Thursday, October 6, 2011

Guest blog with Theresa Milstein - Fangtales

Theresa Milstein, a wonderful blogger, is joining us today to talk about Fangtales. If you aren't already following her blog, you should! Take it away, Theresa!

Thank you for hosting me, Nicole.  You’ve been such a supportive blogging buddy.  Your dedication to writing is an inspiration.

When I asked Nicole if I could do a guest post on her blog, she suggested vampires or what inspired me to write the short story that was accepted in the Fangtales anthology. 

Before I saw the call for submissions for the YA vampire anthology, Fangtales, I’d never written a short story before.  That’s not entirely true.  I’d never written a short story from scratch, from beginning to end.  Before I wrote seriously, I made two miserable attempts.  Once I wrote seriously, I thought I could take the first chapter of a manuscript and turn it into a short story.

I had A LOT to learn.

A few years later, after writing a few more manuscripts, I was a better writer and had a better sense of what it took to write a short story.  I liked the rules for Fangtales:

“The editor (Berni Stevens) of Fangtales prefers traditional vampires as in Bram Stoker's Dracula (this means no walking in the sunlight, eating garlic, or laughing at the sign of the cross...the traditional vampire truly is a creature of the night and not a day-walker with sparkly skin). However, she is looking for a fresh new look at an overworked genre and wants to be scared!”

I liked the idea of using the old rules in a modern setting.   Wyvern Publications had already published Dragontales and Mertales (Nicole is one of the authors in Mertales), so I know the stories can vary widely and are well done. 

But I didn’t know much about vampires.  I had seen the old Dracula movie as a teen.  I read the first two Twilight books and Tantalized.  But I haven’t read any other vampire novels.  There were vampires in Hex Hall and Paranormalcy, but they were one of many paranormal creatures. 

I needed to do some research on Bram Stoker’s Dracula.  The original vampires were shut out from society due the limitations of their vampireness.  I wanted my vampire to have constraints, but live with humans.  And I was happy not to keep my vampires sparkle-free.  I wanted them to be monsters, but to humanize them at the same time. (I know that’s an oxymoronic sentence.)

Who was my vampire?
How did s/he become a vampire? 
What did s/he want?  (Blood is an obvious answer, but I wanted to tap the vein of my character - sorry).

My YA vampire short story is called “Allured”.  Shalom is a new student who has been trying to snag the most popular boy in her high school.  A couple of people in her new town have been murdered, one in a graveyard.  She’s trying to convince this popular boy to visit the graveyard with her. 

That’s all I can say… 

This is how it begins:
 
“I twisted a golden curl in my usual alluring way. Guys loved it when I did that. I lowered my voice, so Reid had to lean in to hear me, his elbows propped on his knees.”

It was fun to write.  I loved having license to be mysterious and scary.  When you read it, I hope you’re scared too. 

Fangtales is available for purchase at Barnes and Noble and Amazon.

26 comments:

Kristine Asselin said...

Congrats on your short story, Theresa! I've got to pick your brain sometime...I've been trying to research markets for short stories...

Great guest post!

Jessica Bell said...

Congrats, Theresa! :o) Though I'm not a fan of vampires, I'll be sure to purchase a copy to show you my support! Lots of love, hon. xoxo

Kelly Polark said...

That sounds like a great anthology! Will check it out!

Slamdunk said...

Thanks Nicole and Theresa.

It sounds like you responded well to the challenge: Give you a topic that you need to know more about and you immerse yourself in research before writing.

LTM said...

hey, that's a great open! And yay for classic vampires. They're the ones that hooked me w/all their creepy creepiness! You know they had hair on their palms supposedly? ;p yik. LOL!

Thanks, Nicole & Theresa! <3

Jamie Burch said...

Now I have to go order this! Can't wait to read the rest of your story, Theresa.

Thank you Nicole and Theresa! :)

Theresa Milstein said...

Nicole, thank you for hosting me. I'm thrilled you're the one to kick off my tour!

Thank you to Kristine, Jessica, Kelly, Slamdunk, LTM, and Jamie for your kind comments. I appreciate your support.

Meredith said...

Love the opening lines! Sounds like an awesome protagonist. :)

Ann said...

I am just thrilled for you Theresa. I look forward to receiving my copy of Fangtales. Thank you Nicole for hosting my wonderful writing friend Theresa today. I totally enjoyed the post.

Crystal Collier said...

Oooooh! That sounds awesome. I LOVE collections. Now my budget just needs to love them. Of course, Christmas is coming...

Michael Offutt said...

I'm so buying this book. I absolutely love Theresa's blog. She is such a kind and incredibly intelligent woman. Her advice and wisdom is invaluable.

Margo Berendsen said...

Oh Theresa I love your set up for this story!!! You definitely hooked me... but just how scary is it? (I'm a wimp! Stephen King's Salem's Lot about vampires still give me nightmares!) Thanks for sharing Nicole.

Lynda R Young said...

I love reading the journey through writing short stories. They aren't easy to master, are they? hehehe. This story sounds fantastic.

Theresa Milstein said...

LTM, I think the hairy palms was an original folktale, right? Gross.

Meredith and Margo, I'm glad you're interested. It's the right amount of scary. It's hard to judge when you write it. I'm a much wimpier reader. And forget movies.

Ann and Michael, both of you left such nice comments. Thank you.

Crystal, my book list is much bigger than my budget too.

Lynda, now that I've got a sense of how to write them, I enjoy writing short stories. If only it were a more lucrative market.

LM Preston said...

Oh, your main character snagged me from the first sentence :-D

katsrus said...

Congrats on your short story. I love vampire stories.
Sue B

Missed Periods said...

That's a great hook. I'm looking forward to reading your story.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Nicole and Theresa .. fantastic to have a short story in an anthology .. and it does sound so interesting .. I liked hearing how you went about your research .. enjoy the tour and the sales .. cheers Hilary

Words A Day said...

Congratulations Theresa! I loved hearing about your story...and how you came about to write it... tapping veins aside:)

Natalie Aguirre said...

Congrats Theresa. I loved hearing how you started writing short stories. I'm so impressed. And the little tidbit you shared made me want to read more. Thanks so much.

Theresa Milstein said...

I'm glad so many people are interested in vampires. I hope you enjoy the story. Thanks for commenting!

Robyn Campbell said...

I loved reading, Theresa. You are so cool. I'm glad we're pals. That beginning is sooooooooooo fantastic!!! I'm ordering my copy today.

(^_^)

Angela Ackerman said...

I saw the cover for fangtales on FB yesterday--it's so well done. Congrats again, Theresa!

Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

Stephen Tremp said...

Good luck Theresa! Its difficult to define your characters. You want them to conform to norms, yet stand out from the crowd. Not an easy task to do. Best wishes to you!

Theresa Milstein said...

Robyn, thank you for ordering!

Angela, I'm happy with the cover too. Thanks!

Stephen, I love thinking about who my characters are.

Samantha Vérant said...

I'm a fan of non-sparkly vampires! (LOL) And I can't wait to sink my teeth into Fangtales (<<<tee hee, couldn't help it)