Let’s hear from Kathryn…
Human No Longer Backstory
By Kathryn Meyer Griffith
By Kathryn Meyer Griffith
Purchase at Amazon.
Human No Longer. It’s my 17th published book – yeah! – and my fourth vampire novel. First, let me tell you where I got the idea for it. About five years ago, I was still trying to please the agent (who I no longer have) who’d sold four of my earlier paperback novels to Zebra in the 1990’s and, because she didn’t seem to like any of my new potential concepts, I asked her what she would like to see. Out of nowhere, she said, “You know your 1991 Zebra vampire novel, Vampire Blood? I liked that one a lot. The characters. Well, how about writing me a sort of sequel with basically the same cast, but with this premise: A woman, a mother, after being turned into a bloodthirsty vampire, must learn to adapt to the human world and still be a good mother. You know, how would she deal with everything when she had children she loved; didn’t want to hurt or leave them…but still had the need to feed on blood? Still had all the urges and desires of a vampire?
Yikes. I hated the idea but, to please her, I went ahead and begrudgingly wrote the book. I tentatively called it The Vampire’s Children or The Vampire Mother or something like that. I finished it. Not too happy with it. I had never liked writing what other people wanted me to write. Stubborn, I guess.
Then, in late 2012, I decided to take a very old book of mine (Predator) which was contracted to Zebra Paperbacks in 1993 but, in the end, never actually released, and just for the heck of it, as my 16th novel, self-publish it to Amazon Kindle Direct. Just in ebook form. A kind of grand experiment. The first time I’ve ever tried self-publishing. See how it’d sell. Dinosaur Lake. A story about a hungry mutant dinosaur loose in the waters of Crater Lake that goes on a rampage. Hey, I wrote Dinosaur Lake before Jurassic Park, the book, ever came out! Really. I had my cover artist, Dawne Dominique make a cover for it…and it was stunning with a dinosaur roaring on the front. And I did everything else myself. Editing. Proofing. Formatting. With forty years and endless publishers behind me I felt I was capable. And it’d been selling so well I decided to self-publish another one…and I remembered the mother/vampire book. Hmmm. So I revamped (ha, ha, inside joke), polished, and self-published it, as well. I retitled it Human No Longer. Got my fabulous cover artist, Dawne Dominique, to make me a lovely haunting cover with a troubled-looking woman standing outside a spooky house, with two children behind her in its shadows, on the front and voila! All in all, I don’t think the book turned out half bad. In fact, with the changes I made I think it’s not bad at all. Now I just hope my readers will like it.
So that’s the story of Human No Longer. My 17th published novel.
EXCERPT from Human No Longer
The moon had inched downwards in the sky as she turned and headed towards the farmhouse. It was time to return home to her children.
Awareness of the shadows stalking her, an encircling noose of entrapment, began once she entered the woods. She’d let her guard down again. So foolish of her.
Before she could run, the shadows were on her. A steely hand grabbed one arm, another clamped around the other. Her instincts warned she was in real danger. These were her kind but not like her. There was this stench of malevolence around them. Strong as smoke.
Don’t let them capture you. You must get away.
“Ah,” a voice spoke near her ear, “you are strong. Zebulon said you were. I didn’t believe him. It’s beyond me how you’ve come to be what you are. It’s extraordinarily rare you didn’t die and then became one of us. You’ll come with us. Now.”
“Who are you?” she demanded, not struggling to escape. Be smart. Wait for a chance. Think of Teddy and Sarah. You must protect them.
“I go by Dante. And you?”
She refused to answer. “Can’t you read my mind?”
He didn’t answer for a minute. Then he replied, “It doesn’t matter. All you need to know is you belong to us. We’ll decide what to do with you. Come along.”
“And if I don’t come along as you so nicely put it?”
“Then,” his laugh was somehow sinister, “we’ll have no further use for you. You’ll die here and now. I’m stronger than you. We’re all stronger than you.”
As afraid as she was, the words slipped out, “Did you kill my husband?”
“Your husband?” As if he didn’t know what she was talking about.
“Jeff Sanders. We were attacked in St. Louis beneath a bridge late one night the end of August. He died. I lived. Something, a cloud of shadows, swept in and out and left him dead.”
The vampire didn’t respond at first as if he were mulling it over.
“Well, did you?”
“Most likely. We dispatch so many of you. You’re our nourishment. We travel all over your world.” He snapped his fingers and the crack ricocheted around them. “You can’t expect me to recall every last pitiful one and where.”
The heartlessness in his voice made her instantly loathe him, as his grip tightened.
“How did you find me?”
“What you are called to us once your change was complete. It’s the way we knew you existed. Distance doesn’t matter.”
“Are you…am I…a vampire?”
“A vampire,” she hissed.
Another disgusted laugh. “Vampire? That’s what your kind think we are, except we’re so much more. We’re from another…place.”
His free hand waved in front of her face. “A vampire is a creature you humans made up. We’re not dead or undead, nor one of your devil’s disciples or any of those ridiculous things. One day we’ll rule this planet and all you cattle on it.
“I’ll give you a choice. You join us or not. It matters little to me either way. We just can’t have you out in the world running free. Alerting people to our existence before we’re ready for that to happen. It puts us in danger. If you’re not with us, you’re our enemy–and our enemies we do not allow to live.”
She didn’t want to join him. Them. She wanted to scratch his eyes out and break his neck. Jeff had been more than this monster’s nourishment; his death more than a consumed Happy Meal to her, to Teddy and Sarah. Damn if she was going with them!The rage, fear and loss of the last month boiled over inside her and ignoring the words and warnings, she tore from their grasp and fled. Her body, lifting from the ground, moved faster than the wind through the night trees.
Behind her she heard their curses and pursuit.
She thought of the farmhouse, longing for the safety of its walls, and suddenly she was there in her kitchen. Her enemies left behind somewhere in the woods.
She got away this time. How? Could they track her? Find her? She didn’t know.
She held her breath, listening, for what felt like an eternity. Nothing. After a while she thought she might be safe. No one had followed her.
She consciously cloaked her thoughts, her very being, and shutting her eyes, leaned against the wall so she wouldn’t sink to the floor.
Since childhood I’ve always been an artist and worked as a graphic designer in the corporate world and for newspapers for twenty-three years before I quit to write full time. I began writing novels at 21, over forty years ago now, and have had seventeen (ten romantic horror, two romantic SF horror, one romantic suspense, one romantic time travel, one historical romance and two murder mysteries) previous novels, two novellas and twelve short stories published from Zebra Books, Leisure Books, Avalon Books, The Wild Rose Press, Damnation Books/Eternal Press and Amazon Kindle Direct.
I’ve been married to Russell for almost thirty-five years; have a son, James, and two grandchildren, Joshua and Caitlyn, and I live in a small quaint town in Illinois called Columbia, which is right across the JB Bridge from St. Louis, Mo. We have three quirky cats, ghost cat Sasha, live cats Cleo and Sasha (Too), and the five of us live happily in an old house in the heart of town. Though I’ve been an artist, and a folk singer in my youth with my brother Jim, writing has always been my greatest passion, my butterfly stage, and I’ll probably write stories until the day I die…or until my memory goes.
All Kathryn Meyer Griffith’s Books available at Amazon.
Novels and short stories from Kathryn Meyer Griffith:
Evil Stalks the Night (Leisure, 1984; Damnation Books, 2012)
The Heart of the Rose (Leisure, 1985; Eternal Press Author’s Revised Edition 2010)
Blood Forge (Leisure, 1989; Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition, 2012)
Vampire Blood (Zebra, 1991; Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition, 2011)
The Last Vampire (Zebra, 1992; Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition 2010) You Tube Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZU77j_q4S8
Witches (Zebra, 1993; Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition 2011)
The Nameless One (short story in 1993 Zebra Anthology Dark Seductions; Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition, 2011)
The Calling (Zebra, 1994; Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition, 2011)
Scraps of Paper (Avalon Books Murder Mystery, 2003…soon to be an Amazon Kindle Direct ebook)
All Things Slip Away (Avalon Books Murder Mystery, 2006; Amazon Kindle Direct paperback & ebook 2012)
Egyptian Heart (The Wild Rose Press, 2007; Author’s Revised Edition, Eternal Press 2011) My self-made
You Tube Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cogCNYKzPqc
Winter’s Journey (The Wild Rose Press, 2008; Author’s Revised Edition, Eternal Press 2011) You Tube Book Trailer address: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZYCs2DVhHg
The Ice Bridge (The Wild Rose Press, 2008; Author’s Revised Edition, Eternal Press 2011) You Tube Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28HZqu-my1g
Don’t Look Back, Agnes novella & bonus short story: In This House (2008; ghostly romantic short story out; Eternal Press 2012) You Tube Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3q9rZryFMo
BEFORE THE END: A Time of Demons (Damnation Books 2010) You Tube self-made Book trailer with original song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0-U9c2Lwfo
The Woman in Crimson (Damnation Books 2010) You Tube Book Trailer Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcRBvDI5G4Y
The Complete Guide to Writing Paranormal Fiction: Volume 1 (I did the Introduction)
Dinosaur Lake (from Amazon Kindle Direct 2012)
4 Spooky Short Stories (Amazon Kindle 2012)
Telling Tales of Terror(I did the chapter on the Putting the Occult into your Fiction)
Human No Longer (Amazon Kindle 2012)
http://www.myspace.com/kathrynmeyergriffith (to see all my book trailers with original music by my singer/songwriter brother JS Meyer)