Saturday 1 December 2012

Guest Author - Tracey Sinclair

It gives me great pleasure to welcome back the author Tracey Sinclair who very kindly gives us a fascinating insight into writing her latest short story.

A Vampire walks into a Bar

 Photo courtesy of the author

The problem with being a writer is that the characters you write about never really leave you alone. (OK, there are actually loads of problems with being a writer, including your friends thinking you spend all day in your PJs eating biscuits – OK, that’s quite often true – your mum thinking you know JK Rowling and your bank manager thinking you’re a vagrant, but let’s stay on topic.) So when I finished my first urban fantasy novel Dark Dates earlier this year, it was a relief that I already had an idea for a sequel planned out, something I could throw myself into without having to leave the world I had fallen so in love with.

But when it became clear that due to other work commitments (that pesky bank manager again!) it would likely be next spring before the sequel would be completed, I felt like I wanted to do something to bridge the gap between books, so the idea of doing a short story set between the two started to germinate. I was inspired, also, by two of my favourite writers, Jim Butcher and Kelley Armstrong, who regularly publish short stories set in their central universes, but also do interesting things with them. Butcher’s Dresden Files books are narrated by Harry Dresden, so he has used his short stories to put across other viewpoints of his character (my favourite is narrated by the white vampire Thomas Wraith). Armstrong, admitting she felt strait-jacketed by calling her series Women of the Underworld, uses short stories to give a male perspective on that universe. But how to do that without ruining the continuity of a book that had quite a definite ending?

Salvation came – as salvation so often does – from Joss Whedon. I remembered the episode of Buffy where Angel came to town without her knowing, and so I thought: what would happen if I create a story where my heroine and narrator, Cassandra, is actually unaware of what is going on around her, so it doesn't impact on the timeline of the books, and allows us to get an outside perspective on her and her world? The idea of her two suitors – the vampire and the vampire hunter – having to put aside their differences for her sake came to mind, and I loved the idea of the two of them being forced into a ‘buddy movie’ scenario, complete with arguments, tension and flirtatious banter (let’s not forget, Laclos is almost as keen to get into Cain’s pants as he is to get into Cassandra’s) and a nice little trip round London, my home town, thrown in for good measure. I wanted it not only to be a treat for those readers who've told me how much they liked Dark Dates, but also something any fan of the genre could enjoy without any knowledge of that book. It was enormous fun to write, and while it does mean I've had to rewrite a lot of the sequel, throwing in references for people who read the story without alienating those who don’t, I hope people enjoy it.

Tracey is the author


Dark Dates (Cassandra Bick Chronicles 1)


**A Vampire Walks into a Bar (Cassandra Bick #1.5)

A Vampire Walks Into a Bar (Cassandra Bick Chronicles 1.5)

**Just for this weekend A Vampire Walks into a Bar is a free Kindle download on Amazon- but if you want my advise also download Dark Dates , and read the first book - it's a great read !

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