Notes on Blood Trade

Blood TradeBlood Trade was the book I was never going to write– a vampire book.  I’m not even that interested in vampires.  I don’t find them sexy, intriguing, or usually even worth noting.  I appreciate what writers have done with vampires over the years.  I like Bram Stoker, Sheridan LeFanu, and Joss Whedon.  But I wasn’t going to write about vampires.

So every two weeks, on Tuesday, for weeks and weeks, I would go to my writer’s group– which at the time met at Border’s Bookstore.  They would give us a table and chairs in the middle of four counters filled with vampire books.  Finally I decided I would write a vampire book my way.  The vampires wouldn’t be sexy, or intriguing, or attractive.  They would be monsters– dark, scary killers.  I of course forgot that sometimes dark, scary killers have a sort of inherent attractiveness.

In the end, I finished Blood Trade and in some ways, it is my favorite book.  For one thing, I think it is one of my best plots.  Some of my stories have fairly simple plot lines and others don’t come off as well as I wanted.  Blood Trade does.  I also love the characters that I ended up with.  I say ended up with, because characters usually grow as I write them.  I think they almost always end up better than I expected.  If plots are my weak point,  I think characters are my strong point.

Xochitl McKenna: An Irish, African, Hispanic, Army Ranger turned stripper turned tattoo model turned private detective, with a deep hatred of vampires.  She started out pretty complex, but got more so as I wrote.  Anger, deep self-loathing, borderline alcoholism, and kleptomania.  And the best thing of all was that it fit so tightly in her back story that it made sense.

Lance Rizzello: Dirty cop, rapist, mob enforcer.  A complete and total sociopath who is out for no one but himself.

Dominic Zielinski: FBI Agent, former Navy SEAL, and someone with serious OCD.

I had three great characters, and I honestly thought about throwing out the vampires altogether, but I didn’t.  I started to write and the story got darker and darker with each chapter– so much so that I had to go back and rewrite the first four to make them fit the latter part of the book.  In the end, I couldn’t help adding a lovable vampire character.

Novelyne Cavendish: Vampire.  A tiny Irish woman, around 150 years old or so.  Hates drinking cow’s blood, so sticks with human.  Hasn’t killed any little children in months.

But to make my story work, even the good vampire had to be pretty evil– or at least pretty dark, at least sometimes.  So there you have some of my thoughts about Blood Trade.  I guess a writer telling you how much they like their own book is a lot like a cook telling you how they like their own food (I’ve been watching a lot of Gordon Ramsay this summer).  But if it sounds interesting to you, I would appreciate if you would read it.  You can find links in yesterday’s post, as well as the Books page.

And I would love to hear from you, what you thought of the book.  Drop me a line.  Thanks.

4 thoughts on “Notes on Blood Trade

  1. I just ordered it. It’s on my wishlist for a long time already. Your post made it still more interesting.
    Gertraud (from Munich)

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