Monday, December 21, 2009

Guest: Terence Taylor

Welcome, vampboy Terence Taylor to VampChix today!  Terence's current release is BITE MARKS: A VAMPIRE TESTAMENT.  Terence is giving away a signed copy today to one lucky commenter, so give him some love in the comments.  [Winner announced on Wednesday.]  (That's a pic of his workspace above.)  Here are a few reviews to whet your appetite for this bloody delightful thriller...

"Terence Taylor delivers masterful world-building, edge-of-your-seat prose, and characters to die for--his is an exciting fresh voice in vampire literature." -- LA Banks, New York Times Bestseller and author of The Vampire Huntress Legends Series

"Truly enjoyable and imaginative, this thrilling, convoluted yarn is sure to delight any vampire fan." --Publisher's Weekly (Starred Review)

Here's Terence in his own words...

I Slept at Dawn

I’ve seen the dawn.

My friends deny it, tease me for living from sundown to sunrise like my literary vampires, but I’ve seen the sun come up many times.  As a child at a bus stop waiting to go to school; twenty years later from the back of a cab taking me home to Brooklyn after a night of drinking and dancing.  Dawn is nothing new to me, though it is becoming a distant memory.  I was always a night person, long before I spent seven years writing a novel about vampires.

It’s in my blood.  My family woke slowly when I was growing up.  The first one up put on the kettle for hot water to make tea.  We all huddled silent around our mugs and cups, slowly sipped caffeine and blinked like bleary lemurs until our eyes focused, and our brains approached real time speeds.

This natural tendency only worsened when I started working on my vampire novel.  I’d spent years learning to get to work by at least ten, waking as late as seven or eight to get there.  When I was writing Bite Marks: A Vampire Testament, I did freelance jobs at home instead, and worked on the book late, night after night, stayed up writing until one, two, three AM...

I began writing by candlelight and the soft glow of my monitors, often going to bed only when I noticed dawn sniffing around the edges of the window shades.  I’d pull the bedroom curtains shut, burrow deep into the quilts and sleep as late as I could.  I made it work.  After waking, tea, then a quick round of business calls before everyone left for the day, followed by a few furtive errands around the neighborhood wrapped safely in my coat, hat and sunglasses before I fled home to wait out the remainder of the day.

The night became my friend again, as it had been in my twenties when I roamed the East Village streets, galleries and clubs that became the background for my first novel.  While I immersed myself in the world of my vampires, I lived my vision of the landscape of their lives, drifted through the kind of downtown clubs, bars and art spaces I imagined they’d frequent looking for victims.  I found myself dressing more and more in the stylish, but inconspicuous manner I decided they would dress in as hunters, the kind of dark urban camouflage that let them fade into the social background while they picked out prey.

I decided that writers who write about day walking vampires are just not night people, and must live a farmer’s life, rising and going to bed with the sun.  They just can’t stretch their imaginations to understand why anyone would elect to live only in the dark, deprived of daylight forever. 

I could and did.

My friends joked about my new schedule as I justified it by telling them that ten years in L.A. had ruined me -- my body was still on Pacific Coast Time, convinced it was waking at 9am and going to bed at midnight.

I knew the truth -- I love the night.  It’s quiet, private, and enduring.  No matter what else may happen, the sun will set.  The dark will always be there for you, wiping away the cares of the day as your ability to change anything fades with the sun.  The outside world shuts down at night, leaving you free to pursue your own priorities.

There is a power in being the only one awake, walking the streets solitary, riding the subways with a handful of fellow passengers, not an easy hour to find in Manhattan.  But as I walk my own Brooklyn neighborhood at three in the morning, I’m often alone, strolling silent sidewalks to an overnight corner store to get milk for tea or a bedtime snack after a night of writing, past sleeping windows, no traffic, ruler of all I survey.  The streets are mine.

Until a patrol car inevitably swings by, wondering what the hell I’m doing out at this hour.  My vampires could erase themselves from view with a thought, or slip out of sight so quickly no officers could be sure they’d even seen them. 

My defense is a nod of the head and a smile, and a faster step into the store.
Even though the first and second books of The Vampire Testaments are done, I’m still on vampire time, even if not quite as nocturnal as I was.  I see more of the sun these days, though I keep my sunglasses on when I go out.  I’ll be writing the third vampire testament next year, and expect to fall back into my old habits soon.
In the meantime, I have bigger worries.  The book I‘m working on now, The Perfect Pandemonium, is about demonic influences and avoiding an early Apocalypse.  After seeing the effect of the vampire novels on my life, I‘m keeping an eye out for any side effects from this one.  So far so good. 
Except for a light scent of sulfur in the air...

TERENCE TAYLOR is an award-winning children's television writer, whose work has appeared on PBS, Nickelodeon, and Disney, among many others. After a career of comforting young kids, he's now equally dedicated to scaring their parents.  "BITE MARKS: A Vampire Testament" is his first novel. "BLOOD PRESSURE: A Vampire Testament", second in the opening trilogy, is due out in April 2010 from St. Martin’s Griffin. He lives quietly in Brooklyn and laughs a lot between acts of literary carnage.  For more about his first book and what’s to come, go to or

[You must be a US resident to be eligible for giveaway.  Please note your country in the comments.  You can still comment if you're not in US!]


Book Junkie said...

Hi Terence,

Great post, you are a new to me author but I have heard of your books, just never picked up one.... yet!But in reading about Bite Marks on your site, it sounds wicked! And I love it!


Amanda Makepeace said...

I took note of these books about a month ago, but with the holidays approaching I forgot to take that closer look. Wow! Now I can't wait to read them!!

Thanks for sharing!

Amanda in the US

Ida Brugler said...

Hello, Terence

Bite Marks sounds Great i will have to check it out.
I also love the night, It is so quiet and peaceful after the world is asleep. I get alot of things done then.
I love your work space!

Thanks, Ida

heidi87 said...

Happy Holidays!!!
I love your book. It was awesome. Your next will be just as good.
Thanks for the interview.
Summerdale,PA, USA

Witchy Woman said...

Hi Terrance!
Thanks for sharing. The cover art for your novels are downright terrifying, must perfect my potions for "pleasant dreams" after viewing those. If your post is any indication of your writing, then I'm sure they're great reads.

I live in the U.S.of A.

Witchy Woman said...

Ooops...sorry, guess I changed your name Terence.

Ida Brugler said...

Oops, The work pic got me excited I forgot to put i live in the good ol' USA
Thanks, Ida

kalynnick said...

Terrance, your books sounds really good. I have to check them out!

I live in U.S


van_pham said...

The cover looks awesome and the story sounds really interesting..will definitely check it out :)

I live in the U.S.


Derek Tatum said...

I'm definitely interested in winning a copy.

Bethie said...

Please count me in. I love that you were writing for children and now have moved to Vampire fiction.

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

booklover0226 said...

Good evening, Terence.

I look forward in starting your series. It has been a long time since I've read a vampire novel by a man. It will be a nice change of pace for me.

Tracey D
booklover0226 At gmail DOT com
I'm in the USA

Martha Lawson said...

Hi Terrance! You are a new to me author!! I love finding new authors. I must say your books look great. I will be checking them out.. Merry Christmas.

I'm in the US

mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

donnas said...

Great post. Nighttime is totally different than what people expect. But then most people are day people. I love the night and would rather stay up late than get up early any day of the week.

Bite Marks sounds really good and like a great start to a new series.

Im in the US.

Happy Holidays!

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Terence Taylor said...

Hello to all the Vamp Chix readers! I have been slogging through the holidays and settling my late mom's affairs, so haven't been as up on my life as I would like to have been the last two months... ;)

LOVE the responses, and hope to be back in the spring to tell you all about Book Two of the Testaments...I have been working on the end of the opening trilogy, which is set another twenty years in the future -- 2027. Ah, multi-generational stories! ;)

And next time I will make sure that I am able to be online checking and responding as comments come in. Would love to ask a few questions along the way... And I am sending out VampChix winner Tracey Dent's copy of Bite Marks today! Sorry for the delay! Blame the cold and my cold... sniffle!

davidbaer said...
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