Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Cameron Chronicles

********Today is 1/4/11 and this is a redo of a previous post I did at the end of December, 2010. I had written a totally different Chapter One but after I did it...I hated it. LOL! I realized that it needed to be a prologue and it needed to be...well...not what it was. I'd taken what was more of a back of a book jacket and made it into a long chapter and it, me at least. SO...this is a redo of that blog entry. If you read the original...scroll down until you see the first picture...the stuff after it is all different. I left the pre-amble of the blog alone. If you didn't read it...well, I left it below.********

Over the Christmas holiday I had an interesting conversation with my best friend, Angie. SHe has a friend who is a published author (with many books under her belt) who is friends with Anne Rice. She had been telling this friend, we'll call her Alice (so as to stick with names that start with "A" cause its fun), that she'd read my 700 page book over her vacation and Alice asked if I was published and when Angie said no...she had some advice.

Alice told Angie that a writer who's never been published would be smart to try and sell a shorter book---no more than 350 pages (double spaced/12pt font) first. Anything over that would overwhelm an agent or publisher into not giving them the time. I can understand this. Mind you, there are exceptions...I hate to mention Twilight but it is an to put TONS of stock in this advice from Alice need not be manic...but it would be wise for me to consider, for sure.

As I spoke with Angie she agreed that the last 200 pages, though good, did have her feeling like the book was long. Then again...I have a friend who read those 700 pages in three days and it didn't feel long to her at all. Then again, Angie isn't a big reader of Fantasy that I know of and Niki the "it feels long" comment coming from someone who rarely reads anything that long makes sense. know me...I like a challenge.

As we spoke I thought about something my editor of LDG had told me once when I spoke of spin off novels I had left openings for. She'd mentioned a series of books about how Sean Cameron, my "legendary" vampire hunter in the LDG Saga, became a legend. I had said it was a brilliant idea and that I'd call it The Cameron Chronicles.

So as I spoke with Angie I mentioned this. I figured I could write a 350 page novel easy enough...hell, it'd take half the time my normal novels do. If I would cut my chapters down to 10-12 pages I'd still have about a 30 chapter book....OR....I could concentrate on writing a 50,000 word novel (like with NaNoWriMo) but since my stories tend to be more complex than a 50,000 word novel can hold I decided I could write THREE of them that connect. Hence its still my normal 150,000 word novel but it would be in three parts...hence Chronicles not a single chronicle.

Three books at 50,000 words. Ten pages for me usually holds around 3000 to 3200 words. If I went with this format each book would be about 15 chapters. After 3 books it'd total 45 chapters.


I got off the phone with her and went to my computer...driven by a challenge...and began. I only got a 1/2 page done before I was tired and needed to head to bed but since then I've written the first chapter. I'll put it below...I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Remember...this story would be a prequel to the LDG Saga. It would begin in 1987, when Sean is 20 years old. Ten years before he'd meet Atlanta. Five years before he'd be captured and "turned" by Valencia. The Prologue though is him giving a brief overview of how he became Sean Cameron; from age 16 to 20.

**Note: I didn't write the story as being from 16 to 20 because that would make it a YA book, and as much as I like YA, I would prefer that all my books stay in the adult range so they can all be sold in order, together. I know that sounds crazy--and I might change my mind as I write this and go back and write those years out--but for starts at the age of 20...

********Also...a positive note: Alice did say it was impressive not only that I was able to write such a long novel, but that I'd written four of them. So...let's keep that positive thought shall we?********

Onward and forward, yes?

I would say THIS is what Sean might have looked like before he cut off his hair and facial hair...

THIS would be the back of the book, maybe? You know, the back of the dust jacket...


It has become the obsession of my life.

More specifically, those who need it to survive.

I still sometimes shudder to think these creatures are real. If I’d not seen them kill with my own eyes—if I didn’t still see that night in my head every time I closed my eyes with utmost clarity I’d think I had dreamt it. But I didn’t have that luxury. Those I love are dead and gone and these creatures—these vampires—are real.

As I lay in the hospital not speaking to a soul about the truth of what I’d seen I begin to contemplate my options. I had exactly three; A. Repress and forget this ever happened—but that would mean forgetting those who had died…and that, I didn’t want to do—couldn’t do. B. Go mad. At the age of sixteen I didn’t think that held a promising future. C. Take my fear, my anger, and channel it into power—power and knowledge so as to take my revenge.

Option C.

I trained for four years, saving money, learning all I could—and then I left. What I didn’t realize was that shortly after I would set out on my quest that another fighter would join me—-changing my life. She would also be a royal member of the vampire world, called the Clandestine World--and it holds more than just vampires.

I have so much to learn.

THIS would be the first chapter....enjoy.


I was on the other side of the lake when I heard the call for help. It was if it had carried to me on the wind—the sound of my mother’s voice saying my name, “Sean”, as if a plea. I suppose most people would’ve thought they were hearing things but the eerie piercing darkness of the forest that surrounded me seemed to justify its truth.

Without a second thought I began to run, my sixteen year old professional gymnast legs propelling me forward with utmost speed and purpose. A scream that sounded like my sister pierced the air and I rushed around the lake faster than I thought I could move—the trees of the dense forest flying by me in a blur. As I reached the long stone walkway to our cabin my oldest sister, Cassandra, came running out to meet me—her hand pressed against the side of her neck.

Her face was pale and the fear in her eyes was enough to stop my breathing and make my heart race. The ends of her long blonde hair on one side were dark as if dipped in ink—ink that was still dripping from the tip all over her. It was pushing its way through her fingers on her neck as well. As she fell to her knees in front of me I rushed to her.

This was when I realized it wasn’t ink—it was blood; looking black due to no real light at this hour. Her eyes looked at me and with her last breath she said only one word, “Run!” She collapsed forward and I caught her. I kept saying her name over and over again in a whisper, but she was gone. I heard something smash inside the cabin and for a moment I honestly considered running, just like she had told me to—my darling little sister, only fourteen.

I gently lay her down and stood up, turning to run get help when I heard my other sister, Page, say “Leave her alone, she’s just a child!” This could only mean one thing; my little sister Flora, only six, was in danger. Without thinking I turned towards the cabin and as quietly as I could, I moved towards the open door.

The light above the table in the kitchen area of the great room of the cabin was near the door and I could see it was shattered. The only light was coming from a bedroom and bathroom, creating a creepy haze of lights and shadows about the room. And though enough to see by it wasn’t bright enough to wash away your childhood fear of the boogieman—which, I had to admit, this felt like.

As I stepped up onto the porch and peered into the room as best as I could without being seen, the first thing that caught my eye was my mother’s body on the floor and the pool of what looked like black ink around her head. My throat closed in on itself as a wailing cry caught there by my own fear.

I then noticed my father was on the floor, not far from her, his head at an unnatural angle and for a moment, just a moment, I thought I was going to hyperventilate and pass out. But luckily my twelve year old sister Page brought my focus back to the living—to what seemed to be a stand off in the middle of the room between her and our attacker.

The moon shining through the window seemed to illuminate the invader and I saw something I’d only read about in books—the face of an animal on a human body; eyes that seemed to glow in the dark like a cat’s, elongated canine teeth and blood on his face that ran down his chin and onto his clothes, a grin on his face.

I froze. I knew I should’ve gone charging in and attacked or run in and grabbed Flora and run as fast as I could—but I didn’t. I just stayed were I was, crouched outside the door, sweat pouring from every pore—watching as he playfully taunted my siblings with jokes and threats, his voice like silk and his words like fire.

When I finally found my head, my shaking hands reached out for the only thing near me—the wooden broom my father had used earlier that night to sweep the front porch. I grabbed it, stood up and broke it over my knee, keeping the end without the bristles with me and setting the other back down. There was no mistaking what this creature looked like. We’d all seen movies about them, read books—hell, I’d seen Dracula a least a dozen times.

I looked at the wooden broom handle in my hand, broken in such a way that the splintered end was pointy, and somewhere in my subconscious I decided to try and stake him with it. If these creatures were real then maybe, just maybe the lore surrounding how to kill them was too. Many stories are based on truth and I was hoping this one was as well.

I dropped back down to the floor and crawled into the room and under the table and stayed quiet. I could see Page, her petite twelve year old frame doing its best to hold steady. My eyes had adjusted and I could see better now. It was evident that Page had been bitten—the bite not hitting a main artery so blood wasn’t shooting out of her like it had with Cassandra. Yet she stumbled slightly, obviously week from whatever blood loss she’d withstood. And though feeling woozy, which is how she looked, she seemed determined to protect Flora, standing between her foe and her sister.

Waiting for my moment I watched as Page backed Flora away from the thing in our cabin with the glowing eyes that looked like the devil himself. But that devil followed them, walking past the table not even seeing me as I crouched now in the dark shadow of the table. I knew what I needed to do but I needed the element of surprise.

Finally, when he lunged for them I made my move. Without even thinking it through I came out from under the table with a roll that brought me to the space between the devil and Page. I stood up and with no hesitation I brought the wooden broom handle down where I knew the human heart would be.

The next three seconds felt like three minutes as my senses soaked up the visage of what was once possibly human. The thing smelled of blood, making me want to vomit. But I held it back, transfixed on his face and the inhuman perfection of it. Skin paler than a human’s yet passable as such—flawless and beautiful. It looked like if I were to touch it that the skin would feel like satin. An angel in the body of a demon was my deciding conclusion.

But as I drove the stake into his heart his perfectly flawless face transposed from playful taunting to utter shock and before I knew it, he turned to dust and disappeared. Just as he did I heard Flora scream out my name. I spun about to see a second devil, a woman who’d been in the shadows that I’d not seen, coming towards Flora with eyes on me.

“What have you done?!” she wailed out, pain on her face and then rage as she lunged for Flora.

I stepped in between them and fought with the woman, her long razor sharp nails reached for my eyes and her teeth for my neck. But I spun—using my own gymnastic training as well as her movements to my advantage. But she was stronger and faster than me and with one simple slashing motion and a side step that wasn’t fast enough, her one nail missed my eye by an inch, slicing my face open from temple to jaw.

With that distraction she was able to grab my arm, spin it behind my back and break it, as easy as I’d broken that broom handle. I let out a scream of pain and fell to my knees. As I did, the woman snatched up Flora and ran out the front door.

I ran after them. As my original weapon had rolled somewhere I picked up the other half of the broom in my good arm as I zipped through the door. As I rounded the bend of the cabin I saw her—a beautiful woman with short black hair and a smile on her face that sneered in such a way that I had no question in my mind that I’d kill her without hesitation.

She then laughed at me, as if the idea of me chasing her was absolutely hilarious. She resituated her hold on Flora who called out my name, her little Tigger toy that I’d given her years ago clutched in her hand, eyes pleading for me to come to her as her arms reached for me. It’s all it took to propel me forward. I ran through the grass and uneven ground towards her and then, as my eyes met Flora’s she disappeared.

In no way do I mean she vanished into thin air, though that is what it felt like. Flora’s captor had just simply turned and broken into a run and even though I continued to follow her it was apparent to me quickly that another myth was true—vampires were faster than humans and my lovely little Flora was gone.

I stood there for a moment, tears in my eyes, screaming her name but nothing answered me back—the forest was silent and dark. I must’ve stood there for at least five minutes trying to accept my sister was gone and worse yet; I could do nothing to help her. With the utmost difficulty I fought my feet’s will to stay put and turned around, walking slowly back to the cabin. I needed to talk to Page and find out what had happened.

When I got back to the cabin Page was lying on the floor by the front door. Obviously she’d tried to follow me but hadn’t been strong enough. The phone receiver from the old rotary phone on the wall above her was in her hand.

“Page?” I said tentatively as I approached her, cradling my broken arm.

“I called 911. Help is on the way.”

She looked very tired as I crouched down next to her. “It’s going to be okay,” I said, touching her blond curls. “Just, hang in there. We’ll be okay.”

I then saw her neck was still bleeding. I tried to rip the bottom of my shirt but with a broken arm it was rather difficult. Instead I just pulled it off and pressed it to her neck to try and stop the flow of blood.

She motioned to me and I leaned close to her. “There was a knock on the door,” she said, “We could hear a woman crying, saying her boyfriend and she had been in a fight. That he’d gotten physical with her and she was trying to get away from him. She claimed to just want to use our phone to call her family. Dad let her in and before the woman could even tell us what had fully happened or make a call there was a banging on the door.

“It was her boyfriend—the one you killed. He was acting drunk and out of control, yelling about how he loved her and to give him a second chance—he called her Cammy.” A sob caught in her throat and tears spilled down her cheeks.

“Shh—you don’t need to go into this now sweetie. Just wait until—”

“No. I need to tell you now.” She wiped the tears away even though they were still falling. “Dad went out on the porch to talk to him, shutting the door—leaving that girl alone with us.” With a pause for a labored breath her brown eyes looked at me as if fighting to stay awake. “It all happened so fast, Sean. The girl broke the light above the table and grabbed mom and bite into her neck, tearing it open! Sean, what does that?”

“I don’t know sweetie.” I could have told her it was a vampire but I didn’t want to believe it yet myself.

“I started screaming and Cassandra came out of the bathroom just as the front door opened with a bang and the man from outside came in, with dad over his shoulder and threw him on the floor near mom. He carried and tossed him like he weighed nothing Sean! Dad.”

Our father was a large man. Easily six four pushing 280 lbs of muscle—so to carry him easily was unfathomable to my twelve year old sister. To me it fit into the mold I was starting to accept as fitting the myth of vampires—except one thing.

“Did you hear dad invite the man in?”

“No. In fact, he told him that he wasn’t able to come in and talk to her right now.”

“Did dad say he could once he was sober?”


Myth number three was a lie—vampires could enter your home without an invite. I shuddered. “What happened next sweetie?”

“Cassandra ran for the door but he caught her. He was nowhere near the door but in a blink he had his arms around her and bit into her neck. I would’ve run to her but the woman grabbed me and—” Page just resituated my T-shirt on her neck. “And I’m sure they would’ve drained us dry but suddenly they just stopped. Flora was hiding in the doorway of your room and they both saw her peaking around the corner and stopped, dropping us both. Cassandra was the closest to the door so she ran out of it to get help.”

“And she found me.”

We heard the sirens approaching now. When they arrived Page was bandaged and put into the ambulance. I answered a few questions to the cops as someone tended to my face, but due to my broken arm the paramedics wouldn't let me stay and ushered me into the back of the ambulance with her. As I sat down, my arm in a sling now to keep it steady, I took Page’s hand with the hand of my good right arm. She was cold to the touch and for the first time I considered the idea that she may not make it. Tears filled my eyes.

“You hang in there Pagey, you hear me? You’re all I have left.”

She gave me this smile, the same kind my mother used to give me when I’d ask her to do something for me she couldn’t do, but wished she could. It was so adult of her—the look of acceptance she gave me as she squeezed my hand lightly.

“Sean? How did you know how to kill them?”

“I don’t know—I just did.”

“Don’t you ever stop—you hear me?”


“You find Flora and you kill as many as you can. Promise me.”


“Promise me, please Sean.”

I leaned down and hugged her as best as I could. “I promise.”

“Thank you. I love you big brother.”

I felt her kiss my cheek and then her whole body relaxed as she died, right there in my arms, peacefully, knowing I’d keep my promise.

Obviously I wasn’t able to compete in the Olympics that year as I was suppose to and my spot was filled by a nice guy whose name I honestly don’t remember. Instead I went to live with my mother’s sister’s family who lived in upstate New York not far from the cabin and a week after it had all happened I’d slipped out of my aunt’s home and driven to the cabin. The yellow police tape was still up.

I walked around the property and even ventured into the woods multiple times for the rest of the spring. I found evidence of where they’d been living out there; a cabin with no windows—proving another myth correct; sunlight was a weapon. I knew Flora had been there as I found her Tigger toy, but not her.

As the summer started I joined the local Jujitsu dojo. Gymnastics held too much pain for me but the foundation it created made martial arts seem like a natural progression. By the time school registration began I had a plan. If I was going to keep my promise to my sister I needed to not only learn about these creatures, but I needed to train—I needed to learn how to use every weapon, including the human body. I tore through the yellow pages and the school extra-curricular activities. I joined wrestling, archery, and track as well as taking other martial arts when I had the time.

One day, shortly after my 20th birthday I woke up and knew I was ready. I was toned, fast, and a deadly force with or without weapons. I’d been researching, learning, and training for four years and it was time. I packed my bags, left money and a note on my aunt’s kitchen table and my keys under the mat out front.

I got into the car and as the engine hummed to life I looked up at the home that had housed me for the past four years and I knew I’d miss it. I also understood with utmost clarity that I could not begin my fight without putting them in harm’s way—hence why I was leaving and why I was doing so as a different person. So with one last look I put the car into drive and I left.

With onle one more errand to run I stopped by a random barber shop that didn’t know me and had my long dark hair cut short—exposing my wide, almost black, curls again, and then had him shave my face smooth. I now looked like my fake ID and papers I’d paid a lot of money for a year ago that at the time had made me 21, now 22. I had a new driver’s license, high school transcripts, passport and birth certificate.

I got back into my beat up old black, 1967 Dodge Charger Hemi that reminded me of a short hearse to be honest, and pulled the driver’s license out of my backpack and smiled—I thought my mother would be proud to see I’d chosen her maiden name. From here on out Sean Valentine, the hippie looking child was no more…he was dead and gone…and Sean Cameron, the vampire hunter, was born.

© Copyright 2011 Tamsin Silver

THIS might be an idea of Sean AFTER her shaved it all off...

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