Writerly Wednesday Welcomes Kathryn Meyer Griffith

Vampire Blood

Welcome Kathryn Meyer Griffith to Writerly Wednesday.  This may be the longest post I’ve ever put up, so get comfy and prepare to be entertained.

Thank you Miss Kathryn for visiting and participating!

Vampire Blood-Author’s Revised Edition (originally a 1991
Zebra romantic horror paperback

 

Vampire Blood

Buy it Now

Bio

 

Kathryn Meyer Griffith has been writing for nearly forty
years and has published 14 novels and 7 short stories since 1984 with Zebra
Books, Leisure Books, Avalon Books, The Wild Rose Press, Damnation Books and
Eternal Press in the horror, romantic paranormal, suspense and murder mystery
genres. Learn more about her at www.myspace.com/kathrynmeyergriffith
or  www.authorsden.com/kathrynmeyergriffith
or www.bebo.com/kathrynmeyerG  and http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=1019954486

Here’s a list of all her published novels and short stories:

Evil Stalks the Night (Leisure,1984;
Damnation Books, July 2012)

The Heart of the Rose (Leisure,1985;
Eternal Press Author’s Revised Edition out Nov.7, 2010)

Blood Forge (Leisure,1989; Damnation Books
Author’s Revised Edition out February 2012)

Vampire Blood (Zebra, 1991; Damnation Books Author’s
Revised Edition out July 2011)

The Last Vampire (Zebra, 1992; Damnation Books Author’s
Revised Edition out  October 2010)

Witches (Zebra, 1993; Damnation Books Author’s
Revised Edition out  April 2011)

The Nameless One (short story in 1993 Zebra
Anthology Dark Seductions;
Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition out February 2011)

The Calling (Zebra, 1994; Damnation Books Author’s
Revised Edition out October 2011)

Scraps of Paper (Avalon Books Murder Mystery,
2003)

All Things Slip Away (Avalon Books
Murder Mystery, 2006)

Egyptian Heart (The Wild Rose Press, 2007… Author’s
Revised Edition out again from Eternal Press in
August 2011)

Winter’s Journey (The Wild Rose Press, 2008… Author’s
Revised Edition out again from Eternal Press in
September 2011)

The Ice Bridge (The Wild Rose Press, 2008;
Author’s Revised Edition out again from Eternal Press in November 2011)

Don’t Look Back, Agnes short story
(2008; ghostly romantic short story out again from Eternal Press in Jan. 2012)

In This House (ghostly romantic short story
2008…out again from Eternal Press in January 2012)

BEFORE THE END: A Time of Demons
(Out from Damnation Books June 2010)

The Woman in Crimson
(Out from Damnation Books September 2010) ***

HER WEBSITES:

http://www.myspace.com/kathrynmeyergriffith
(to see all my book trailers with
original music by my singer/songwriter brother JS Meyer
)

http://
www.bebo.com/kathrynmeyerG

http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=1019954486

http://www.authorsden.com/kathrynmeyergriffith

http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/profile.php?id=1019954486

http://www.jacketflap.com/K.Griffith

http://www.shoutlife.com/kathrynmeyergriffith

http://www.goodreads.com/profile/kathrynmeyergriffith

http://romancewriterandreader.ning.com/profile/KathrynMeyerGriffith

http://romancebookjunction.ning.com/profile/kathrynmeyergriffith

****************************

BLURB:
For years the vampire family lived in the shadows, hidden by
the night and people’s disbelief; feeding on animals or
throw away people who would never be missed. But as the
family moves into an old theater, and uses it to cover up
their crimes, the youngest of them are restless and
determined to live as they like. Recklessly. Killing and
feeding when and where they want. Feeding on who they want.
Only the parent vampires have managed to keep them in check.
But no longer.
Unaware of the night stalking menace, the townspeople of
Summer Haven, Florida, blithely go about their daily lives
until, one by one, they begin to disappear. Screams are
heard in the night. Fear grows. The lost are never
found…alive.
But Jenny Lacey and her father, who are hired to renovate
the old Grand Theater, can’t escape when they find
themselves caught up in the middle of the vampire’s war.
And, in the end, it’s up to Jenny, her brother, Joey, and
her ex-husband, Jeff (who she still loves and reconnects
with in this novel…happy ending there), to get rid of the
bloodthirsty fiends that are destroying their town…if they
can.***

Vampire Blood-Revised Author’s Edition

EXCERPT:
The creature’s fur rippled like velvet over iron. There
was the crack of bone, a tearing of skin, as it reshaped
before his eyes from a wolf into a sylphlike woman with long
flowing blond hair, a stone white face, blood red lips and
vicious ebony eyes that narrowed in triumph at him. She
spread out her hands and slightly bowed her head, as if to
introduce herself.
She was beautiful and vaguely familiar, but evil emanated so
strongly from her that it tainted that beauty.
Vampire, it hissed deep in his subconscious.
“There are no such things as vampires,” he blurted out
before he could stop himself, sweat breaking out on his
face.
Her fingers pointed at him and began to rise and Joey felt
himself lifted from the floor a few inches and gently set
back down. She smiled and bared bloody fangs, and Joey knew
without a doubt what she was and what she wanted of him.
In a heart-gripping second, he became a believer.
Then the woman was gone as swiftly as she’d arrived, and
the wolf was back, its putrid breath warm on Joey’s cold
skin.
“Jesus,” he prayed, “help me.”
Nothing can help you now. I killed your friends the Albers.
I killed your father.
He screamed with rage and struggled to break the unnatural
power it had on him, trying to lunge at it and throttle its
wicked throat, and for a moment, he thought he’d torn
free.
Something snatched him high up into the air, his feet
dangling in nothingness, and slammed him into the counter,
knocking the wind out of him and smashing his ribs.
This time he screamed in pain.
His limp body slid from the counter and fell with a dull
thud onto the floor. Sprawled between the stools, he cowered
in shock, moaning.***

Interview

1. In three days, all electricity is going to be shut off for a very
long time. What items are you going to gather in preparation for this event?

Lots of canned food: meat, fruit and
vegetables. Lots of oil lamps, candles, matches. Decks of cards and board
games. Lots of good books to read by gas lamps.

2. Where
did the idea for the work you are promoting arise?

My
husband and I lived in this small Illinois town, Cahokia, about twenty-two
years ago and there was the neatest little hole-in-the-wall theater in a nearby
shopping center we used to go to all the time…run by a family of a sweet man,
Terry, and his wife, Ann, and sometimes their three children, two teenage boys
and a girl named Irene.  Such a friendly,
but odd couple. The run-down theater was their whole world it seemed. The kids
helped take in the tickets, pop the popcorn and sell the candy snacks.

Now
the minute Terry and Ann found out, in one of our earliest conversations, that
I was a published novelist they were my greatest fans. Terry went right out and
bought all three of my books and they all read them. Terry always thought
they’d make great movies. Next time my husband and I went to the little theater
Terry and Ann greeted us like old friends, so delighted to see us, and refused
to take a dime from us for anything. We got in free whenever we went from then
on. Now in those days my husband, my son, James, and I were pretty broke. I
worked as a graphic designer at a big brokerage firm in downtown St. Louis
(across the Poplar Bridge from our Illinois town) but my husband was in between
jobs. We lived on a shoestring. Hard times. So I always was so tickled that we
could get into the local movies for free. We went a lot, too, as we loved
movies, especially science fiction and horror films.

One
night I was watching Terry and Ann and their joy in running that little
theater, with the kids bustling around doing their jobs, and I got the idea for
Vampire Blood. Just like that! Use
them and the theater as a backdrop for a vampire novel. Hey, wouldn’t it be
neat, I off-handedly mentioned to Terry one night, if I wrote a book about a
family of vampires that was trying to pass as a real human family, the man and
woman wanting so badly to fit in and lead a normal life for a while, renovating
and then running a theater together…but the kids are wild and, as kids always
do, make trouble for them in the town…killing people? Terry loved the idea and
I asked him if it’d be all right to use him and his family as a template for
the vampires. He was thrilled to be part of anything to do with my books and
said yes. So…I wrote this book about them (sort of), the theater (making it
much grander than it was, of course), a small town terrorized by cruel,
powerful vampires who can change into wolves at will….and a saddened lonely
woman, her brother, and her ex-husband (who she still loves and ultimately ends
up with again after he saves her life) who finds herself again, but loses a lot,
as well, fighting these vampires. Vampires she doesn’t believe in at first.

I
was very happy with the book when it was done and dedicated it to Terry and Ann
when it came out in 1991. Terry and Ann were thrilled, too.

So
Vampire Blood came out and did very
well for me, second only to my Zebra 1993 Witches.
As the years went by it went out of print and when, twenty years later, Kim
Richards at Damnation Books contracted my 13th and 14th
novels, BEFORE THE END: A Time of Demons
and The Woman in Crimson, she asked
if I’d like to rerelease (with new covers and rewritten, of course) my 7
out-of-print Leisure and Zebra paperbacks – and I said a resounding yes!

So…here
it is…Vampire Blood…twenty years
later, alive again and better, I believe,
than the original because my writing then was done on an electric
typewriter, with gobs of White-Out and carbon paper (I couldn’t afford copies),
using snail mail; all of which didn’t lend itself to much rewriting. And in
those days, editors told an author what to change and then the writer only saw
the manuscript once to final proof it. Who knew what those sneaky editors were
slipping in inbetween and before the final book was in an author’s greedy
little hands. Hey, and I was working full time, raising a son, living a life
and caring for my big extended family in one way or another, too. Busy, exciting,
loving, happy and sad times.****

3. What do you like to read?

Anything well written and spooky. Stephen King. Peter Straub. Dan
Simmons. Ray Bradbury. I love good science fiction…especially those
on-the-way-to-another-planet-on-a-spaceship tales and science fiction short
stories. Well written murder mysteries and slice-of life contemporary stories
with a heart or message.

4. Tell us about the most exciting place
you have ever visited?

It’s a tie between Yellowstone National Park, with
all its astonishingly beautiful natural  formations,
waterfalls and half the park up in the much higher Mammouth  Springs with its twisting steep narrow roads
(scary! If you have a fear of heights like me) and amazing The Grand Canyon South
Rim with that huge precipice that beckons me to just jump! Oh, no! They say that people lose their balance, get dizzy
and fall over the Rim usually to their deaths all the time. Knowing this really
makes you look at the view differently, let me tell you. (In fact, I just wrote
a horror short story about just this subject.)

5. What is the most mundane, day to day, thing you can share about
yourself?

That I clean house, dust, clean
drawers and closets, do daily dishes by hand (I’ve never had a dishwasher) and sweep rugs just like every other woman.
Make detailed grocery lists and magnet it to the side of my refrigerator…or
I’ll forget everything I need to buy every week. Only my characters live in
exciting times and worlds, not me. Ha, ha. I do housework.

 

6. What scares you the most?

Getting old and being flat busted broke. Being
broke anytime, really. Being hungry and homeless. I grew up poor with six
brothers and sisters and things were always being hocked or taken away from us…cars,
houses, etc. We were often hungry. Cold. We wore hand-me-down clothes and
rarely had lunch money. It’s why I began making good grades, drawing and
writing…to be noticed; rise above my childhood. Be accepted and respected. I don’t
ever want to feel that way again.

7. Tell us anything but keep it G rated.

Many years ago I saw
this (Thomas) Magnum episode where this long time famous writer lost her mind
and everything she wrote was nothing but gibberish. She clutched her latest
precious book, running from a make-believe stalker, and in the end it was discovered
to be pages and pages of unintelligible scribbling. I had the strangest
premonition I was seeing my far future. I’m afraid that someday I that will
happen to me and I won’t have the mind to write anymore. Just a silly phobia I
have. So I write like crazy now, like a squirrel hiding nuts for the winter. No
joke.

Extra!  Kathryn has also given me The Story of Vampire Blood.

Buy Link

The Story of Vampire
Blood

Author’s Revised Edition by
Kathryn Meyer Griffith

A rerelease of my 1991
Zebra paperback romantic vampire novel

out from www.damnationbooks.com on July 1, 2011

 

In
1990 or so I’d just got done releasing my first three paperback novels with
Leisure Books, a romantic historical (The
Heart of the Rose
1985) and two romantic horror books (Evil Stalks the Night, 1984 and Blood Forge, 1989), and because I wasn’t making much money on them,
was looking, as most so-called restless young authors were doing, to move up in
the publishing industry.

So
I wrote snail mail letters to three established authors of the day – Dean
Koontz, Stephen King and Peter Straub – asking for a little advice and a little
help. What do I do next? I want to be one of the big dogs running in the big
races. I want to make the big bucks. Be famous like you. (Ha, ha. I was so
naïve in those days!)

Well,
Stephen King and Peter Straub never answered my letters but one rainy fall
night I got a phone call from Gerda Koontz (Dean Koontz’s wife) and she said Dean
had gotten my letter and wanted me to have a name of a brand new agent who I
should call or write to and say I was recommended by him. If I thought it
strange that Dean Koontz himself wasn’t actually talking to me I was told by Gerda
that he was a shy man and had had a particularly hard couple of months because
of family problems (I think it had something to do with his father in a nursing
home or something, but can’t exactly recall now) and he’d asked her to call me.
She often did that for him, as well as helping him with the business side of
his writing career. He (through her…and I got the impression that he was actually
nearby telling her what to say the whole time) said I had to have an agent (I didn’t have one) and then he gave me the
name of an ambitious one, Lori Perkins, just starting out and his advice on
what I should do to advance as a writer.

I
do remember being incredibly touched that he, a famous busy novelist that I admired
– I loved his Twilight Eyes – would
take the time to talk to me, even through his wife. They were both so sweet and
we talked for nearly an hour all about writing, books and everything.

I
took their advice and contacted that agent and she agreed immediately to
represent me on my fourth book, Vampire
Blood,
no doubt, because I said Dean Koontz had recommended her to me. Name
dropper! But Vampire Blood was the reason I’d contacted those famous
authors in the first place. I thought it was the best book I’d done so far and
wanted it to go to (what I thought at the time) would be a better publisher
than Leisure Books, which contracted and hog-tied their writers with a horrible
‘potboiler’ one-size-fits-all ten year contract with low advances and 4%
royalties. Yes, I got a whole whopping 14 cents a book in those days, but, I
must confess, they did print thousands of paperbacks each run and had a huge
distribution area.  I thought I could do
a lot better. Anyway, Lori Perkins wanted me to send her the book and she did
like it and eventually sold it, and then three others zip-zip-zip right after,
to Zebra Books (now known more as Kensington Publishing) at 6% royalties and
double the advances I was used to getting. They slapped a sexy blond vampire
with a low dress on the cover and a hazy theater behind her. Lovely colors. I
thought it was an eye-catching cover. I was so happy. I thought I’d made it! Again, so naïve.

Vampire Blood. A little story about a family of vicious
killing vampires who settle in a
small Florida town called Summer Haven and end up buying and fixing up an old
theater palace to run, and pluck their victims from, and a divorced,
down-on-her-luck ex-novelist and her worn-out father, who along with friends,
help thwart them.

Now
to how and why I wrote it.

My
husband and I lived in this small Illinois town, Cahokia, at the time and there
was the neatest little hole-in-the-wall theater in a nearby shopping center we
used to go to all the time…run by a family of a sweet man, Terry, and his wife,
Ann, and sometimes their three children, two teenage boys and a girl named
Irene.  Such a friendly, but odd couple. The
run-down theater was their whole world it seemed. The kids helped take in the
tickets, pop the popcorn and sell the candy snacks.

Now
the minute Terry and Ann found out, in one of our earliest conversations, that
I was a published novelist they were my greatest fans. Terry went right out and
bought all three of my books and they all read them. Terry always thought
they’d make great movies. Next time my husband and I went to the little theater
Terry and Ann greeted us like old friends, so delighted to see us, and refused
to take a dime from us for anything. We got in free whenever we went from then
on. Now in those days my husband, my son, James, and I were pretty broke. I
worked as a graphic designer at a big brokerage firm in downtown St. Louis
(across the Poplar Bridge from our Illinois town) but my husband was in between
jobs. We lived on a shoestring. Hard times. So I always was so tickled that we
could get into the local movies for free. We went a lot, too, as we loved
movies, especially science fiction and horror films.

One
night I was watching Terry and Ann and their joy in running that little
theater, with the kids bustling around doing their jobs, and I got the idea for
Vampire Blood. Just like that! Use
them and the theater as a backdrop for a vampire novel. Hey, wouldn’t it be
neat, I off-handedly mentioned to Terry one night, if I wrote a book about a
family of vampires that was trying to pass as a real human family, the man and
woman wanting so badly to fit in and lead a normal life for a while, renovating
and then running a theater together…but the kids are wild and, as kids always
do, make trouble for them in the town…killing people? Terry loved the idea and
I asked him if it’d be all right to use him and his family as a template for
the vampires. He was thrilled to be part of anything to do with my books and
said yes. So…I wrote this book about them (sort of), the theater (making it
much grander than it was, of course), a small town terrorized by cruel,
powerful vampires who can change into wolves at will….and a saddened lonely woman,
her brother, and her ex-husband (who she still loves and ultimately ends up
with again after he saves her life) who finds herself again, but loses a lot,
as well, fighting these vampires. Vampires she doesn’t believe in at first.

I
was very happy with the book when it was done and dedicated it to Terry and Ann
when it came out in 1991. Terry and Ann were thrilled, too.

So
Vampire Blood came out and did very
well for me, second only to my Zebra 1993 Witches.
As the years went by it went out of print and when, twenty years later, Kim
Richards at Damnation Books contracted my 13th and 14th
novels, BEFORE THE END: A Time of Demons
and The Woman in Crimson, she asked
if I’d like to rerelease (with new covers and rewritten, of course) my 7
out-of-print Leisure and Zebra paperbacks – and I said a resounding yes!

So…here it is…Vampire Blood…twenty years later, alive
again and better, I believe,  than the
original because my writing then was done on an electric typewriter, with gobs
of White-Out and carbon paper (I couldn’t afford copies), using snail mail; all
of which didn’t lend itself to much rewriting. And in those days, editors told
an author what to change and then the writer only saw the manuscript once to
final proof it. Who knew what those sneaky editors were slipping in inbetween
and before the final book was in an author’s greedy little hands. Hey, and I
was working full time, raising a son, living a life and caring for my big
extended family in one way or another, too. Busy, exciting, loving, happy and
sad times.

For this new
version, Damnation Book’s cover artist Dawné Dominique made me an astonishingly intriguing cover of a lovely
vampire (Irene the youngest vampire who turns out to be the most brutal and
ancient in the end)…but, thank goodness, without the low sexy top. And my DB
editor, April Duncan, helped me make it a better novel.

A lot has happened to me and my family in these twenty years, as well.
Both my parents, and my beloved maternal grandmother, the storyteller of her
generation, have since passed away. Many people we used to know have. Old
boyfriends, old friends and relatives. I miss them all! I no longer have that agent;
she went on to bigger advances and bigger writers.  I lost my good job at the brokerage firm,
bumped around in lesser jobs for years, always writing in my spare time, and
now, at long last, write full time while my husband works way too hard in a
machine shop to support us.

Rewriting the book brought back so many good memories…and tears over
those no longer here. The theater closed sixteen years ago, the owner believing
it’d served its purpose and used up its time. Terry and Ann, heartbroken, were
never the same. They had other jobs, none they truly cared about.  Ann is still with us, but Terry died a few
years ago, I heard from someone. We lost contact once they stopped running the
theater and we moved from Cahokia to a nicer town miles away.

But I’ll never forget those early days and the stories that came with
them. Days of high hopes and far distance future dreams…some of which have come
true and some which haven’t. I’ve never made the big bucks, never gotten truly
famous, but now, at long last and to my great delight, all twelve of my older
books, from Leisure, Zebra, and The Wild Rose Press are being rewritten and
reissued from Damnation Books and Eternal Press between June 2010 and
July 2012. Better than ever after I’d rewritten them. I have plans to write
more books and short stories, too, when they’re done. Most importantly, I’m
living a good life with a husband I adore and brothers and sisters I love. Writing
the stories I was born to write and happy I am. I have my memories. All in all,
I’m a lucky, lucky woman.

So, all you writers out there…never
give up and never stop writing!

Thank you!
***

Kathryn Meyer Griffith has
been writing for nearly forty years and has published 14 novels and 7 short
stories since 1984 with Zebra Books, Leisure Books, Avalon Books, The Wild Rose
Press, Damnation Books and Eternal Press in the horror, romantic paranormal,
suspense and murder mystery genres… and all 12 of her old books, see below,
(and two new ones) are being brought out again between June 2010 and July 2012
from DAMNATION BOOKS www.damnationbooks.com
and ETERNAL PRESS www.eternalpress.biz again in
print – and all in  e-books for the first
time ever! Learn more about her at www.myspace.com/kathrynmeyergriffith
or  www.bebo.com/kathrynmeyergriffith
or  www.authorsden.com/kathrynmeyergriffith
or www.bebo.com/kathrynmeyergriffith
and http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=1019954486
.

***

Here’s a list of all my published novels and short stories:

Evil Stalks the Night (Leisure,1984;
Damnation Books, July 2012)

The Heart of the Rose (Leisure,1985)

Blood Forge (Leisure,1989; Damnation Books,
February 2012)

Vampire Blood (Zebra, 1991; Damnation Books,
July 2011)

The Last Vampire (Zebra, 1992; Damnation Books,
October 2010)

Witches (Zebra, 1993; Damnation Books,
April 2011)

The Nameless One (short story in 1993 Zebra
Anthology Dark Seductions;
Damnation Books, February 2011)

The Calling (Zebra, 1994; Damnation Books,
October 2011)

Scraps of Paper (Avalon Books Murder Mystery,
2003)

All Things Slip Away (Avalon Books
Murder Mystery, 2006)

Egyptian Heart (The Wild Rose Press, 2007…out
again from Eternal Press in
August 2011)

Winter’s Journey (The Wild Rose Press, 2008…out
again from Eternal Press in
September 2011)

The Ice Bridge (The Wild Rose Press, 2008…out
again from Eternal Press in November 2011)

Don’t Look Back short story (2008…out
again from Eternal Press in 2011)

In This House (short story 2008…out again
from Eternal Press in 2011)

BEFORE THE END: A Time of Demons
(2010)

The Woman in Crimson (2010) ***

Next week our Writerly Wednesday Guest will be Jane Toombs!

 

By Sally

Sally Franklin Christie Blogger and Author of If I Should Die and Milk Carton People.

2 comments

  1. I love that little fear of being the mad woman clutching her scribbles. I wonder if all writers have fears of going a little crazy. 🙂 I remember reading elsewhere about how your novel came about, with the theater. That’s wonderful. It lends a kind of magic to it all, though wow, from your excerpt, you’ve created some very menacing vampires! Well done! And that mundane thing, cleaning? Yes, our real lives are nothing like our fiction (and maybe that’s good?). Thanks! It’s good getting to know you.

  2. Sally,
    THANK YOU SO MUCH for the guest post…gosh, it WAS long, wasn’t it? Sorry everyone. If you read what I’m afraid of, you now know why I write, babble on, and promote, so much. I bet people are probably sick to death of me by now, ha, ha! Anyway, again thank you Sally. I can’t wait until next week when Jane Toombs will be on…now she’s someone I truly admire as she’s been around far longer than I even. She’s my hero. Warmly, author Kathryn Meyer Griffith rdgriff@htc.net P.S. Anyone else out there can also have one of my 6 backstory essays on my writing life and books for their blogs, etc., just e-mail me.

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