Icarus (and other vampish things)

As I’ve been hinting on Facebook for a couple days, I have some news I’d like to share with you: that vampire novel I’ve mentioned, oh-so-casually-here and there over the years, has just been signed with Rhemalda as the first in their Ebook First line. It will be available in print as well, but they’re putting a rush on the Ebook part. But, I digress … the title of said novel is Icarus. Jessica Slate (the main character), is the stunning gal to your left. The cropped picture you see is a part of what we hope to use as the cover.

For the record, this book has been written for a LONG time. I started on it before most Twilight fans were even born. No, I’m not kidding. I’m not jumping on any kind of band wagon here, so on the off-chance that someone gets that impression, allow me to correct you in advance. Jessica Slate, is where the J.S. in my pen name comes from. This novel is more than a little near and dear to my heart. In a way, it is my heart because the original draft (which no one will ever see, so don’t ask) was written before Guardians was even conceived. Two years prior, to be exact. The plot has since been tossed and rewritten, but Jessica herself remains, along with a couple other key characters.

Instead of me giving you a blurb (’cause I totally don’t have one yet), I figured I’d let Jessica give you the 411 on her world, herself. She’s kind of a do-it-yourself gal anyway. SO, without further ado …


“I liked my mortality just fine. Don’t get me wrong; immortality does have its perks. Take dieting for example—kind of hard to do when you’ve only got two choices: fresh blood and slightly less fresh blood. The media makes it all out to be glamorous. Romantic even. But the books, movies and witty television shows have it wrong. Especially the ones that make a big to do about not being wrong (you know, the ones that spell vampire, Vampyr, like it’s original).

And don’t think for a second that I was turned in some amazing, soul-binding, body-meshing way either. I don’t think my libido is damaged enough to forget that kind of rendezvous. Though, to be honest, I don’t recall anything about it. As soon as you’re turned, as soon as anyone is turned, the powers that be rush in like witness protection agents and whisk you off, never to see your family or friends again. Your life changes in ways you never imagined that it could.

Like, the fact that I was kidnapped last night. Totally didn’t see that coming. Not being the Covenant level assassin that I am (did I mention that already? I didn’t get much of a choice in that either—the profession I mean).

Oh, and get this … the creeps who grabbed me claim that my mentor/should-have-kept-it-professional, boyfriend Trinity … is the vampire equivalent to the anti-Christ.

Nice. And to think it’s only Tuesday.

But wait, it gets better. See, there is one fact about vampirism that everyone gets correct: our bodies can’t biologically process natural light. Past that, all I know is that if I don’t partake of my usual dose of Icarus every seven days (provided via injection by the powers that be), I’ll lose my existence as I know it. It allows me to bask in the sunlight, keeps us from exploding into flames and I’ve heard rumors that it’s what makes us immortal. You know, little things.

And I was happy having a tan. I was happy not going through the violent withdrawal that takes place if you miss a dose. I was happy not committing treason.

Now, since Head Creep removed the dosing disc from my arm, whether I had anything to do with it or not, I’m guilty of betraying High Coven. This fact not only sucks (pun intended), it means I’ve been condemned to death.

An assassin … condemned to death. Seems like kind of shitty deal if you ask me.

Really, this guy’s a nut job. I don’t care that he’s hot, or that he gives Christian Bale a run for his money. He claims that Icarus is part of some massive conspiracy, that vampires are a perverse mutation of beings from another universe, and that Trinity (along with some dark army he’s supposedly in charge of) plans to exterminate the human race. Of course, he says this will occur in less than a week.

And damn, wouldn’t you know he’d kidnap me on day 6 of my dose?”

COMING SPRING 2012 !!! From Rhemalda Publishing

21 responses

  1. Just throwing this out there, but if you come up to the Indianapolis area for a book signing, there’s some cigars waiting for you… (I’m not above bribery)

      • Good, because they won’t be those cheap machine rolled Swisher Sweets you like. These will be handrolled, premium cigars. I’m thinking Rocky Patel, Gurkha, Oliva V, Arturo Fuente, Graycliff, CAO, Punch, Kristoff, Davidoff, Montecristo, Don Pepin Garcia–you know: GOOD cigars.

        And now, I’m craving one. Damn. Oh well, good thing my humidor is stocked.

  2. JS, I love this. Kind of a first person intro to the story. Better than a blurb in the sense that I’m drawn in already, not just sold by a clever blurb(which I am quite sure you are capable of). The photo is the icing and the lead in, at the same time. Cool….

    • Thanks Daniel! The rewrite of this ancient script came from an exercise in first person that morphed wildly out of control. The original was third person (and hand written, I wrote it in-between classes). This time, Jessica just kind of … took over.

      I wasn’t sure how to best give you a glimpse of her snark and sincerity without giving too much away (there are secrets in this novel like everything else I write). SO, why not just let Jessi tell you herself? The blurb may eventually be a modified version of this. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? And the picture just did me in once I saw it. It’s Jessi through and through.

      I agree with your Twitter comment, that there are a multitude of things in the publishing world not being utilized. Rhemalda used this same snippet in their ‘announcement’ about the book on their blog earlier today. I got lucky, Rhemalda redefines the word, progressive. They know it’s a changing industry and don’t care about elitist rules or convention. Frankly, I love them.

      You need to do a guest post for me, by the way.

      • Hi, Yes I’d love to see you expand on her as a blurb, only it would be much better than a blurb. I do a first person kind of volley with my character @ChaseRage on Twitter. He’s the character in an action series I’m working on and I have him talk to fans as himself on his Twitter page. I’ve had people actually respond as if he’s real, which….he is….like your blondie…(laughing). It’s all still very much a key element in literature and estanblishing a bond with the writing, author and the characters, which all should come to life in every way, in my opinion. I think, as you say, you will find people, fans, highly receptive, particularly when they feel more a part or involved in the entire “world” of the story. With Chase, people don’t want to talk to me, they want to talk to him, so, they do. I think you will have great success witht this bold move and I applaud your effort, not just because I agree with it but because it’s a bold stroke on the canvas of this industry in a fresh new color, a color it sorely needs. I’d be happy to blog for you, I will be online tomorrow too. Let’s talk.

  3. This post sounds wonderful for two reasons:

    1) I’m so damned glad that I wasn’t the only one writing vampire stories well before Twilight made them uber popular…and that I have great vampire ideas that extend past sparkling skin and humans-are-worth-saving mentalities

    2) I WANT TO READ YOUR STORY 🙂 I’ve loved vampire stories since who knows when!!!!

    And I love your revelation about your pen name, “J.S.” I’m all smiles 😀

    • This was around the time Lost Boys came out, and Interview with a Vampire, etc. Those few years between the two events included a plethora of low budget vamp flicks whose names I can’t recall. All of that led to this alternate earth where vampires exist.

      Umm …. I might be emailing you before this thing goes to edits. I could use another set of eyeballs on it. Since you just read my comments on Leigh’s blog, lol, you already know how I feel about sharing my work with other writers (*grins*). But, if you’re interested when the time comes, I’d love it if you’d gloss through it. It won’t be until mid-late June because I’m wrapping up Nightshade still.

    • Oh! Vampires actually…you know, vampire-ing! This is on my to read list as of now (I’ve always been a huge fan of vampire novels, Twilight aside–the tales of sparkly va-meyers are an “Eh, be better if she didn’t try to call them vampires, by the way where’s the plot?”). I like it already.

  4. Love it! Another must-read. 🙂

    My wife, Betsy, came up with a new word for that…*ahem* “other” breed of vampire last week:

    Vammeyer: n. A creature that is similar to a vampire in every respect except for the fact that it sparkles in the sunlight, does not have fangs yet is venomous, has no problem with crucifixes, holy water or entering homes unwelcome, cannot change into a creature of the night, and enjoys sneaking into 16 year-old girls’ bedrooms and just watching them sleep rather than sucking their blood.

  5. Don’t you hate how all supernatural novels, especially ones with vampires, get compared to Twilight like Twilight is the authority on supernatural novels? Smh. I was writing Savior of the Damned back before Twilight got popular, when my librarian told me not many people ever checked it out. Anyway, it sounds good! I’m all for the supernatural genre, of course. ^_^

  6. I’m SO excited for you on this one, hunny. A manuscript that is so close and dear to your heart, that is actually going out into the public arena, is amazing. Oh, I know that it’s not the original-original, but it’s come from there, and from within you. It gives even more credence to what you were saying to me the other day… sometimes those written from the heart are the best stories.
    I love your character’s voice in this. Can’t wait to read the rest.
    All the best, my friend. Big hugs!

  7. Got a heavy dose of vampire books cause my wife reads them (cause her little sister by 12 years reads them). Twilight, House of Night, you name it. I’ve read em. Even enjoyed them for the most part. I also am a huge Vampire Hunter D (and general anime) fan.

    I say this to let you know the impact of what it means when I say that I think I would thoroughly enjoy Icarus as a completely new angle on the whole blood-sucker thing. Best wishes on it.

    Oh, and I completely 100% get the thing about having written it long ago and all that. I’ve got that kind of work of my own. I know exactly how dear that type of work can be and why it was not the first you sought to put up to the public eye.

    Keep em coming, J.

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