SIMON THE ELF and Editing

Hi, All,

To remind everyone, in November and December this year I have a novella and novel coming your way, scheduled specifically to help you usher in the Holiday Season! First comes Santa’s Kinky Elf, Simon, a brief taste for Simon and his story in the context of an almost love affair. Then comes the whole tale, about Santa, Mrs. Claus, and even Rudolph, in Santa Is a Vampire.

Simon the Elf narrates both of them for you, and he has a profound and terrifying story to tell you about Santa Claus. That lovable, children’s story character really exists, and hides a horrific secret: he is a vampire of the worst sort. From his enslaved position at the North Pole, Simon delivers a tell-all narrative guaranteed to spoil your holidays.

A departure in terms of content and style from anything I previously released, this combination satire/horror story will delight some people, offend people, and leave my friends and family thinking that I’ve gone mental. I can’t wait to get it out to all of you!!!

NineStar Press and I are in the midst of editing away as I type. I still believe firmly in editing, in the traditional process of writing and then getting others involved in the endeavor to help you refine your work, check for mistakes, and make it even better. Simon is helping out, too, with Santa watching over his shoulder.

Happy Holidays.  Damian



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On Gratitude

At book signings and when I chat with people about my writing, they often ask what inspires my ideas or generates my stories. I wish I had a simple answer for them, but a complex set of circumstances flow into every novel, every character, and every story I have ever told or will tell. One consistent notion weaves its way through all of them, though, so I wanted to write a bit about it today. No matter the context, whether in writing about horror, a relationship, humor, or just mundane life, all of my scenes and creations contain some element of emotion, some fundamental human feeling that begins in me and flows into my fiction.

I thought of this fact amid a week of feeling a great deal of gratitude. So, first – the context. The gratitude sprung stronger than usual this week because of a variety of circumstances. Last week, Paul and I spent time with dear friends, hanging at their house on a lake – I was so grateful for the love, companionship, laughter, and friendship. I also had gratitude for Paul as my husband as we celebrated his birthday. Then I scheduled a trip over the holidays to visit my family in Colorado, and felt an intense sense of gratitude for the love we share with one another and what that time together will mean. Getting back to work after the long summer, I felt gratitude for my colleagues, and reconnecting with them.

And the gratitude almost overwhelmed me in the interaction I had with someone because of a professional blunder that I made. It was my mistake, made inadvertantly, but an embarrassing one that could have become unethical because it potentially violated a signed contract. I immediately reached out to the person who would oversee the consequences, because the contract for the work was with that person. I laid out what happened, and why. I expressed my humiliation at having made the error, and gave a sincere apology. And that person simply forgave me and offered a more than kind and generous solution, and pacified everything. I was literally in tears when I read the response. If only humans could treat each other as I was treated in that moment.

And all this gratitude will work its way into my writing. I don’t know when. Or how. But the emotion was so intense and strong this week, it will reappear for me. It’s something I love about writing. And I hope in some way I convey that to readers, and through my novels they feel it, too.

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Summer Thoughts: Stephen King’s IT and Family

Hi, Everyone,

Sorry for the longer delay than usual in posting on my blog. This summer was busy! And, frankly, sometimes I suffer from wondering what exactly I should write, because I don’t want to drone on about ideas that no one cares about but me. A couple thoughts have been rumbling around in my mind, though, so I offer the following summer thoughts for your enjoyment!

I went old school in my most recent reading endeavor, with Stephen King’s It. Full confession, which seems painfully obvious even if unsaid: I was inspired to read it by the movie last fall, which was really, really good. And further confession: my sick, twisted, horror mind was totally attracted to Pennywise in the movie. (Bill Skarsgard being underneath that make up doesn’t hurt the cause here, either.) I consider myself a casual Stephen King fan. I have not read everything he ever wrote; I find it enjoyable and creepy, but not so engrossing that I have to read him all the time; and sometimes his stuff drags a little, or offends a little, which I think is the point, but still . . . . Anyway, I am reading It, which is absolutely enormous, in case you didn’t know – and what strikes me more than anything is the way King uses horror to tell a story about humanity. Too many people still stereotype the horror genre as nothing but a quick scare and things to spook you. I think King, in particular, gets that label. But It provides the perfect example for why those stereotypes should be thrown in the trash. Underneath the horror that haunts Derry, we see humans coming together, forging a bond, struggling to survive, growing up/coming of age, and deeply caring for one another. That message drives the story, not the horror. It’s the emotion, the nurturing of each other that compels the reader to keep going through the over 1,100 pages. Bravo, Stephen King. Finally, I am also enjoying a throw back to the mid-1980s.

My other summer thought has to do with family, since I spent a lot of time with them this summer. I know I have mentioned this before, and I hope my books in some way get at it, too, but life is about enjoying the journey and spending time with loved ones. Each and every visit meant so much to me, and I always tried to just sit with people and embrace their company. My dad passed away last December, so perhaps I felt more bonded and nostalgic this summer about family than usual. Sitting with loved ones and remembering him has been much needed therapy for us all. Part of the reason my blog suffered more than usual was because of this family time all summer long. I wouldn’t change that for the world.

Until next time, which I promise will come sooner, love you all and thanks for reading.

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Writing Update

Hi, All,

Just a quick update on my various projects for this blog post. Thanks for reading, and have a great summer!!

Santa Is a Vampire: This is under contract with NineStar Press and scheduled for a late November release. So it is chilling until the time for editing arrives. It will be fun to celebrate the holidays with this release. It stands alone, unrelated to any other series or story I have before written. Part comedy, part horror, and, according to Paul, “the most disturbing thing you’ve written.” 🙂

The Vampire’s Quest: Book II in The Realm of the Vampire Council. This updated re-release in my original vampire series will hit the shelves in December! (The holidays are going to be BUSY with publicity this year!) It, too, is sitting around and waiting for editing to commence with the press. Like The Vampire’s Angel, it underwent a thorough revamp and will continue my work with NineStar Press.

So what am I currently writing? I am editing and totally redoing a ghost story that I previously published. In fact, that is my main project right now. It’s too far away from submitting it anywhere, so that’s all I can say for now. More details to come as I wrap my mind round where this one is headed.

And then, the idea for my fifth vampire novel, which will be the sequel to The Vampire’s Protege and part of the Realm of the Vampire Council series is percolating. I wanted to wait on it until after I finish the above ghost story rewrite, but ideas are bursting out, and so it is under way. The muse control me, not the other way around.

Thanks for checking in. Be well.

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A New Review!

Hi, All,

This summer has proven busy, with family visits, a couple trips, and making sure to fit in some writing between the insanity.

But I wanted to take a moment to share with you a new review of The 
Vampire’s Angel!  Thanks for checking it out; follow the link below to the Love Bytes website.

Love Bytes Review – The Vampire’s Angel!

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Pride Month

Happy Pride Month, everyone!

Yes, Pride still matters. A great deal. As long as homophobia exists, in the form of LGBTQ people being attacked, beaten, fired, discriminated against, thrown out of their families, executed in oppressive countries – I would continue this depressing list, but I think you get the idea – then we need to celebrate Pride. To show the world that we exist, will not go away, and will continue to champion and fight for equality.

I went to my first pride in the early 1990s, I think 1992, in Denver. It liberated me in so many ways to gather with other people who shared my sexuality or supported our community. I have not missed a Pride Celebration since then, because it reminds me of the importance of being out, of working for equality, and making sure that every generation pushes us forward and understands what it took to get as far as we have!

To be sure, forces threaten us worldwide, including an intensification of anti-LGBTQ forces in the United States of late. But our love and community can overpower it when we come together to demand our rights.

Happy Pride! See you on the 24th in Chicago!

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Status Round Up on Writing

Hi, All,

I wanted to give a quick summary of where things stand with my various projects, based on separate inquires and such sent to me. I thought a catch all blog would be the easiest solution to providing answers!

Currently, both The Vampire’s Protege and the reprint of The Vampire’s Angel are available! NineStar Press published them in both e-versions and paperback. You can order them from the press website, Amazon, or a bookstore anywhere! I have enjoyed the responses to Protege; I wasn’t sure how people would react to a fiend of a vampire, but so far a lot of people are enjoying him! And it’s been fun to re-acquaint myself with Angel, going back to my first novel. I’m glad we streamlined it, too, to make it read a bit better and contain more action.

I have two future projects in the works, both to be published in late November/early December of this year. One will be the reprint of The Vampire’s Quest, the sequel to Angel. Like Angel , NineStar and I edited it a lot – tightened it up. And – I had to make sure I was consistent between the three vampire novels in terms of the Vampire Council rules. So it will be fun to share that one with everyone again! Plus, a stand alone, completely new novel is coming – Santa Is a Vampire. This is a satirical, dark horror novel, written from the point of view of a captive, smart ass elf. Santa is NOT a good person, as only Simon will be able to explain to all of you.

Finally, I am currently working on two other projects. One reprint, of what was Secrets in the Attic but that will come out with a much better title. And the next in line with the vampire novels! Not much to report there – except a vampire war is brewing, and all the factions may make this an ugly scene.

Happy summer! We planted our deck flowers last weekend, so it feels warm and happy here in Chicagoland!

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Hi, All,

I have super exciting news to share with you! This week, NineStar Press and I entered an agreement to publish Santa Is a Vampire, with a scheduled release of late November 2018. Just in time for the holidays! Those of you who have followed me for a while know that I previously had agreed with another press to publish it, but that went kablooey before it came out. So I an thrilled that Simon the Elf, our narrator for the journey, found this home. This novel is a departure from my usual stuff – no romance here, and much darker than my typical stuff. But I mix in a lot of humor, too. I consider it a satirical horror story, which makes for a wild and crazy time. I’ll keep you posted as we move along.

Happy Memorial Day!  Damian

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Book Release Party Today in Chicago!

Just a quick reminder to join me today, May 11th at 6:30 to celebrate the release of The Vampire’s Protege and the re-release of The Vampire’s Angel. Come to City Lit Books in Chicago, 2523 N. Kedzie Blvd.  We’ll do a quick reading, a Q&A, and then I’ll sign books.

I am excited to share this moment with people. It’s been a while since my last release party. So today finds me with a lot of nervous energy and crazy emotions swirling around! Because, in general, I am not a personality who LOVES the spotlight. So getting up in front of everyone is a tad nerve-racking for me. But I also really enjoy sharing with everyone, and in particular doing a reading. So it’s also fun. Your support means the world to me.

See you tonight!!

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The Vampire’s Angel Reviewed

Hey, Everyone,

When I am not writing, most of my energy right now goes toward preparing for my May 11th Book Release Party at City Lit Books here in Chicago!

But I wanted to share a very kind review of the re-release of The Vampire’s Angel from Amos Lassen. Amos has a history of being much too kind to my writing, for which I am always appreciative!!  Please enjoy!

Reviews by Amos Lassen: The Vampire’s Angel

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