Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A Connecticut Vampire in King Arthur's Court: Four Genres in One



Is A Connecticut Vampire in King Arthur's Court the best Vampire, Historical, Time-Travel, Romance novel ever written?
Maybe.
No one writes a novel strictly in just one genre; in any work there's always at least a dipping of the toe into something else. The Connecticut Vampire series is no different, but it does go a couple of stages further.
Historical Adventure?
Definitely; I hope the book is accepted as such from the first chapter. Although A Connecticut Vampire in King Arthur's Court looks like just another Vampire/Time-travel romp, it is researched just as thoroughly as my proper historical pieces. Every piece of mainline plot, the characters, battles, weddings, court in-fighting, etc, are pure researched historical fact.
Sci-Fi?
Yes, hopefully just as definitively. The series needs the time-travel element to work. It’s essential to both the plot and the basic nuts and bolts of the story. Many writers have created their own time-travel rules, and again, I'm no different, but hopefully I've also answered the myriad of questions regarding the typical paradoxes that spring up in the genre as a matter of course.
Horror/Vampire?
Our hero, the 24 year old Richard DeVere, is a vampire, he’s been one of the new breed for a few years in modern USA. But his usual brash tactics don’t work as well in the 16th century; every time someone dies in his close proximity, he undergoes the ‘shimmer’, a world shaking pause, felt only by him. The ‘shimmer’ is seen as time re-asserting or adjusting itself, but I also try to leave enough of a grey area for the reader to come to their own conclusions. Combined with the fact that everyone is armed with pikes, arrows, and swords, he now must be very circumspect compared to his modern existence. But there is another field which the Connecticut Vampire series fits just as well as the ones above.
Historical Romance?
Well, although this book doesn't seem as if it fits the genre, it actually does. Poor Richard actually falls in love. Well, he falls in love as far as a vampire can. The series has a romantically driven arc, so again, ‘yes’, it falls very specifically into this category.
So, in summary, there are at least four genres mixed together here, but I found while writing the stories, that this didn’t make the writing any easier. It also means there are four different ways that a reader can pounce on my mistakes, four different areas where I could trip myself up, throwing the reader out of the story.
With this firmly in my mind from the first concept, I was very conscious of getting my historical facts right in every regard; I needed to root this so well into Tudor England that the historical part became the norm, the smooth rails for the train, so to speak. Once that was achieved, the sci-fi, romance and vampire parts could ride the train in safety.
I’d like to say that the Connecticut Vampire series is my best work to date, but then most parents are in love with their newest sibling, compared to the one that’s been kicking around under their feet for a couple of years. So I will bite my tongue and remain quiet as to my feelings for the Connecticut Vampire series, at least until after I’ve moved on to something else….
So, if these genres interest you, please come along and give the books a try. The high-pitched whistle’s blowing from the big black engine at the front of the Connecticut Vampire train. A huge ‘whoosh’ of steam flows onto the platform, announcing its eagerness to depart the station, and the conductor is shouting “All aboard!” I encourage you to get on board the train and enjoy the smooth ride.
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