Vampire Novelist Denise K. Rago

I believe it was Robert Frost who wrote a famous poem about a fork in the road. When we stand at a crossroads in our writing, how does one know which way to go? I turn to my higher self and my muse for guidance. Sometimes I will write an entire chapter and then let it sit for days. If the feeling I got initially when I wrote it is still there, then I go with it. If not, I may scrap it all together.

In talking to a friend about creativity, she said creativity is messy, unorganized and random. I have to agree with her. Some of my best writing comes when I lay down a chapter then edit it days later. It’s like my initial writing is the framework for the chapter and I fill in lots of details later. I hear my characters voices, see their faces and body movements. They make love, war and just like me, they are confused at times. Sometimes they make bad decisions, or misjudge, just like me. Sometimes it costs them.

Just because most of my characters happen to be vampires does not mean they are perfect. Let me tell you, having immortality, beauty and superhuman strength does not necessarily make one upstanding, righteous or moral. Having that kind of power tends to corupt, just because it can and that is human nature. We humans make decisions based on our emotions…and logic, but our emotions play such a large part in our decisions. The same is true for vampires. They agonize too and the past has reprocussions for them as well.

There is a great line in the movie The Darleeing Limited. ”The past happens but it’s over isn’t it? Not for us.”

It is that way for both humans and vampires. The actions of the past face us at every turn as we navigate our lives in the present. For most of us, the navigation takes about 80 years. For my vampire friends, it could be hundreds of years. Plenty of time to create both good and bad karma.

  • by Denise K. Rago

Not a good thing for vampires but for aspiring writers struggling through rewrites it is the most exhilarating feeling in the world. I got the green light from my editor and now I begin the process of recreating my original novel. The characters will remain the same and some of the plot as well and this is a good thing. When someone with 30 years of experience agrees that your new ideas are much better than your original ones, go with it. It is validating and so positive. I was floundering as I tried to implement his suggestions. Nothing seemed to be coming and then my juices began flowing and my muse returned and here I am. Thought I would share with whomever reads this that the darkness cannot remain indefinitely. The light will come and when the flow returns, it is nothing short of magic.

Still working on my rewrites for my novel and for the moment, I feel my creative spark is gone. I light candles, hold crystals, pray, but nothing comes. Is my muse on holiday? Not sure but I do know that I need to keep writing, go with the flow, keep my faith in myself alive and kicking, because eventually the clouds will part and I will begin writing again while my muse both paces and smiles down at me. It’s just the inbetween time…..

What makes a story great as opposed to good?
Why do the vampires come for into the life of my main character? What draws them to her?
My editor has asked these questions of me so I ask them of my characters. It makes the difference between an okay novel and one that makes the reader keep turning the pages.

Lots to think about as I mull over what I think makes a great story. Any thoughts out there?

I am mulling over my rewrites and trying to decide where my novel is heading. My editor says I have too many loose ends and little resolved at the end of my story and I tend to agree. It’s just tying up all those threads in a way that appears natural and not contrived. I believe I will focus more on the vampire wars and have the love story as the back drop against the evil that is looming…waiting to slaughter anything in it’s path.

Rewrites make us better writers and I am up to the task…I think.

Struggling with the main focus of my novel. Is it a love story or a story about a war between vampires with a love interest thrown in? This is my plight for the next few weeks, figuring out the main focus. Exciting yes, looking foward to rewrites, yes. Anything to make my novel the best it can be. Not an easy task but a challenge for any writer worth their salt.

Have you ever seen someone you thought might be a “real” vampire? If so, sent a comment my way. I believe I did once in a public restroom at a club. There was something about this woman that made me go hummmmmm….

After getting my editorial letter back I may be heading in a new direction with my novel. Everyone wants more about the eminent vampire wars, so I may give it to them, mixed in with a love story of course. Everyone loves a love story, even if it is about vampires!

I have my work cut out for me but I am excited.

  • by Denise K. Rago

I discovered a new television show on Friday nights at 9pm titled Moonlight. It is about a detective, Mick St. John, who is a vampire living in present day LA. As is usually the case with vampires, he falls in love with a mortal woman; a newspaper reporter he rescued when she was just a child. They are attracted to one another yet he dare not get her too involved in his world. He has a conscious, morals and integrity, just like my main vampire character, Christian. He lives in eternal conflict between his nature and his memory of his human self.

The other television show I was watching (no I don’t watch that much TV, but vampires intrique me in case you haven’t guessed), is Blood Ties. I do not like Vicky, the main character. I find her too hard, too one dimensional. I do like Mike and Henry. So, Friday night is vampire night in my house and I have to ask myself why suddenly all these television shows on “fantasy topics?” Is it the state of our world? Our fear of the unknown? I am not sure but it is a genre who’s time has come – finally.

I am embarking on a new voyage. I have an editor for my novel! I am thrilled to have a professional reading my manuscript. I don’t know how much re-writing I will have to do but I am so excited. Writing is one of the things that I live for, and to rewrite it will only make it a better novel and make me grow as a writer, and isn’t that what it is all about? Writing is one step in the publishing process. I have had friends who also write read my novel but there is something about a professional assessing your work. Some writers may be intimidated by it but I welcome it. I see it as bringing me one step closer to publication!