Funny, scary, and so heart-warming. I loved every little bit of The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires. The story follows the highs and lows of housewife, Patricia’s, furtive investigation into the new man in the neighborhood. He’s charming, intelligent, and seems to have everyone eating out of his hand. But is there something more to him than meets the eye? Patricia seems to think so and nothing would make her feel safer than to convince her closest friends of this, the ladies of a Mount Pleasant book club. Ladies who are all interested in reading about crime, gruesome murder, and dastardly deeds. Will her friends believe her?
Grady Hendrix has created a vivid and deep world that stretches over the span of a decade in a small Southern town. Absolutely fell in love with the characters and their friendship.
Read on: spoilers lie ahead.
Yes, yes! You’ve been looking forward to this all week, haven’t you? We return once again to the awful cat vampire love story drama that I tried to craft when I was in grade school. Being that I wrote this when I was about 14 in 2002, had no social life, and spent all of my time inside writing, it’s bound to be bad. This was also at a time when I had crazy curly hair that could not be tamed and gigantic glasses, which weren’t in style then (but are now for some reason…). There are still times I look back on this story and wonder how the hell I managed to write something so incredibly terrible. The realization is that I didn’t know it was terrible then. I thought it was better than the things I’d written when I was younger (and it was, somehow…). Moral of the story is that hindsight is a bitch, but it also can make you feel better about where you are now and remind you of all you’ve learned.
But I’m preaching. I’ll bring you up to speed on where we now stand in our “cat-pire” story.
Welcome to part 3 of the worst vampire story you’ve ever read. That’s right, I’ve been going through some of my old grammar school writing and sharing with you the nitty-gritty, the kind of writing that should be kept in a filing cabinet with a lock chained around it in a dark basement somewhere. Alas, for humor’s sake, it’s been let into the light and now we’ll examine it for the travesty that it is.
As this is a continuing series, I’ll fill you in on what’s happened so far: absolutely nothing. Well, so far we’ve been introduced to a coven of “glam-pires” that can turn into cats at will, desire rainwater as their main delicacy (besides the occasional chicken dipper platter or tuna noodle casserole). There’s Leeta, our protagonist, the wallflower who thinks herself above the others, Sylvia, the wise hippie who likes to go walk in the woods, Milo, the “too nice” ex-cop, Seth, the daredevil who randomly rides his motorcycle around the block at “100 mph every night”, Melanie, the “typical street girl” with her blue hair, Donald Duck swearing shirt, and leather pants (snigger) and Reed, the depressing pianist who can’t cook to save his life (well, he’s dead so I suppose that doesn’t matter). Leeta and Reed hit it off at the very end of the last episode before Melanie dragged her out to a club for drinks (more rainwater I presume?). Let’s follow them and see what other mishaps our heroes will get into…
Last week, I shared with you a horrific piece of writing from my past which entailed a group of cat shape-shifting vampires who died by turning to glitter in the sunlight and were obsessed with drinking rainwater. It’s terrible. It’s worse than terrible. It’s a Greek tragedy. As much as it pains me to continue sharing said story with you, it’s good to have the reminder that this was a long time ago…and I’ve learned a lot since then. A LOT. When I read the old writing, I can’t help but laugh and really, that is all that’s important now. Since this particular story had several chapters, I’ll be sharing sections of this with you over the coming weeks. It’s all for entertainment value now. I’ll be including comments in brackets throughout the piece which are my declarations of “Really? REALLY!?” I’ve left the spelling-errors in so you can have the full experience of awful. Prepare to laugh…and maybe cry…and definitely face-palm.
There comes a point in every writer’s career when they go back and look at old material. I’m not speaking of stories put away in drawers to reflect on. No. I’m talking about the early stuff. What some might call “embarrassing” writing. It’s the stories that we wrote when we were in school and had little to no concept of how life really was or would be. It’s the kind of writing you look back on and laugh at and think, “Wow. I’m so glad I’ve learned so much since then.” Well, folks, I’m about to dive into that dark and dangerous filing cabinet and select a story that I haven’t looked at in quite some time…
My Horror-FAIL Friday blog is admittedly a petty and often critical blog. While it’s funny to look at examples of horror that can be written better or has been created for the sole premise of jump-scaring and shocking the reader, I always feel a little ashamed at myself for poking and laughing at them. Everyone deserves a chance to improve upon their work, especially those who are legitimately trying to produce something quality. And so that’s why I’m pulling a masochistic move and sharing some of my early writing…my awful writing with you.
MEMENTO MORI: Character Creation
The most fun I had while writing “Memento Mori” was in creating the various characters that inhabited the world. Several of them are characters that we’ve seen in other Monstrum Chronicles books, but the majority of our protagonists are new. I had so much fun breathing life into them. And of course, I had my favorites. Below I’ve detailed five characters to take interest in in “Memento Mori” (and who I would love to play them should there ever be a movie version, haha).
THE MAKING OF “MEMENTO MORI” – The Creative Process
Make no mistake; this book was the most difficult book that I’ve ever written. A combination of unrealistic expectations, uncertainty about the direction of the book, and a whole host of other reasons are why I make that declaration. The goal was to have the book published by the end of the year; I was starting from scratch. I’d scrapped five different beginnings for the book including nearly two hundred pages of previously written material. A good deal of it was written before “Vox” was published. Want to know why?
MEMENTO MORI: BOOK 3 OF THE MONSTRUM CHRONICLES releases for Kindle on December 7th, 2014! In celebration of finishing the third book in the series, I’ll be holding a series of day-long goodies including (but not limited to): a morning kaffeeklatsch meet up (for those who are local) to talk about the book and enjoy warm beverages, a Cooking Adventure video (that’s right; a video!), blogs about the making of “Memento Mori”, and contests galore where you can win an ebook, a skype interview with the author, and other goodies! A few other surprises, too! A detailed schedule of events will be available soon! Spread the word! Invite your friends! http://www.amazon.com/Memento-Mori-Book-Monstrum-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B00OPC5J0K
DECEMBER 7TH, 2014
In this prequel to “Vox” and “Aequitas”, readers follow the story of Whitaker Hayward. Whit, an out-of-work architect who is trying to forget his past, is contracted by one of Seraphim City’s affluent magnates, Bloomstein, to investigate a room in a long forgotten house on the outskirts of the city; a room that has no doors. Intrigued by the mystery and seeing a way out of his financial woes, Whit accepts. What begins as a simple investigation soon becomes embroiled in horror as he finds himself returning to places in his past he had long thought were buried and is faced with madness when he finds that the house holds more surprises than one doorless room.
DON’T FORGET TO ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS “TO READ” LIST!
That’s right. Y’all get a special treat today. I’m posting a small, unedited portion of the upcoming third book in the Monstrum Chronicles, “Memento Mori”. Just a taste of what’s to come. Expect more madness… Just about 8 months until the release! Start counting those days!