Interview with RebellionLit.com!

Hi, All,

Super excited to share with you an interview I did over at RebellionLit.com! Please check out questions about my latest and past novels, as well as writing questions in general. And - while you're there - check out some of the other cool author interviews! Click the link below:

Damian Serbu's Interview with Rebellion Lit!

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THE VAMPIRE’S WITCH – COMING SOON!

Time to start revving up for the release of THE VAMPIRE’S WITCH! NineStar Press releases this one, the third in THE REALM OF THE VAMPIRE series, in April!!! Here’s the blurb, to wet your appetite and get you ready:

The Vampire’s Witch welcomes readers back to the world of vampires, witches, and magic. Jaret Bachmann’s life spins out of control after a handsome stranger saves him from an attack along the bike path on Lakeshore Drive. His estranged high school sweetheart stalks him, the enraged ghost of his ancestor destroys his family, and his bike path savior-cum-lover abandons him after learning Jaret is a powerful witch, all of it sending Jaret into deep depression. Struggling to find his way afterward, Jaret searches for comfort in the unlikely friendship of a secret vampire community. Xavier, Thomas, Anthony, and Catherine return in this, the third book in The Realm of the Vampire Council series and a sequel to The Bachmann Family Secret. Over time, Jaret’s friendship with the vampires strengthens and he forges a new family connection with Xavier, Thomas, and Catherine.  But he and Anthony are estranged and though their souls are entwined, there hearts are another matter.

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Rick R. Reed Visits My Blog!!!!

One of my favorite LGBTQ authors for quite a while has been Rick R. Reed! And - wait for it - he's stopping by my blog with a guest post as part of his new release celebration!! Please take some time to read his thoughts about how an author releases their work to the readers after they finish. And then go check out his latest release, The Q!!! Seriously, I am soooo excited to be participating in his release and honored he visited me today! Not only does Rick write great stuff, he is the most down to earth and sweet author I have ever met.

Letting Go

A Guest Blog by Rick R. Reed

It takes two to tango. And it takes at least two to make a book. Just like a play needs an audience to fully come alive, a book needs a reader for precisely the same reason.

One thing I have to constantly remind myself as a writer is that, once I have written the words, ‘the end’ to a story is that I must let go. As much as I labored over the book, dreamed about it, had conversations with myself about it, agonized over word choice, character hair color, continuity, repetitive words and phrasing, the time comes when the book meets the public which signals that it’s time for me to step aside.

A book is a conspiracy between a reader and a writer. The reader has to bring it to life through his or her imagination. The wonderful thing about that whole process is that my story can become so many different stories when filtered through each reader’s unique frame of reference. I have no doubt that no matter the care I take in describing characters and setting, each reader sees them differently because each of them come to the table with different experiences, biases, and memories. All of those things have a bearing on the triggers my words pull in a reader’s mind.

It’s really quite a lovely process when you think about it. And maybe the readers out there reading this never really considered the vital work they play in every book’s success or failure. Writers provide a roadmap, signposts, but it’s really up to the reader to run with it, to make of it something real, a mind movie for one.

What’s my point? I guess it’s to share with you a little of what motivates me as a writer and what, for me is both a blessing and a curse. See, when I am working on a book, which is almost always, I am alone with those characters, immersed in their little world, consumed by their passions, their fears, their desires, their comedies of errors. I have never been one for sharing much of my unfinished work with anyone else. That would somehow be wrong, at least for me. In order to create, I need to be able to slip into a world inhabited only by my characters and me. It’s always a bittersweet moment when I write the words, ‘the end’ and know I am moving on. Sure, there will be editing, the thrill of seeing the cover design, the agony of trying to help craft the blurb, but once you type ‘the end’ it means just that. You’re giving your characters and their world away.

I think it’s very difficult for some writers to realize that once they’ve ‘given birth’ to a book that it really no longer belongs to them. It belongs to the readers, the reviewers, the world. If you create with publishing in mind, it’s a harsh reality to accept—your book no longer belongs to you alone, but it’s gone off into the world, much like a child finally moving out of the house. Once you let go, you also must let go of trying to control what happens (same for books, same for kids).

And that’s hard. You hate to see your book suffer at the hands of people who don’t understand it, you celebrate it when someone ‘gets’ what you were trying to say.

But you must let go. The book is a piece of the world now and takes on a life of its own. Remember what I said earlier? A book is a conspiracy between a writer and a reader and the reader, each in his or her own way, makes the story his or her own.

I guess what prompted all this was a discussion recently at one of my publishers’ forums wherein authors were discussing, once again, how to respond to negative reviews and downright nasty ones, and the prevailing wisdom, at least to my mind, was with silence. I agree.

It’s harsh but true: writers must let go. Your stories are no longer your stories. If you’re very, very lucky, they are many people’s. Take comfort in that.

Buy Rick's latest release, The Q, here: THE Q by Rick R. Reed

About the Author

Real Men. True Love.

Rick R. Reed draws inspiration from the lives of gay men to craft stories that quicken the heartbeat, engage emotions, and keep the pages turning. Although he dabbles in horror, dark suspense, and comedy, his attention always returns to the power of love. He’s the award-winning and bestselling author of more than fifty works of published fiction and is forever at work on yet another book. Lambda Literary has called him: “A writer that doesn’t disappoint…” You can find him at www.rickrreedreality.blogspot.com. Rick lives in Palm Springs, CA with his beloved husband.

 

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New Year 2021 Round Up

Before I launch into the reason for this post according to its title, I acknowledge I promised an announcement of some import in the new year. I will still follow through on this pledge, but circumstances beyond my control have delayed it a bit more. I anticipate letting all of you know about this personal change in my life in February, so please sit tight!

Since my personal news has been delayed, I thought you may like to have the most recent “writing round up” for me!

First and foremost, my editor at NineStar Press and I are plugging along with THE VAMPIRE’S WITCH – with a planned release this April!! The third in the Realm of the Vampire Series, the novel also serves as a sequel to THE BACHMANN FAMILY SECRET! I will tease more about it and give more updates through the winter and spring.

My writing time otherwise is dedicated to the following novels:

THE VAMPIRE’S WAR: I am in the middle of writing the fifth in the Realm of the Vampire Series. Writing this one gets most of my time. THE VAMPIRE’S WAR will follow in the footsteps of THE VAMPIRE’S ANGEL, THE VAMPIRE’S QUEST, THE VAMPIRE’S WITCH, and THE VAMPIRE’S PROTEGE. Of the vampire novels, this one involves the most characters and plot twists, so takes extra care to keep the story accurate and focused. I am having so much fun with it! A bit of a spoiler: Jaret Bachmann joins your favorite gay vampires, Xavier, Thomas, Catherine, Anthony, and Harriet as they face the biggest crisis in vampire history . . .

THE EASTER BUNNY IS A WEREWOLF: if you thought Simon the Elf’s story ended once Santa manipulated him into helping tell Santa’s true story in SANTA IS A VAMPIRE, well, you underestimated both Santa’s evil designs and Simon’s will to survive. He has another tale to tell . . .

UNTITLED YA NOVEL: With THE BACHMANN FAMILY SECRET, I introduced my first YA novel. I enjoyed the experience so much, I began pondering another YA story. Against my will and without any prompting, a story flooded into my mind in the last two weeks. Yeah, for those wondering, the muse is alive and well in me. I am beginning this novel and will let you know about it, once I can get my mind wrapped around it, and after I gain some control over the story from the muse.

More soon! Peace and happiness to you all.

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Happy Holidays

Hi, All,

I like to send a holiday missive each year. So, Happy Holidays to all of you! Whether you celebrate something, endure the festivities by holding your nose, or something between, know that I wish you the very best!

I don’t think I need to add to the litany of proclamations about how 2020 has tried all of us in a million different ways. Which is an understatement. I send my best energy to all who are suffering through this difficult time. Know you are loved.

In the new year, I have a blog for all of you about a major change in my life. Nothing morbid, but I want to keep the details private for now. Which is why I end with emphasizing: Happy Holidays to everyone. I wish you peace and joy in whatever form possible, and despite whatever turmoil may me invading your lives this year. Know I care about you, whether we have met or only know each other through my writing.

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Holiday Horror!

Horror fans know – too many people dabble in horror for the month of October and then retreat to happy frilly stories once the holidays hit. But what of the horror fan who wants a good scare year round? And – what if that horror enthusiast prefers a gay main character or twist?

Here’s your holiday reminder: Simon the Elf came out and revealed the truth about Santa a few years ago. Settle back and enjoy a tale of death, horror, and dark humor in Simon’s satirically horrific story about the true Santa:

Start with: Santa’s Kinky Elf, Simon!

And then move to: Santa Is a Vampire!

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Halloween Spooks

It’s no secret – I love Halloween. I mean, I suppose it’s a horror writer requirement, right?! This year, please consider reading THE BACHMANN FAMILY SECRET for a YA Halloween haunt! Jaret Bachmann struggles to come out, grieve for his recently deceased grandfather, and . . . fight a pissed off ghost who threatens his family! Get it here:

THE BACHMANN FAMILY SECRET!

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October Reflections

I don’t know about you, but October 2020 has my mind whirling. Covid. The election – or should I say the attempt to save democracy? The economy. Instead of Halloween frights and fun it feels as if we’re just living a nightmare.

I could ruminate on all of the concerns and troubles, but I have found over the last few months I also need time to take a deep breath and clear my mind. I did so before 2020, but this practice took on a new urgency last spring. I don’t mean to pretend all the problems of the world disappear, but for a minute or two I focus on something positive, something uplifting. Here are some October examples:

-The Fall colors – Chicagoland is having a beautiful season of changing leaves. Just this morning on my jog, the dogs and I stopped to admire a stunning red tree. Breathtaking.

-Speaking of the dogs: Akasha and Chewbacca give daily joy with their antics, love, and need for attention. I stop to stay in those moments as long as possible.

-Of course I escape into my writing! Creating a completely new universe gives me time awayy.

-I have been putting pictures of my Halloween decorations on Twitter and Facebook. I enjoy looking at these items that spring out for the month of October. They’re fun. Silly. And I like sharing them.

I hope you will try to find little moments, too, so getting back to reality doesn’t consume you entirely.

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October Writing

Time for an update on . . . what in the world is Damian writing!

First, I have a blog entry coming up with the Horror Writers of America, where many of us contribute a Halloween story of some sort. I’ll share that story as soon as they release it! I am working on a couple short stories, too, to see if they will be accepted in a couple upcoming anthologies.

But I spend most of my time writing The Vampire’s War! This novel will be the fifth in my series, The Realm of the Vampire Council. If you read The Vampire’s Protege (click the link to buy!), then you know at the end how Jaret reveals to Charon the news of an impending war between a rogue vampire and the Vampire Council. Well, it’s happening. And – spoiler alert – vampires will die.

I am going back to cranking out some writing today so I can share the story with you ASAP!

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THE BACHMANN FAMILY SECRET: “Made me smile like an idiot”

I wanted to share another review of The Bachmann Family Secret with you! Kyler B. Warhol describes Jaret Bachmann’s coming of age/coming out/coming to terms with his witchcraft as an “appealing” story “that was like a breath of fresh air.”

Here’s the review: Kyler B. Warhol.

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