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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Guest Post: The Story of Vampire Blood by Kathryn Meyer Griffith

A little ago I reviewed Kathryn Meyer Griffith's revised addition of her novel Vampire Blood, I really enjoyed it, you can see my review here. After I reviewed it Kathryn asked me if I would be interested in featuring her post of "The Story of Vampire Blood". I was immediately interested and said yes!

Below is The Story of Vampire Blood. Enjoy!

Thank you Kathryn for letting me host it!!

The Story of Vampire Blood
Author’s Revised Edition by Kathryn Meyer Griffith
A rerelease of my 1991 Zebra paperback romantic vampire novel
out from www.damnationbooks.com on July 1, 2011

In 1990 or so I’d just got done releasing my first three paperback novels with Leisure Books, a romantic historical (The Heart of the Rose 1985) and two romantic horror books (Evil Stalks the Night, 1984 and Blood Forge, 1989), and because I wasn’t making much money on them, was looking, as most so-called restless young authors were doing, to move up in the publishing industry.
So I wrote snail mail letters to three established authors of the day – Dean Koontz, Stephen King and Peter Straub – asking for a little advice and a little help. What do I do next? I want to be one of the big dogs running in the big races. I want to make the big bucks. Be famous like you. (Ha, ha. I was so naïve in those days!) 

Well, Stephen King and Peter Straub never answered my letters but one rainy fall night I got a phone call from Gerda Koontz (Dean Koontz’s wife) and she said Dean had gotten my letter and wanted me to have a name of a brand new agent who I should call or write to and say I was recommended by him. If I thought it strange that Dean Koontz himself wasn’t actually talking to me I was told by Gerda that he was a shy man and had had a particularly hard couple of months because of family problems (I think it had something to do with his father in a nursing home or something, but can’t exactly recall now) and he’d asked her to call me. She often did that for him, as well as helping him with the business side of his writing career. He (through her…and I got the impression that he was actually nearby telling her what to say the whole time) said I had to have an agent (I didn’t have one) and then he gave me the name of an ambitious one, Lori Perkins, just starting out and his advice on what I should do to advance as a writer.

I do remember being incredibly touched that he, a famous busy novelist that I admired – I loved his Twilight Eyes – would take the time to talk to me, even through his wife. They were both so sweet and we talked for nearly an hour all about writing, books and everything.
I took their advice and contacted that agent and she agreed immediately to represent me on my fourth book, Vampire Blood, no doubt, because I said Dean Koontz had recommended her to me. Name dropper! But Vampire Blood was the reason I’d contacted those famous authors in the first place. I thought it was the best book I’d done so far and wanted it to go to (what I thought at the time) would be a better publisher than Leisure Books, which contracted and hog-tied their writers with a horrible ‘potboiler’ one-size-fits-all ten year contract with low advances and 4% royalties. Yes, I got a whole whopping 14 cents a book in those days, but, I must confess, they did print thousands of paperbacks each run and had a huge distribution area.  I thought I could do a lot better. Anyway, Lori Perkins wanted me to send her the book and she did like it and eventually sold it, and then three others zip-zip-zip right after, to Zebra Books (now known more as Kensington Publishing) at 6% royalties and double the advances I was used to getting. They slapped a sexy blond vampire with a low dress on the cover and a hazy theater behind her. Lovely colors. I thought it was an eye-catching cover. I was so happy. I thought I’d made it! Again, so naïve.
Vampire Blood. A little story about a family of vicious killing vampires who settle in a small Florida town called Summer Haven and end up buying and fixing up an old theater palace to run, and pluck their victims from, and a divorced, down-on-her-luck ex-novelist and her worn-out father, who along with friends, help thwart them. I based it on this family I knew in our small hometown who ran a theater. It was their whole life. And they were delighted to be the template for the vampire family and novel.
So Vampire Blood came out and did very well for me, second only to my Zebra 1993 Witches. As the years went by it went out of print and when, twenty years later, Kim Richards at Damnation Books contracted my 13th and 14th novels, BEFORE THE END: A Time of Demons and The Woman in Crimson, she asked if I’d like to rerelease (with new covers and rewritten, of course) my 7 out-of-print Leisure and Zebra paperbacks – and I said a resounding yes!
So…here it is…Vampire Blood…twenty years later, alive again and better, I believe,  than the original because my writing then was done on an electric typewriter, with gobs of White-Out and carbon paper (I couldn’t afford copies), using snail mail; all of which didn’t lend itself to much rewriting. And in those days, editors told an author what to change and then the writer only saw the manuscript once to final proof it. Who knew what those sneaky editors were slipping in inbetween and before the final book was in an author’s greedy little hands. Hey, and I was working full time, raising a son, living a life and caring for my big extended family in one way or another, too. Busy, exciting, loving, happy and sad times. Times and people I will never forget.  Warmly, Kathryn Meyer Griffith rdgriff@htc.net  

 








[Kathryn Meyer Griffith has] Been writing 39 years and have 14 published books and 7 short stories. My newest erotic short story Always and Forever will soon be out from whispers Publishing. See all my book covers and self-made book trailers, with original music by my singer/songwriter brother JS (Jim) Meyer, here on my Photo and Video pages. Also 7 of my old Zebra and Leisure paperbacks are being rereleased, rewritten and in e-books also for the first time ever, from www.damnationbooks.com and www.eternalpress.biz between June 2010 and July 2012. Covers here also.


You can find her at:
Her Myspace
Goodreads




2 comments:

  1. Holly, thank you for having me again on your lovely blog! I owe you. Oh, and remember I have 5 other backstory essays you can run whenever you'd like! For Egyptian Heart, Witches, Winter's Journey, The Heart of the Rose and one on Why I Became a Writer. Warmly, author Kathryn Meyer Griffith rdgriff@htc.net

    ReplyDelete
  2. It is so amazing to hear how authors got their start in their writing career. To have Dean Koontz show an interest must have one of the most memorable moments of your life! Thanks for taking the time to post your story.

    Happy Reading and Writing,
    Laurielu
    Bona Fide Reflections
    bonafidereflections@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete

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