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Ask An Author 3.0 #16


astone2292

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I swear we just had it! Where did it go? Did it fly away, or whiz past our eyes? Oh, well! April's gone and she won't be back until next year. Now we have May, and what a day to post the next Ask An Author! From this Star Wars fan, May the Fourth be with you. 

While the featured story may not take place in a galaxy far, far away, we're still treated to a bit of fantasy. Welcoming back @C. Henderson, we'll be trading lightsabers for vampire fangs. Although the story's status says Temporary Hold, I see there's been some recent updates. Sounds like we have an In Progress tale, so let's dive in and generate some up-to-date readers! 

    

Sacrum
C. Henderson

35 Chapters / 108,057 Words / Rating: Mature / Status: Temporary Hold

Dani is a vampire with a special mission. Born in a lab, he has never been human. Kept from society by Vinicius, his mentor, he's naive to the way of the world.

When his mentor suddenly is taken from him, he's thrust into a new school where he's forced to figure things out on his own while also navigating the desires of his non-beating heart.

 

This story features your own take on vampires. How did you develop your vampire lore?

I can’t think of a time when I wasn’t interested in vampires. I distinctly remember watching Gary Oldman as Dracula and being fascinated by him and his powers. I was also intrigued by the duality of vampires – the fact that they were associated with dark forces, but – like the Count – were also capable of loving someone else and potentially being good. However, it never occurred to me to write about anything supernatural until I had some extra free time over quarantine, which is when I rewatched a lot of post-apocalyptic horror films like 28 Days Later and Resident Evil. I also watched Train to Busan, the Underworld movies, and got back into The Walking Dead series. Additionally, I read The Rising and World War Z, and was inspired enough to do my own take on a vampire story. 

I started Sacrum one night, with a distinct vision of Dani and Vincent in mind. I wanted one to represent the force of good, and the other to have a history of darkness that made it hard to discern whether he could ever be good, or whether his genetics would determine him to be evil. However, the story quickly evolved with many other important characters like Vinicius, Demetrius, Ciprian and the ghost of Dahlia. Without giving the rest of it away, I knew that another important part of the story would be the “Rebirth” movement.

As for how I developed it all – mostly while thinking about the story in the shower, which is where all my best thoughts seem to occur.  

 

Sacrum is full of both big and small mysteries. How do you plot them out and keep all your clues and plot threads straight? It's impressive!

Once I realized that the story was growing rapidly away from what I intentionally had in mind, and that each character had their own mysteries they were battling with, I had to sit down and write a painfully long chapter by chapter outline so that I could remember everything. I also have a general overview of the story, a name cheat sheet, and another document containing random phrases I think of in the shower that I know I want to utilize in the story in some way (usually something Ciprian might say... I have a long list of those). 

  

Which authors influence you and what mystery/suspense books are your favorite?

It’s hard for me to name an “influence” because I enjoy a lot of different genres, and the writers I like don’t necessarily influence my own writing style. They are so distinct it would be impossible to mimic them. However, I am currently reading “Nothing But Blackened Teeth” by Cassandra Khaw, and I’m in awe of how poetic she makes everything sound. She's inspired me to work on having a nicer flow to my own writing. 

As for favorite books, I love a good classic by Hemingway or Faulkner. The Sound and The Fury is probably one of my favorite books. And in the horror/mystery genre I have to go with Bram Stoker’s Dracula. 

    

There's another AAA wrapped up! Thank you so much to @C. Henderson and the anonymous reader who sent questions my way. As always, Ask An Author could always use material for articles. Read a riveting story recently? Think of a few questions, send them to me, and I'll get them ready for posting. All stories and authors are fair game!

Until next month!

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I can relate to having write down a name cheat sheet and a timeline with birthdates and a story outline chapter by chapter...

Great questions and answers!

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@C. HendersonThanks for the peek behind the curtain! I get all my good ideas either in the shower or right as I’m falling asleep. Or when I’ve taken edibles… but somehow those ideas don’t always make it to paper 😅

I should take a page from your book and get more disciplined about writing everything down in a more detailed outline!

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