Re-envisioned. Revised. Remastered.
Eleven years ago, Crimson (MASTER, Book 1) was wrenched from the mewling cavern of my cacophonous brain, wiped free of bloody afterbirth, and sent sprawling into the chaos of the World Wide Web. This niche vampire novella seemed destined to remain an experiment in online-only publishing; until Summer 2020, when I decided it was time for my tween to gain substance–and a physical body, via paperback print-on-demand. The version of Crimson set to reemerge on 10/16/2020 reflects the craft development I’ve both self-taught and assimilated over years of trial, error, and careful observation. At first, my book baby flourished (winner of Best eBook in the 2009 Hollywood Book Festival Awards). Soon after, my toddler began to flounder (less than glowing reviews in certain circles; pirated eBook copies widely distributed). Finally, my older child retreated into hibernation like a hormonal, moody bat too ashamed of growing pains and obscure status to perpetuate increasingly awkward interactions with the outside world (removed from publication with the scowling demeanor of the Fox who shunned the “sour” grapes).
Fast-forward a few years–past physical deterioration, chronic illness, multiple surgeries, death of loved ones, starting a family, raising children, and a mental breakdown or two–I’ve arrived at this RL point: 27 weeks pregnant, ready for the rebirth of my metaphorical baby mere months before the debut of my third flesh-and-blood child. This time around, however, instead of attempting to self-publish without any outside assistance (been there, done that, fell splat on my back), I’ve hired helping hands via Reedsy: Donald Weise, an experienced editor with a penchant for niche, erotic-tinged LGBTQ fiction; and George Cotronis, a talented illustrator and book cover designer who specializes in horror and dark fantasy art. Though my writing process is largely private, I require the assistance of other creative and analytical minds to maximize the potential of my storytelling impact.
As I eagerly await Crimson’s release date, I’m all too aware of the jaunting leap of faith readers will need to take on an unknown author. I don’t have delusions of grandeur, fame, and fortune: I’d simply be thrilled to (eventually) gain a loyal following for The MASTER Series. This saga of J-rock star/secret vampire Raiden, his vain actor co-conspirator-cum-co-star Gabriel, his Big Bad, pure-evil vampire-maker Justus, and his first victim, naïve fiancée Naomi, has stayed with me since its inception in the early 2000’s. Despite my best efforts at banishment, the voices of these characters won’t cease to haunt me. I’ve put The MASTER Series in time-out–shushed it–told it to go to its windowless room. I’ve ignored it, attempted to will it out of existence–done everything in my measly power to escape its sway–but, with a survivor’s grim determination, it keeps me locked within its bloody grip. No matter how often I’ve abandoned my ambition to complete the series, it always comes around to this: I must not leave it unfinished. What’s more: I want to finish it. So I will. With two more books awaiting edits, and the fourth in-progress, I’m about halfway to the seven-book finish line. I hope you’ll join me on the sidelines to witness its transition into adulthood.
Learn more details on the impending release of Crimson, or preorder your Kindle copy here. You can also read an excerpt. A word of caution: this story contains triggering themes, such as domestic violence, substance abuse, sexual assault, and repressed sexuality. Reader discretion is highly advised.
Question of the week: if you could pick one supernatural creature to inhabit for a day, which you choose, and why? My pick: a faerie, because WINGS.
Until next time,
R. N. Jayne