This may sound odd, but as a child there were many nights where I had trouble sleeping. Maybe I was worried about something, or maybe my thoughts were running rampant. Either way I found a trick at a young age. It started by tossing all my blankets on top of myself and pretending I'd been buried alive in a cave. I would struggle to move around to find fresh air, but would quickly fall to sleep. As I grew older, I obviously stopped this childish act, but instead started telling myself stories in my head. I never really thought about it, but this practice continued into my adult life. Anytime I had trouble sleeping, I would make up a story.
In 2009, when I was 31, I was laid off as a Sr. Integration Technician (long name, but really I built servers, PCs, laptops, Point of Sale Devices, blade servers, storage devices, etc) for the largest IBM Business Partner in the world. I did this for a sales staff of over 500 people for 10 years. Since it was 2009, everyone was laid off, and I found I had to reinvent myself if I wanted to land a job. While I went back to school to earn a degree in finance, I also realized I was still telling myself stories (more now than ever as I had more trouble falling asleep while trying to support a family). There was one story in particular I kept coming back to and I told my wife I wanted to write a book. She has always supported me fully. While I still needed a job, she lets me write whenever the mood strikes (usually at night while the rest of the house is in bed). Anyway, that book turned into a series and has led me down the path of others.
Books I've written (Available):
The Unknown Man (2012) Book 1 in the Keepers of the Orbs
The Rising Past (2015) Book 2 in the Keepers of the Orbs
The Final Offering (2016)
A Shadow Within (2017) Book 3 in the Keepers of the Orbs
Books I've Written (Unpublished):
Saukarian Children (2016) Rough draft at this point, but working with my critique group to improve.
Vampire's Curse (2016) Publishing in 2018
The Final (Untitled) Book in the Keepers of the Orbs Series (2018) Publishing sometime in 2018
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Die from cancer, or become a vampire? Unable to face death, Chris takes the easy way out. Now he’s on the run and everyone he loves is in danger.Share Tweet LinkedIn Embed pszr.co/fcZOh 1960 views
|Science Fiction & Fantasy Urban|
|4 publishers interested|
There's no other way to say it; cancer is a bitch. When I was fifteen, Doctor's diagnosed me with a rare brain tumor and gave me five years to live. With my death imminent, I made a deal with the Devil. Well, not the real Devil, but one of his minions for sure. Out of options, I accepted an offer for eternal life. I agreed to become a vampire. And all I had to offer in exchange was one year of service to a Duke named Aldric. What is one year in the grand scheme of things? Especially, when I'd live forever.
Now, two years later, I have a different view of vampires. I live in the shadows and have no contact with any of my friends or family. I hate what I've become and If I could go back and do it all over again, I would. To make matters worse, Aldric is summoning me for my one year of service. When I refuse, they hunt me like an animal. I'm run over by a car and witness my mother's death at the hands of Aldric's minions. No one stands up to-let alone refuses-Aldric, but enough is enough. I can't live like this. I'm always watching over my shoulder, and fear each new person I meet is on a mission to kill me. This is not a second lease on life; it's torture and the only way it will end is if I kill Aldric. It's time for him to die.
I'm a big fan of vampire books and wanted to do something a little different. Everyone know's sunlight is bad for vampires. So is a wooden stake to the heart. I wanted to challenge these norms and create a vision where vampires are mixed with the regular population of Earth. Your best friend could be a vampire. Would you even know?
Prologue - <Setting the stage for the rest of the book> Chris is in the hospital. His death is right around the corner. He knows it. His family knows it. So too does Byron, a vampire, who gets Chris to agree to transform. Cancer will bother him no more.
Chapter 1 - Chris is in a strip club celebrating the two year anniversary of his death, when he is interrupted by two Teufelhunds. HIs payment for becoming a vampire is one year in service to Aldric, but he refuses to go. He barely manages to escape the club when he's hit by a car while fleeing.
Chapter 2 - The driver of the car is an old high school friend, although he doesn't recognize her at first. She works at the tattoo parlor next to the strip club and offers to take him to the hospital. Upon recognizing him, she wants to understand how he is alive when he should be buried in the ground.
Chapter 3 - The Teufelhunds catch up to them and ram into Michelle's car as a chase ensues. Their car is forced from the road, leaving Michelle and Chris to run on foot.
Chapter 4 - Michelle doesn't understand how she ended up here. She wants to make sure Chris is safe, but now she's on the run too. As much as she want's to run, she doesn't know where else to go.
Chapter 5 - They follow a small river and stumble across an old barn. Michelle is freezing and Chris fears for her health. After hours of walking, she passes out. He carries her to the barn where he tries to keep her comfortable till morning.
Chapter 6 - They wake up just before the sun comes up. Chris sees two Teuflehunds searching for them outside. They wait for the creatures to move on, before walking into town and securing a vehicle.
Chapter 7 - Knowing he's being hunted, Chris decides to take Michelle to his family cabin in the mountains. On their way, he receives a call from his mother. HIs family is in trouble and he changes course.
Chapter 8 - Michelle and Chris arrive at the cabin, but his family isn't there. They find a live video feed on the television. The Teufelhunds punish him for failing to live up to the agreement they established when he turned to a vampire. They threaten Chris' Mom, Dad and Sister as Chris pleads for their lives.
Chapter 9 - Chris' mother is bludgeoned to death as he watches helplessly. The Teufelhunds give him seventy-two hours to turn himself in, or the rest of his family will die just as painfully as his mother has. He vows to make Aldric pay for what happened to his mother.
Chapter 10 - After calming his emotions, Chris leaves Michelle to hunt. With what he has in mind, he'll need his full strength and searches for wild animals under the midnight moon. He is ambushed by two Teufelhunds, but these ones are different; they're hunters.
Chapter 11 - Michelle wakes up in the cabin and looks at the clock. Chris should have returned from hunting hours ago. Afraid, she grabs a bow and heads out in search of him. She looks for hours, before she sees and explosion of light. Changing course, she rushes to Chris' aid.
Chapter 12 - After killing one of the creatures, the other has him pinned down. Michelle saves him by shooting an arrow through its eye. Chris unintentionally swallows some of the Teufelhund blood, something he's been warned against since the day he'd become a vampire. He slips into a delusional state.
Chapter 13 - After regaining consciousness, but with quite a hangover, Chris and Michelle head back down to the city. They're followed by several black SUVs. They do their best to ditch them in traffic.
Chapter 14 - More SUVs join the chase and so too do the cops. They find solace in a greenbelt, and ditch their motorcycle for their legs. They hide in a mall, assuming nothing can happen to them a crowded public place. Chris finds two young vampires and notices his senses have changed. Things don't smell the same and he worries the Teufelhund blood has changed him.
Chapter 15 - The first step in getting to Aldric, is to find the vampire who changed Chris two years ago. They find him in a hospital, preying on other terminal patients. Chris captures and confronts him. An altercation breaks out. They'd fought many times when Chris was a new vampire and no one was mortally injured. This time is different. After Chris wounds him, Byron turns to dust and flies away with the wind.
Chapter 16 - Mortified by what happened, Chris and Michelle take Byron's vehicle as they try to understand what has happened, but the SUVs are back. They collide on the highway and Chris' vehicle crashes into the guardrail. Michelle is impaled by metal, and Chris makes it worse when he pulls her from the car. She's bleeding to death.
Chapter 17 - Hearing sirens in the distance, Chris panics and takes Michelle's body into the wilderness. He finds a secluded place. With tear filled eyes and conflicted emotions, he does the only thing he can to save her. He turns her into a vampire. She's furious at him for what he's done and leaves him to go her own way.
Chapter 18 - Michelle storms away, frustrated by what Chris did. At least he had a choice. She never had the opportunity, and now she's a vampire. With her new abilities, she truly sees the beauty of nature surrounding her, when she is captured by several Teufelhunds.
Chapter 19 - With one day gone, and only two remaining until he needs to turn himself in, he makes his way back to town and visits with his business partner Marco. He's been a vampire much longer than Chris and if anyone has information, it will be him. Marco gives him the phone number of a rival clan of vampires, before kicking Chris out of his house.
Chapter 20 - Chris has a confrontation with several DEA Agents. After being let go, he reaches out to the rival vampire clan using the number Marco provided.
Chapter 21 - He is picked up downtown by the other vampires and several Teufelhuinds. They are not pleased by his presence and what he did the previous night. But under orders from their boss, Lubov, they bring him in peacefully. Chris has a conversation with Lubov and is injected with a drug, before falling into unconsciousness.
Chapter 22 - After waking and cleaning up, Chris strikes a deal with Lubov. Turns out he is Aldric's cousin and want's to have a conversation with him, but Aldric always declines. Chris is his way in, and promises to protect him and his family, so long as Chris agrees to work for Lubov. Chris is granted twenty-four hours to finalize his affairs.
Chapter 23 - A voice has been nagging him in his head all day long. Finally, he realizes it is Michelle reaching out to him telepathically. He finds out she's been captured and is in trouble. He conceives a plan to rescue her.
Chapter 24 - Chris drives frantically for hours, but finally reaches the shed where Michelle is held. Chris storms the shed and kills the Teufelhunds keeping Michelle at bay.
Chapter 25 - On the drive home, Chris realizes Michelle has no training with her new abilities. Using the cover of darkness, they pull over tothe side of the road. He teaches her how to channel the powers of the moon and she discovers her new abilities.
Chapter 26 - Exhausted, they stop at a motel in the middle of nowhere to rest up for the night. After cleaning up in the shower, Michelle invites Chris into her bed. He has sex for the first time.
Chapter 27 - Still riding the high from losing his virginity, Chris cannot sleep. He worries that he's put Michelle into a compromising position. If anything happens to her, he won't be able to live with himself.
Chapter 28 - Chris says goodbye to Michelle and makes her promise to stay out of his fight. He wants her to stay home and if anything happens to him, he makes her promise to flee town. With tears in his eyes, he drives away, unsure if he will ever see her again. He arrives back at Lubov's compound, ready to take the fight to Aldric.
Chapter 29 - Michelle visits with her parents, but is frustrated with Chris' wish for her to stay out of it. After a brief visit with them, she decides she cant stay on the sidelines. She comes up with her own plan to help Chris defeat Aldric once and for all.
Chapter 30 - Chris joins Lubov and his Teufelhund minions. The minutes tick by as they cross the town. Chris is afraid they wont make it in time and his family will be killed. They show up just as the clock strikes 8.
Chapter 31 - Chris and his entourage are sequestered in a small room. Time continues to fly by. Every moment they are stuck in this room, is one step closer to his family dying. Michelle reaches out to him again telepathically. He's relieved to hear she is safe, when they are finally summoned to Aldric in front of thousands of vampires who thirst for blood.
Chapter 32 - Chris' family is safe, for now. They have an audience with Aldric. Lubov tries to get his cousin to see reason. He wants them to join forces, to take over the world. Aldric doesn't want anything to do with Lubov's idea. Chris takes the opportunity and kills Lubov. If he ever has a shot at being free, both of them need to die.
Chapter 33 - Chaos erupts in the hall. Several Teufelhunds attack Chris. He's exhausted and suffering serious injuries. Even though his body can heal itself, the beating is taking its toll. It looks like he finally may die, when several of Aldric's loyal vampires come to his rescue. They give him a silver blade.
Chapter 34 - Chris flees warehouse and follows Aldric outside. They have a final battle. Chris is on the ground, and easy target for Aldric, when Michelle jumps in and distracts him. Chris plunges the silver dagger into the vampires heart. Aldric turns to stone and dies. Chris is reunited with his family.
I plan to market utilizing my platforms on Facebook, Twitter, my blog, my vlog, email subscriber list, website and YouTube. On Facebook I have 206 followers to my page www.facebook.com/jggatewood. I also have over 500 friends on my personal page that I plan to utilize as well. On Twitter I have 1741 followers and am a member of several groups to which I plan on utilizing. I have 50 subscribers to my blog. And I have 528 subscribers to my mailing list through my website.
I will begin with an email campaign where I will highlight Vampire's Curse and the upcoming Pre Order Campaign through Publishizer.com one week before the campaign goes live through my newsletter. I've already created a trailer as well as the attached Author Video that I have posted to YouTube and updated on my website. I will follow up the email with a link to a video two days before the campaign goes live. Both of these will use the email subscriber list of 528 people and I will include all my friends and family to build up the list and help spread the word. On the day of the campaign launch I plan to send out another email to let everyone know they can now pre order Vampire's Curse. I will follow that up with posts on Facebook (to my followers as well as friends and family) and Twitter. I will also release a new video and release a new blog. I plan on documenting my campaign through my blog and will send regular updates. I will also ask my family and friends to share my posts to help spread the word and will rely on paid ads through Facebook and Twitter.
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