So as a person with a severe book fetish and addiction, I’ve been hitting up the library a lot more frequently this summer than the rest of the year. Two easy reasons for that: One – I’m currently unemployed; the body may be somewhat “at rest” at home, but the mind absolutely must stay active. Two – I’m doing research, evident by the stack of non-fiction that’s sitting on one of the shelves.
What am I researching and what’s the research for? I’m researching the history of mankind, particularly the 18th & 19th centuries (recent stuff rather than ancient); diseases and pandemics that have spread throughout human history, and vampires. This research is for the on-again/off-again/on-again novel series I’ve been slowly developing since October 2009. The novel’s concept revolves around a unique kind of “living vampire” I’ve created as my own individual take on the sub-genre of blood drinkers. Why? Well, it started with the realization that my life partner/fiancee/wife-to-be (we’ll get around to it eventually) is an addicted vampire-geek. I thought, how the hell could I as a writer myself just sit idly by while she consumes countless books featuring fanged antiheroes? In that thought was born an inherent challenge for me to write something she could enjoy with her vampire-geek glee (because, sadly she’s just not into the crime and suspense, or even the literary/slice-of-life and experimental stuff I’ve written).
Prior to this I never had an inkling to tackle vampires in my fiction, except maybe once in all my years (I first started writing prose in 1993). And the way my mind works, the only way I would even flirt with the idea of writing a vampire story was if I could do it as uniquely as possible (execution is the key more so than originality). Being that it was the month of October, we we’re indulging in a slew of horror and thriller movies at home in anticipation of Halloween. There were four particular movies we watched in that 2-week span that really got my mind working on a germ of an idea I could run with: I Am Legend
(adapted from Richard Mathesons‘
post-apocalyptic classic), and the first three Underworld
Ah, yes, the science angle rather than the typical and all-too-prevalent supernatural and Gothic angle. And so the rest of this story I’m sharing here is top secret and still in development with only a few scattered chapters written here and there. But I’m so close to finally getting my mind thoroughly wrapped around this vast canvas for an epic, centuries-spanning story I’ve created. Hmm. I could probably use an assistant as much as an agent.
I also still try to make time for fiction and biographical or documentary stuff, although it’s hard to get to that when job-hunting daily along with working on songs in addition to the researching and writing (and, if I’m honest, spending too much time binge-watching TV series). Perhaps just days prior to his death, I checked out Be Cool
(1999) by Elmore Leonard
yet again (because my paperback copy got water-damaged some years back). I also checked out, yet again, John Ridley’s Love Is A Racket
(1998) because the book is hands-down the best neo-noir that I’ve criminally never owned! I need to just buy this hardcover edition from the library. I really doubt anyone else is checking the book out, as the book is practically in mint condition and Ridley is, criminally, not a bestselling author.
That’s all the new and recycled stuff I have on deck to read. Remember, kids: a literate mind is a valuable mind. Get yer read on!