The right way to start the weekend!
Capital Thirst (An Erin Kingsly Novel Book 1) by R.W. Buxton released in September int he Paranormal Romance genre.
DC bustles, the light from the city fills the night. But in the dark alleys and backstreets, only slivers of light from a full moon dance. In such an alley, a shadowy figure is hunched over a body. She lifts her head to reveal soulless eyes and fangs dripping with blood as she licks her lips with exultation.
Standing up, she wipes her chin, and tosses her long black hair, then saunters away.
At FBI headquarters, Gerry examines the case files of 18 wealthy men, dead, with few clues, no DNA, and no leads…
When predator and prey become one, no one is safe.
Only 99 Cents!
The smell of the lavender in the bath water made her linger a minute longer as she ran her hand down her smooth, alabaster arm, and then across her flat stomach. She lay back in the tub with her head resting on the soft spa pillow at the end. Her body melted into nothingness. The
warmth filled her with a longing for a time now beyond her grasp.
Her thoughts floated through images of men she had killed. The terror of their last thoughts flooded back, aroused, and saddened her.
A siren on the street jarred her from her thoughts. She stood and let the tiny rivulets of water run the length of her lithe body. She stepped out onto the soft, luxuriant bath mat. Her long black hair, in stark contrast to her body, came just short of the middle of her back. She reached for a plush white towel to dry herself. She bit her lower lip, worried that she lingered too long. That she might be late.
Tonight was her night to kill, and she wanted it to be perfect. Just who would it be?
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
I love a good paranormal read, something about the un-dead haunts the fringes of my mind. Mix in romance, love, loss, and you have a great story.
I voraciously read everything, fiction, and non-fiction but always find myself turning back to the darker stories. I’ve always wanted to write and the dream became a reality with Capital Thirst, and the remainder of the Erin Kingsly novels.
I spend most of my days designing and building websites, but my free time is devoted to my wife, family, and cats. Yes three grown children and three cats. Things can be hectic.
For fun you might find me driving winding roads with the top down or out photographing nature.
Hi, R.W., and thank you for being here today!
How did you come up with the idea for your book?
Before I started writing Capital Thirst I wrote a bunch of short stories. Some for creative writing classes I was taking and many were just for fun. When I looked back through them, I realized there was a large number about a female vampire. Of course, initially it was always a different vampire. Eventually it morphed into the character that is Erin. It wasn’t just that I wrote several stories about this vampire, but her story was always at the back of my mind. I created her whole backstory and thought about what she wanted.
It was then that I realized I needed to devote more than a short story to this character. She had a life and a story to tell and the only way to do that was in a novel. At that point I needed to decide what exactly that story would be. Many of the early ideas I had were included in Capital Thirst as well as much of her original backstory.
Interestingly the prologue to the book came primarily from one of those original short stories. It gave a feel for Erin as she was and a place for her to start to grow,
What sort of research did you do to write this book?
I read a lot of vampire novels. Seriously Capital Thirst was pretty easy in terms of research. I live in the Northern Virginia area and worked in downtown DC for ten years and after that worked in Arlington for another five or so. All the places where familiar to me. I’ve been to the Starbucks and walked those streets many times.
For the upcoming Beverly Hills Torture, I ended up having to do a good bit more. I’ve been to Hollywood and Beverly Hills, but it wasn’t like I had lived there like DC. Fortunately, we live in a day and age of the internet and instant information. Google maps and Street View provide a wealth of information on setting and what an area looks like. I’ve even used things like real estate sites. They often have virtual walkthroughs of homes or if not, loads of photographs. These can be very inspiring.
Finally, aside from reading a huge number of vampire novels I turned again to the internet to research vampires. Everything from early tales and legends to websites devoted to them. I like to think of my vampires as a bit of a hybrid of the various views. I have some of the Bram Stocker ideology, but other aspects I tried to take a more modern view on.
If your story had a soundtrack, which song would it be?
This one is simple, and I reference it in the second book, Beverly Hills Torture. It’s Poison by Alice Cooper. There are so many lyrics in that song that apply to how Gerry feels about Erin I sometimes think it was written just for the book. “I want to hold you buy my senses tell me to stop.” That’s exactly how I envision Gerry feeling. He’s in love, but she’s dangerous and lives a life he can’t always accept.
Interestingly music plays a large role in the novel whether it’s in the background or what Erin is listening to. She’s a bit of a metal head and loves it loud and hard.
What is the main thing you want readers to take away from your book?
I want them to have fun first and foremost. That’s the goal. There are also some underlying currents that go through and one is relationships aren’t easy. It takes work from both parties and often change and if one person can’t change maybe things aren’t meant to be. The other thing I want people to think about is, is evil something you are or something you do? This is a central question that Gerry needs to come to terms with, but it’s a bigger question in life. Something everyone must ask at some point.
Looking back at it though it comes down to not all that’s bad is evil. There is good inside of everyone. There are always reasons for people’s actions and sometimes we just have to look to understand them
Did you always have the reins of the story or the people in it tried to take over?
Oh my gosh no. This story started with the character. Erin was the seed and she drove the car. I was well into writing before I realized I needed to make some decisions rather than just letting her go wild. I was about halfway through when I realized I needed a plan and couldn’t let her run the show.
At that point I stopped and wrote an outline from beginning to end. I realized some of what I wrote was going to have to go. It was fun but didn’t add to the story. Having a road map, of sorts, also helped me guide Gerry and Erin to the end of the novel but not the end of their story.
Even with the outline as a guide, I had so many ideas about Erin I still found myself going off on tangents. The same was true for Gerry once I got a feel for who I wanted him to be. I sometimes think his true nature doesn’t come out the way I intended but that’s how it ended up.
What are you working on now?
Right now, I’m consumed with my final edits on Beverly Hills Torture. I want to get it cleaned up and make sure I have all the right details and just get through my final edits and changes so I can get it to an editor. I’ve had a number of people read it at this point and think I’ve got the story down so it’s just a matter of cutting out what doesn’t need to be there and making sure everything flows together.
It’s honestly a difficult task because I am constantly thinking about the third book, Moscow Nights and I’m anxious to get into that. But the reality is I have to finish this first. What good is a third book without the second?
Do you have a day job? / What was your job before you started writing full time?
I do have a day job. I would love the luxury of writing full time, but that hasn’t happened. Yet! So, my days are filled with developing websites for the US Army. Probably not the most glamorous job but it does keep me busy and there are some elements of creativity involved. Although it’s nothing like writing a novel. The good thing about the job is the websites I work on are for the Army’s medical branch so it’s my effort at helping wounded soldiers on their path to recovery. As day jobs go it’s probably the most fulfilling one I’ve had. I enjoy the work and have an incredible team to work with.
How do you keep from resenting your duties when you have to stop writing to take care of them?
It’s sometimes very difficult not to resent what you have to do versus what you want to do. I hate when I’m writing in the morning and I have to stop and go to work. Or if I’m writing during lunch and have to get back to work. Especially, if I’m really in a groove and the words are flowing.
The reality is those things are essential. I still have a day job and that’s what pays the bills. I would love to have the chance to write full time when the muse hits, but that’s not my reality. So it’s a matter of keeping things in perspective and doing what needs to be done and then doing what I want.
What do your friend and family think about your being a writer?
My kids think it’s cool. They are all in or just finished college and get a kick out of reading my books and telling their friends their dad is an author. I think it’s fun for them to see me in a different light. Although my oldest daughter sent me a text that said “Ewwww, I don’t like to think of you writing a sex scene, that’s gross.” But it’s a romance novel and that happens and it’s not like it’s graphic by any stretch.
I have to say I don’t think my wife is a fan. She ends up reading the first drafts which are often riddled with spelling and grammar errors and sometimes things just don’t make sense. She puts on a brave face and struggles through though.
As far as friends go, I think they are fascinated. When I first told people I was going to publish Capital Thirst they kind of looked at me like I was crazy. These are people that knew me as a father or co-worker and had no idea I wrote. Since then a lot have read the book and enjoyed it.
I’ve actually had friends ask if I’m going to include them in my next book. I don’t use any real people as models. I may take bits and pieces of personality but all the backstories are fictional.
Overall though everyone has been super supportive.
The biggest surprise you had after becoming a writer
When I started I thought the hardest part of writing was doing the writing. What I’ve discovered is that was easy compared to marketing and getting the word out that I’ve written something and getting people to read it. It’s naïve to think that I’ve written a book and people will just read it, and I suppose that’s how I started out. The reality is there are thousands of people publishing on Amazon and other sites and it’s a huge effort to get noticed or stand out.
That’s particularly true in this genre. There are so many good authors turning out great books every day. It’s a huge amount of effort to get people to take notice. It’s certainly something I never thought about when I sat down the first day and started to write.
Do you outline books ahead of time or are you more of a by-the-seat-of-your-pants writer?
I’m what I like to call a reformed punster. There really needs to be a group like AA for us. When I started Capital Thirst, I was excited about the prospect of writing a novel and creating this wonderful story. But like many authors I hit the middle. It’s like the doldrums in the ocean and there’s no wind in your sails.
That’s when I realized I needed a plan. I knew how the book was going to end but I needed a road map to get there and a plot to drive the story forward. So that’s exactly what I did. Sat down and came up with a plot and then an outline from the beginning of the novel to the end.
This was a huge benefit. I no longer needed to write linearly. I knew where the story was going so if there was a scene, I felt particularly passionate about I could work on that and then go back and fill in the others. This change in my writing was very freeing.
Which kind of scenes are the hardest for you to write? Action, dialogue, sex?
There are two types of scenes that I think are particularly difficult to write. The first are sex scenes. My protagonist is female, and the scenes are from her point of view. That’s a challenge for me because I’m a guy. The scenes aren’t graphic and more concerned with emotions and feelings and those are likely universal but let’s face it men and woman are different. So, I struggle with this. I want to get the right mood and I want it to be something women can connect with. I guess it all comes down to getting the right balance.
While Capital Thirst doesn’t have many real action scenes both Beverly Hills Torture and Moscow nights have a good deal of action. This is hard to write because you want to get all the details in but in doing that you can slow down the pace. That’s the last thing you want to do in an action scene. You’re trying to drive the pace to a peak. While you want to write about everything that’s happening you really can’t. It’s hard to stop and put in what a character’s thinking just as a vampire attacks them without making the reader stop mid action to process it.
The other issue is how much experience do I have staring down the barrel of a gun or being attacked by a vampire. It’s more challenging to imagine the emotions of something you’ve never experienced. While you can imagine what the character may feel it’s really hard to get in touch with that.
How long does it take to write a story?
For me this is a two-part question. How long does it take to come up with the story and then how long does it take to write the story?
I’ll answer the second part first. I can write the first draft in about three months. Maybe two if I’m really pushing hard and everything is working together. By that I mean I’ve done all my research in advance and the plot actually works once I start writing. That’s not always the case but the more work I do in advance the easier it is to write.
As to how long it takes to come up with the story that really depends. The second book Beverly Hills Torture I had the idea before I finished Capital Thirst. I knew the story wasn’t over and there was more to tell. That was easy. I spent a few weeks working with mind maps and the ideas I had and then created an outline. Did my research and I was off and going.
The third book in the series was very different. I knew I wanted to wrap the story up and bring it to a close, but I didn’t know how I wanted to get there. There were a lot of different threads I had started in the earlier books that I wanted to wrap up. I hate when things are left dangling. It took several months of rolling ideas around in my head and jotting down notes and ideas before I could even begin to really think about an outline or plot. Then to make it more difficult it takes place in Moscow. I had the advantage of visiting Russia in the past, but to actually set a book there took a good deal or research.
To be honest the time it takes to write the story is nothing compared to the time it takes to go back and edit. I’ve read and read these so many times, adding scenes and taking scenes out, or changing dialog. I think that is where really all the hard work and time comes in.
What are your top three favorite books of all time?
The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle is without a doubt my favorite. Although it’s a collection of short stories when they are all put together, I love it. Each new investigation is a new problem with Holmes always having a new twist to solving the case.
Second would be Anne Rice’s Interview with a Vampire. It’s such an exotic world she paints around her vampires. It’s also one of the first vampire novels I read where they weren’t just pure evil and had emotions. It’s so vastly different from the story of Dracula that Bram Stoker created. Her vampires are people with emotions and desires.
For the third I would say Richelle Meads whole Georgina Kincaid series. I thought it was wonderfully written, creative and hilariously funny at times.
I almost forgot, Agatha Christie. What list wouldn’t be complete without her. I know that’s four but she’s awesome.
Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date.
The worst 5 words. I can think of two sets, both devastating. “I really like you, but…” Nothing like that to end a date. But even worse is, “You’re such a good friend.” Talk about putting cold water on a romantic evening.
Pen or computer
I’m a computer kind of person. My whole career is based on computers and when it comes to writing that was a natural choice. Not to mention my handwriting is awful. Half the time I can’t even read it so that just wouldn’t work.
It’s not just that I can’t read my own handwriting, but once something is on paper it’s so hard to change. Using the computer, it’s a matter of drag and drop to move a scene or hit insert to add a new one. There are great tools out there for authors as well that make the process so much easier.
Then there was the “cat” issue. When I first started, I had sticky notes for the scenes that I would arrange and stick to my desk. Of course, the cat’s thought this was a great game and I would come back and they were all over the floor. So that moved to the computer as well.
The one time when I pick up a pen is after I’ve done what I think are my final edits. I print out the manuscript and read it on paper and mark up all the things that I want to change. There is something greatly satisfying about that process.
Up early or sleep in
I’m up at 4:00 am every day. Doesn’t matter if it’s a weekday or weekend. This is when I get most of my writing done. Of course, now it’s not a matter of having young children that consume the day, but just a routine I’ve gotten into. I love being up early, when it’s quiet. Especially in the spring and summer when the sun is just coming up.
@rwbuxtonauthor – Twitter
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