Book Tour & Giveaway: Thomas Winship, author of Vaempires, on urban fantasy, meandering, and being frakking terrified!
Hello everyone! I’m Thomas Winship, author of Væmpires: Revolution and Væmpires: White Christmas. Both books are part of a new ongoing vampire series that explores the question: what if vampires evolved?
I’m so excited to be today’s guest blogger at GraveTells! Aww heck! Who am I kidding? I’m more frightened than excited. There’s pressure enough in just being invited to write for someone else’s audience, but when I’m doing so as an urban fantasy—quite possibly a dark urban fantasy—author for a site staffed (and stuffed!) by PNR junkies, there’s a very real chance I might screw this up … big time.
Let me rephrase: I’m frakking terrified!
You see, when I found out I was invited to be a guest blogger at GraveTells, I said, “Hell yeah.” I assumed that any blog with the word “Grave” in its name would love dark and dangerous things, like bloody battles, spilled guts, and death galore. The site even states “News & Reviews for Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy Fiction” … so I wandered through the site, ultimately ending up at bios for The Team. Check out these quotes:
DaVinciKittie: “Follow Me” and I’ll guide you on your tour of the best of paranormal romance!
Kenra Daniels: I became addicted (to PNR), and read every title I could get my hands on. It wasn’t long before I was waiting in line on release day to buy new titles in my favorite series.
Rachel Elizabeth: As for the types of books I read? That would be paranormal romance (I have WAY too many book boyfriends to count), urban fantasy, and young adult.
Even The Captain, who claims to love horror/sci fi/fantasy above all else, states I love to write about strong women and sexy men, and am currently working on finishing a PNR book.
Do you see what I see? Paranormal romance everywhere, with but the slightest nod to urban fantasy!
Seeing that, I got nervous and started sweating. I felt like I had just wandered into the wrong place. In fact, it felt exactly the same as on the few occasions I’ve had the misfortune of wandering into a women’s restroom by mistake. For those who’ve never experienced this phenomenon, let me assure you, there are few things more terrifying to a male. I know … I know … adolescents think it would be awesome and sexy and a dream come true, but it is nothing close to that. What does happen is that thought shuts down, the body begins to panic, and internal alarms start blaring. It’s “Danger, Will Robinson!” on an epic internal level.
(Obviously, I can’t speak to the reverse experience for a woman. All I know is that anytime a woman has wandered into a men’s room that I’ve been in, all the men stampeded toward the door, tripping over each other and bumping into walls (and stalls) in their haste to retreat, as if we were the ones in the wrong restroom.)
However, since we’re on the subject of true confessions and awkward situations, let me share this: I sometimes felt the urge to do outrageous things as a child. On one such occasion, I chose prostitution as the subject of an oral report. It’s probably not an appropriate topic in most academic settings, but it’s certainly not in the sixth grade. Of course, I didn’t ask for permission … and, come to think of it, I never had to beg for forgiveness, either. I don’t know whether to be thankful or alarmed, although I suppose it doesn’t matter now. What does matter is that when I presented my report, many of the boys in class snickered, but most of the girls gave each other looks that said, “there’s something wrong with this kid.”
[Returning to the present] So, I trolled through the GraveTells site, beginning to wonder if The Team might give each other similar looks upon reading Væmpires, because it has some PNR ingredients—vampires, teen main characters, and a love triangle—but, then it has some decidedly non-PNR ingredients—a post-apocalyptic world, blood-and-guts action from beginning to end, and zombies.
Anyway, I was sweating and having flashbacks and really thinking I should probably reach out to GraveTells and see if there was some kind of a mistake, because my books are definitely closer to urban fantasy than paranormal romance.
Then paranoia set in and I began fearing that I was being set up in some nefarious, albeit unidentifiable, fashion—something akin to the blog version of being punked …
And I realized, ladies and gentleman, that entertaining thoughts like those are when you know you have shot straight past paranormal romance or urban fantasy (or even dark urban fantasy) into pure fantasy.
Leading me to wonder, once more, if I was in the wrong place.
I hope you enjoyed my guest blog. [As a disclaimer: It was supposed to be humorous. If I failed to make that clear—which is, sadly, all too possible—please accept my sincere apology.] I’d love to hear what you think of it. Comment here, stop by my website, or even drop an email. I’d also love to hear from you if you check out Vaempires. Below are some links where you can find me:
- Books on Amazon.com
- Books on Smashwords
- Books on iTunes
As a final note: I’d like to thank all of you for stopping in and I’d like to offer a very special “thank you” to DaVinciKittie and everyone at GraveTells for allowing me to be a guest blogger today.
Read an excerpt
Daniel’s father would have the situation under control; he’d stop the killing. He was the captain of the guard. He trained for these situations. Hell, Daniel trained for these situations.
There was no answer for three seconds, four seconds, and a finger of fear formed in his stomach.
“Hello.” It was a whisper.
“Daniel, where are you? Tell me you’re not in the city.”
“I am. I’m coming, Dad.”
“No! Don’t come here.” Someone screamed in the background. “There are only a handful of us left.”
“What! How is that possible? Every guard in the city was there.”
“They tricked us, Daniel.” His father’s words were pained. “We were so blind. The væmpires are not only stronger and faster than we realized, but some of them have powers, Daniel.”
“I know, Dad. Some of them can Read memories in our blood.”
“I’m not talking about Reading, Daniel, I’m talking about other powers.”
“Other powers! What do you mean—”
“Shut up and listen! I haven’t got much time.” His father’s whisper was like a shout in his ear. “Some of them teleported. One created a wall of flames. One killed with a touch of her bare hand. And some of them, some changed shapes—they looked like people we knew, other guards, dignitaries, and then they reverted to their true forms before our eyes and attacked.”
“How is that possible?” Daniel cried. “How is any of that possible?”
“How doesn’t matter, Daniel! What matters is that they are much more dangerous than we ever suspected. They killed King Brant, Queen Anne, the human president and the First Lady before we even realized we were under attack. It was a slaughter.”
The words reverberated in Daniel’s mind. The king and queen are dead. Cassie’s parents are dead.
“What about Mom? She’s okay, right?”
“She’s gone, Daniel. I couldn’t save her.”
“Listen to me, Daniel! Get out of the city!”
“No. I’m coming to help. I can—”
“Flee, Daniel. Now!” An explosion made his ear ring. He heard rubble hitting the floor and then labored breathing.
“Daniel.” His father’s voice was weak and thin. “Run. Once they know I’m dead, they’ll come for you. You’ll be the acting king.”
“Who cares about that?”
“The people do, Daniel.” The voice was so low it was almost imperceptible. “Vampires and humans just lost their leaders in one afternoon. The væmpires attacked at least a dozen major cities around the world, vampire and human cities. There’s no telling how many people will be killed before the world even realizes we’re at war, and there’s no telling how the humans will react to being attacked. You must bring this conflict to a peaceful conclusion before it’s too late.”
“Humans wouldn’t dare unleash atomics,” Daniel said, experiencing a wave of unease at the thought.
“There are no limits to what humans will dare,” his father whispered. “Never forget that. It’s their greatest strength and their deadliest weakness.”
About the author
|Thomas Winship was born in Middletown, NY and still resides in Orange County. He holds an MBA in Management from St. Thomas Aquinas College, where he serves as an adjunct professor of courses in English Composition, Communications, and Business. He also spent fifteen years working for a global pharmaceutical company, specializing in organizational development, talent management, and training.
Tom writes in his spare time. His first novel, a mystery/legal thriller entitled Temporary Insanity (a.k.a. Case Closed), was a 2008 finalist in a national contest but failed to garner industry attention. His second novel, Væmpires: Revolution, was published in October and a follow-up novella, Væmpires: White Christmas, was published in December.
He is currently working on the next installment of the “Væmpires” series, which is scheduled for an early 2012 release.
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