Posted by: Schuyler R. Thorpe | August 16, 2014

Codename: Velocity Fan Art #1

image_by_artemuses-d7uiikvI think I’m going to start encouraging people to send me fan art based on the book–so that everyone can see who their favorite character looks like. 

But this one is based on what Velocity might look like lounging about. I still have to come up with some that depict Jaen and Mari. But those might come later. :)

Posted by: Schuyler R. Thorpe | August 15, 2014

Time To Set A New Goal!

goals__by_costalonga-d50x4vwAugust is officially my slowest month so far yet.

Two chapters in 15 days, with five days off and I feel fragged. So I’m going to reset my goal keeper for a mid-September completion date and see where that lands me.

I still haven’t broken 200K on the novel, but I did come up with two new Vampiress Hunter novels for the planned prequel trilogy which follows Child of Blood, Circles of Desire, and Pools of Sorrow.

The first novel is called Blood and Bone and it will take place 16 years before the events set in the debut novel. The story line follows Marlena around in the European Union during the year the terrorist bombings strike the college campuses around the US, heralding in a new age of fear and terror–while laying the groundwork for the military protectorate.

I’m still trying to figure out the whole plot to the book–on top of everything else–but this is what I do as a novelist.

The second book titled Shadows in Starlight tells of what happened to Marlena during her first job assignment as a vampire hunter 200 years after her family and village were wiped out by the earthquake which left her an orphan and into the eventual care of her master and Creator, S’onu.

The third novel in the planned trilogy still doesn’t have a title, but I’ll be thinking of something in the interim.

 

Posted by: Schuyler R. Thorpe | August 7, 2014

What Makes People Buy Self-Published Books?

Schuyler R. Thorpe:

Interesting bit of information…

Originally posted on Tara Sparling writes:

In this post, I discussed the findings of a scientifically incontrovertible study (of myself) on the factors which influenced me when buying a self-published book.

The findings surprised me (which surprised me, because I was surveying myself). I found that I knew what made me buy a self-published book when it was in front of me, but not what put that book in front of me, unless I was browsing by genre (e.g. today I feel like reading a romance set in Ulaanbaatar: therefore I will now search specifically for such a story).

It was still hard to know what put those books in front of my eyes in order to buy them; to quote one of the commenters on that post – this is the thorny issue of “discoverability”. How will we find these books in the first place?

So I did the unthinkable, and asked some other people…

View original 640 more words

Posted by: Schuyler R. Thorpe | August 7, 2014

Fine Time For My Sleep Cycle To Go Out The Window…

the_need_of_sleep_by_shortpinayYes, yes, yes…I know, I know. I have ten days left until I reach my goal of 230,000 words for The Vampiress Hunter to be at least 60% complete (I’ve just added a couple more subplots which will just add to the story line overall.)

Presently, I’m at 195,000 words and I’ve been slowing down gradually over the past few days. I’ve also been super distracted by life’s many nuances. So I’m doing the best I can under present circumstances.

And on top of that, my sleep cycle is all switched around.  I’m sleeping the afternoons and evenings off and waking up in the early morning. And judging by that, it’ll be at least a week (maybe two) before I start going to bed at a regular time.

But the wife isn’t complaining. She’s enjoying having the whole bed to herself and sleeping like a bear. Of course whenever I go to bed, the dog has to climb into bed with me, chew, chew, chew himself silly, and then crawl all over me in the process–by rubbing his veg all over the place.

And then I’m snoring to beat the band and so this has put my writing into a bit of a pickle.

Sigh…

Even if I don’t hit the mark on August 16th, I’ll be fairly close. But this whole thing was just an incentive to keep writing and keep adding to the novel. So it’s not bad…considering what I started with on June 4th.

I’m thinking I should be finished by September at the latest. So I’ll be adding another target date soon to my blog.

Posted by: Schuyler R. Thorpe | August 2, 2014

Bad Romance vs. Good Romance

Bad_Romance_by_4everbaconAs many of you know, my main strengths in writing is primarily science-fiction and fantasy. But lately, I’ve been taking a detour from those two specific genres and dipping into either fantasy-romance, or paranormal-romance.

And I hate romance. With a passion.

Naturally, you might think that what I’m doing now is a bit hypocritical, but let me explain: I don’t hate romance for what it is. I just don’t like the romance that everyone else in the industry does to make a fast buck or to pass the time. It’s just silly and ridiculous and not the least romantic or realistic.

Romance to me must speak of the heart. The passion. The feelings. The raw emotion of being able to share that special someone with your life and never look back.

To be able to say “I love you” in so many different ways, in many different languages.

I hate it when romance is being used strictly for cheap thrills and knock offs because it doesn’t set a very good example for either the reader or for the rest of the world in general. In romance, there should be an underlying connection and a bond between the two parties in question, rather than just focus on their appearances, looks, and money value. (Which is what most romance novelists do these days. They can never, ever write a realistic romance relationship without dipping into the crazy pot and pulling out God knows what to fill their empty-headed plots with.)

So for both Codename: Velocity and The Vampiress Hunter, I went and created those realistic romance scenarios and relationships. And it took me some time to iron out the bugs too. Getting the romance right in both novels required me to get in touch with myself and my feelings, my emotions, and some general idea that all these things mixed together would balance everything out in the end.

But like everything I write, I am especially bonded with my characters. They are them. But they are also a part of me. A small part.

Each character is drawn on a specific facet of my own personality, hopes, dreams, desires, even fantasies. (I won’t tell you which ones of course. That would be telling.)

Despite my introverted attitude and off and on behavior, there’s this other part of me that yearns to be free. To experience the world in all its glory. It that part which drives my characters to do the things that they do. To display specific qualities and mannerisms that are theirs and theirs alone. (As each one is different.)

So when it comes to falling in love and being in love with that said character or person, it becomes a very personal thing for me. Suddenly, I’m happy for the lucky couple. I’m also excited, because I can’t wait to see what happens next: What they will do, what fights they’ll get into, arguments they will share, disappointment, anxiety, nervousness, the whole ball of wax.

I want to see it all.

And these traits and characteristics is what is sorely lacking in today’s romance novels. There is just no emotion or feeling in them. Nothing to connect the reader to the characters. It’s just an over exaggerated reality show like The Bachelor or American Idol where everyone is so damned focused on appearances and looks and not the personality or the emotions of that said character.

It’s all empty and hollow.

For romance to really work in a book, you have to have chemistry and understanding. You have to begin the process of a long-term courtship that exposes the vulnerabilities of your characters to each other; to see if they are compatible or the least bit interested.

Simply having the girl lust after the hot guy and vice-versa will not accomplish anything you set out to do in your novel. There’s more to appearances and looks than simply wanting to charge your batteries and launch yourselves at these caricatures in question for the sake of a quick fling or a one-night stand.

When I decided to spill the beans and pair Mari with Velocity, I didn’t do it on a whim. I decided (or rather she decided) that it would do Velocity some good to be with someone whom cared about her and loved her very much–both as a person and as a life-long companion and partner.

Throughout most of the beginning of the book, I was throwing out clues about how Mari felt about Velocity: In either the locker room, at the dining table, or in the bedroom. I was showing how much of a loving individual that she was being towards her friend. And not because she wanted to jump her and have sex. That aspect was a growth medium as well for the teenage girl. It allowed her to experience what both love and a relationship entailed and not one that was hurried or spontaneous and left a lot of questions in the long run.

No. Mari cared about her a great deal. She stood by her through all the trials and tribulations that Velocity faced and didn’t forsake or desert her when the going got tough. Or they had an impossible challenge to deal with.

This is what a real relationship in a romance novel should be about. This.

This is what readers really want in a book. They want to feel connected to the characters in a way that speaks to them and binds them together in this one circle of friendship and love. This is what romance novels should entail. Should be.

But in the world of publishing and marketing, it simply isn’t meant to be. Not the way the mainstream has everything fixed.

In The Vampiress Hunter, I took the concept of relationships and love and turned them both on their head. In this novel, Skye and Marlena’s relationship is a bit lopsided and hurried to some degree. The sex is quick and intense and very funny or sweet–depending on how you look at.

But the principles are still the same: I wanted both parties to have a full and long-lasting relationship. I also wanted them to face their problems and challenges head on. For Skye Thompson, it was having an actual relationship with a girl after the death of his last girlfriend and coming to terms with that loss. For him, it was a time to reflect and rebuilt. But while he is relatively new and inexperienced at finding out what a girl wants and likes, he’s also quite the gentlemen and a goof. He acts like a kid at heart and is silly at times because of the way he is.

He’s not afraid to show his emotions or his feelings, but there are times when indecision and personal doubt reigns. But overall, he’s getting used to having a solid relationship with a woman who’s lived many lifetimes and is a vampire hunter on top of that.

For Marlena, it was more of an opportunity to break a long drought and get back to having a life that she had neglected for so long. It was also an opportunity to fall for someone who looked like the last guy she dated nearly thirty years ago. (Marlena was very impulsive in this regard–throwing caution to the wind in earlier chapters.)

But she’s also a bit of a stickler for tradition and rules. She hates being rushed and doesn’t appreciate some of the stupid stuff that Skye pulls on her from time to time, but she’s not the type of person to be holding a grudge against her new boyfriend either. The bonus aspect of this relationship is that she’s very open about certain things and is very attentive to Skye’s needs when the time calls for it. (She’s not the type to simply roll over and give in. That’s not how she is.)

So this relationship aspect is also very realistic to some degree and telling at the same time. Unlike Mari and Velocity’s relationship, this one of Skye and Marlena’s has more grit and dirt. It’s more defined than the two girls’ relationship. It has more quantifying attributes than two teenage girls who have never had sex before or even had a worthwhile relationship to boot.

And it also bonds with the reader on some level. It brings to the table a certain aspect which is often found lacking in today’s romance novels. And while some people may take issue to having to deal with a real relationship versus a fantasy one that they can wrap their infantile little minds around with, these relationships of mine pulls no punches.

I deal in realism. I can only take the fantasy crap for so long before I want to blow my brains out. And if I find a fake relationship thrown in, I’m just going to laugh at your stupid little self. Because that’s not how relationships should be portrayed.

Not at all.

Posted by: Schuyler R. Thorpe | July 23, 2014

Now On Amazon (Promo #1)

FamineThe fate of every soul rests upon his shoulders. His fate rests in the hands of a troubled, young girl.

It’s 1895 — the cusp of the Victorian and Edwardian eras — and Bartholomew Pelletier is a gentleman and a warrior. For fifteen centuries he’s endured the depraved appetite of Famine — one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse — as she’s consumed his strength and sought to unite with her fellow Horsemen. But now Bartholomew’s chance to imprison her has appeared…in the form of his young ward Matilde.

Chosen to wield the immeasurable power of the Catcher — the one entity that can capture the escaped Horsemen — Matilde is a distrustful child from an abusive and impoverished home. She must be hidden from Famine as she grows strong, learns to fight, and reaches adulthood. But Bartholomew faces a terrible act: For Matilde to become the immortal Catcher, he must gain her trust, and then he must end her life.

By any means necessary, Bartholomew intends to conquer this enemy, but is he willing to sacrifice the one person he loves in order to save mankind?

 

Now available on Amazon in e-book format and paperback.

Posted by: Schuyler R. Thorpe | July 22, 2014

Loading The Dishwasher (The Man Version)

dishwasherI always thought that men (in general) could even begin to load the dishwasher correctly from the word Go.

 

Turns out that we really can’t.

 

 

 

bonus

Posted by: Schuyler R. Thorpe | July 22, 2014

Supergirl Loves Batgirl’s New Costume

batgirl1

Posted by: Schuyler R. Thorpe | July 22, 2014

Amanda Scott’s Theme Song For The Vampiress Hunter

amanda scottIn my ongoing novel, The Vampiress Hunter, my support character (Amanda Scott) is an alcoholic empath with telekinetic abilities. She suffers from extensive headaches and crushing migraines because of her close proximity to Marlena Kosonovitch. And these problems have been ongoing for awhile now.

So when I saw this on my Facebook newsfeed, I knew this had to be perfect for her. (And funny too!)

Sing along now, my fellow peeps. Sing along in the voice of Barney, The Purple Dinosaur…

Posted by: Schuyler R. Thorpe | July 20, 2014

The Sea, You, And The Sun

peachpulsarI’ve got a confession to make: I’m a huge fan of hentai mangas. I have a huge collection of downloads dating back to 2005 on CD and DVD-R. And what draws me most to them is the fact that the story lines are beyond funny, beyond ridiculous, beyond stimulating, and so on.

I’m always wondering what Oliver is going to deliver on his website (hentairules.net) next which will give me something new to read.

So what piqued my interest about a week ago, was finding a yuri manga about two girls in love with each other and the obstacles they faced together–trying to come to terms, trying to reconnect, trying to do everything humanly possible to be together after a lengthy absence.

I found the story line to be very endearing and it got me thinking about how perfect their relationship was and the obstacles and trials they faced either separate or together. (Nozomi’s girlfriend trying to tell her father about herself and her new love was icing on the cake.)

And this manga got me thinking about my own lesbian-themed fantasy/romance novel, Codename: Velocity and how both Mari and Velocity’s relationship also faced similar uphill battles and conflict which doesn’t have a clear resolution towards the end.

As I read The Sea, You, and the Sun in its entirety this morning, I was taken in by the characters feelings for one another: How Nozomi was struggling early on to justify her feelings towards Kiara and how eventually, she openly admitted to her how much she loved her.

And poor Kiara! She was doing everything humanly possible to keep away from her boisterous and bubbly girlfriend, until about halfway through the manga she finally realized that she wasn’t in love with her ex, but with Nozomi herself.

That brought back memories of Mari trying to get Velocity over to her side and how she spent the last six years trying to be more than just a friend to her–especially now–while Velocity was doing everything she could to keep everyone she knew (and loved) at arm’s length.

So it was just a bonus reading the manga and finding so much commonality with the book I spent 10 months writing and fleshing out. It really helped put things into prospective–knowing that the book I labored over through endless weeks of severe depression could come out so beautiful and so perfect.

Because of such, I’m more convinced that this book will be a big hit among the LGBTQ community–if I can market it just right.

It’s not just about the sex in the novel (or in the manga) which is the main driver to the plot, but about the conflict in a tightly wound relationship which is the centerpiece to both. I wanted to touch base as much as possible on the influx of teenage emotional drama and how either character deals with it.

Like Nozomi, Mari is very loving and caring. She has this “can do” attitude which makes her very popular with her brothers and sisters. Velocity on the other hand…she’s very meticulous, logical, and deeply driven to succeed. And while her new personality shows her to be antagonistic and ambiguous, her old one put her at a huge disadvantage with her peers and her superiors.

So she’s like Kiara all over for the same reasons.

And like both, both Velocity and Mari have a lot of room for growth and potential. And their relationship, their bond with one another will only continue as time goes on.

And I think that’s going to be important as the series progresses.

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