Just a quick update on the status of my three present projects at the start of 2019. Two are old and one is new…and slightly borrowed. (They all keep me from being too blue.) The latter is a work “strongly suggestive” of Dracula. I’ve long wanted to do my own version of Bram Stoker’s old reliable warhorse, but at least this time, my concept is only (heavily) reminiscent of it.
Draconfyx is centered upon a vintage drug dealer of the title name, who, with the help of his minions, purveys a mysterious, addicting elixir to lost people searching for something to fill their empty hearts. The elixir eventually renders these unfortunates vulnerable enough that Count Draconfyx can steal their souls…and thus, his victims become soul predators–“Users” like him. Geeeeet iiiiiiiiiit??? As Dracula is a classic story of good vs. evil, so is Draconfyx, for while these Users do not actually drink blood, fear the sunlight, or sleep in coffins, they do fear and respect God. And so it is with God’s help that a young girl and retired professor seek to destroy Count Draconfyx and his kind, to prevent other people, especially the young, from falling prey to addiction, death, and eternal loss,
You might call it a Gothic horror/spiritual take on a drug sting…with bat wings.
I’m writing it as a fairly short storybook for youth and adults, with mixed-media illustrations like these. It’s great fun. Certain iconic elements and scenes from the Big D will be paid homage to, i.e., Dracula’s move to a new country for a fresh smorgasbord of victims; the three vampire women; Professor Van Helsing (Professor Vanover here); the ruined Carfax (Craxton) Abbey; plenty of storm-tossed nights and moonlight; character names with the ring of their Stoker counterparts–Mina and Lucy are now sisters Minnie and Luna, and Jonathan Harker is Jem Harks, a local delinquent youth who corrupts Luna–and so on and so forth.
The story is serving as an exercise in brevity. I have a tendency to be extremely wordy, and to include much too much detail, to the point of rambling. Here, I intend to keep the finished product short enough that it can be read in one sitting, like a movie of modest length. An hour and fifteen minutes is perfect, as such was the running time of most Universal classic horror films of the 1930s which have inspired me.
Midnight Steps marches ever onward. I’ll soon be into the third “act” of the story, and if I do say so myself, this one is a corker. More on it later, but…wow. Even as I write it, I can feel chills at the overwhelming sense of “me” pouring forth in every aspect. The experience has taught me that you definitely should write what you know–including when you don’t know firsthand the when, where, or occasionally even the what of it. Sheer emotional honesty will nearly always fill the gaps.
And then there’s that other chestnut, now published. I plan to embark (not too soon) upon a third and final round of revisions to The Horrible Hand! It wouldn’t be necessary from a writing standpoint–the story’s text is what it is, after three years. What keeps tripping me up is the fucking formatting; for example, spacing properly the stupid-assed little logos at the start of each chapter, and keeping the same amount of text on every page so that they’re even and don’t look like some clueless self-published writer put it together. I keep telling myself that next time, I’ll let a professional do it. Maybe, maybe not. Regardless, I’ve learned volumes on what to do and not to do in future works, particularly the Eerie Series.
Don’t misunderstand me, though. I’ve enjoyed every detail of the work on this project and the rest. Even the shit work.
I guess that’s why they call it a labor of love.