Friday, January 15, 2010

A Good Way To Start 2010

I'm still on vaction in New England, and at the moment am enjoying a relaxing (and cold) weekend on the coast of Maine. But I received some good news this week that I wanted to share.

Shadowfire Press offered me a contract this week for the next two books in my vampire trilogy -- The Vampire Hunters: Vampyrnomicon (scheduled for publication in August 2010) and The Vampire Hunters: Dominion (scheduled for publication in February 2011). These two novels will introduce the Master, expand on the vampire mythos, and finally detail the ultimate battle between good and evil.

Another good omen of the great things to come this year was my visit on Thursday to Salem, Massachusetts, my old stomping ground (I earned a bachelor's degree in history from Salem State College and spent two summers working as a tour guide in the Essex Institute in the 1980s). Back when I spent time in Salem, the city seemed embarrassed by its association with the witchcraft trials of 1692, except for those tourist traps that tried to exploit visitors' fascination with the macabre aspects of the trials. ("And here we have a replica of a room that contains furniture similar to the ones that might have been used by those hanged as witches.")

Now Salem embraces its heritage with a vengeance. It began in 2005 when Salem erected a statue to Bewitched's Samantha Stephens, the domestic witch played by Elizabeth Montgomery. Now the city is home to the 40 Whacks Museum dedicated to spinster axe murderer Lizzie Borden (even though she butchered her parents farther south in Fall River), the monster museum at Count Orlok's Nightmare Gallery, plus a wide range of haunted walking and trolley tours. Granted, most of these attractions have as little to do with Salem's history as the witch locales. But it's great to see the city embracing horror. For me, it means my genre is alive and thriving.

So I'm going to enjoy my last few days of vacation with a good seafood dinner tonight and a nice morning walk along the beach. I'll need it. Next week the writing kicks back in big time.

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