I am in the midst of doing the final rewrite of a vampire novel, to be published under the pseudonym Todd Gregory, and I am absolutely terrified.
I am not a huge fan of the vampire genre-- other than Poppy Z. Brite's Lost Souls, Stephen King's 'salem's Lot, and of course Anne Rice's vampire chronicles, I generally can't get through vampire fiction. (The irony that I am writing a vampire novel when I don't care for vampire novels hasn't escaped me.)
My first attempt to write about vampires was many years ago, when I wrote a short story called "The Nightwatchers." That short story eventually grew into, and was published, as a novella in the Kensington collection Midnight Thirsts, along with novellas by Michael Thomas Ford, Timothy Ridge, and Sean Wolfe. I really enjoyed writing the story, and came up with an entire mythology for my vampires and other supernatural creatures. I was really interested in continuing the novella into a novel, but a lot of things happened and that plan never came to fruition.
Flash forward a few years, and I was asked to contribute another novella to another Kensington collection, Midnight Hunger, along with Sean Wolfe and Chase Masters. I used the same mythology I came up with for "The Nightwatchers," but came up with new characters--primarily a young, closeted gay fraternity boy from the University of Mississippi named Cord Logan. The novella is set during Mardi Gras, and is about how Cord becomes a vampire in the first place. Again, I saw this as the beginning of a novel; and when I got the opportunity to edit a collection of gay vampire erotica (Blood Sacraments), I wrote a short story called "Bloodletting" as the first chapter of the book. My publisher very graciously and enthusiastically liked the idea for the book I came up with, and thus, A Vampire's Heart was born.
So, why am I terrified?
For one thing, I am always terrified when I try writing something outside of my comfort zone. There's not really a mystery element to this book, and so I am truly frightened that I am floundering with the story and the characters. I am also not entirely sure I am succeeding with what I was trying with this novel. And then there's this and that and the other and this and that and....
You know, the typical craziness I go through when I write.
I probably should stop worrying and just finish the damned thing.
But what fun would THAT be?