The Dark Terror … is … done

double-coverI am very happy to announce that as of 10:50 p.m. PT on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018, principal writing for The Dark Terror, Book Three – The Dark Passage Series, is complete. Current word count is 60,713 but I am sure that will change before I send it off to my publisher, Trifecta Publishing House, for editing and formatting.

“I am Elizabeth Danae Rubis and I am the Queen of the Fucking Night!”

This truly has been a labor of love. These three books – The Dark Truth, The Dark Descent, and The Dark Terror – mark my first true and honest foray into fiction writing. I have put so much of myself into these books, more than I realized. The writing has been therapeutic, cathartic, nerve racking, goosebump inducing, and stress relieving – never boring, never tedious (even plowing through the scenes that had to be written just to advance the plot), always fun, always exciting.

I started with a premise and character. Elizabeth Danae Rubis. I called on my knowledge of vampire lore and the vampire in pop culture to weave a three-volume tale set in modern-day San Francisco that will, to borrow a phrase, “thrill you, chill you and fulfill you.” It is decadent and depraved. There is plenty of murder and mayhem, twists and turns, heartbreak and betrayal and blood, lots and lots of blood.

The first book, The Dark Truth, was named after a beer. And that dark truth is a stark realization of a new existence and coming to grips with that new reality. The second reflects that descent into the deeper darkness, the evolution of the character and self awareness. The Dark Terror is just that – just when you think the story couldn’t go any deeper, any darker, it does.

I was over the moon when I found out The Dark Truth was a finalist for the International Vampire Films and Arts Festival’s Golden Stake Award for vampire fiction.

People have asked me why a vampire story, where did I get the idea, why a female vampire, how did I get into vampires? I always thought that if I was going to write a book, it would be a vampire story. I have been into vampires since I was very young. I love Gothic horror. I have always been enthralled with the idea of a strong female lead vampire character. So many in the genre have been men.

Vampires are eternal, sexy, seductive, and powerful. There are so many traits that draw us to these creatures, the undead. Who wouldn’t want to live forever? Command the children of the night? Terrorize our enemies with impunity and no consequence? Possess unlimited strength?

Yet the vampire has weaknesses and determined enemies. It is the struggle between good and evil, between the light and the dark, that draws us to these stories.

Bram Stoker created the ultimate villain and defined a genre with his seminal Dracula. It is my privilege to add to that canon. I hope you find my three tales of neo-Gothic horror worthy.

Thank you for your support, everyone. Stay tuned for cover art reveals and a release date.

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The Dark Terror … is … done

What’s in a Name?

IMG_0799When I set out to write The Dark Truth, I used a working title. It was never meant to be the title of the book, just something to name the file. There was a line in the movie Gladiator that I liked and it used the phrase, “shadows and dust.” So, that was the working title, Shadows and Dust. I thought it could work if necessary. It is a vampire story after all. They live in the shadows and can turn to dust. I was just never sold on it.

Many of the locations in the story are real. Almost all of them, actually. I was inspired by a photo gallery published by SFGate depicting some amazing abandoned places in Northern California. The climax takes place in a location I found thanks to Atlas Obscura. I had a need for an establishment in a particular location in San Francisco. The establishment didn’t exist and it didn’t exist where I needed it for the narrative.

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Enjoying  beer in the place that makes the beer that inspired the title for my debut novel. Photo by Amy Anderson.

Off to the local Beverages and More for writing fuel – a beer and whisky run. I have developed quite the taste for porters and stouts, and my love of Scotch is well-documented. I found an Imperial Stout called Dark Truth. At 9.75% ABV, it’s quite potent. I didn’t pay attention to who made it.

As I worked on the story, I thought, ‘hey, this is a great idea for the name of that establishment.’ So, I named it The Dark Truth. The more I wrote, the more I thought, ‘hey, this is a helluva an idea for the name of the book.’

When I went back to get more, BevMo said it was discontinued. I was disappointed. I wanted to celebrate the completion of the book with a Dark Truth. Shockingly enough, I found it again on a family vacation to visit my wife’s family in Ohio. We bought one bottle, I drank it, washed the bottle, and brought it back.

I posted a photo or graphic on social media and someone, I do believe it was my friends who live in Kansas City, said that the Dark Truth was made there. The label says “Boulevard.”

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Posing for a photo with a bottle of the Dark Truth at Boulevard Brewing Company in Kansas City. Photo by Amy Anderson.

IMG_1784I get to Kansas City once a year and I visited this past weekend. My friends and I visited the World War I Museum. If you have never been I highly recommend. Anywho, on the way to the museum I noticed “Boulevard Brewing Company” from the highway. I asked my pals if we could go after the museum visit. They kindly agreed.

We parked, went to the wrong building, and were directed to the correct building. We ascended the stairs to the taproom bar. After standing in a line for a bit, a young lady asked to take our order. I showed her the graphic I had made with the cover of the book and a picture of the Dark Truth, and expressed my dismay that they didn’t have it on tap. She informed me that they had it in bottles. She also said that one of their beers inspiring the title for my book, “touched her heart.” I could not bring myself to drink a beer from a bottle at a craft brewery, especially one such as this. This was an impressive facility with numerous beers available on tap. I chose a Scottish Ale, and one of my friends had a hard cider.

Wallet in hand, I asked, “What’s the damage, what do I owe you?” With a wave of her hand, she responded, “Naw, you’re good.” I didn’t expect anything free, didn’t want anything free, didn’t ask for anything free. I was just excited to be at Boulevard that I wanted to share it with an employee.

After finishing our drinks, we hit the gift shop where I purchased a single bottle of the Dark Truth to take home and a Dark Truth t-shirt. We then zipped off to make our dinner reservation. I tweeted a few photos and @ mentioned Boulevard and they retweeted me.

This was an unexpected experience, one I will treasure. I’ll be sending Boulevard Brewing Company a signed copy of The Dark Truth.

What’s in a Name?