a.k.a. The history of a series that doesn’t exist.
(As well as summarising the following information quite nicely, “Passage from Genesis” is a name taken from a level in Ecco the Dolphin: Defender of the Future. We all know how much I love Ecco the Dolphin, and if you didn’t before, you do now. Anyway.)
The story of “The Genesis” has been floating around in all its forms since 12th March 2000. I know it is this date specifically, because I wrote it in highlighter pen all over a piece of paper, which is now in a cupboard collecting dust, along with my epic fantasy stories of yore.
In its first form, The Genesis was essentially Leon meets Blade meets The Matrix, in that Catrina was a sniper. Who became a vampire. And the One (no, really, that’s what she was called).
Being the freaking genius that I am, the story was first called “The Vampire Sniper” (catchy, right? And also with layers, because it’s a vampire sniper, a sniper who is also a vampire, and not a person who assassinates vampires…or IS SHE?! No, she isn’t.). Through more superb creative spunk, vampire became vampyr, and sniper changed to match, and the Vampyr Snyper series was born.
Oh, it had everything you could ever want. It had drunk vampires playing drinking games, a dragon spirit guide, and a talking door knocker. Also, there were creatures being kept in the factory’s laboratory. And Catrina could talk to them. Obviously.
I attempted the traditional publishing route in 2003 (and while that draft lost a majority of the weird and wonderful, looking back, I’m amazed I was asked for anything at all), but despite my efforts, it was not picked up and I did not become the overnight success I envisioned.
I kept all my rejection letters, stuck them up on my wall to remind me what I was coming from. I still have these letters. They’re in a folder titled: “What were you thinking?!”
In 2004, I discovered CafePress.com, and I made everything I could: mugs, shirts, posters.
All for something that still didn’t exist.
I still love that poster, even though it’s completely wrong now. Having it over my workstation was a great confidence booster.
It wasn’t until 2006 that I actually took the plunge and created a book using CafePress. And the rest…was history!
So yes, in 2006, the book made its first foray into the real world (complete with a stolen image – prizes to anyone who can identify the image source from the 1st cover). 2006 was still relative dark age in online terms, with social media being nothing but a twinkle in the Internet’s eye, and MySpace (remember MySpace?) being the dominant force.
Suffice to say, it didn’t do well. Whether because I had no marketing strategy or because it was shit, there’s just no way to tell. No way.
Anyway, I rewrote the story intermittently between 2006 and 2008, and at some point in 2008, I got into a conversation with Kier Gill, a graphic artist and a personal friend, who read the book (no idea which version) and liked it. He and I decided to venture forth together and recreate The Genesis as a graphic novel.
Four years on, he’s still working on it. He and I have a lot in common.
Kier is behind the 3rd and 4th covers, the 4th of which was the one released for general consumption in 2009 through Lulu (and distributed to Amazon and later Kindle) and left relatively unattended afterwards.
In 2010, I pulled everything offline and decided that I despised the whole series, having written countless starts to sequels and hating the original story from which they bloomed.
I started to look at the series as a whole, to try and encompass what it wants to cover in its entirety.
It’s not about a sniper who’s also a vampire. It’s about lives of creatures beyond the mortal coil, their trials and tribulations as part of this entirely different world outside humanity’s boundaries.
I went through some appalling series name ideas, including the somewhat simplistic and wholly unsatisfying BLOOD name, in which I would title each book with the suffix of Blood. So the Genesis would be called “First Blood”, the 2nd would be called “Cold Blood”, and so on. I also toyed around with the name VAMPERIUM/VAMPIRIUM, a clever play on a mixture of vampire and imperium (from the Latin, don’t you know, meaning ‘Power to Command’, a nice, broad sweep of theme right there).
Neither idea panned out too well, and Muse didn’t appreciate it, either, which is usually what sets my alarm bells ringing.
What Muse did settle on quite well, however, was the idea of encompassing Blood of Ages into the series name as a whole, since it does a nice job of covering the stories of all the vampires through the history (it’s the blood…of AGES. Get it?!) of my world.
Having purchased the penrefe.com domain name a good few years earlier, after I decided on a title for the 5th and final book in the projected series, I thought it might be a decent chess piece to throw into the game. Domain names are everything, after all.
And so I set it thus:
The VS series was officially dead, and from its ashes:
…the BoA series emerged.
*cue epic orchestral swell*
How much of an improvement on the original remains to be seen, since none are released as of yet, but it’s an exciting journey nonetheless, and as its creator, I am overjoyed to be the one at the helm.
And Now…to the Meat of the Matter
Approximately 300 copies of “The Genesis” were (perhaps inadvertently) sold through various channels under the Vampyr Snyper name during its short published life. I do not know who many of these people were, whether they liked it, hated it, or otherwise.
However, since “The Genesis, a Blood of Ages Novel” is essentially a retelling of a story these people already purchased (the royalties of which I likely spent long ago on sweets), I think it only fair that I offer some kind of compensation.
Therefore, if you purchased* “The Genesis” during its original cycle (when it was labelled under the Vampyr Snyper umbrella-ella-ella), contact me and I will arrange for a completely free of charge copy of the new book to sent to an e-mail address/Kindle account of your choice, when it is released.
* You will need to provide some proof of purchase, which will either be accepted as a copy of receipt from Lulu or Amazon, or a photograph of you physically holding the book (I know you’re all beautiful, you don’t have to be shy).