What you write, vs. what you mean to write…

I didn’t write a horror book. At least, I didn’t think I did. I wrote a detective novel… with elements of supernatural danger.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07RSGKTDF/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0

But… while there was some scary scenes, the overall tone, I felt, was too optimistic to be horror. It was an adventure tale. A friend said she couldn’t read scary tales when I was writing it. At first I told her she’d need to skip a chapter and I’d give her a synopsis. Maybe two. Then she said Harry Dresden books were too scary for her. I told her to forget it. And I didn’t hold back when it came to the creep factor if I had a good idea to build the tension somewhere.

But it was not a horror story. I’d written horror before, short stories. Those were grim. Forever’s Too Long wasn’t grim. It was full of friendship and love, music and kindness. Levity was sprinkled throughout.

A coworker refused to read it on the grounds of she didn’t read scary stuff.

I rethought how I’d been looking at it. It was an adventure, yes, and a tale of friendship and love, but couldn’t you say the same about Dracula, which authentically was about Johnathan struggling to get to Mina, Mina resisting the call of the vampires, and friends coming together to fight the undead monster who had killed an innocent among them. You couldn’t call one of the classics of horror not horror just because it had a happy ending. And the creepy stuff was creepy enough I couldn’t push it on someone who couldn’t stand anything mildly scary.

So, I sent a copy to a friend who reviews horror. I’ll see whether she thinks it’s horror or not.

***

When Allan got the idea for The Vampyre Blogs: Coming Home, he wanted to write the story of a man who was changed by an encounter with a creature from a parallel Earth. In the Para-Earth series, infinite, or nearly so,  timelines exist and in some Earth exists, but evolution happened differently. In this case a kind of intelligent slime-mold formed a symbiotic relationship with the man blown into it’s universe. And although he gets home, he finds that as a result of the bonding he is to all intent a living vampire, with a very prolonged life. Yet over a century later, he must deal with a monster from that same universe which found its way into his world. I’m a co-author on that series, because, although Allan does the majority of the actual writing, I’ve done such extensive work with him on the science aspects, creature development, and character interactions, he sees me as co-creator.

Allan wanted to introduce him to the audience through the eyes of two teen girls, one who had known him since her earliest days, and another meeting him for the first time. A lot of the story revolves around them.

Over a year after it was released, a friend pointed out to him that he’d written a young adult novel. He re-read it and yes… the teens were really the ones with the most important story arcs, as they underwent more personal growth in that frame.

Okay, so he’d written a young adult novel and it was obvious once someone else said it.

More Reviews Are Coming In – Rafael and Company Are a Hit!

“Forever’s Too Long” just got its third 5-star review:

fb3ff-kindle2band2btpaperback

June 16, 2019

Format: Kindle Edition
I’m not the best at reviews, however, with that said, I felt that Helen Krummenacker immersed herself into her first novel with stunning results. Raf is a wonderful character and a bit rough about the edges. The action flows from the beginning as well as the humor. There are a few tiny homages through personalities that I won’t give away, but I caught on! All in all an excellent read and can’t wait for the second book!
 

June 6, 2019

Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase

May 31, 2019

Format: Paperback

Come and check it out for yourself. You won’t be sorry.

5-Star Reviews for “Forever’s Too Long”…

The first installment of “The Forever Detective” series is now available in Trade Paperback and E-Book formats

And the review are just starting to come in…

5.0 out of 5 stars  “Clever writing without being campy

“This genre mashup of 1940s detective/vampire novel must have been a challenge for Helen Krummenacker to write, but she pulled it off beautfully….”
 
“Had so much fun reading this book…”
You can read the rest of the reviews by clicking on the link below:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07RSGKTDF

Zero Hour. The book is available.

What a tense time. Will it sell? Will people review it? I know the book is good,  but making a splash when there are so many forms of entertainment out there isn’t easy.

This is the part where the audience keeps the writer in suspense. But don’t worry, I’m good at waiting: in fact, I’ll start right now.

On sale now at:

Nook:

     
Amazon: 
      AmazonUK:
      AmazonCA:
      AmazonAU:
     Smashwords:
Signed trade paperback copies are available upon request. Simply leave a comment in the section below, or e-mail me at: 

helenkrummenacker@gmail.com

Immortality Arrives In Just 2 Days…

Available at:

Nook:
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/forevers-too-long-helen-krummenacker/1131555250?ean=2940163217083

      Amazon: 
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07RSGKTDF

      AmazonUK:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07RSGKTDF

      AmazonCA:
https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07RSGKTDF

      AmazonAU:
https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07RSGKTDF

     Smashwords:
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/938589

Also there will be signed trade paperback copies available upon request. Simply leave a comment in the section below, or e-mail me at: 

helenkrummenacker@gmail.com

Countdown to release: These are a Few of my Favorite Things.

I mention in the acknowledgments that I’m standing on the shoulders of giants. But the names I list might not be familiar to everyone.

Marlowe

Raymond Chandler was the creator of Phillip Marlowe. He didn’t create the hard-boiled detective genre, but he saw untapped potential in it. He started writing his own, bringing in a more sophisticated style of writing. He believed that people could enjoy exciting plot twists and still get literary touches.

Dan Curtis was a television producer, but not just a producer. He came up with and developed ideas for shows. His first foray into fiction was based on a dream that a friend told him sounded like gothic horror. He’d never heard of that genre before, plunged into it, and came out with a successful gothic soap opera that saved a television network. One of his followup projects, Kolchak, the Nightstalker, features a classically abrasive investigative reporter who keeps finding paranormal dangers at the heart of strange events in Chicago. It was brilliant and funny, and I was delighted to be compared to it.

Marv Wolfman might seem like the most obscure name I gave, but he’s been a tremendous influence on comic books and has wrtiten television shows. One of his specialties is re-imagining classic monsters into contemporary stories. He’s also remarkable for working out how to fix inconsistencies in an ongoing story line..

I’d also like to say Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden books helped me see there is a market for this kind of old-fashioned character and cross-genre writing. Unlike the Dresden books, this is actually set back in the heyday of the private eye’s he emulates. And my detective, rather than starting out as an expert on the occult, begins blissfully unaware.

Less directly, I’m sure Terry Pratchett has been an influence, if only because he’s my favorite writer and I’ve read the Watch books over and over.

And… Star Wars. No, really. Watching The Force Awakens, I thought, “This guy doing Poe Dameron would be good as one of those smart-alec detectives.” And the idea of doing a Latino detective in period was intriguing. I’ll get into that in my next post.

Countdown to release: an excerpt

SNEAK PEEK SUNDAY:

With the book coming out this coming Saturday (June 1st), here’s another tantalizing peek at what you can expect from “Forever’s Too Long”:

hotel interior  

“Very well.” She shrugged. “You are not making this easy on yourself. Seize him!” I expected to be rushed by the acolytes I’d seen, but four newcomers had joined them. I mentioned the gardeners looked pretty dirty. These four looked worse. I thought one looked like his face had a gangrenous patch. Smelled like it, too. Another was a woman, but although she was young, her eyes were filmed over with cataracts and her skin was waxen as well as pale. She held a bag in her hands. Newcomer three was also female, and her fingers had lost the flesh covering the tips, revealing bone. The final one didn’t fit the pattern of most of the acolytes. He had a beard, was an older man, and wore regular but ragged clothes. He was bloated and had a pattern of dark veins on his nose.

Of course, this takes longer to describe than I took to notice them and quickly decide the way out wasn’t through the crowd. There was a side door on the left, and I took a side leap, pivoted, ran a couple of steps, and then dropped to the wooden floor in a slide to dodge Gangrene’s attempted tackle. I rose to my feet at the door and spun at the sound of footsteps to kick Vagrant in the gut hard enough to knock him on his tailbone. Fingertips had gotten tripped by one of the dopey acolytes. I couldn’t see Cataracts, though. I turned the door handle, hoping I wasn’t going into a dead end or worse, a closet.

The back of my neck prickled, like someone was watching me who I couldn’t see, which was weird, because I was still facing the center of the room. I yanked the door open as hard and fast as I could, and heard a thud above me. Cataracts fell to the floor. She’d been lurking over the doorway, somehow. No time to ponder, I spun and ran. There was a hallway with a little stairwell to the left. Upstairs might be good for fighting, but not for flight. Forward would take me back toward the courtyard, closer to the main entrance but also a place to encounter more weirdos. The right door would possibly be an alternate path to the kitchen area, which should be connected to a back way for tradesmen to bring deliveries. You repurpose a flop hotel for a cult, you still have a hotel layout.

Available for pre-order at:

Nook:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/forevers-too-long-helen-krummenacker/1131555250?ean=2940163217083

Amazon: 
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07RSGKTDF

AmazonUK:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07RSGKTDF

AmazonCA:
https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07RSGKTDF

AmazonAU:
https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07RSGKTDF

Smashwords:
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/938589

Also there will be signed trade paperback copies available upon request. Simply leave a comment in the section below, or e-mail me at: 

helenkrummenacker@gmail.com

 

Cover Reveal…

This artwork is a collaboration of Allan and me. I had the concept but was having trouble with the execution. Allan’s better with this style and volunteered to do it. He did want me to put in the little bats flying over the moon, though. I also help a bit with color. The book will be released June 1st.

Ultimate Final Cover Forevers Too Long GIMP

Coming June 1st, 2019 to Amazon, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Apple, PDF and other outlets.

 

 

Writing in a different time period

research

The internet makes doing basic research so much easier for many things.

I was going to use the phrase “coloring inside the lines” and then had to ask myself– would a guy in his 30’s in the 40’s use that phrase? When were coloring books invented? They seem like something that’s just been around forever. Well, it only took about a minute to do the research to find out they’d been around about 100 years by then, so yes, it was fine to use.

fireman-my-trusty-axe-paul-ward

Likewise, I needed to see if a fire-axe back then fit my mental image of one… even though I don’t describe it in detail, there was a possibility I would use it on the cover. Another question I had was if a passport problem would legitimately be used to delay someone leaving the country.

Back before the internet, I’d have needed to look for very, very specific history books for images of fire axes, an encyclopedia for the coloring book history, and as for the passport issue, I’d probably need to look into procedural handbooks from the New York-New Jersey Port Authority from 1948. Finding those sources would all have been difficult.

There’s something wonderful about having so much information at our fingertips.