|Interview With Nancy Killpatrick
By AL J. Vermette
She is the rising new star in the dark universe of horror
fiction. She is Nancy Killpatrick and she is the author of
the new novel Revenge of the Vampir King. I have had
the great pleasure in getting to know this rising writer
who will give Ann Rice a run for her money.
AL: Please tell our readers about your new book "Revenge of The Vampir King?"
Nancy: I hate trying to talk about a book--my synopsizing always sounds so banal! <deep breath>
Revenge of the Vampir King is volume 1 in a world I've created called Thrones of Blood. Vampires and
humans are enemies and have been at war since the beginning of recorded history, at least. Each
species is trying to control the other and will do anything, even the most despicable acts, to make that
happen. It's a story of hatreds, violence, treachery, jealousy and at the same time love, kindness,
eroticism, hope, deep passions acting like powerful waves, forcing the main characters from two
adversarial species together, then yanking them apart. I like to think of this as a vampire novel for adults.
AL: How long did it take you write the novel?
Nancy: I started thinking about this book maybe 10 years ago and around
7 years ago knocked out a full first draft in one month. Then I got excited
about a continuing story I envisioned, so this has turned into a 6 and possi-
bly 7 novel series with a larger storyline that continues through all the books,
yet each book can stand alone as well.
AL: Where did the idea for the book come from?
Nancy: My deranged mind. Lol. I've always been interested in vampires
and have read at least 2500 books on vampires--yes, they are in my library.
I think I have a unique perspective because I know the history in fiction, film,
music, poetry, mythology, even academic papers! I know where the vampire
has come from in its multi-cultural history and have a sense of the evolution-
ary continuum. That's why I edited the anthology Evolve: Vampire Stories of
the New Undead, and then its sequel Evolve Two: Vampire Stories of the
Future Undead. These anthos were bestsellers, and many reviewers saw
them as a breath of fresh air, particularly because a chunk of hardcore vampire readers were
disappointed with the inception of Twilight and other YA books that took over the genre and channeled the
undead in a new and softer direction. Personally, I'm not against Twilight. To me, that's just one branch on
the vampire's evolutionary tree. But, I don't write YA. I write for adults.
AL: What was the path like seeing the book go from an idea in your head to a fully written novel?
Nancy: By the time I was coherent again, ahem!, I'd written book 1, 2/3rds of books 2 and 3, half of 4,5,6
, and jotted down ideas for 7. And I was calling all of these on my Facebook page: "The Unpublishables".
I knew I had crossed way too many genres and if I wanted these books to be readable and published, I
needed to cull. I thought quite a bit about what I really wanted these stories to be about. Out went the Sci
Fi. Out went the Steampunk. And more. As I was cleaning literary house, I knew I had to respect my
personal vision of the vampire and how I wanted to present these beings in these stories. What did I want
to say that was new and different and yet kept to my idea of the vampire, the definition of which to me is
archetypal: the vampire is the predator, we are the prey.
AL: Have you written other novels or short stories that you would like to tell our readers about.
Nancy: I've published 18 novels before Revenge of the Vampir King, and about 220 short stories. I've
also edited 15 anthologies. Much but not all of my work has been vampire-related. I've been writing a long
time and started out with major publishers like Pocket Books, and Roc. And I have a nonfiction book The
goth Bible: A Compendium for the Darkly Inclined, from St. Martin's press. I have 6 collections of my short
stories in print, and a graphic novel from Pre-Force. All of the major works (not the short stories) are listed
on my website and my author's page.
AL: What books or stories do you have still in your head that are just busting to get out?
Nancy: Well, books 2 through 6 or 7 in this world, for sure, since I'm just finishing up 2 now. I write short
stories when invited and have written a lot of Lovecraftian stories in the past couple of years for S.T. Joshi
and others. I've got 2 more stories I'm committed to so those ideas are floating around my brain, one more
concrete than the other (because that deadline is earlier).
AL: When did you first start writing fiction?
Nancy: I guess when I was 8 years old and my grandfather gave me a little portable typewriter. I knocked
out what might have been considered to be poems. <laughing> But I kept writing by hand and in my teens
wrote a lot of angry essays about why whatever deities were around were letting all this crappy stuff
happen in the world--I'm still annoyed about that! But I was also writing short stories and in my early days,
a commercial-type novel, and a novella. I managed to get a few stories published and one was a runner-up
in a newspaper contest. When I read that story in the paper, I recognized right away that it was a horror
story, very dark, and that's where my interest was--in the darkness. I had to accept that I loved writing
horror and dark fantasy and within those genres I have two specialties: existentialism, and erotic horror.
Good horror and dark fantasy are like an earthquake for readers. Doing what Franz Kafka said fiction
should do: 'melt the frozen sea within.'
So, I rewrote "Root Cellar" as a vampire story and it has been published and reprinted many times, been
up for two awards, and appeared in a best-of anthology.
AL: What was the one piece of work you have written that you most enjoyed writing?
Nancy: I always enjoy the piece I'm working on at the moment. But I think there's a special place in every
writer's heart for their first work, and for me, that wasn't the earlier writings but the first horror novel I wrote.
I was young, it was 1976, and I was writing a vampire novel. Interview With the Vampire came out that year
and that seemed auspicious. I thought 'OMG, the world will be open to my vampire novel!' which was
nothing like what Anne Rice had written--our styles are extremely different. But I was naive and thought
publishing was more open than it was. I sent a business letter to 35 publishers asking if they would like to
read sample chapters. (Back then, I was a devotee of The Writers' Market, so I knew how to write a good
letter!) 34 said 'No!' they weren't interested. #35, Manor Books (they went out of business and no, I didn't
put a curse on them--at least I don't remember doing that!), said yes, send the entire MS. I sent the
manuscript and being naive and young and going by the rules which I've discovered have never worked for
me so I don't bother anymore.
I waited the prescribed year before daring to inquire if Manor had received the MS, read it, wanted it. It
took another year of letters and phone calls--so that's 2 years--for them to finally respond; a form letter said
they had returned it, rejected. I still lived at the same address, so I was not exactly buying that and thought
either they'd lost the MS or someone else had published it under their own name (yes, a touch of young
writer's paranoia!) So, discouraged, I put novel writing aside and delved into short stories which are by
their nature short and don't gouge out that huge chunk of time and soul that a novel requires.
But that novel ended up published in 2000, by a small press called Baskerville Books. Then it was sold to
Mosaic Press and published again. And it's also out as an ebook from Crossroad Press. Bloodlover is
book 4 of a 4-novel vampire series Power of the Blood. Between all the years from when I first wrote that
book and when it was published, I must have rewritten the story 50 times, from manual typewriter to
electric typewriter, to an Apple IIC computer, to a PC. The story was originally set in the future, 2006. By
the time it was published in 2000, the future had nearly arrived. I reset the story in the 1960s so I could
include the futuristic elements at their inception. So just by virtue of my decades-long relationship with that
particular novel, I'd have to say it may not be my best work, but it does have a special place in my heart.
AL: So wants next for you and your fiction?
Nancy: The rest of the Thrones of Blood series. And I have a stand-alone novel to finish which is not
vampire but still dark, horror, but also SF.
AL: Where can our readers find your new novel?
Nancy: Revenge of the Vampir King is on Amazon, Barnes & Noble; Chapters/Indigo; Kobo, etc, as an
ebook and from April 2017 it will also be a print book which can be found on Amazon and also purchased
directly from the publisher, which would help the publisher immensely: http://crossroadpress.com/ ;
Book 2 - Sacrifice of the Hybrid Princess - will be out the fall of 2017, ebook first, then print.
Readers can find me here:
Amazon Author's Page: amazon.com/author/www.nancykilpatrick.com
|For interview with the
people behind the new
web series "Space
Dad", click here
For interview with Nancy
Kilpatrick, author of
Revenge of the Vampire
King, click here