On the 12 day of the month of March, in the year of our Lord 2000, the
Vampyr Snyper Blood of Ages series was born, and the rest is history.
That’s right. It’s 20 years to the day that I started writing what is now the Blood of Ages series. Or maybe it’s 20 years to the day that I finished the first draft of what is now the Blood of Ages series. I’m unclear on which anniversary we’re celebrating, but celebrating we are. The first draft took like two weeks maximum to write, so it’s negligible. I have this date written (by hand!) on a piece of paper, in a file, somewhere in my attic. Eventually, I will retrieve it from the mouse-eaten hellscape and provide an accurate date.
I have taken two days off work to celebrate. Not entirely sure what I’m going to do in these two days.
Not writing, that’s for sure.
Just thought I’d reflect back on the last two decades of attempting to write a series of books about vampires, since it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything on this blog.
What we do here is go back…
It was the year 2000, and I was riding my 16-year-old mind high off the back of having seen the Matrix not two months earlier. I had already written four novels by this point. That’s right. Four. I was sixteen, so – as you can imagine – they were all terrible. Author of Eragon, I was not.
The 2000 edition of The Genesis had it all: talking door knockers, vampire drinking games, possibly dragons (or at least dragon-type creatures, I don’t remember, it’s been a long time). It was essentially The Matrix mixed with Blade, and a generous coating of inspiration from the likes of Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal.
It was, in essence, a bit ol’ mess.
What’s in a name?
Like many creative projects, the Blood of Ages series didn’t start out with the name it has today. In fact, if you Google Vampyr Snyper, you can still find remnants of its earlier iterations.
I haven’t disowned them, as such.
I’m not going to go into much about this whole evolution of the series’ name here, but I discussed it in depth on Penrefe.com quite a while ago, so go enjoy that if you’re so inclined.
The Next 10 Years…
I went through my 20’s and my stories came with me. I moved house. I got married, then divorced. I got pets. One died; the other one is still here. I ventured on into my 30’s, still writing, though notably less so. I think I went through something like depression, though it wasn’t ever diagnosed. Just life in general, I suppose. But I wrote less and less, and focused instead on my day job and my life outside of the “writing” world. I’m going to talk about this in more detail on my personal blog in the near future.
But the short version of it is, I came back from that place, and in later 2018, I got a notification on my web site that someone had subscribed to my newsletter for updates on my series. I won’t give their name for privacy reasons, obviously, but I recognised it as the name of a person I used to be connected to on Twitter, who had obviously been so curious as to what I was up to, they had gone to the trouble of signing up to my crappy little newsletter. The pride that swelled within me when I read the notification email really can’t be topped at the moment. Someone cares about my work!
I came back to social media shortly after that, and I also picked up the series where I’d left it abandoned by the roadside and started to write an entirely new draft of the next book.
And so here we are again, like I’ve never been gone. This web site feels like slipping back into an old pair of boots – comfortable and reliable.
On the 1st March 2020, I finished the first draft of the 3rd book. I am currently letting it percolate, so that I may pick it back up in the next month or so. I am tentatively hoping for a release before the end of the year.
I’m excited to start the next part of this journey, and hopefully share a little more this decade than I did in the closing of the last one.
Dream Team, Then vs Now
Let’s end with something just for fun. So on my old site, I used to have a page dedicated to the actors I envisioned playing my characters, in a dream world. Essentially a fantasy football league, but for a mediocre urban fantasy novel series that’s about as likely to be picked up as it is for humans to learn how to fly.
Don’t really need that these days, because Pinterest exists.
I feel like this is something a lot of writers do.
Ricci has always been my Catrina, and she probably always will be, even though she’s well outside of the nineteen year old age range.
I’ve had my eye on Moretz for a while, specifically since her role as Hit Girl in Kick Ass. In that film more than anything, she has this kind of dgaf energy that I think embodies Catrina quite well.
Jacob started as a pure character, a sweet cinnamon roll, a definite “lawful good” on the D&D alignment system. I think that Diggs has a sweet, innocent face, and his smile is just screams of warmth and friendliness.
As time has gone on, Jacob has become something of a more hardened, darker character than originally envisioned. I think Elba currently fits that feel more than Diggs.
This is cheating, (a) because Ian Somerhalder is now much too old to play the character of Fox, and (b) because Ian Somerhalder doesn’t even match the description of Fox in the first place. His eyes aren’t even the right colour. But Somerhalder, like Ricci, has always been my go-to when envisioning my characters. I still to this day haven’t found someone who fits the role better, in my mind.
Closest I’ve got so far is Adam Driver, but I suspect that’s just because he does such a good job at playing the emo lord, Kylo Ren.
Here’s to the next decade!
Hopefully, I’ll still be writing here in another ten years, celebrating the 30th birthday of the series. Hopefully, by then I’ll have another 2 or 3 books released in the series, if not the whole first series complete.
Here’s hoping! And writing!