Music is and always has been my biggest writing inspiration.
When I was 15 years old, most of the stories I wrote were inspired by the music to which I listened. Heavy rock was (and still is) my melody of choice, including a band called “Angel,” who was discovered by Gene Simmons of KISS, and received most of their fame on the west coast. Songs such as “Tower” and “The Winter Song” inspired me into visions, daydreams and eventually stories, which formed into my creative mind.
At school, I spent most of my time writing these stories, listening to music and combining the two. “Styx” was another band that inspired. So, with several Angel and Styx songs stirring in my head, I wrote a short story (during class in school, because that’s what I did) that, at the time, I titled “White Hot.” I knew nothing of plagiarism back then. “White Hot” was “stolen” from one of Angel’s album titles. It seemed a fitting title at the time.
The short story was about the band’s keyboardist, Gregg Giuffria, who, at the hotel while the band was on tour, gets pulled in through a mirror and taken to a strange alternate dimension with even stranger creatures and “people,” if that’s what they could be called. More like other-worldy vampires (yeah, I had quite the imagination even as a kid). In this dimension, he becomes the human sacrifice for an evil lord. I won’t spoil the story. Let’s just say, he eventually wakes in his hotel to think it all a nightmare, only to find the injuries he suffered in that world all too real. This encounter was to be only the first of many, as was the story I wrote.
Video of Angel playing The Winter Song. Who can mistake the haunting and beautiful voice of Frank DiMino?
Video of Angel performing The Tower.
Fast forward 15 years. I expanded on this short story and turned it into a novel. Obviously, I couldn’t use Gregg, or Angel, so names were changed to “protect the innocent.” And Dane Bainbridge was born! Gregg’s gorgeous waist-length blond hair was changed to mid-back length wavy black hair and eyes to bright blue (actually, Dane came into my head resembling not Gregg but closer to Paul Stanley of KISS, only with blue eyes and not quite as much chest hair. No, nothing wrong at all with Paul’s chest (faint) but in my mind Dane had very little).
The band name was changed several times and ended up as Dark Myst. In the short story, it was Silent Rage, but Chuck Norris came out with a movie of the same name 2 years after I wrote the story. I was afraid people would think I stole the name, (if anything I felt at the time that the name was stolen from me. Funny to think back on now).
Of course, I needed more of a plot than the simple little tale that was told in the short version, so I started writing… hence, characters were born and more plot was developed. Turns out Dane has been seeing this gal in his mirrors all of his life (and the one before that and the one before that and… well, you get the idea), and he thinks it is normal until he is old enough to realize… well, it’s not. After that, he stops telling folks that he sees this chick, to avoid accusations of being crazy. His love of music and extreme talent draw him into the life of a rock star (sex, drugs and rock and roll all included). He has it all, except he feels so empty! He is missing LOVE!!
This gal within his mirrors, however… she makes him feel something other than lust. Fright being one of the many emotions her image invokes within him. He learns to avoid mirrors unless absolutely necessary (try shaving without a mirror).
So, imagine his horror when, after the band’s stage set never arrives due to a blizzard, the entire set is replaced by huge mirrors (to bounce the laser light show, like something from a psychedelic hippie alien freak show).
One thing leads to another and Dane ends up–you guessed it–kidnapped into this odd world that equates with a type of human hell (by human perception)! Except… she is there! He, however, must die. Yep, you guessed again… human sacrifice. Just like the short story, except we now have romance (sorry, not a lot of sex in this book, so if that’s what you want, wait for my more traditional vampire novels to come out). We also have much tension, sub plots, enemies, allies, and creatures (ever hear of a dexer? Imagine a horse combined with a deer with a bit of camel mixed in). If you like fantasy worlds, you’ll enjoy this one.
Anyway, the book is finished and in the process of finding an agent and publisher, so if you want to know more, you will have to wait until it is published and buy a copy. In the meantime, check out the slideshow for photos from the old copy of the book, which was pubbed under a pen name. The entire book has been revamped (pun intended) but has the same fun action scenes, romance and fantasy.
Have I teased you enough for one day?