Vampire Titles 25% Off Today – #AReBlast

All my vampire titles at OmniLit and All Romance eBooks are 25% off today to celebrate the first day of summer!

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This post will give you links to those books they have available. I hope you’ll add one or more of my books to your summer reading list.

Dragon’s Fall: Rise of the Scarlet Order

Dragon's Fall Three vampires—a warrior, a thief, and an assassin—adapt to their life of darkness by forming a team of mercenaries that fight for the crowned heads of Europe. Get the book at: https://www.omnilit.com/product-dragonsfallriseofthescarletorder-970117-235.html

Vampires of the Scarlet Order

Vampires of the Scarlet Order Governments tamper with powers they don’t understand to create a new breed of super soldiers. Only the Scarlet Order vampire mercenaries stand in their way. Get it at: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-vampiresofthescarletorder-184717-348.html


If you’re on a budget and just want to sample my vampire stories, this is still a great opportunity! The original Dragon’s Fall novellas are only 74 cents each today!

Dragon’s Fall: Bondage

Cover of Dragon's Fall: Bondage In Hellenistic Athens, the slave Alexandra finds herself in a new house with a mysterious owner who offers the promise of freedom. Get the ebook at: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-bondage-500121-348.html

Dragon’s Fall: The Dragon’s Quest

Dragons-Quest-200x300 Desmond stood to inherit the throne of Britain until he fell in battle. A vampire resurrected him and now he seeks redemption. Can he entice his friend Arthur to seek the cup of Christ? Get it at: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-dragon039squest-514278-139.html



My science fiction titles are also on sale! Visit the post at David Lee Summers’ Web Journal for a list of titles and links to them.

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Rudolfo – Where Old World Meets New

Today, I continue my look back at the origins of Vampires of the Scarlet Order. In the previous installments, I looked at the original stories set in the present day, which introduced the vampires Daniel, Mercy, and Marcella. By this point, around the end of 2001, beginning of 2002, I started to see a story arc developing. After writing “Vampires in the World of Dreams” I knew there were ancient vampires, but I had yet to explore who they were and what they did. That’s when I had the idea to introduce Rudolfo. He’s a vampire who came to the new world with the conquistadors, dropped into a long sleep and emerged in the modern world. I first told his story in a pair of stories which appeared in the zines Parchment Symbols and Night to Dawn.

Rudolfo-Mags

Rudolfo’s first appearance was in the story “The Last Conquistador” which tells the story of a physicist named Jane Heckman performing tests on a new explosive and waking the slumbering vampire. Hungry, he kills two of her graduate students. Angry and frightened, Dr. Heckman confronts the creature which attacked her students. Rudolfo is intrigued by the woman scientist and chooses her to be his guide in the new era. The story appeared in Issue 9 of Parchment Symbols magazine.

After writing the story, I grew curious about Rudolfo’s origins, so I wrote the story “The Scarlet Order.” This story is set in 1492, during the reconquest of Spain. Rudolfo is a poor human, whose father is a caballero blockading Granada. When his father is killed, Rudolfo seeks revenge, only to fall in with a band of ancient vampire mercenaries—the Scarlet Order, led by Lord Draco. The story appeared in Issue 3 of Night to Dawn magazine and would ultimately become the first chapter of Vampires of the Scarlet Order.

Rudolfo became an important part of the Scarlet Order story. He soon becomes Draco’s second in command, which led to one of my favorite moments from the novel, which I read and made into a short film. The illustrations by Steve Gilberts are from the print edition of the novel.

As I envisioned it, the alliance of vampires was fragile at best. Rudolfo brought a semblance of stability to the Scarlet Order, but even he can only take it for so long. After about 50 years, he travels to America and joins Don Juan de Oñate in his conquest of New Mexico. However, the low population in the new world and the horrors of Oñate’s expedition drive Rudolfo into a deep slumber.

When he awakens, he finds a world he can live in, but he’s soon swept away. This leads Dr. Jane Heckman on a quest for the old Scarlet Order vampires. When she meets up with Daniel, Mercy, and Marcella, she’s not altogether happy with what she sees, but soon she learns they must stop an evil greater than vampires.

If you’d like to learn more about Rudolfo and the vampires of the Scarlet Order, be sure to enter my Rafflecopter giveaway. I’m collecting entries until the end of the month. See the first post in this series for more details or just click here to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway

Vampires of the Scarlet Order Turns Ten!

This week marks the tenth anniversary of my novel Vampires of the Scarlet Order and to celebrate, I’m holding a giveaway! Be sure to read to the bottom to find the link to the Rafflecopter Giveaway.

David Lee Summers Vampire-Scarlet-Order-800x1190

Vampires of the Scarlet Order got its start in my Las Cruces, New Mexico home in the spring of 2000. I was talking to my friend Janni Lee Simner about writing. As the conversation progressed the subject of vampires came up and Janni said, “I wonder what vampires would make of Las Cruces, being the city of crosses and all.” We knocked a few possibilities around and finally she said that if a story idea came to mind, I was welcome to it. She had no plans to write a vampire story. A few days later, I drove to work at Apache Point Observatory and had the idea of a vampire telescope operator who moves to Las Cruces to work at a small observatory. I wrote up the story and called it “Vampire in the City of Crosses.” In 2001, I sold it to Margaret L. Carter, editor of The Vampire’s Crypt. It was one of my first real story sales.

Over the next two years, I wrote six more stories set in the same vampire world. “Vampires in the World of Dreams” and “The Weeping Woman” both appeared The Vampire’s Crypt. “Pat, Marcella, and the Kid” and “The Scarlet Order” both ran in Night to Dawn magazine. “The Last Conquistador” ran in Parchment Symbols magazine and “Bat Flight South of Roswell” was published as a stand-alone chapbook from Anxiety Publications. These stories became the core of Vampires of the Scarlet Order.

Over the next year, I updated the stories, figured out how they tied together and then assembled them into the novel Vampires of the Scarlet Order. The novel tells the story of how a band of vampire mercenaries working for the Spanish Inquisition went their separate ways only to be reunited in the early twentieth century when the government figures out a way to build vampire-like super-soldiers who threaten world security and peace.

When I finished the novel, I outlined four more Scarlet Order novels. One of those told the story of how the Scarlet Order vampires formed and how they came to be working for the Spanish Inquisition. That novel is Dragon’s Fall: Rise of the Scarlet Order, which is now also in print.

To celebrate the tenth anniversary of Vampires of the Scarlet Order, I’m holding a giveaway. The number of winners will depend on how many enter, but I’m currently prepared to give away up to five books. The way this will work is that I’ll give away one book for the first nine people who enter. Once ten have entered, I’ll give away a second. Once fifteen have entered, I’ll give away a third and so on, so the odds actually will stay pretty good as more people enter.

Each winner may choose one of my vampire books in whatever format they’d like that’s available. If they choose a paperback copy, I’ll autograph it and send it along. If they choose an ebook, I’ll gift it and send along an authorgraph. The contest is open until midnight mountain time on May 29. I’ll email winners that weekend and arrange delivery of the books.

Winners may choose from:

If by chance you actually have all those books, enter anyway, I bet I can work with you to find a prize you’ll enjoy!


Click here to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway

The giveaway runs until midnight mountain time on Friday, May 28. I’ll contact winners over the following weekend.

Inspiration is Painless

One piece of advice I give aspiring writers is to read frequently, but to read outside your genre of choice, because you’ll often find inspiration from unexpected sources. A gunfight in a Western might might inspire a confrontation in a science fiction story. A love scene in a romance novel might inspire more emotional depth for a similar scene in a spy thriller.

MASH

An example I can cite related to my vampire fiction is the novel MASH written by Richard Hooker. For those not familiar with MASH, it’s a wartime comedy that tells the story of army doctors doing their best to stay sane during the Korean War. It inspired a Robert Altman film starring Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould, and Sally Kellerman, which in turn inspired a TV series starring Alan Alda, Wayne Rogers, and Loretta Switt.

One of the things that stood out for me about the book and the movie is that the protagonists weren’t altogether likable characters. They got out-of-control drunk, were intolerant, and they could be cruel, self-absorbed, and mean-spirited. Despite that, Hooker made us care about the characters through the humorous situations he put them in and the realization that all of us can be like these guys at our worst. Now, I’ll note that I grew up with the TV series where the doctors were generally played as likeable, good-hearted rogues, so to see their darker counterparts in the book and the movie was interesting from that point of view as well.

In my vampire novels and stories, I faced a similar challenge. By their nature, vampires are not heroic figures. They drink the blood of mortals to survive and my vampires are mercenaries who fight wars for profit. The lesson from MASH was that if you want the reader to sympathize with less-than-likeable characters, you need to help the reader understand how the characters became who they are. In MASH, Hawkeye, Trapper and Duke were doctors just beginning their careers when they were thrust into a war zone. No wonder they went a little crazy! A dangerous vampire might have started as a likeable or even heroic human. How would you behave if you suddenly became a creature of the night?

Another element I found interesting about the novel and movie MASH were their episodic qualities. A series of almost unrelated events were dovetailed together to create a narrative arc. I think this is often how life actually feels and I like telling stories this way. What’s more, Dragon’s Fall: Rise of the Scarlet Order was originally contracted as a series of five-stand alone novellas that came together and formed a narrative arc. By necessity, it had to be something of an episodic novel and an episodic novel like MASH helped me learn how to tell that kind of story.

Finally, just as an aside, when I found the original cover art for MASH shown above, I discovered another thing it has in common with Dragon’s Fall. Both novels were published in Canada!

Dragons Fall

I’ll wrap up today’s post with two links. First, there’s a great new review of Dragon’s Fall at http://enchantedspark.com/wordpress1/2013/05/02/dragons-fall-rise-of-the-scarlet-order-by-david-lee-summers/. Be sure to drop by and check out Melinda Moore’s thoughts on the novel. Also, there’s just a little more than one week left in the Goodreads giveaway for Dragon’s Fall. If you haven’t signed up for the giveaway, do so now at http://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/50183-dragon-s-fall-rise-of-the-scarlet-order.