Book release – Blood Runner
Publication date: Sept 27 2015
Sumerian myths and vampires? Yup, it really happened.
I never planned for this story to come out this way. I did a lot of planning around some ideas in Sumerian mythology and did a lot of studying to pull out what was interesting to me, but the vampire tie-in? I gotta be honest – that was a happy accident. Since I think you should never turn your nose up at one of those when they happen, I just went with it.
Blood Runner crosses genres as so many things I write do and is a fantasy, if a dark one, with some horror elements while also a love story if you can wrap your head around that. I never consider the genre going in, only the story. This does make it a bit more challenging to think about it in the context of marketing later, but I find not hemming myself in produces better stories. I love how this one came out. From my own author point-of-view, I’m especially pleased with how the myth came together at the beginning. It may be my favourite part, simply from the construction success aspect. From an outsider view, the style of that may seem a bit weird, but it was done with purpose.
I got it in my head that the protagonist was as old as pre-history
While I was writing, for whatever reason, I got it in my head that the protagonist was as old as pre-history. And then notable enough to be found in that pre-history. The myth then became the underpin for the whole story. I talk about it in the author’s note in the book itself a bit, but to expand on that, I can tell you, that myth was a challenge of creation. It was a different mythology than I’d worked with before, so it took some getting used to. The cadence of Sumerian stories and the concepts found within them are distinct and unlike Greek or Roman mythology while at the same time there are a lot of common elements.
It’s the rhythm of them that was the most different, at least to me. To me, all writing is music, so I’m sensitive to those types of differences. These stories emoted at a unique timbre and flowed at a languid pace that was at the same time jagged and jarring. Stitching chunks of several of these stories together and then coming up with connective tissue in the same style was both fun and a nightmare. I’m uber anal, so the results needed to be perfect or I wouldn’t allow myself to use it which delayed the book release by a very long while. It took several years of picking it up and putting it back down again before I was able to pull it off.
If you don’t know these myths, you’ll have a difficult time (outside of the obvious give-aways) picking out which concepts are things I added and where the different pieces of myth start and stop. The result is flowery yet sparse, low-key and slow, archaic and heavy. It’s meant to add weight to the world of the gods of the pantheon and allude to the pace that things move in a god’s time which is an important concept in the later story. Anyone who’s spent any time reading the creation stories from various cultures will see what I was going for there. If that sort of thing isn’t your cup of tea, you’re probably going to find it dull. Sorry about that.
Book release delays
Blood Runner does have vampires in it and does draw a correlation between Sumerian mythology and the more modern vampire mythology, but it’s not a vampire story. Something else that delayed the book release while I grappled with how to present it. Vampires aren’t even the focus, though they act as a vehicle to convey the actual story. I’m sure sparkly vampire fans will be disappointed and will probably pan it, but I’m okay with that, because that’s not who it was written for.
I’ll warn you upfront, the main character is a cranky, old bastard who curses a blue streak through the entire story. His nemesis more than matches him in that (in French) as he does in most things except humanity. If you have delicate sensibilities, this may not appeal to you. If you’re a fantasy fan, you may want to wait for my next story – a historical sword fantasy with castles and knights and PG language.
At its core, Blood Runner is a fantasy. It hinges on a constructed realm where the mythical gods of pre-history still meddle in the affairs of men. A man, Richard, straddles the past and present, legend and reality, and is your guide through his journey of personal evolution as he speaks to you in the first person and shares his most intimate thoughts in confidence. It’s also a love story, a 5000-year tale of lost love and lost love of humanity. And, since it’s my favourite model, it’s a tragic anti-hero tale where the protagonist is challenged and charged to do the right thing, even and especially when he doesn’t want to while the fate of the world hangs on his actions.
Beta readers prior to the book release were surprised by it and provided favourable feedback. I hope you’ll also enjoy it.
Blood Runner is available at: