Joining me today on my Manic Monday series is Deborah Riley-Magnus.  Deborah is an author and an Author Success Coach. She has a twenty-seven year professional background in marketing, advertising and public relations as a writer for print, television and radio. She writes fiction in several genres as well as non-fiction.

 

 

Deborah produces several pieces weekly for various websites. She also writes an author industry blog, Writaholic, and teaches online and live workshops as The Author Success Coach. She belongs to several writing and professional organizations. In 2011, she has two novels and one non-fiction, “The Author Success Coach”, being released.

 

She’s lived on both the east and west coast of the United States and has traveled the country widely.

 

 

Thanks so much J.E. Taylor, for letting me be part of your Manic Monday. Thrilled to be here! You asked about Cold in California and where this crazy story came from. Well …

 

What happens to a vampire after he finally dies? Heaven? Hell? Nope, purgatory in a West Hollywood warehouse. Go figure.

 

Where does any original idea come from? I’m a firm believer that creativity is plagiarism with a flare; the wheel can’t be reinvented and if it’s square, it can’t roll. Basically, all story ideas come from the same original four or five plots, but I strongly believe that how a story is told makes a bigger impact than what the story is about. Most ideas start with love or adventure, coming of age or fantasy; the great ones come from a skewed point of view no one ever thought of before … Cold in California came to me from a very twisted and off-center point of view.

 

Like most people, I’ve spent countless hours wondering about life after death. Is there a heaven or hell? Who, after a mere few decades on the planet, actually earns one or the other? What pivotal points lead a man up or down? Unless a person is completely devoid of faith, religion or spirituality, I venture to guess there’s a deep, unbridled fear of hell and the horned demon awaiting, his fiery eyes and pointy-toothed grin haunting, evil and looming from childhood nightmares. Shiver!

 

Consequently, my own terrors of the hell and billowing hopes for heaven guide many of my life choices as well as my creative process. I’ve taken long hard looks at organized religion, new age philosophies, Native American ceremonial traditions, Eastern philosophy and ritual Christianity. Sometimes it’s horrifying, sometimes it’s revealing… and in the case of Cold in California, sometimes it’s fun.

 

If a man is generally a good man and something horrible happens to him, something that stretches his world view, how do the powers that be evaluate that man’s subsequent qualities and flaws? It’s a simple exploration that started to go strange and make me laugh. What if that man was turned vampire? What if he retained some semblance of human honorability but still needs to suck blood to survive? What does heaven think? Should this man be condemned for having to survive within those extreme parameters?

 

Then my head went a little further. Please understand, I don’t like vampires. Everything I’d read or seen in films was kind of a turn off. It’s not so much the blood and gore, it’s the stripping of humanity that kind of bothered me. Granted, more contemporary authors have made their vampiric characters far more likeable and humane, but still, there was always something about the whole idea that confused me. Then I figured it out.

 

It wasn’t the fact that vampires are dead, scary monsters, it was the fact that they had no hope. No redemption. No heaven. Cold in California is a book about redemption. Based on standard mythology I couldn’t have redemption for my vampire, Gabriel Strickland, unless I gave him a soul and a second chance. Oh, and it had to have humor, too. Lots and lots of humor.

 

Cold in California is an urban fantasy that takes a standard vampire, makes him double dead (twice-baked) and puts him in a West Hollywood warehouse where he has to live out purgatory with other dead supernaturals – trolls, werewolves, pixies, leprechauns, fairies, you name it. A chosen few from each supernatural race are there, even a few you may have never heard of. Against their natures, all these strange characters are challenged with earning the brownie points to get through the pearly gates. Gabriel, of course has far more difficulties, after all he’s handsome, has to now live among humans and dead supernaturals and the other ‘living’ supernaturals infesting the planet. He has to deal with the fact that everything he believed about final death is a lie. He must tolerate the unique West Hollywood culture, endure intense new love (of course) and win over pending disaster. Go figure. And all this guy wanted to do was be dead.

 

My goal was to create a vampire story you’ve never seen before! How much fun is that?

 

Cold in California is the first of a five book “Twice-Baked Vampire Series” and was released June 15, 2011.

 

In August/September of 2011, I have a non-fiction being released entitled The Author Success Coach: Strategies for Author Success in a Turbulent Publishing Landscape.

 

 

Cold in California Amazon Link

 

http://www.amazon.com/Cold-California-Twice-Baked-Vampire-ebook/dp/B0055EC7E8/
 

My Website and Blog Links

 

I blog – http://rileymagnus.wordpress.com/

 

 

I teach – http://theauthorsuccesscoach.com/

 

 

I fiction – http://coldincalifornia.com

 

 

I write – http://deborahriley-magnus.com/

 

 

I play – http://whispersofthemuse.org/

 

 

I tweet – http://twitter.com/rileymagnus

 

 

I facebook – http://www.facebook.com/deborah.rileymagnus

 

 

I should be sooo tired!

 

 

My Wonderful Publisher’s Link

 

http://ireadiwrite.com/

 

 

Thank you for swinging in Deborah!  Folks join me on Friday when I dish it up with Markus Sakey!

 

Until then,

Ciao

JET

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