Archive for Trolls

How Many Vampires Fit in an Elevator?

Posted in Curiosity, Fiction with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 2, 2012 by Deborah Riley-Magnus

Funny how we writers think. Sometimes we’re overly concerned about whether it’s clear that our character took the car keys with him or buttoned her coat, and other times we feel it’s vital to make our fiction as solid as indisputable scientific fact.  Believable fiction is always the best, but there are times I think maybe we go too far.

When I’m not writing Urban Fantasy, I’m an author success coach, a book reviewer and an acquisition editor for a small publisher. Trust me, I see it all, from the car keys obsession mentioned earlier, to the mammoth scientific explanations as to why a werewolf changes during the full moon. Sometimes it’s entertaining, other times it gets a little boring, but every time I see this kind of thing I understand with my whole heart. It’s the process.

Take my Twice-Baked Vampire Series. I knew I was crossing a bazillion lines with the concept of a double-dead vampire getting a chance to earn his way into heaven. The words Redemption and Vampire are never mentioned in the same sentence and getting this concept into the realm of the believable took a lot … of editing. I, like just about every other fantasy and urban fantasy author in the planet. felt that I not only had to tell my readers how many vampires fit in an elevator … I had to convince them.

Back up and punt is a way of life when the editing part of a writers journey comes along and my best editors are the first round of vital eyes … my friends. Nope, they’re not writers or certified, diploma toting editors … they’re average readers with average readers’ eyes and thought processes. They are the prototype for the book buyers down the road. I honestly think that no qualified line editor could be as brutal as a friend (the one you spent detention with years ago) writing a note on your manuscript that says “all right already! I get it!” These readers are priceless because they help me take the temperature of the market. Real editors? Of course I and my publishers use them too, but by the time they see the book, I’ve created a world and reality that is palatable, enjoyable and hopefully pretty darn believable.

Personally, I like the supernatural details in the everyday life events. That cookie recipe your Aunt Mary has, how come they always taste slightly different, made you feel slightly giddier, looked slightly more inviting than when anyone else in the world makes them? Is it because Aunt Mary is so sweet and special and loving? Or, is it because Aunt Mary is part Fae and uses an ingredient that comes trough her fingertips and makes those cookies irresistible!  And that kid playing Little League Baseball at the park across the street. Is he really that extraordinary? Does he really have a stronger, more accurate arm than any other ten year old in the world? Does he carry himself like Chipper Jones because he loves the Atlanta Braves? Or is that little boy actually a pure bread werewolf destined to be in the Cooperstown Baseball Hall of Fame along with a few of his own kind we never knew about? My mind is always roiling with these possibilities. Are those colorful auras in the room really ghosts who came uninvited to my party? Maybe I’m just tired? Maybe they are ghosts. The dishwashers working in a professional kitchen are all seal shape-shifters. The bank teller was once a statue overseeing a mummified Egyptian king’s fortune. The elderly crossing guard at the corner of Westfield and Bower Hill is really Merlin. My sister is really … well, you get the point. When ideas twist and swirl like Dorothy’s Kansas tornado, any writer feels the responsibility to defend and explain their concepts.

But in the end it isn’t about how many vampires I think fit in an elevator or how many trolls I think it takes to change a light bulb. It’s not even about whether I think my Aunt Mary is part Fae … it’s all about what I can make you believe.

Now, believe it or not, something just tapped me on the shoulder and whispered “GET BACK TO WORK”. I’m not even going to try to explain that one.

Vampire Explored is a blog by Deborah Riley-Magnus, author of “Cold in California”, and “Monkey Jump” books #1 and #2 of the Twice-Baked Vampire Series!

Love with the Perfect Supernatural

Posted in Curiosity, Mythology with tags , , , , , , , on June 29, 2012 by Deborah Riley-Magnus

It happens. All the time. Some unwitting human falls head over heels for a supernatural creature. A Vampire who makes them buzz with sexual desire. A Fae  bad boy who charges their batteries. A Werewolf who completely understands them. Humans are extremely susceptible to supernatural beings. Even Trolls have a sweet side, even though they tend to smell a little like burned dirty socks. Supernatural sexuality is dynamic, diverse and nothing like a human expects. Look around you. How many of your friends do you think are involved with or married to a Leprechaun, Gnome, Pixie or Shape-Shifter. My guess is that lots of people fall for these beings. They lust for them, fight with them, break-up with them and never, EVER recover from the experience.

Let’s play a little SUPERNATURAL DATING GAME. Which of these creatures do you think you’ve already had dinner and a movie or more with?

VAMPIRE – He or she works the night shift, prefers Bloody Marys or beer with tomato juice over vodka-anything. They tend to be pale and avoid the beach at all costs, wears sunglasses all the time and talk quietly. They are volatile in nature, argue at the drop of the hat and have a criminal record hidden somewhere in their past they never talk about. In bed, well the experiences are off the chart. Your Vampire lover wants sex all the time, especially in the middle of the day with thick curtains drawn and a glass of cranberry juice on the nearby dresser. They have no opinion on your day-to-day life, and expect you to drop everything when they call. (Hey, I just described both of my ex-husbands!) They are selfish but protective of their possessions (including and especially you) to the extreme. When their full attention is on you, they make you feel like the best thing walking on two legs.

PIXIE – Well these guys and gals take the cake for sexual dynamos. Surpassing the Vampire by a mile, Pixies simply can’t get enough and they don’t particularly care who it’s from. Loyalty and fidelity are not part of the Pixie lexicon. They’re stunning to look at, have not a single working brain cell in their head and avoid conversation at all costs. You’ll never notice though, because a Pixie can distract you with a sensual look, a teasing touch and a few magical sighs that drop you right onto your back, ready, willing and able. Pleasure is the name of the Pixie game, and if they can get a few laughs along the way, it makes their lives even better. Go ahead, date a Pixie but don’t be looking for anything with promise. One day, maybe in the middle of the best sexual climax you’ve ever had, they’ll simply disappear … off on the next adventure. You will have a few grains of Pixie dust on the carpet to sweep up, though.

WEREWOLVE – Ah, the damaged, troubled, doe-eyed lore of the Werewolf is irresistible to humans.  Even if you’re the kind of person who seeks out relationships with self-empowered, self-sustaining, emotionally-stable partners, one whiff of a Werewolf will change all that. These creatures are deeply broken by their lot in life. Beautiful, strong and powerful, they are emotionally shattered, constantly worried … the kind who over-insure themselves to protect their mates. A Werewolf is definitely the marrying kind. Children may not be in the cards because they’re so afraid of passing on their terrible curse, but you can’t find a better wife or husband. Loyal as a Labrador and partial to quiet nights at home, what you’ll have with your Werewolf is plenty of peaceful evenings, snuggled on the couch with a beer and a good movie partner. Once a month your Werewolf will disappear for a few days. At first you won’t notice, then you’ll get jealous because he or she is unwilling to explain where they’ve been or who they were with. Then you’ll cry and walk away. It’s just how it is. But you’ll always fondly remember the sweet lover who brought you the newspaper every morning.

TROLL – Trolls are the hoarders of the supernatural world and they bring it right into your world the minute you hook up with one. A Troll loves to collect things – stamps, old film posters, Civil War memorabilia, tea pots, thimbles, you name it. As soon as the two of you shack up together, the first thing your Troll does is build shelving and buy curio display cabinets. At first it won’t bother you one bit, after all, a hoarder also collects skills that come in very handy in the bedroom. But soon enough, you will find yourself picking pathways between boxes of stuff waiting for new shelves to live on. Before you know it, there’s no room for you! Then … you discover that your Troll has been collecting something else while you weren’t looking. Trolls are another supernatural race with no regard for fidelity. Trolls collect divorces.

SHAPE-SHIFTER – You already know this guy or gal. You’ve already come across them at work, at the country club, and in your dating life. These are the ones who can change on a dime. One day they have brown hair, the next, flaming red locks. One day they work as a financial analysis and the next, they decide to become housepainters. One minute they’re happy and laughing and the next, out-of-control pissed off. They know things they shouldn’t know, like what the whale on the Discovery Channel program is thinking, or what you talked about in your women’s support group. They recall things more clearly than any human and for a while, you think your lover is just insightful or has a photographic memory.  It’s nice at first, but soon all the always-being-right stuff rags on your nerves. The uncertainty of never knowing what your lover will look like or say or do in the next minute will drive you batty. Unfortunately, when you throw this one out on their ear and adopt the stray kitten that appears at your door a few moments later, the one thing you will miss most is that Shape-Shifters ability to know what you love most between the sheets – all those things that made you squeal with delight. Ah well, for now you have you new kitty friend to talk to. That should be enough to get your life back to normal.

GNOME – Ever met someone who is happy all the time? A not-so-pretty and rather short person who makes you smile and laugh and feel better about yourself? Those, my friends are Gnomes. Wiki’s Mythical Creatures and Beasts Directory says that Gnomes are tiny creatures, but I can tell you that over time, they’ve grown. Some area as tall as five foot five! Short women and men have no issues with partners that height, so the intermingling of these two races is on the rise. Gnomes never make you cry, they never argue and they always see the bright side of everything. Some people like that. Personally, I’d toss a Gnome across the living room is he told me “life is a bowl of cherries”. Gnomes are great gardeners. In fact, most find fantastic careers as landscape and garden designers. It’s not just the green thumb, it’s the instinct for soil, root and bloom that make them so good at it. Real Gnomes never have silly plaster garden gnomes in their yard. It’s a reminder of so many generations of being too short to have sexual relations with the pretty women whose skirts they’d been looking up. Even a silly Gnome knows where heaven is.

LEPRECHAUN – These dudes are more pleasant and luckier than they should be. Never taller than five feet ten, the Leprechaun is the lover who talks about counting cards in Vegas during dinner, develops a system for knowing when his numbers will hit the lottery while having sex with you, and decides which horse to bet on at the track while showering with you. You don’t mind one bit and do you know why? Because this guy ALWAYS wins! Life with a rich Leprechaun can wash away a plethora of evils. You’ll live in a fabulous mansion, wear designer cloths, travel the world every year and, when your Leprechaun lover isn’t thinking about winning the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes, enjoy fabulous sex with an Irish accent! How bad can that be?

FAE – The Fae like multiple relationships and multiple marriage partners and they’re right up front about it. This is the lover who asks for a ménage a trios on the first date. This is the one who loves swapping partners in a group setting. The more the merrier! The Fae are stunning, strikingly gorgeous and completely irresistible. Needless to say, most humans go with the flow wearing a goofy starry-eyed look and bigger than possible smile plastered across their faces. The Fae have an agenda, but no human understands it or can survive a relationship long enough to figure it out. The circus of sexual tension becomes crazy and it’s easy to get sucked into the vortex too long. More than one human involved with a Fae has awakened, years older, exhausted and in need of medical attention. The best thing to do when a Fae crosses your path and asks “Do you wanna?” is to run the other way, but of course, we don’t. The biggest issue with Fae/human relationship is that even though the Fae has been up front and honest about their desires, we still foolishly think we can someday have him to our self. Sad but true.

Okay, now we’ve explored relationships with supernatural creatures. Seriously, would you date any of these guys?

Vampire Explored is a blog by Deborah Riley-Magnus, author of The Twice-Baked Vampire Series. Book #1, “Cold in Californiaand Book #2, “Monkey Jump”. Watch for Book #3, “Amsterdamned” in spring, 2013.

 

Urban Fantasy – The Character of Environment

Posted in Breaking Rules, Cold in California, Curiosity, Fiction with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 11, 2011 by Deborah Riley-Magnus

Readers and writers know all about characters – that they require fleshing out and development, names and backgrounds, personalities, strengths and weaknesses. Readers become attached to the mental image of what that character must look like and how his or her voice might sounds. But there’s more to it than that. More than the description of hair color or warts, more than the story … more than the era or genre.

There’s the environment. And I’m not talking about a little rain or maybe a vague description of a fictitious city here, I’m talking ENVIRONMENT on steroids!

Take Twilight. All that thick cloudy gloom of the Pacific Northwest combines to create a total package for Bella and her experiences. It does more than serve as a literary tool to permit vampires not to sparkle so much as to be recognized, it sets the mood. Now skip over to Charlain Harris’s Dead Until Dark (True Blood). The environment in this series is painted by poor and lower middle class Northern Louisiana. The prolific environment there is the sordid haze of southern prejudice and bigotry.

Environment tells more of the story than plot or characters! Ask any reader about a story they loved and the answer will include everything from location to weather and cultural influence, perhaps before even one character is mentioned. It’s the careful setting of the stage that makes the difference.

In my book, Cold in California, I was determined to make the environment a character in and of itself. Yes, California is the clothing this character wears, but the true environment is the warehouse where 60 or so dead and double-dead supernatural creatures live together. There, secretly hidden in West Hollywood, they try to find ways to behave themselves so they can take advantage of their one last chance to earn heaven. It’s about redemption in a city knee deep in anything but redemption. The warehouse needed to be a canvas for these creatures. It’s not exactly “the island of misfit toys’, it’s more like the Murphy’s Law pathway to the Pearly Gates. This environment needed to do two distinct things. First, the warehouse had to create a safe environment for dead supernaturals to be themselves, and second, it had to be real-world recognized for what it is, a holding tank for the world’s incorrigibles.

The space wanted to feel scrapped together with furniture left on the street for trash pick-up. It needed a system that reminded readers of the unemployment or social security office. And it had to serve every kind of race that might end up there, even Stick Man who is 12 feet tall, so he has a double-wide room where he sleeps on two beds head to head. The warehouse is bricked with history no one knows or wants to know. It has secret areas where the head honcho – like Crudo, the troll in charge – can find a few hours of peace and quiet when he wants. This warehouse makes love to it’s inmates by providing everything each one needs, high walls for one character’s vast collection of murder mystery books, dark corners for the double-dead vampires to lurk and meet and squabble within. Private places for pixie/leprechaun (uh-hem) interaction and a door that closes so that loner and soon-to-be hero, twice-baked vampire Gabriel Strickland, can sulk and bemoan his situation, at least in the beginning.

The warehouse keeps secrets and exposes treachery. It provides safety and yet is extremely vulnerable. It breathes with a life of its own. And it does all that without one line of dialogue or one action. Now, how’s that for a stellar character?

What book environments have impressed you most as you read or wrote them?

Vampire Explored is a blog by Deborah Riley-Magnus, author of “Cold in California”, first in the Twice-Baked Vampire Series!

In author Deborah McNemar’s fun filled fantasy, Faery Tail, no matter how magical, no one is perfect. From a caffeine addiction to a pixie with ADHD, the characters might be faeries but being quirky and supernatural doesn’t make life any less difficult.

Supernatural Characters – What’s in a Name?

Posted in Breaking Rules, Cold in California, Fiction, Humor with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 4, 2011 by Deborah Riley-Magnus

Where were we? Vampires werewolves and trolls, oh my! Here at Vampire Explored we talk about where the paranormal ideas come from and where they go. What they mean and what they don’t mean.

So … let’s play the name game.

What’s in a character name that makes it memorable? Where do these names come from? Do they mean something or are they hard to come up with? Considering the fact that most authors have their own ways of developing character names, I can only speak for myself. Hopefully this is interesting and informative, but also gives you a few laughs. I’m going to do a run through of each of my character names in Cold in Californiahow they came to me and why I used them. Here goes.

GABRIEL STRICKLAND – Hero, twice-baked vampire, loner and skeptic. Gabriel’s name came from the obvious places – my life and heaven. Since the double dead vampire was given a second chance to earn a ticket through the Pearly Gates, I thought it might be nice to have the same name as the gatekeeper. It might (and I stress might) give him a leg up when the time comes. His last name came to me because I liked the hard and soft sound of it. Strickland seemed to encompass all of Gabriel’s personality traits and flaws.

CRUDO CUSHMAN – Crudo is the troll in charge of the secret West Hollywood warehouse where Gabriel must live out his purgatory. The place is crowded with dead supernaturals and Crudo cares (grudgingly) about all the inmates. He definitely wants them to earn their way into heaven, but he’s no pushover, he knows trouble when he sees it. Where did his name come from? No clue. I think he just told me as I began writing him. But think about it … a troll, five foot nothing, swarthy and gruff. What else would his name be?

PETE MALONEY – With so many dead and double-dead supernatural races coping with having to suddenly behave themselves and be good enough to make the grade, Crudo needed some help. Pete Maloney (all around nice guy and demised werewolf) came to me in a dream. He was big and  warm, kinda like everyone’s favorite Uncle Pete so that’s where his first name came from. After that I discovered that inside my head, every time I wrote his dialogue he had a slight Irish brogue. He’s goodhearted, funny, a great friend and support for Crudo. Oh, and Pete has no designs on the big responsibilities. He likes being number two. It suits him just fine.

SHIRLEY – Oh, dead pixie Shirley only goes by one name. She’s the Cher of the warehouse, hot, sexy and insatiable. She’s a gorgeous supernatural woman pretty much living in the middle of an ongoing “squirrel moment”. Self absorbed but sweet, Shirley has an impact on just about everything and everyone at the warehouse. She got her name because I loved the fact that Crudo liked to call her “Shirley Girly” … that and “Trouble”.

NATHAN COOK – How does evil look to most readers? Ugly? Demonic? Nope, startlingly beautiful. I needed a villain that took a reader’s breath away but he too needed a few little distracting flaws. What he had in looks, he certainly wouldn’t have in savvy. Nathan is a bit of an egotistical jerk, the kind of man who as a kid, never got picked for the baseball team, the one who didn’t realize he was walking around with a “kick me” sign on his back or toilet paper on his shoe. As an adult his striking good looks and dark witchcraft put him into a league of his own, so who cared about not being popular, he was powerful. So, his name had to be powerful too. It had to be a name that never politely asked for what he wanted, it demanded.

DORI GALLAGHER – I never met a Dori, much less a Dorianna and when Dori formed in my imagination, I wanted the perfect name for Gabriel to want to roll off his tongue. Dori’s not too pretty or special, in fact, I was really focused on her imperfections that would attract Gabriel. I wanted her to have a name that stood out but not so much it demanded attention. I wanted a name for this woman that told her story … and that’s something shocking you don’t learn until the very last few pages of the book.

And two more for good measure …

FEEVER CLOVELY – Feever Clovely is a dead leprechaun. In my imagining, leprechauns are conniving, grumbling, unhappy beings who are always taking a political stand of some kind. Feever is the head of the West Hollywood Warehouse Leprechaun’s Union and he’s always looking to picket something. Where did his name come from? I have no idea, it was just there the minute he arrived in my head. If you run into a leprechaun one day, maybe ask if it’s a common Lep name.

DON CARSON – Both Feever Clovely, the dead leprechaun and Don Carson, ancient Soul Eater, are small players in Cold in California, but I wanted to touch on their characters and names because both play a huge role in the second book in The Twice Baked Vampire Series, Monkey Jump.  A Soul Eater is immortal, sort of. He serves a Sin Eater. How did this particular Soul Eater get his name? Well … he reminded me of a former boss of mine. Not that the boss was a soul eater, but he was brilliant, a company man who played by the rules and seriously competitive. My Soul Eater needed a contemporary name because he’s always around, trying to do his job. A simple name like Don fit the bill. He seems to like it.

So … there ya go. Character names and where they come from. If you’re a reader, is this what you expected? If you’re a writer, share how you find names for your characters too. Either way, please give a shout and comment! I’d love to hear your thoughts!

AND THE WINNER IS … A few weeks ago I asked for your comments and paranormal urban fantasy reading recommendation and I promised that someone would win a free copy of my own urban fantasy, Cold in California. Well the winner is, Nya Rawlyns! Thanks so much for all of the fantastic recommendations! I’ve got my reading list set for the entire winter!

Vampire Explored is a blog by Deborah Riley-Magnus, author of “Cold in California”, first in the Twice-Baked Vampire Series!

 

In her book Night Walkers, Lisa Kessler explains that Night Walkers are immortal blood drinkers like vampires, but they’re also connected to their spirit animal and can shift into that animal at will.  They’re descended from the Mayans instead of the traditional European Transylvania vampire.

Go the Distance!

Posted in Cold in California, Fiction, Recommended Books with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 20, 2011 by Deborah Riley-Magnus

I love urban fantasy, paranormal romance, supernatural, vampire, werewolf, time travel fantasy, the fae, mythological gods and creatures, zombies … well no, I kinda draw the line at zombies, but you get my drift. If you can stretch reality just one or maybe ten steps furhter than the last author I read, you’re A #1 in my heart!

I adore books like Johannes Cabal the Necromancer by Jonathan L. Howard, American Gods by Neil Gaiman and Angelology by Danielle Trussoni. These are the books that I feel really go the distance and not one step beyond. These authors have a perfect sense of timing, they never drag me too far and never drop me too early. They take reality, shift it, reshape it and withhold the slamming climax and  highly original answers until the exact perfect moment. These authors and so many others in the genre, seriously GO THE DISTANCE!

Today I’d like to try something a little different. Rather than chit-chattering about my thoughts, I’d love to hear yours. Which authors do you love in the paranormal/ supernatural genres? They could be top ten best sellers or indie published newcomers. I’d love to hear your answers because winter is coming and it’s time to curl up with some great books that GO THE DISTANCE!

Please leave a comment and let Vampire Explored readers know your favorite books. I appreciate your participation so much, I’ll happily have a drawing and giveaway a copy of my own urban fantasy, Cold in California to one winner.

I can’t wait to hear your book recommendations!

Vampire Explored is a blog by Deborah Riley-Magnus, author of “Cold in California”, first in the Twice-Baked Vampire Series!

Here’s a fascinating Supernatural FicFact from Arial Burnz, who was last Thursday’s featured Author Interview. In her book, Midnight Conquest, water blessed by a priest or clergy of the church would do nothing to a Vamsyrian. They were only servants of God, and bore their own faults and sins upon their heads. Water to harm a Vamsyrian must to be touched by God Himself. Broderick’s teacher Rasheed said the only source known for that supply of water could be found in the deserts of Arabia, where it was rumored Moses struck a rock, bringing forth water to slack the thirst of the wandering Israelites during their exodus to the Promised Land.

One Werewolf’s Conscience

Posted in Breaking Rules, Cold in California, Mythology with tags , , , , , , , , on August 23, 2011 by Deborah Riley-Magnus

What’s a werewolf? I mean, in most imaginations it’s that scary creature that – without any choice of its own – changes into a deadly animal during the full moon and tries to eat people roaming through the woods. Well, okay, not everyone has woods, or forests, or even a nice large park close by, but as paranormal and supernatural adventures continue to fascinate readers, werewolves are sure to show up just about anywhere …

  • In a pretty woman’s bedroom
  • In the animal rescue league kennels
  • At a back yard cookout
  • A ballgame
  • In the dirty city alleys
  • In a warehouse

Yes, a warehouse. In this case, no, it isn’t a warehouse shipping werewolves like an import/export business. This warehouse is purgatory for dead werewolves chosen for a second chance to earn a ticket through the Pearly Gates. In Cold in California, lots of dead, and in the case of vampires, double-dead supernaturals get this cool second chance to prove themselves worthy. This particular warehouse, located in West Hollywood, might be a really sweet, happy kind of place – if every character living there gave a good goddamn about getting to heaven.

Here are the facts: Survival is what matters most to these creatures. After all, survival was the focus of their lives, so why not their purgatory? Second, these are political animals, more so than humans by a long shot. The Gnomes are ambitious, demanding and extremely creative creatures. The Shape-Shifters are metro-sexual, mainly to fit into the Hollywood environment. Well hell, Shape-Shifters were always responsible for blending in, right? The Twice-Baked Vampires are volatile, no surprise there. The Fae are the resident elite while the Leprechauns are belligerent in their efforts to pay homage to no one around them. The trolls are efficient and effective managers. The Pixies, well, the Pixies are kind of like the sex symbols of the warehouse, hot, steamy, lustful and satisfying … if you can catch one that is.

The only dead supernatural creatures facing and dealing with the stark reality of the warehouse purgatory are the werewolves, and in the West Hollywood warehouse, there is only one werewolf, Pete Maloney.

Some (specifically Twice-Baked Vampire, Gabriel Strickland) call him “The Reverend”. Pete sees the whole picture, which is why he has always stood at the side of the warehouse manager to help keep peace and organization among the inmates. They’re all there to earn heaven, but they’re all pretty flawed souls who’ve spent a lifetime or two ignoring the golden rule. Pete likes the golden rule, and he generally likes his position as helper and second fiddle. He gets to watch souls come and go, see where they’re most likely heading (up or down) when final judgment arrives for them, and this is one werewolf wise enough to steer clear of controversy. He’s not a politician, he’s a brilliant trouble shooter. He’s not interested in power, he’s fascinated with the effects of the unscrupulous desires of others. “The Reverend” can laugh, enjoy some play time with a Pixie, stand at the leader’s side during a battle or storm, and still read a good mystery alone in his room.

Pete Malone is an enigma among the population of the West Hollywood warehouse! To learn just a tiny bit more about Pete Maloney, the dead werewolf with a big heart, check out the Supernatural FicFact today, LOL.


Vampire Explored is a blog by Deborah Riley-Magnus, author of “Cold in California”, first in the Twice-Baked Vampire Series!

 

In Cold in California, author Deborah Riley-Magnus needed a creative solution for why Crudo Cushman, “The Troll in Charge” and Pete Maloney, “The Reverend” are such good friends. The answer lies in how they both died. Sixty years earlier Crudo was strolling through a Missouri forest on a clear full-moon night. Pete ate him but the troll didn’t agree with him, he got sick and they both woke to face purgatory in West Hollywood together. Go figure.

There’s a Troll in the House

Posted in Cold in California, Humor, Mythology with tags , , , , on August 2, 2011 by Deborah Riley-Magnus

Trolls. Norse mythology. Ugly, rarely described as helpful or friendly creatures. In Scandinavian mythology, they have something to do with lightening. Mystical, not-so-attractive, poisonous and powerful dudes.

Yeah. Right.

In truth, trolls are many things to many people. Your mother-in-law. Your ex-lover. Your boss/manager/pain-in-the-butt coworker. Your landlord. Maybe even your noisy neighbor. Have you ever thought though that trolls are just people like everyone else? Only with an attitude problem? Maybe a wart or two?

Today I’m not talking about short, smelly creatures that live under the bridges (and we do have a LOT of bridges here in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania). I’m talking about trolls who pop in and out of our fantasy fiction whenever they damn well please! They may come in the form of a sudden desire to change the entire plot. Maybe they appear as a new and unexplored personality glitch in your hero or heroine. But sometimes they simply show up as … trolls.

The last thing I thought I’d write into Cold in California was a troll but Crudo Cushman pushed his stout, vertically-challenged personality in so intensely, he became a key character! See, Crudo is the manager at the West Hollywood warehouse where my hero, poor twice-baked vampire Gabriel Strickland, is stuck living out an undetermined purgatory. Crudo is tough, he’s persnickety and never lived under a bridge in his life. Today, he’s taking charge of the blog.

When I told him to get out of my head, he snorted. “Why, what are you doing that’s so damn important?”

“I’m blogging because people love to read the blog.” I said as politely as I could.

“Move over, woman, I’ll tell you what a real blog is!”

Okay, it’s happened to all of us. Writers are especially susceptible to this particular curse. It seems the inmates have taken over the asylum again. The following is a bit of information conveyed to me from Crudo Cushman himself. Needless to say, I’m compelled to pass it on.

According to this troll, the word ‘blog’ comes from ancient troll culture. He informs me that a blog was a roughly hewn shirt upon which a troll would make markings, symbols that indicated his or her (of course there are female trolls, just look around you) position within troll society. During his troll life, Crudo had never risen beyond mucking mud, which was symbolized by a pig’s snout made with red mire found in a certain bog several miles outside his village. He’d dip the side of his clenched fist into the mud and press it firmly against his shirt. It didn’t look like a pig’s snout, but it was recognizable by all. The bog-marked blog stank to high heaven even after the mark dried. If it rained, Crudo would need to remark himself. Where he lived, it rained a lot.

He says he envied the higher ranks, those whose blogs were etched with fine smears of brilliant green grass stains or careful figures drawn with bits of soft, colored stone, but Crudo came from a proud, long line of mud muckers and until his father passed, he wore the red snout, albeit with hidden embarrassment and hate.

When Crudo met his demise six hundred years later, he found himself in the West Hollywood warehouse and has since done very well. He moved up the ranks from “inmate” to “head honcho”, traded his rough, mud-stained blog for pressed white linen and bling and vowed to never, ever get dirty again. The symbols on his shirt these days say:

I’m in charge … I’m the boss … I’m watching you … and of course, Ralph Loren, blessedly stitched on the silk tag inside his collar.

 Vampire Explored is a blog by Deborah Riley-Magnus, author of “Cold in California”, first in the Twice-Baked Vampire Series!

Here’s a cool Supernatural FicFact from author Linda Acaster … Celtic water goddesses existed as a reality in the British Isles, their springs rededicated to either Christian female saints or named ‘Lady Well’. Those in secret places are still honoured with pagan offerings.

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