Tag Archive: “The Vampyre Blogs – One Day At A Time”



When it came time to work on the cover for “The Vampyre Blogs – I: Coming Home” I was finding myself coming up against a wall as far as cover art ideas went.  The other books had been relatively easy because of their two word titles: “The Bridge” and “The Ship”. But this time the title was much longer, so I needed to come up with something different.

Since we were using the word ‘blogs’ as part of the title, I thought about incorporating a computer or laptop into the picture.  So I experimented with Adobe Photoshop and came up with this image:

While very effective in many respects, some people told me they missed seeing my original artwork on the cover. Many said it helped make our books stand out more.  So I began wracking my brains for a a new cover style and wasn’t coming up with much. Mind you, at this point we had not even started writing the novel and decided not to worry about it.  I figured once the story was written I’d get some inspiration from what we created and borrow from a scene in the story.

Eventually we completed the first draft and started work on a second one and I still hadn’t come up with any solid ideas for the cover.  I’d considered showing the interior of a coffin with a laptop resting on top of the occupant who was typing on it.  The logo I created for the original image could stay and I thought that would be great.   However, my skills at designing and creating a convincing laptop in soft pastel was not up to snuff.  Furthermore, our vampyre does not use a coffin at all, so I scrapped that idea.

Finally, Helen suggested the idea of a room in the old manor that belongs to our vampyre, and to have a laptop amidst all the antique furnishings and cobwebs.  Alas, my skills at making a decent-looking computer had not improved as much as I’d have liked so that held me back.  However, another thought did occur to me.  What if I created an image where we are looking out of one of the windows of the old manor and seeing a shadowy figure (our vampyre) on the night he finally comes home to stay.

I quickly began sketching and testing out a color palette for the view outside the window. Since he was coming home during the autumn I figured lots of leaves on the ground would be appropriate, so I whipped out my reds and golds pastels and set to work. As soon as I got the image started I knew I was onto something. Looking over the story I reminded myself that we’d established there was a small family cemetery out back, and it occurred to me that would be the first place Nathan (our vampyre) would go upon deciding to come home for good. And because people associate coffins with vampires, I threw in the shadow stretching from behind him to help prospective readers make the connection of what he was right away.

 

As view outside the window evolved, I still had to decide whose room the window belonged to. To create a touching contrast to the little cemetery and shadow, by making it the room of his little sister who he adored with all his heart. So I researched some toys a little girl might have back in the 1860’s and put them in front of a window.

After I got the image just the way I wanted, I had to decide on how to present the title and our names. First I tried putting the lettering on top of the image as seen below:

I didn’t really care for this as I really wanted the image to be seen, so I went for borders on the top and bottom of the image and placed the words there instead.

  As you can see I wound up having to put borders on the sides as well, because too much of the image was being cut off in those locations.

Up until this point all the books were novels, but Helen and I decided to try a collection of short stories involving characters from our Para-Earth Series. Most of the collection focuses on the characters from “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home”, however there are a few that also feature some familiar faces from “The Bridge” and “The Ship”. Of course when dealing with multiple stories, we had to come up with a whole new concept for cover art.

On this occasion Helen asked to be the one to take up the challenge and I agreed, especially after I heard what she had in mind. Instead of a single image, she was planning on doing a number of small pieces that would capture scenes from some of the stories in the collection. Originally the idea was to go with eight images, but due to time and life demands she completed four and we went with those.

We thought about using these on the front cover:

Then the other two on the back:

However, once more once we started putting the lettering over the images, things weren’t working. Dark letters blended in too much, and lighter ones were too startling. So we went with all four, sandwiched between a green border with the lettering:

Again this left the images clean and easy to see, while also keeping the lettering away from the edges without being cut off as had happened on “The Bridge” and “The Ship”. I also really liked this concept as it allowed us to give visual glimpses of what the reader would encounter in the collection.

We’ve already decided to keep doing multiple image covers for future short story collections which we already have under way. But that’s a tale for another entry.

Keeping with creating your own cover art, we recently got back to work on our novel “The Door”, which is a sequel to both “The Bridge” and “The Door”, and focuses on the cast of characters from those books. With this in mind, I knew we’d want to keep the cover for the latest installment in the same style as those two books. So I began sketching and experimenting with designs….

TO BE CONTINUED…


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Just $3.99, or FREE for Kindle Unlimited subscribers.

26 Tales of Para-Earth Encounters
Spanning 150 years answering many questions about your favorite vampyre and his friends such as:

– How did a Nathan manage to continue to serve the Union Army in the Civil War after becoming a vampyre? 

-How did he and The Professor meet?

-Why did Lisa and Marisa drift apart?

-Has Nathan or his friends ever met any of the characters from “The Bridge” or “The Ship”?

-Who else has had a Para-Earth encounter?

Plus much more!

So go ahead grab your copy today!

*And remember the holidays area almost upon us and you can order Kindle books for family and friends, you can even have them delivered on a specific date such as Hanukkah, Christmas, and birthdays.

Just click below to start your shopping:

https://www.amazon.com/Vampyre-Blogs-Anthology-Para-Earths-Para-Earth-ebook/dp/B07KMN78B2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1543590262&sr=8-1&keywords=the+vampyre+blogs

*And remember to check out the other books in our Paranormal/Sci-Fi series which have been compared to the Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits, as well the works of Dean Koontz, HP Lovecraft, and other creators of surprise and suspense.


ONLY 6 MORE DAYS UNTIL…

– 26 tales that span 150 years

– Stories of love, laughter, tears, wonder, hope, growth and wonder

– Kindle $3.99/Trade Paperback $15.99

-Pre-Orders are available now at:

And now a sneak peek…

“The Snowman”

December 2014

by Helen Krummenacker

     A chilly December evening was made cozy not only by the fireplace, but the scents of vanilla, cinnamon, and ginger from baking in the kitchen. Marissa turned the radio to a station playing all Christmas music. Isabella was excited even beyond the average child at Christmas time, for this was her first Christmas tree, her first time seeing fairy lights, and even the radio was a novelty for her. She would sit on the sofa, stare at the tree and get up again every few minutes to better distribute the ornaments for color balance and even presentation.

     Marissa and Lisa were helping Nathan with paper chains, a decoration he remembered from his childhood. The girls were using a ladder to reach high, but Nathan took care of sites out of their reach. Otto, having recently surrendered the kitchen to Penny, who was making a couple of her own favorite treats, had started to show Richard how to wire pine and holly into swags to place around. “So ‘Boughs of holly’ are just branches done up to decorate the place?”

     “Yes. Deck and decorate have the same word as a root.”

     “Ain’t that something. I always wondered about that song. Especially the gay apparel.”

     “That meant jolly, bright colored, festive.”

     “And that makes ‘Johnny Comes Marching Home’ a lot better,” Richard laughed. The professor was all right by him. Strange and a little weird how he treated the boss like a kid sometimes, but when he was around, you always felt a little bit smarter.

      Just then, a new tune came on the radio. “Frosty the snowman, was a jolly, happy soul–”

    “Turn that off!” Otto snapped. Isabella looked at him in shock a moment before heading to the radio and pushing the big circle button she’d learned made these new electric things go on or off. “I’m sorry… I just do not like that song,” he explained, suddenly aware that everyone was watching him, puzzled by his uncharacteristic change of mood. “I really do not like it. You would not like it, either, if you knew how dangerous that snowman could have actually become.”

     “Wait, Frosty was real?” Marissa asked skeptically.

    “There are more things on heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy,” quoted Otto, then sighed. “Yes. Frosty was real, and he was the result of my missing an important detail and behaving carelessly.”

     “Story time!” Lisa called out.

     “Oh, yes, we have to hear about this,” Marissa added.

     “Really?” Otto asked, as if surprised by the attention.

     “Even I haven’t heard this one,” said Nathan, “and it sounds like a doozy.”

    Otto took a seat on the sofa, next to Isabella, and the others gathered around. Richard kept at it with the greenery, but still cocked an ear and moved so he could see Otto’s face and gestures. Taking a deep breath, the professor began to tell the tale in a rich, melodic voice…


****COMING DECEMBER 1st, THE LATEST INSTALLMENT OF THE PARA-EARTH SERIES****

Twenty-five stories, spanning 150 years…

“The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home” introduced a new cast of characters to the Para-Earth Series. This anthology answers and raises questions about their backstories and relationships.

What otherworldly threats has the Professor dealt with? How did Nathan’s altered self affect his service in the Civil War? What other mysteries linger on Nathan’s estate? What did a German like the Professor do during WWII? Who are some of the other people Nathan has met over his unnaturally long life? Are Nathan and the Professor the only ones who’ve had close encounters with Para-Earth beings?

These and more, including the return of certain characters from “The Bridge” or “The Ship” will be explored within these pages.

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KINDLE PRE-ORDERS BEING TAKEN NOW AT THE LINK BELOW: 

Thank you cardFirst I’d like to thank all the guest bloggers, authors, and reviewers who were so kind to supply our blog with posts. It gave me some much needed time to get some rest and help family members who had suffered a terrible loss. It also allowed us to get back to work on our anthology “The Vampyre Blogs – One Day At a Time” which will be coming out in early October, a perfect time for creepy stories and tales of encounters with strange beings. With only two stories left to be completed and edited, we will soon be lining up Beta-Readers and then doing our final edits.

Work has also been progressing on “The Door” latest full-length novel in the Para-Earth Series, and “The Pass” the first installment in a brand new series co-written with Richard Caminiti.

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In the meantime, I have been studying and purchasing the necessary equipment to begin audio-readings. As you can see below I’ve been slowly setting up a “Recording Studio” in our office/guest room.

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Now some of you may be asking “Why are you doing this? Don’t you have enough writing to do?” Well the answer is simply, a growing number of people have been telling us that they’d love to get our books but they prefer “Audiobooks” because they don’t always have time to sit and read. Or they lose track of the book they’re reading, etc-etc. This I can believe because I know a number of our co-workers are driving from over the hill from San Jose or Monterey, you name it. Plus, there are a number of folks who always have earbuds on and are not always listening to music.

“Why do it yourselves? Why not hire someone to do the reading and converting them into audiobooks?”

Once more I refer back to a number of folks who’ve actually heard me doing public speaking and reading aloud who insist I should be the one to do the audio-readings. And there are a number of readers who would prefer to hear the words spoken by the one who actually wrote them. This is a preference I share, I love hearing the author bringing their work to life because who understands the story better than they do?

As for how soon will any of our books be ready for audio? I’ll simply say that we’re just experimenting with audio-readings at this point. I’m going to try my hand at some classic short stories by others like HP Lovecraft and share them here and on YouTube to get feedback and maybe some tips from those who are more experienced in doing audiobooks. Furthermore, I want to know what it’s like doing audio recordings, who knows it may lead to a new character or even a storyline. After all they say write what you know, and drawing from life is always a much more satisfying for me when I’m creating a story.

Now if any of you are interested in hearing what happens on this little journey, I am planning on sharing in detail what I experience and learn as this adventure continues. I’ll be starting with the equipment and why some of it was chosen in an upcoming entry. And as I said before, I’ll be sharing some of the actual audio recordings for you all to get a taste of what the results are like.

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Again some of my first attempts will be short pieces by other authors some which are in the Public Domain. I’m choosing those first because there is a volunteer project called LibriVox which is similar to Project Gutenberg which takes books/stories in Public Domain and are making them available for free here on the internet. However, it’s much easier to reproduce typed words than it is to get audio versions and LibriVox depends on volunteer readers to record and submit works for public enjoyment, especially for those who are blind for instance.

So, that’s all I have to report for now. In the meantime we’ll finish getting the anthology “The Vampyre Blogs – One Day At a Time” ready for release, as well as getting other writing projects closer to finished first drafts.

Until next time, keep writing!

Life Gets Complicated Sometimes…


****HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL****

Last year ended on a few rough notes for us, namely all our holiday plans for visiting family and friends were rudely interrupted by two very nasty cases of Flu and Bronchitis.  We are happy to report that the two of us are finally on the mend.  However, life has been throwing us some other curve balls in the meantime, such as we are looking for a new place to live since our current location requires a commute to work that can last from 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours one way, which means we spend a good 2-3 hours a day in the car going to and from our jobs.  This is of course leaves us very little time for writing, editing, correcting or even braining story ideas.  

 

Between the commute from Hell and being sick, we’ve had little or no time to work on anything lately.  Thus the release of the anthology “The Vampyre Blogs – One Day At A Time” has to be pushed back at this time.  We’re not sure when it will be released, other than the fact that it WILL come out sometime this year, the question is simply WHEN? 

 

Currently we have been looking at new apartments much closer to work which would leave us more time and more importantly ENERGY to write and work on the backlog of stories we have planned.  There are at least 4-5 books already under way, some are much more advanced than others.  In one case we have a complete “Untitled” 1st draft of a two book saga focusing on Brandon Elliott (the ghostly figure who watches over Cassandra in “The Bridge” and “The Ship”).  However, his story cannot be told until “The Door” has been finished and released (hopefully later this year).  The reason for the delay is the fact that certain events must unfold in the present day, before Brandon’s story, along with certain family secrets that take place back in early 1800’s, can be fully revealed.

 

*Note: This is not the final version of the cover

The eagerly awaited second installment in “The Vampyre Blogs” side of the Para-Earths Series is also currently under way.  Those who read the first book, already got a glimpse into where the second book will begin and we have also given readers a glimpse to the approaching danger that threatens not on Nathan and those he loves, but the entire town of Pointer.  (Click on these links to read that short story: 

 
 

Also under way, is “The Pass” my first collaboration with my old high school friend Rich Caminiti.

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This has been the most challenging pieces we’ve worked on, since all of the book has been worked on by long-distance, file-sharing, and Skype sessions.  This is one of the first full-length Para-Earth entries to be set in the past where we meet people and ‘others’ from this reality taking on a threat form a Para-Earth that could not only change the course of the Civil War, but the survival off all life on this Earth.  Oriental mysticism, American history, and Native American folklore come together in this epic tale that will keep the readers on the edge of their seats.  

 

Finally, Helen and I have also started bringing characters from “The Ship” and “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home” together in the upcoming “Misty Mountains”, which brings the readers back to the shores of Santa Cruz (where the events of “The Ship” took place).  Julie Cloudfoot’s younger brother Johnny and his new girlfriend the mysterious Michelle, are house-sitting Cassandra’s beach residence when they meet a strange fellow named “The Professor” (aka Professor Otto Hofstadter from “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home”) near the tide-pools at Natural Bridges.  Their meeting becomes the backdrop of a new Para-Earth threat that has entered this world.  A threat that will place all three into terrible dangers from not only the intruding life-forms, but illegal drug wars.

 

So as you can see we have a lot in store for you all coming up.  But first we need to get re-settled and free up our time and energies.  We ask for your patience and understanding in the meantime and will be keeping you all updated on what’s happening and how we’re doing here on our official website.   

 

You can also subscribe to this website by using the sign-up link, located at the bottom of the Home Page, and receive notifications of all new updates.  We will be posting several times a month sharing information about our thoughts on the writing process, book reviews, and  of course updates on our own works in progress.

 

Thank you all for your continued support, and may the new year bring you all much joy and pleasure in all aspects of your lives.   

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