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DAWN OF BLASPHEMY Bonus Material: ORIGIN STORY

The inspiration for The Blasphemer Series began when I was young. Dante Angeloft was somebody I came up with for a literary role-play I was participating in that dealt with Vampires and mortals. I wanted a mortal who was different than many I had come across before. With that, I kept working on the different aspects I wanted in his personality…what made him an artist, was he famous or not, did he have an easy life or a hard one, and why would he get involved with Vampires.

This character began like many others did for me — simple concept flushed out with details I wanted. I didn’t have any others to compare to make sure he was different enough. He sat on the back burner for years, never really getting used, never being talked about beyond those in the role-play group.

When I began working on the story that ended up being Maxwell Demon, the first in the series, I wasn’t sure if Mr. Angeloft would make an appearance or not, but I knew he would show up in some way eventually. I also knew I wanted him to be the main character. For me, Maxwell Demon was a story that told itself, but it wasn’t one that included Dante Angeloft, which is why he came in with Harvest.

Initially, Harvest’s story wasn’t what I had planned, but like many writers, the story changed as it was being written. Within the boundaries of character personalities, the story morphs into something you can’t always outline and plan. Some can consistently keep everything tamed and in place on an outline, but this isn’t something that always works for me. For the most part, anything I outline goes to hell in a hand basket, so I don’t bother.

The name The Blasphemer Series was a combination of many things. It seemed to fit best for what so many went through throughout the series. Blasphemy is defined by the Oxford Living Dictionaries as “the act or offense of speaking sacrilegiously about God or sacred things; profane talk.” There was no better description for the series. I also grew up in a very religious part of the United States, so even writing material containing God, angels, or the devil was blasphemous.

Credit for the root of the series’ title can also be given to the character Dante Angeloft being called “blasphemous”, in original writings, for his controversial paintings depicting Christ on the cross, which he saw in a vision. It was this that stirred an interest from a Vampire, leading to his introduction into the “real world”.

I was a little fearful to even write the series because I knew some would assume I had no faith or belief in a higher power. I realized, after a long conversation with a friend, that it wouldn’t matter what I wrote. Someone would have an opinion of me no matter what.

The Blasphemer Series is about good versus evil, with the aspect that we can all do good and bad, we make mistakes, and we’re all struggling in one way or another. I like playing with the fact that what we may feel is a good deed, another may see as something bad.

I have built a world in which all the great monsters are right alongside Witches and Humans. When I began thinking about all this, it occurred to me that the world would be more realistic if all things, all beings, could be good and bad. What one believes is for the good, another may see as awful, evil, or unfair.

Maxwell Demon shows that even Angels can be damned, but can also fight against their damnation to prove they’re still worthy of Heaven. That not all Demons accept the norm to possess Human Beings because the reasons they do this, to punish Humans, is not a purpose for all. Historically, Vampires are evil, but that isn’t always the case.  This book also details how the Clash of Angels wasn’t just for one reason, but many, those that fought had their own reasons to do so…some fought for the Nephilim, some for fought for the Humans, and some siding with Morningstar or Lucifer. All sides felt they were fighting for the right things.

Harvest, the second installment, explores a world directly affected by what has occurred in the first book. It shows worlds coming together because evil has destroyed the veil between the Mythical Realm and our world. This also sparks up old rivalries only calmed by diplomacy or unlikely friendships.

Ghosts is the third installment and is my attempt to give readers a more in-depth look into the world of Vampires, Werewolves, and even supernatural hunters. It’s full of darkness and evil, but goodness is very much a theme.

This book begins with what appears to be Vampires breaking treaties by publicly attacking a human to feed, but it’s found out to be a set-up by rogue Dire Werewolves working together. It’s quickly discovered that this is Kasdeja recruiting for the ultimate battle. This launches both worlds into the open for the first time in the modern age. The last time this was done, The Great War between the two species ended with the first of the Werewolves dying out, slowly reemerging into the modern shifting clans after a curse launched them back into existence.

The world is much different. The internet sends the attack out via social media and the new age of technology. Ghosts also shows a glimpse into the future that could be if something isn’t done. Dante does something that could ultimately kill him, but it’s a suicidal mission he’s willing to attempt in order to get the answers locked away in the possessed Briar’s mind.

The end of Ghosts will be a smooth transition into the fourth book, Descend. The final book of the series will be titled Ascend.

In interviews, podcasts, and private conversations, I’ve mentioned the books after Ghosts and how the story will unfold. However, only one person knows the twist that will occur. One will return at the end of Ghosts, and the other returns in the fourth book, but in only one instance does one of these original characters have be to be sought out. Originally, I had worked out timelines and stories for up to eight books, but as I began writing Maxwell Demon and Harvest, some things just had to be told earlier than planned for the series to be written smoothly.


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DAWN OF BLASPHEMY BONUS MATERIAL: Notes on Writing

The importance of writing has been a strong theme throughout my life. From a young age, my writing was my escape and my outlet. My stories consisted of worlds where people who didn’t like me would. I was the main character of a world that I could make much happier. I could travel to anywhere at any time. I could go to uncharted lands or even outer space, places I had only pretended to visit in my bedroom.

These short stories and little writings evolved over time as I learned more about technique. I eventually swapped myself for a being much different, someone with struggles, but one in control of her destiny. At a young age, I didn’t see much of a future for myself, even though my dreams were large. I often tossed these stories away or just kept them inside so as not to use any school supplies my parents managed to get for me.

With age, my writings went through an evolution, morphing into more comfortable styles with characters who had become familiar to me. I knew each by name, each having rich histories. I joined a literary role-playing group with others my age, and we would get lost for hours in worlds either we or others had created. During this time, the birth of a character named Dante occurred. His first incarnation was as a simple, controversial painter, but I continued to develop him, finally finding his home in The Blasphemer Series.

I’m in my early thirties as I write this, and these characters have been with me for over half of my life. Writing literally saved me. Without this outlet, my childhood and teenage woes would have taken me to a dark place. I’m thankful for the gift I have been given. When I speak of how one should encourage themselves to write, it could quite literally save a life. Now, I save myself with therapy journal entries just to de-stress and get it out; otherwise, it might overflow into a panic attack or inconsolable crying session. I’ve been lucky to be able to express myself through writing and art. 

DAWN OF BLASPHEMY BONUS MATERIAL: What happened to this book?

In December in 2016 a book released that included The Blasphemer Series: Maxwell Demon and Harvest. Along with these full books bonus materials were included. Notes on writing, new interview, origin of the series, and a few other items. As these books began to be picked up by publishers this book became a problem.

When a publisher agrees to publish your work contracts that are brought to the table to be signed or re-worked until both sides are in agreement. Contracts are, in basics, a licensing agreement (kind of). You, the writer, are giving over copyright to a publisher for use. A publisher will ask you, through the contract negotiation portion, to publish your work in paperback, digital, or even audio book formats with a percentage of income made being kept for their involvement and yours. Often times, another cut is taken out by say companies like Amazon for use of their services, including the distribution (shipping) and selling platform (their website). ‘Print-on-demand’ saves on housing of products in a warehouse that may or may not even sell. Product that do not sale are still going to be paid for through taxes and can/will be paid for through taxes until they’re sold.

The two books in one, Dawn of Blasphemy, was done purely on my part, but publishers haven’t shown interest in doing this so I had to pull this book/product down so that the books could be with publishers. It is common when a book is signed to one company after self-publishing (for example) for it to be removed from whatever platforms it had been on, for example draft2digital.

For many authors, they go from one publisher to another most of the above is never a problem, but for self-publishing authors going to a publisher these are things to be considered. Being in the business long enough you learn things about the many sides of the business, not just the writing part. It’s why you will see in my blog post referring to a book as a product. A book, in the simplest definition, is a product. I began seeing my work as products for consumers along as my hard work, blood, and even tears. Every book can easily be considered their own business/branded product, series a bigger product made of smaller ones, but still one individually.

With this book being pulled by myself for publishers to do some of what they needed to I still had the bonus material to consider, to find a home. I began releasing these pieces on my website. I will be doing that again. I felt it was important to address what happened to the book overall, why it cannot be found for sale anymore. If you do find it for sale don’t trust it unless I have said it would be here on my website.

Before I end this post, I want to say that all the business I spoke of above is my understanding of the publishing business. I have worked for publishers, I’ve worked for other authors. I’ve done a lot of the work for myself. I am confident in my understanding, but I am not confident in if others are understanding my explanation of it well. I am sure others will see it differently or be able to explain it more smoothly. The advice and information I share is mainly how I see it, what’s been experienced, and I’m always fully aware that someone somewhere is explaining it better or easier to understand.

I try to explain things with the approach of someone completely new to the business reading the information for the first time in the best way that I can. If you need something explained more in-depth comment, let’s start a conversation about it. I’m open and willing to explain things several times and different ways so the information is more clearly explained if it helps.