A lot of love and a warm welcome is going out to our newest featured author and member of the Imagine Magazine family, Myke D! His story, “The Legends Of Blood”, impressed me with a few twists on the usual mythology, and I invited him to come join us here! Below is our one on one interview, and I hope you guys enjoy it!
Comicality: – So, I’m curious…where did this story and its characters originate from? Evan, Ethan, Marcel, Leslie, Nikolas…what are some of the challenges of working with an ensemble cast like this?
Myke D: – I originally got the idea from reading Anne Rice’s novels and all of the different vampire shows that were on at the time. Everybody had their own idea of what these monsters came from and what they looked like. I had the idea in my head of what I considered them to be, but what if man had a hand in it somehow? That’s how I came up with the idea of someone injecting Evan with the ‘altered venom’. Only one person is completely sure that it’s going to work, but everybody else has to act on faith. The different characters are really difficult to keep separate. I had to create a massive spreadsheet where I have all of my characters and my story guide. Every detail about my characters is in there for each volume I plan on writing.
Comicality: – You mentioned to me that this was one of your favorite stories that you’ve written, and you’ve been working on it for a long time. Let us in on why you cherish this project so much, and why you’ve been dedicated to completing it for as long as you have.
Myke D: – I have written this story multiple times over the past decade, and only recently decided it was to the point where I could start releasing it. I dream about this story and the main characters regularly. The reason I haven’t given up, is because I’ve always wanted to be able to share this story with people that I feel would be able to enjoy it as much as I’ve enjoyed having it be a part of my life. I didn’t always plan on releasing the story on Nifty, because I wanted to reach a larger audience, but as time went on, I realized that Nifty was actually the perfect spot for my story. The readers on Nifty actually give you feedback and helpful criticism that I use to go through and edit each chapter before I submit it to the site.
Comicality: – With so much vampire fiction out there in the ‘ether’, what do you think makes yours unique and sets it apart from the others? Because there are a lot of readers that hear the word ‘vampire’ and roll their eyes without reading a single word. Hehehe!
Myke D: – The Legends of Blood is about more than just vampires. The battles taking place within the series are battles that involve the entirety of the Underworld, and the results of these battles could change the future of mankind forever. TLOB involves more than just the Underworld, as well. There are struggles with government agencies, family, and individual romances. A little bit of something for everyone.
Comicality: – What would you say your writing process is like? Do you take notes and outline your story ahead of time? Or do you just kind of let your characters speak for themselves? Maybe a mixture of both?
Myke D: – So, as I said above I have this enormous spreadsheet full of details about The Legends of Blood. I outlined the entire series a long time ago, but that outline has changed numerous times already. Even as I go through and try to write Volume Two, I’ve been going through and changing a lot of the outline. I get the basics of a chapter down, then when I write the chapter, the characters usually speak for themselves. If I feel that it’s something that needs to be focused on, I will leave a note for myself in the spreadsheet so I can refer to it later if needed.
Comicality: – So there are more volumes to come? Awesome! Can you give us any hints as to what you might have in store for future installments?
Myke D: – The original plan was for there to be three volumes to TLOB, but as I go along, I’ve begun to realize that it will take at least five to tell the whole story without being rushed. There are still some major battles to be fought, and there are still tons of characters to introduce to everyone. So, as you finish Blood Lust, make sure you stay tuned for Blood Feud, Blood Ties, Blood Rage, and lastly Blood Wars.
Comicality: – Do you have any contact info, social media, or a website, that you’d like to share and promote while folks are getting hooked? They may want to send you some feedback and read your other stories as well!
Myke D: – There’s my email which is posted on every chapter… firstname.lastname@example.org and there will soon be a Facebook page dedicated to my stories and to give people updates if they want to see them. My mailing list continues to grow daily and I’m pretty decent about responding to people, though with the recent move I’ve fallen way behind. Such is life. 🙂 I hope everyone continues to enjoy The Legends of Blood, and I hope more people take to the story in the future.
Comicality: – There’s a really ‘dreamlike’ quality to what you’re doing with your story, especially in the first chapter. How do you manage flipping back and forth from one reality to the other?
Myke D: – For me, it’s mostly the issue of remembering what’s been happening from chapter to chapter. There’s three points of view in the first volume, and it’s difficult to get myself into the mindset of that specific character. Evan is missing his family while trying to come to grips that he is a monster. Ethan is missing his brother, and his family just continues to collapse around him. Both of the brothers have a group of people to support them, but Ethan’s group doesn’t completely understand the bond between the brothers. The third POV is someone that’s brought into the fold and has to deal with their new life in their own way. I can’t really explain the dreams without giving too much away, but let’s just say that they are guidelines.
Comicality: – What is that like, by the way? Switching character POVs in a story? It’s a very cool choice, giving readers a three-dimensional view of what’s going on.
Myke D: – So, one of my first versions for this story was in the form of a television script, and I was halfway through the second volume when I realized that it would be better as a book instead. At first, it was a struggle to tell the entire story with just Evan as the Point of View. So, I tried out a POV from Ethan’s perspective to compliment Evan’s side of the story. Like I said earlier, the story has to be told from different perspectives since it is not just about vampires. I had to be able to show what Ethan was going through without Evan in his life. Ethan is constantly just suffering through one heartbreak after another, and it wouldn’t have been as effective storytelling if I only had someone giving reports to Evan on how his little brother was doing – Especially since Evan wasn’t permitted to have any contact with Ethan. The main struggle is remembering the mentality that I have to adopt for each character I create a POV for. Ethan is sad and looking for answers as to why he had to lose his idol. Evan is struggling with being a vampire, while also dealing with everything the government and the Underworld expect of him. Ethan is probably the hardest character for me to write from his POV because of how emotional his storyline gets sometimes. It literally brings me to tears, and I have to give myself a much needed break. As the story continues to grow, the list of POVs will continue to grow as well, which means there will be extra POVs added to the next few volumes before I start to tone it back down again.
Comicality: – You mentioned the concept of Evan being ‘a monster’. How do you, as an author, tackle the inner conflict in your story without demonizing your main character? It can be a difficult balance to pull off as a writer.
Myke D: – I struggled with this for about a month when I was writing the original version of TLOB. I wanted Evan to connect with the fact that he’s a vampire, but I still needed a way to keep him from losing his humanity. The only way I could come up with was his bond with his family – especially his younger brother. Ethan idolizes Evan and always has. Evan knows this and doesn’t want that relationship to change in case he ever gets to see his little brother again. That’s why Evan is constantly thinking about Ethan. It’s that bond that keeps him from giving in to the monster inside of him completely.
Comicality: – Now, like you said, I definitely don’t want to spoil anything or give plot points away either, hehehe, but at the end of the day…what do you want readers to take away from the rest of your story as it progresses on towards its explosive ending? Do you have a particular theme or a concept that you want your audience to embrace along the way?
Myke D: – No matter how bad you have it in life, there will always be somebody on your side.
Comicality: – Well put! Thank you so much for your time, Myke D, and for the effort that you put into a great story! You guys be sure to check out the first chapter of the “Legends Of Blood” story right here in Imagine Magazine, and be sure to leave Myke D a note of thanks and feedback when you get a chance! Cool? Enjoy!