Popshifter » Thomas Dolby, A Map Of The Floating City.

Our long national nightmare is over! Errr, well, maybe it’s just started… well, maybe just for this one dude.

My first non-genre novel, self-published, designed and laid out by yours truly, with an amazing front cover image from artist Ben Bittner, is at last available for sale in a couple of different places.

I like CreateSpace.

Check it out:

Mixtape for the Apocalypse – a novel by Jemiah Jefferson

Mixtape FC

front cover

regarding Daniel Blum

June 20, 2011

This is the third in my series of blog posts about the characters of the Vampire Quartet novels. Much delayed, I’m afraid, because how do you approach a subject like one of the most popular (in fact, if reader feedback can be believed, THE most popular) characters in the whole series — and such a complex, fascinating fellow as Daniel Blum?

Well, I still don’t know. But (to quote George Harrison) I’ll have a bash.

Daniel Blum first appears in the first novel, Voice of the Blood, in conversation; his legend is built up long before he actually becomes a reality. The way Orfeo Ricari describes him, Daniel is almost like the Boogeyman — supernaturally terrifying, infinitely corrupt, vicious, cruel, nasty. He is a monster that scares other monsters. Of course, this intrigues our narrator, the polymorphously perverse and infinitely curious Ariane, and she has never been one to take someone else’s word for it. When she finally does meet Daniel in the flesh, it becomes clear that everything Ricari told her was true. It’s just not all that’s true.

Daniel’s got a little bit of everything. Absolutely, he’s a menace to society, he breaks hearts for fun, he’s a ruthless killer, he eats kittens (well, not really, but he would if he felt like it); at the same time, he is a hopeless romantic, a sensitive artist, a generous lover, a wellspring of jokes, and a thoughtful and caring father figure to the scores of lost and lonely people drawn to his scintillating façade. Born in 1900, son of a tailor and a schoolteacher, he rejected his stifling bourgeois upbringing, deciding to be a modern artist and provocateur rather than a nice Jewish cobbler. Gifted with extreme intelligence and unshakeable confidence in himself, he never tried to hide his predilections for wearing gorgeous and outlandish clothes, everything from womens’ silk blouses and evening gowns to military jackets and Cossack hats. He draws; he paints; he collages; he sings; he makes sculpture; he plays piano; he takes photographs; he puts on orgies and art happenings. When he discovers a vampire in his midst, he decides he wants to be that, too.

Daniel Blum loves who he wants to, and leaves when he’s ready. He’s far more interested in excitement and fireworks than he is in making the world a better place. He knows only one way to love — through obsession and cruelty, as well as support and tenderness. The 20th Century was his playground, and when that ended . . . well, a light went out of the world, did it not?

Daniel is an essential character in all four books, primarily Voice of the Blood, Fiend, and Wounds, which is his own individual character study; however, his presence colors everything in A Drop of Scarlet, and indeed, his actions make the story of what happens in that novel necessary.

The character was inspired by a variety of sources: the musician Daniel Ash (who seems to have dropped off the face of the earth after the final Bauhaus reunion; where you at, man???), my dear friend Alex (and his alter-ego Minerva Steel), Sally Bowles… many many charismatic, sociopathic bastards I’ve known through the years. All those blokes (and a couple of girls) who thrilled me because they just didn’t give a damn, but for a few brief moments, I could kid myself that they made an exception in my case.

Daniel does make an exception — in the book Wounds — but you have to read it to really understand why. 😉
≠ ≠ ≠ ≠
In other news, I wrote all weekend, and finished a chapter of my first draft of my current novel-in-progress. I also had few drinks with some friends of mine, and watched the movie Black Swan, which I loved. I also made enchiladas and then foolishly ate too much chocolate gelato. I slept a lot and made cold-brew coffee. Petted the cat. Listened to old mix CDs and the Tron: Legacy soundtrack. I did very little else. It was not restful; writing, especially when one has been away from it for a long time (which I have; over a month since I wrote any fiction, and almost six months since I worked on the WIP), is really difficult, complete with physical, mental, and emotional challenges. I fought and won, though. Yay me. Now I have to get used to fighting this fight every day, or as close to it as I can get. Time’s a-wasting.

I thought of this yesterday when I wore a relatively low-cut T-shirt to work.

I am brilliant, beautiful, and strong. I contain an infinity of feminine power. Whatever I need to do, I can, and I will.

(And then I proceeded to drink too much cold-process coffee and have an hours-long anxiety attack. Oh well; best laid plans, etc.)

This evening I will have new photos taken. I have supreme faith in my photographer, Serena Davidson, to reflect my essence and realize an ideal Me. She’d better; these snaps are expensive! But experience has told me that they are worth every dime, and besides, she’s immensely fun to work with. I will be sharing this with Brittney Corrigan, who (as well as being a fellow Reed College alumn, is also an escapee of Aurora, Colorado!) actually needs author photos for her new release. I’m just … either fanning the flames of my ego, or getting a head start on author photos for the next book. Take it as you will. 🙂

Promise that the next blog entry will be about the character, Daniel Blum.

is it really real?

May 3, 2011

According to Amazon (and the Dorchester web page) it is.

The “Vampire Quartet” books are now available again – all four are available in Kindle editions right this very minute.

Other e-book formats are coming, as are the trade paperback versions, an an audiobook of Voice of the Blood (alas, not read by me).

Buy now from the publisher’s website. And tell me what you think – I love me some feedback.

Portland, Oregon, springtime. When it rains, it frequently hails, and it can get violent. Last year brought a hailstorm so insistent that, by the time it was done, the streets were piled so high with small hailstones that it looked like snow. That was an awesome day; the power went out at work, and we went home early. And then later I went and had coffee with the wonderfulZane Grant .

Today, I’m hard at work a personally-staggering amount of very cool projects. In addition to my editorial duties at Dark Horse, I am:
• working on organizing a loose coalition of friends and minions to help me self-publish a novel (which will be retitled, but the working title is My Little Golden Book of the Apocalypse… yeah, have to change that) that I wrote all the way back in 1998, but still believe in
• still working on finishing the first draft of the novel still known as Plums, as well as thinking over potential angles for using social media marketing and reader interaction
• preparing for the Vampire Quartet re-release, which looks like it’s going to happen in mid-May (a specific date is still unknown at this time)
• being a guest on a KBOO-FM radio show, the Eavesdrop, on Thursday, May 5th, at 7pm. If you’re a Portland local, you can hear KBOO at 90.7 FM. If not, you can listen to a live stream of the broadcast at kboo.fm. It’s during Pledge Drive, so… y’know. 🙂

Springtime brings pollen. It’s been a rough year for the Pacific Northwest – people who are usually free from allergy symptoms are feeling them, and people WITH allergies are in hell. For those happy shiny people like me, with autoimmune disorders, it’s been even rougher. I’m just lucky and grateful that my only problems have been blazed-out eyes and achy legs. Everyone’s cranky because they want summer to get here. I’m fine with a few more weeks of reprieve so that I can acquire some cute summer dresses.

In the meantime, the new season of Doctor Who is almost overwhelmingly good. Expect some gushing about it.

Happy spring, everyone.

chaos reigns

March 31, 2011

I’ve been saying that a lot recently. (I really should watch ANTICHRIST so I can actually place that quote into context.)

For an update on what’s been on my mind, I encourage you to read this:
http://www.stacydittrich.com/blog/2011/03/guess-what-dorchester-its-on/

And what does that mean for me?

To be honest, I have no idea. The Vampire Quartet (so-named) is still on track for re-release. I cannot get my rights back. I have no money to get the law involved.

So… act in conscience. Buy or do not. And in the future – I will continue writing, and sharing my work, through self-publishing if necessary, and I hope that my readers will continue to be interested.

In the meantime, I has a sad.

Watching The Pied Piper, a fluffy 1973 lark with Donovan acting in it. I don’t have much hope that this movie will actually be much good (It’s a “Goodtimes Enterprises Film” – oy vey) though it does have John Hurt and Donald Pleasance in… wait, that’s no guarantee of anything. Diana Dors as “Frau Poppendick”? Good lord, what have I gotten myself into?

Well, I count Donovan as one of my muses (along with such notables as John Taylor, Peter Murphy, Montgomery Clift, Alex Colby, and that cute little skank Jeremy from high school) and have been inspired by him to write much material. I am now in the process of revising the novel-sized chunk of said material, originally written when I was 19 and a college sophomore and had a single room. I’ve been off the Donovan crack pipe for quite some time now – one bad LSD trip will do that to you – actually, no, it was because Nick Cave took over and blotted out the sun – and I lost all my original Donovan vinyl – but I want to recall that sweet mania that drove me to write that novel in the first place.

To that end I will re-educate myself about the sound of his voice, for that was the conduit that the holy madness was first transmitted to me. I had barely ever seen a photograph of him until years after I had obsessively collected all his records and spent my first summer home from college being soothed by the songs, nostalgic for soft Portland rain and not the violence of Denver sunshine. Donovan is one of those fellows whose voice is substantially more beautiful than his face – though, I could be mistaken. I’ve never seen Donovan in a movie before.

Hell, I watched The Magic Christian just because Ringo Starr was in it, and I don’t even fancy Ringo.

Wish me luck. Frau Poppendick. I swear.

new mind detritus

February 13, 2011

I will blog more often.

Recent distractions/lifesavers:
• Sherlock, and all things Benedict Cumberbatch.
• Small Craft on a Milk Sea, the new Brian Eno release. It’s excellent.
• The second half of the fourth season of Doctor Who.
• Frankenstein, the new production in the West End, directed by Danny Boyle, music by Underworld, and starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller as Dr. Frankenstein and the Monster, trading roles every night. They will be broadcasting it to theaters in the US shortly; I will be at the Portland screenings at least twice – more details on this in the near future.
• A weekly cooking experiment. So far I’ve succeeded at coconut dal, coq au vin, and a brined pork loin roast. I’m pretty good at this.

Current projects:
Plums (massive sexy three-way gay male love story) – working towards a complete first draft
The Legend of a Lucy Willow (a tough/tender YA-ish romance set in the world of British pop music in 1967) – reading through the first draft, which was written in 1992
FirstWorld (cyberpunk/cyber-real story, as serialized at Underland Press website) – revised and improved, it’s being looked at by a professional at the moment
• a piece of Sherlock fan fiction, which shall not be named here; when it’s done, I may say so here, but you will have to find it yourself. It’s the kind of thing that could get me in trouble. 😉

Oh yeah, and Dark Horse, where I’ll be tomorrow. I am working on a lot of projects there right now, some of which I’m not allowed to talk about yet. More details to come as things get worked out and I have time.

Coming soon: Emerald City Comic Con.

I have been caffeine-free today. My headache tells me so.

the latest

August 10, 2010

The Vampire Quartet is indeed going back to print – but it’s going to be sometime in the middle of 2011, as the production structure of Dorchester Publishing has now changed. The great thing is, not only are the books going back into print, they will be in TRADE PAPERBACK format, and also available in all e-reader formats!

More news as it becomes available…