Vampire Novelist Denise K. Rago

Florida was gorgeous. 85 degrees and sunny. Nothing like writing on the beach between reapplying sunscreen and going for long walks to collect sea shells! I think I have the ending of my novel in sight. Already thinking of a sequal which may not be a smart thing to focus on right now since I have to finish this novel and then comes the fun part – editing. My female lead has become the lover of one vampire and caught the interest of his best friend, anther vampire of course. Kinky I know but hey, this is where this novel had taken me. Once I have it all written I ususally put my pieces down for anywhere from two weeks to a month and then I pick it up again. Somethings are glaring and only by rereading it after some time has gone by do I see errors in plot that I may have missed the first time. The big questions for me concerns what I am visualizing vs. what is on the page. Is it clear? Does the piece say what I want/need it to say? Are the characters three dimensional or are they flat? My main character has enough problems having not one but two vampires in love with her….such is the life of a story book character.

I am taking a few days “off” and heading to sunny Southern Florida. I love the heat and the sun and before winter truly sets in I need to wear shorts, watch palm trees sway and use suntan lotion once more. I am taking a few chapters of my current novel with me. It doesn’t have a title though I can see the cover image in my mind. I am wrestling with the ending and I am hoping that some sun and surf will inspire me to write a decent ending for my novel. I usually take a legal pad and write long hand – I don’t know what it is but there is something cathartic about the act of writing. Obviously I am using a computer now and I do most of my writing on a keyboard but when I sit myself down in a beach chair near the waves I want a pad and pencil. Seems odd to be writing a novel about vampires while basking in the sun but I get to combine three of my obsessions: the beach,writing and vampires. I thought about getting an alpha smart keyboard so I can write anywhere but I still prefer long hand. See you all next week.

It was just my husband and I for the holiday so we went to another family members house to celebrate. Usually we have a houseful of guests, 20-25 people but yesterday there were only 14 of us and it felt just right. Halloween through the New Year’s Eve is my favorite time of year. There is always one moment when it sinks into my thick head that the Christmas season is upon me. It has nothing to do with shopping or hearing Christmas music; it’ a moment when I feel the Christmas spirit. We have all had holidays that are better than others and it is moments I recall that stay with me, like opening a closet in my parents house as a child and finding Christmas presents, or wondering why my oldest brother who was home between semesters from law school did not share my zeal to wait at the Christmas tree at 5am with my two younger brothers to open our presents. He sent us back to bed; or the first year I experienced Christmas after my father had passed away only two months earlier or spending the holidays broken hearted over a lover affair that was not meant to be, or the year my grandmother died at 1am on December 26th.

There are moments we all carry with us from year to year – this is our own personal history and for better or worse these memories stay with us. I had a wonderful Thanksgiving this year. I hope you all did as well.

I haven’t been writing as much as I would like to these days with Thanksgiving coming up this week, family commitments, etc. It’s a tough balancing act. I had written out my novel using plot points for each chapter and I have been living with these characters for over a year now but as I hit the home stretch I am not satisfied with what I have written in terms of the last few chapters. I decided to put it down for a while as I mull over how I want my novel to end. I don’t want to kill anyone off (well one or two characters maybe) and I am not sure if my two leads finish this novel as lovers, friends, enemies or what? Writing gives you only so much power over the lives of your characters and then they start fighting back. Once I get my website up and running I will be posting snippits of my current novel and other short stories I have written. I find my two main characters doing a push me pull you, come close go away type thing as I struggle to come to terms with their relationship. Maybe it’s up for grabs and my novel should just end after a crazy few days in the life of one mortal woman and the vampires she had become intwined with. I hope once I post pieces of my novel I will get comments, suggestions, etc because I think it is helpful in the early stages of novel writing to have people you trust critique your work. Anyway, I shall do my best to pick up and see where my characters take me.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

I was sitting here at my work desk mulling over some of the inspirations/influences for my vampire characters in my current novel. I have gotten into the habit of cutting out photographs from magazines, etc. whenever I spot somone who’s physical description appeals to me in some way, shape or form. I like keeping files of faces because I never know when I will need one. I sometimes see people who fit a character. One of my main characters is based on a beautiful stranger I happened to see in New York City on a rainy October night in the Skylight diner. He was tall with very long blonde hair and dark eyes. He was young, probablly in his twenties and one look at him and I knew he was “my vampire.” I guess it happens like that – people who you don’t know and most likely will never meet can be the inspiration for a character. Thank you blondie wherever you are!

It is Sunday and the moon is full tonight and boy can I feel it. Just being out and about among people – they just act differently and drive much more aggressively during a full moon. I have not written in over one week due to so much family stuff. I was writing daily but it has become difficult. Now with Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas looming on the horizon it will be harder to find the time. I am considering a laptop so I can sit in front of my fireplace and write. Sounds utterly serene and conducive to putting ideas and emotions on paper. I began my last blog with a commentary on the movie Dog Soldiers. I discovered it by accident and I really enjoyed it. It is the type of movie where the action begins about 10 minutes into it and does not stop. A few surprises along the way which kept this viewers adreneline flowing.

I saw Underworld Evolution when it first came out and I did enjoy but for different reasons. I could not help but notice the differences in the depictions of the vampires vs. the werewolves. Perhaps not so much in literature but in movies vampires are generally handsome or beautiful, well groomed, rich and extravagant. Werewolves seem to possess none of those qualities. I began to wonder why and I open this up for debate and discussion with anyone who comes along to read my blog. In Underworld Evolution, the vampires live in a gated mansion, drink blood out of silver goblets and dress impeccibly (in black of course). The werewolves have none of the amenities that the vampires possess. Is it because they are half man and half animal? Does that give them less status than the undead? Just food for thought.

I recently opened the New York Times Men Fall Style Magazine and found an photographic essay on “The Damned, Hell Bent Threads for the Eternal A Lister” featuring an assortment of beautiful young male models dressed in top of the line designer clothing. It is tantilizing to say the least. Vampires are “in”, vampire novels more popular than ever and although the reasons for this trend are not the topic of this blog I can’t imagine The New York Times running a similar photoessay featuring young male werewolves. What would it be called? The Fuzzy?

This is a site about vampires so why Dog Soldiers? This is a great horror flick set in the Scottish Highlands. I am generally curious about depictions of werewolves vs. the depiction of vampires in both literature and the media. And I’m gonna add more to this when I’m less tired 😉

I have been so busy lately with family and work stuff that I have not had much time to work on my novel. I have been writing it for a year now though last Spring I changed horses in midstream and made my main male character a secondary character and took his best friend and made him the main male character. I took an on-line writing course which really helped me to learn to focus on a story line. One of the exercises called for me to plot out each chapter. I was resistant at first. I am a very organized, detail oriented person yet I felt this would inhibit my writing. In truth it really helped me organize my story on paper and I am almost finished with my first “rough draft.” But I digress. The purpose of this blog was to express how much I miss my characters when I don’t write for several days or a week or so. I usually try to write out a chapter or a part of one, then I put it down for a day or so. I then read it outloud. I am the type of person that needs to not only see my written word but to hear my words outloud. This helps me with dialogue. Sometime I get on a roll and just when I think I have a chapter rapped up my characters will say or do something that shocks even me. They have minds of their own. I get excited when they emerge from the page with their own point of view. They are becoming living, breathing people and I imagine how they move, speak or dress. I write dialogue in my head sometimes playing out a scene to the point of tuning out everything else around me. Right now I am working on a novel set in New York City in the present day. My two male vampires are Madison Avenue shoppers, trendsetters, handsome and two totally opposite men in every way possible yet who have remained friends for a very long time. Anyway, it’s difficult to balance writing plus all the other stuff we have in our lives, jobs, family, friends; life in general and I constantly finding myself measuring my time, like I’ll run for a half hour, read for an hour, etc. Measuring time trying to fit it all in. Maybe I am just fooling myself but sometimes I feel I should join the circus and forget writing, I am such a great juggler!

Originally I titled this blog ‘All about Vampires’ but decided it was too broad a topic. I am a writer. I love to read and write about vampires. I hope to soon post bits of my short stories and chapters of my current novel set in present day New York City. Musings appeals to my anthropological and literary mindset and implies more than just blood, fangs or dark images of the undead. This is a place to reflect on the vampire in literature, popular culture and music. A place not only for writers but for anyone interested in them. Thanks for visiting.

I think wikipedia has a great page about vampire stuff. Here’s the link .