"I was scared to read the next chapter but knew I would never rest until I found out how it came out." Coffeetime
"I loved this story; love horror. Especially the supernatural type. A!" Emeraldfire
"If you like dark tales with classic "monsters" & a story of determination to overcome then read this book." Long & Short Romance
"Griffith writes great books and this is an oldie with great updates that paranormal romance readers shouldn't miss!" Pen & Muse
From the Author
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 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.
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. But Vampire Blood was the reason I'd contacted those authors in the first place. I thought it was the best book I'd done so far and wanted it to go to a better publisher than Leisure, which hog-tied their writers with a horrible 'potboiler' one-size-fits-all ten year contract with 4% royalties. Yes, I got a whole whopping 14 cents a book in those days, but they did print thousands of paperbacks each run and had a huge distribution area. I thought I could do a lot better. Anyway, that agent eventually sold it, and then three others after, to Zebra at 6% royalties and double the advances. They slapped a sexy blond vampire with a low dress on the cover and a hazy theater behind her. Lovely colors. An eye-catching cover. I was so happy. I thought I'd made it! Again, naïve.
My husband and I lived in this small town at the time and there was the neatest little hole-in-the-wall theater in a shopping center we used to go to...run by a family of a sweet man, Terry, and his wife, Ann, and sometimes their children, two teenage boys and a girl named Irene. Such a friendly, but odd couple. The run-down theater was their whole world . The kids helped take in the tickets, pop the popcorn and sell the candy snacks.
Now the minute Terry and Ann found out I was a published novelist they were my greatest fans. Terry went right out and bought all my books and read them. Terry always thought they'd make great movies. Next time my husband and I went to the theater Terry and Ann greeted us like old friends, delighted to see us, and refused to take a dime from us for anything. We got in free whenever we went from then on. Now in those days my husband, my son, James, and I were pretty broke. I worked as a graphic designer at a big brokerage firm in downtown St. Louis but my husband was in between jobs. We lived on a shoestring. Hard times. So I always was so tickled that we could get into the local movies for free. We went a lot, too, as we loved movies,especially science fiction and horror films.
One night I was watching Terry and Ann and their joy in running that little theater, with the kids bustling around doing their jobs, and I got the idea for Vampire Blood. Just like that! Use them and the theater as a backdrop for a vampire novel. Hey, wouldn't it be neat, I offhandedly mentioned to Terry one night, if I wrote a book about a family of vampires that was trying to pass as a real human family, the man and woman wanting so badly to fit in and lead a normal life for awhile, renovating and then running a theater together...but the kids are wild and, as kids always do, make trouble for them in the town...killing people? Terry loved the idea and I asked him if it'd be all right to use him and his family as a template for the vampires. He was thrilled to be part of anything to do with my books and said yes.So...I wrote this book about them (sort of), the theater (making it much grander than it was, of course), a small town terrorized by cruel,powerful vampires who can change into wolves at will...and a saddened lonely woman, her brother, and her ex-husband (who she still loves and ultimately ends up with again after he saves her life) who finds herself again, but loses a lot, as well, fighting these vampires.Vampires she doesn't believe in at first.
I was very happy with the book when it was done and dedicated it to Terry and Ann when it came out in 1991. Terry and Ann were thrilled, too.
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 like many of my 1970&80's paperback books and in 2015, with my other 21 novels, I brought it out again. I'd begun self-publishing in 2012 and will never go back to the legacy publishers. I love having complete control over my books now!
So...here it is...Vampire Blood...twenty-three 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 in between 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.
A lot has happened to me and my family in these twenty-three years, as well. Both my parents, and my beloved maternal grandmother, the storyteller of her generation, have since passed away. My sweet musician brother, Jim, too. Many people we used to know have. Old boyfriends, old friends and relatives. I miss them all. I no longer have that agent; she eventually went on to start an erotic ePublishing company. I lost my good job at the brokerage firm, bumped around in lesser jobs for years, always writing in my spare time, and now, at long last, write full time. My husband is retired.
The theater closed many years ago. Terry and Ann, heartbroken, were never the same. Ann is still with us, but Terry died years ago. We lost contact once they stopped running the theater but Ann and one of her daughters, Irene, showed up at my brother's funeral in 2015 to console me.
I'll never forget those early days and the stories that came with them. Days of high hopes and far distance future dreams...some of which have come true and some which haven't.
So, all you writers out there...never give up and never stop writing.
PLEASE BE SURE TO PURCHASE THE 2015 EDITION OF THIS BOOK...the 2011 Edition is contract-expired and only this new 2015 edition is approved by the author, Kathryn Meyer Griffith