This will serve as the introduction to The Bloodlines of Rollinsford, out December 1st exclusively from Amazon. Vampire lore and mythology are nothing new to anyone who's attended a Halloween party or consumed any form of popular culture. The genre is tired at best. I suffer no delusions as to the greats I've drawn from (it can't be helped), but through that process I've crafted what I feel is a unique take on these... animals. This introduction serves as a history of the story as well as a line in the sand dividing my estafru from your vampires...
Just a few more weeks!
We Don’t Use The V-Word
A Quick Note on Vampires
Aside from this little introduction, this is the only time you’ll read the word vampire in this series. While my creatures, called estafru, are absolutely of the same vile, blood-sucking caliber, they fit into a different narrative than those previously depicted. And vampires, we’d agree, have been more than adequately represented both in print and onscreen, so I won’t deny I’ve faithfully and respectfully drawn from Stoker, Rice, King, Carpenter, and Barker to a degree in shaping my estafru. Just as these horror icons honored vampire lore as they adapted it, so (I hope) have I. Here you will find creatures largely devoid of humanity, unchained animals who glut themselves on human blood yet speak with the eloquence and dramatic flair of aristocrats.
The Bloodlines of Rollinsford takes me all the way back to my sophomore year of high school. I remember where I was when I started it (sitting in astronomy class) and where I was when I finished it (the parking lot at South of the Border, of all places). In both cases I was with my high school girlfriend, Leona, to whom this book is dedicated. I thought back then that my estafru would carry me to a lucrative contract with one of the Big Five publishing houses. Unfortunately the book was unreadable, as were the sequels that followed.
It was with a heavy heart and a promise to revisit them eventually that I packed away the original handwritten manuscripts for The Bloodlines of Rollinsford almost two decades ago and moved on to other projects. In 2013 and 2015 I published my books Topaz and Fresh Water From Ben Gile Pond with a pair of small presses, and in the intervening years I rewrote the first two books in The Bloodlines of Rollinsford. When I finished them I proudly shelved them along with the first books. Why? The market was saturated with vampires back then, and honestly I always find this way of kicking myself in the ass over wasting my time on vampires to begin with. So I wrote three more books (which you’ll see over the next few years) and moved on, away from vampires. Away from estafru.
So what brought me back? Well, that’s a very long story that starts with my sobriety and the general attitude of I seriously can’t be bothered to give a fuck that came with it. I revised the vampire books on a whim in early 2019 and sent out queries. My friend Liz Widmer had a very big part in this, though I hardly think she realizes it. She discovered my books just as I put the bottle down for good, and her enthusiasm filled the void that would have otherwise been occupied by self-pity, self-loathing, etc. Instead of beating myself down, I built myself up, and I wouldn’t have done it without my friend. So, big thanks as always, Liz. Your enthusiasm has brought these books out of my closet and into the world.
It brings me immense joy to know that the first of my estafru books is currently in your hands, dear reader. This story is nearly as old as my writing career and is predated only by the first story I ever wrote, one I draw heavily from in my book Topaz and one that will eventually see its own series weaving into the Bloodlines books in ways that leave me, as my character Simon Oakley would say, rather titillated. I’ve been waiting more than two decades to see the vast mythology I’ve crafted come to print. Topaz was the launching point, but The Bloodlines of Rollinsford, The Estafru Messiah, is the first step on the path of a sprawling adventure that will blend horror and science fiction, see magic and science exist together in a shared multiverse, and most importantly see the bad guys win… often.
These aren’t vampires, dear reader, these are estafru. And they are definitely the bad guys…