Tomorrow is the big day and I am STOKED.
I’ve spent the past week and a half on overdrive and I’ll finally get to see the fruits of my labor.
OR WILL I?
Tomorrow is the first day of MANY years that Communion will be available to the world. That doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s going to be a stellar first day that proves to everyone I’m going to be a successful writer. In fact, most people who buy Communion tomorrow will be you faithful readers of this blog and friends I’ve met since becoming more active on the internet.
More readers and fans won’t come until later, some of them much later than tomorrow. Despite all my blogging and tweeting and commenting, the internet is a big place. It’ll be a LONG time before even a fraction of the internet knows Communion even exists, let alone considers buying it.
TOMORROW IS THE FIRST STEP
At this point, I’m getting tired of first steps. I thought planning the novel was it, then writing the first page, then revising it. But no, all of that was just the warm-up. Tomorrow, I cross the line from being unpublished to published. I’m out there. There’s a chance that strangers I’ve never met before will find me and come to know who I am (or what I say of in my ABOUT section).
But just like novel-writing is a marathon that took a great deal of time to complete, so is a successful writing career. Regardless of how well or how terrible Communion does tomorrow or even this month, I have to keep pushing on. I have many more books to write. Maybe I’ll see a return on my time and money invested with this first book. Maybe not until the third. Either way, I have to keep writing.
SOMEONE IS GOING TO DISLIKE THIS BOOK
Actually, I can think of at least 3 people who told me Communion wasn’t their cup of tea. All three were older (30+) women, which is completely outside of my target audience. Two of these three said they liked my writing style and want to see more work for me, but Communion wasn’t it for them.
There are going to be others who aren’t so nice. All of the greatest books I’ve ever read have 1-star reviews. Sometimes I read those reviews and think, “there’s no way this guy read the same book I did.” Regardless, it is what it is. You can’t please everyone.
So, I’ve spent the past two weeks going over Communion in my head, scene by scene, trying to predict what people will dislike. I’ve done calculations in my head to come up with how much I need to sale to become a full-time writer.
But enough is enough. The world gets its first taste of my dhampir tomorrow. I won’t sit back and wait. Instead I begin a month of aggressive marketing (release day party, blog tour, tweets, etc.). I’ve been watching the book market for over a year now, waiting for my chance to compete. Tomorrow, I enter the fray.
I’ll be attending Creatures, Crimes, and Creativity in Baltimore, MD in September.
No, this isn’t to promote my debut novel Communion. Maybe one day I’ll have that kind of following, but right now I’m simply going as an unpublished author and a fan, looking to network.
There are a bunch of panes I’m looking forward to. Some are easy choices, such as
What makes a hero
Building a great series
Magic in “real life” and fiction
But, like all conferences, there’s always that hour that has TWO panels you want to attend at the same time. I’m torn between ‘What to Expect from Publishers and Editors’ (has a lot of business implications) and ‘Handling Sex in Crime/Fantasy Fiction’ (let’s just say things get steamy in the Communion sequel).
I’ll also be looking for booths ran by any authors who have self-published their books as ebooks only. I’m interested in doing this at some point in the future, but it would be nice to get some ideas on how it’s done first.
I won’t purchase a table for myself, but I will be giving out Communion bookmarks to anyone I happen to talk to.
But, it’s the first conference I’ll be attending… EVER. Any tips?
Back to our main question: How do authors get us to root for these malicious creatures of the night who feed on human blood?
Well, what if they don’t feed on human blood?
Below is a list of alternate food sources vampires have used in popular vampires book and television series.
Human blood (but from a blood bank): Damon in Vampire Diaries (the TV version) does this.
Animal blood: In Twilight and in Vampire Diaries (book and TV series). In Vampire Diaries, animal blood can sustain vampires but isn’t as gratifying or empowering as human blood.
Synthetic Blood: Bill Compton in True Blood.
Symbiotic feeding: Shori in Fledgling by Octavia Butler. This one in particular is rather interesting. The “vampires” (called “Ina”) in this novel need human blood for nourishment. However, humans feel an intense euphoric sensation when they are fed on. Being bitten by a Moroi or Strigoi in Vampire Academy is similar, but in Fledgling the feedings heal human wounds and increase their lifespan.
No Alternatives in Communion
Sorry, but my dhampir don’t get to cop out. In Communion, my dhampir are powered by something inside of them called vampiric essence. They still eat regular food for the sake of the human part of them. But their vampiric essence requires human blood. Feeding on goats and rabbits won’t give them their superhuman abilities, which is what most of my characters are after.
Those are all my notes on Vampire Morality. Let me know if there’s any other alternatives to human blood I left out or if there’s any other aspects of Vampire Morality I should explore.
Thanks for reading.
Also see: Vampire Morality: The Need to Feed