ll find that Showdown brings this dynamic to a whole new level.
THE VAMPIRE’S HOUSEKEEPER CHRONICLES always played a second fiddle to the GIRL WITH BROKEN WINGS series. It was much more light-hearted and not as deep or complex as my primary series. I would write VHC stories and novellas between drafts of GWBW.
However, VHC was always a joy to write, and I am really proud of how the series has evolved. I personally believe that APPRENTICESHIP WITH A VAMPIRE is the best thing I’ve ever written to date. I’ve really enjoyed getting messages from fans about how the series has made them laugh.
Deidre, in many ways, became a true hero to me. Her struggles – to lose weight, to find love, to achieve balance in her life, to get the ghosts to stop animating the furniture, and to keep her ficus alive – are real (well, except for the ghosts and the furniture run amok). Deidre’s struggles aren’t sexy. Explosions aren’t involved (though there is always a chance of ectoplasm, which never comes out). But that doesn’t make her struggle less real or less worthy.
SHOWDOWN WITH THE SUPERNATURAL HUNTER will be available soon. (The goal is to release it right around Halloween). I hope you enjoy it as much I enjoyed writing it. I hope it makes you laugh and that the characters – Nathaniel, Deidre, Drew, Hunter, Sloppy Joe, and Dex – feel like your old friends. I am sad to let this series go, though excited about the big science fiction monster that I’m still writing. I am considering starting up a new novella series in the vein of VHC. Something fun, light, and quirky to give me a break and add some laughs to offset my bigger, more serious novels in the works.
And of course, vampires live for a long, long time, so maybe one day I’ll come back to the world of the VAMPIRE’S HOUSEKEEPER CHRONICLES.