Guest Post: Finding My Place In An RHP World By Gregory Marshall Smith
Bored and not willing to watch all 12 hours of the SuperBowl pre-game, I checked out a blog site hosting some excerpts from my latest novel, Hunters. Some of you might have heard of The Wytch’s Mirror. The most recent post was from Nickie Asher, one of my fellow authors at Red Hot Publishing.
She explained a bit about Everything Erotic, one of RHP’s subgroups.
That made me wonder how I, a 30-year professional sports writing veteran who publishes old-school science fiction and horror, got involved with an outfit known for putting out stories about, well, “putting out.”
I was going to say different strokes for different folks, but I probably just gave Ms. Asher, Danielle Gavan (my tour sponsor) and my publisher C.J. Ellisson another story idea.
Anyway, the answer to the question is that I “met” C.J. online through Facebook (I say “met” because we’ve never actually seen each other in person; welcome to the Brave New World). Originally, our first venture together was Wicked Writers, which had five independent authors, each with a different genre specialty. That eventually folded.
C.J. was already involved in her erotica groups and had put together Red Hot Publishing. I was a bit surprised to get her invitation to sign on with RHP. As I mentioned before, I do not write erotica. In fact, there might be one mild sex scene in Hunters. Compared to Vampire Vacation, it wouldn’t even qualify as the lead-in to foreplay.
I guess I could still try erotica. That seems to be selling really well. I tried mixing it once with science fiction with disastrous results (in the fortunately hard-to-find original version of Slow Boat to China).
Until I achieve even one-tenth the proficiency in erotica that C.J. Ellisson has, I will stick to my guns and write science fiction and horror.
So, let’s forget all this erotica stuff and get to the heart (no pun intended) of Hunters.
I freely admit to crafting this book to counteract all the mushy schtick in Twilight. Hunters is old-school with a few modern twists thrown in to the age-old story of man vs. vampire.
Louis Riordan runs North Texas like a dictator. One of the most powerful vampire masters in North America, he still fears one thing — the Supreme Vampire Council, based out of Europe. To counteract that threat, he is forming an alliance of 16 of the top clan masters in North America, with himself as the head, of course.
He’s not worried. He’s got Lin Tang as his main enforcer. As beautiful as she is lethal, she has been trained by the legendary Lo Chang to be one of the best assassins, alive or undead. With her personal army spread out across the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, Tang can all but assure her master, Riordan, of being named to head the alliance.
However, Riordan and Tang’s world is about to come crashing down, for there are Hunters in town. A small group of determined humans has banded together to take down Louis Riordan and, by extension, Lin Tang. Among the group is Cantrell Ryker, who is supposed to be dead but still breathes and carries with him a deadly secret Tang would kill for.
The secret? When Lo Chang breathed his last in an agonizing, tortuous death atop a mound of fire ants, the last thing he saw was the visage of Cantrell Ryker.
As you can see, the vampires are not the good guys here.
I did my best to create interesting characters and set up a great plot with believable action. I think I’ve succeeded, if the compliments of readers count at all. That said, I must warn future readers that my books tend to contain lots of major and minor characters, to better reflect real-world settings.
My characters are old-school vampire hunters in a modern world of technology. But, they still face the same old problems — evil, corruption, greed, ignorance, naiveté.
These are subjects I have experienced and seen far too many times in my 30-plus years of journalism and in my life, in general.
Perhaps that’s why I stick to the old stuff — for better or for worse, it never truly gets old. The problems will never go away and no amount of sugarcoating (or sparkling) will cover it up.
Maybe that’s my place in this world — to keep the reading audience aware of that fact.
(Hunters is available at Amazon.com).
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Synopsis: Once, Lin Tang was a naive teenager, keeper of an ancient mystical art on an isolated mountain in China. In one rebellious moment, she left her home for the bright lights of Shanghai. Just as quickly, her naïveté turned her into a creature of the night, concubine for one master after another until she fell into the hands of Louis Riordan. Then, after many painful hours of training with sensei Lo Chang, she transformed herself into Riordan’s lethal enforcer and one of the most feared vampires in North America.
Her old life lost to her, she has made the most of her new one, building a mini empire of power and respect. But, it is all about to end. A band of humans has dared to challenge her master, Riordan. Even worse, unbeknownst to her, one of those humans is Cantrell Ryker, her most hated enemy, literally returned from the grave. Soon, Lin Tang will be in the most important fight of her life, for these humans, these Hunters won’t stop until they’ve taken her very soul.
About The Author:
Gregory Marshall Smith, raised in Medford, Massachusetts is a decorated Navy veteran and 30-plus year journalism vet. He is the author of the novellas Crawl, Slow Boat to China, The 11th Hour and They Call the Wind Muryah, along with two anthologies. His short stories have appeared in Farspace 2, Ikiry?, Starlight, Yokosuka Nights, Writer’s Bump, Far Side of Midnight, True Horror, Separate Worlds, Mini-World and SFH Dominion, among others. Hunters is his latest novel.
Never married, he currently resides in South Carolina where he hosts a radio show, acts in movies and television, volunteers and covers black college sports.
Gregory welcomes email and you may contact him at email@example.com.
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