Join Prism Book Alliance® as GRL 2015 Supporting Author Della Van Hise (aka Alexis Fegan Black) talks with us today.
For those who don’t know me, I am the author of the controversial Star Trek novel, Killing Time – which was recalled by the publisher after rumors of a “veiled homosexual relationship between Kirk and Spock” brought the book to the top 5 of many best-seller lists before the recall. I’m told the book introduced a lot of people to the very idea of male/male romance – and if that’s true, then I feel I’ve done my job. lol
But, hey, that was a long time ago. If you want to read the whole story of The Killing Time Fiasco, it’s on my blog, and hopefully good for a laugh or two.
Over the years, my writing has encompassed several fields, from fiction to non-fiction, young adult to (mostly) male/male romance. I also maintain a writer’s blog (It Was A Dark & Stormy Night) which is not your typical pep talk, but instead deals with the dark night of the soul where writing is concerned, and is not for the faint of heart.
Because I’ve been writing since I was 11 (almost 50 years if I dare to do the math), I’ve been through the ups and downs, the successes and the failures, the high hopes and the loss of faith. It’s all just part of the process – and anyone who tells you otherwise is trying to sell you something.
Around 1995, I left the field of fiction writing for nearly 20 years, and now that I have written a new novel (Prince of Umberlight) and am in the process of writing the second in the same series, I’m starting to remember why I gave it all up for so many years. laughs @ self
Aside from the obvious reasons (not the least of which is that my dogs and cats like to eat, and writing is not a reliable way to earn a living), I find myself lying awake in the middle of the night listening to the yammerings of a dozen or more characters, all of whom feel their story is the one that most needs to be told, and therefore I should immediately drop everything I’m doing (like trying to sleep), go straight to the computer (do not pass go, do not collect $200) and at least have the good manners to write extensive notes on who said what to whom, when, where, why, and what the outcome might be 6 novels or more down that long and winding road to WhoKnowsWhere. Even if the sun should rise before I am finished, the little voices say, I must not falter.
And so the sun comes up on another day, the dog is giving me dirty looks for keeping her awake all night; the cat is promising to do something really nasty if I don’t feed him; last night’s left overs are still on the counter; dishes are still in the sink; aliens have landed on the front yard and are asking for a veeterwopper to fix their spaceship…
And there are vampires in my head asking – nay, demanding – that I must tell their tales of angst and immortality, love and grief, ecstasy and torment, life and death and everything in between. In fact, I have had to tell them I’m in the shower right now, just to have a few minutes to scribble this SOS on the walls in my own blood.
From a writer’s perspective, there appear to be two contradictory forces forever at war – the yin and the yang, the light wolf and the dark wolf, the agony and the ecstasy. What are they really? Simply put, they are the thrill of creation and the dark night of the soul that comes with wondering how to get one’s books seen, read, reviewed. As I discussed in one of my blog rants, “Getting Found In the ‘Other’ World,” writers are now required to wear so many hats that we just don’t have enough shoes to match. Writer. Editor. Publisher. Cover artist. Publicist. Webmaster. Advertising manager. Chief cook and bottle washer at the nuthouse. The list is long.
When I initially released Sons of Neverland back in 1997, the publishing industry was just beginning to shift from the traditional toward a more general acceptance of indie writers. I had always been in the traditional markets previously, but I embraced indie publishing for a lot of reasons – not the least of which is that it allows the author to maintain creative control and to ultimately produce a book that is more in alignment with her own vision, as opposed to the typically narrow parameters enforced by traditional publishers.
I could go into an entire diatribe about that, but two things are stopping me:
- The vampires have found me again and insist I must stop this foolishness and get back to telling their tales; and…
It would be a diatribe unto itself, so best I should surrender to the vampires before I am seriously punished. What they don’t know is that I’d probably like it every bit as much as they do.
Prince of Umberlight has just been released and for those who have enjoyed my erotica over the years, I hope you’ll give this one a look.
One advance reader said, “If Prince of Umberlight doesn’t rattle your cage, you’re more dead than the undead!” Appropriate analogy for an erotic vampire novel, I think, especially since this book was written with the intent to titillate mind, body and spirit equally.
If you’d like to read some of my old Star Trek fan fiction, there are some stories and a couple of novels stored at Archive of our Own – wherein Kirk and Spock get into the typical amount of trouble, and also into each other. Fun stuff.
Thanks for looking! I’m looking forward to meeting you at the GRL retreat in October. See you there!
~Della Van Hise (aka Alexis Fegan Black)
Title: Prince of Umberlight
Author: Alexis Fegan Black
Publication Date: 01/03/2015
Thorn may be an 800 year old vampire, but he does not possess the ability to create others of his kind, and so he is cursed to fall in love with mortals, only to watch them grow old and die.
Torn by grief, Thorn denounces his immortality and enters into a comatose oblivion for decades. When he awakens, he is no longer in London, but finds himself in a world spun into being by his own desires – a world where Time and Death do not exist, a world where it is forever autumn, where the Parish of Shadows and the River of Stars become his home.
It is in this world of Umberlight that he meets Atom – an interloper into his private sanctuary, but also an impudent imp who is destined to reveal to Thorn the three dangerous elements a vampire must possess in order to become a Creator.
The Art of Brutality.
Submission to Dark Desire.
Available from Amazon, or directly from the publisher, Eye Scry Publications www.eyescrypublications.com
Now I lay me down to dream
I created this place as a sanctuary, for I am an immortal, you see, and a very long time ago the world of matter and men became intolerable to me. Certain beings – some human, others not – have asked precisely when this creation occurred, which only goes to illustrate a supremely naive misconception of the very nature of Umberlight.
There can be no when in a land where there is no time.
For that reason alone, the sun neither rises nor sets here. There are no calendars or clocks, no watches or work schedules, no hatch marks chiseled into prison walls to delineate one indistinguishable day of monotony from the next.
There is only a single moment here, existing perpetually at right angles to the dayshine world, and given the name Umberlight by one of the first Paranormals who stumbled into my otherwise uninhabited kingdom. It was his observation that the orange glow of the street lamps – which are powered by tiny embers broken off from the Eternal Flame – produce a warm autumnal glow that is a natural beacon, a porch light left forever on, welcoming fragile moths in gowns of colorful dust who dance like angels on the ragged hem of this night that never ends.
There are no beginnings and no endings…
NEITHER CHAPTER NOR VERSE
The dream before the Dreaming
The altar was made of simple wood and held the artifacts and herbs required to summon an immortal. Agrimony and dream root. Chalice and blade. Scented oil.
Having lit the lantern to serve as a beacon of flame, I knelt naked and humble on the thin cushions at the altar’s base, took up the small vial of oil, and applied it sparingly to my chest, careful to cover each nipple with an adequate amount to make me appealing to the dark spirits. Then to my halfway erect staff, which lengthened and grew as the oil heated in my palm.
“Vampyre, father, incubus, lover,” I intoned as I had done each night for several months. “Come to me now, make me yours forever.”
As I spoke the words I had gleaned from the darkness itself, my hand worked a slow and familiar magick on my body, gliding easily over my straining phallus.
“Vampyre, father, incubus, lover… come to me now, make me yours forever.”
I murmured the incantation for the second time, my breath coming faster as the fire in my belly burned higher.
The trick was to go slow. To focus on my intent. To tease the pleasure without indulging it too soon.
My hand slowed, though it wanted to move faster. My heart pounded, a summoning drum.
Beyond the window over the altar, the world was liquid ebony, not even a sliver of a moon on the orchards which had been in my family for generations. A flirtatious early autumn wind gripped me, running curious hands over my body until my phallus stood at full attention.
But tonight the wind which had always been feminine and sweet had turned darkly masculine and carried the sharp edge of a king’s avenging sword. And whereas that same wind had remained elusive and always slipped free of my embrace, tonight that wicked elemental had taken on shape and form, and was kneeling behind me on the cushions at the window overlooking the vineyards and the distant sea beyond.
“Is this really what you want?” a man’s voice whispered, so close to my ear I could taste the wine on his breath, yet so soft I could go right on imagining it was only the wind reflecting my forbidden intent back at me.
I allowed myself to imagine he was really there – something I had seldom done even at the peak of these dark rituals, for it was said that to finally believe in one’s magick was to give that magick permission to believe in itself.
“Yes,” I whispered. “Yes – it’s what I want!”
My hand moved automatically toward my staff, but in the very next moment my wrist was seized in a powerful grip and before I knew what was happening to me, I was driven face-down onto the cushions with such a force that I thought for a moment my home had been invaded by Crusaders and I was about to be executed for acts of sorcery.
Instead, when I twisted my head around in a state of blind panic, I saw that there really was a man at my back. Not just any average human being, but a man whose face was so extraordinary he could not be a man at all. Hair darker than a blackbird’s wing. Eyes so bright they had to be lit from within.
In the dim flickering of the lantern, he actually appeared to glow, his features so perfectly chiseled that I could only imagine him to be an angel – though most likely a fallen one, judging by the fact that he was completely naked and sporting a tremendous erection that could be easily classified as a weapon.
I could not breathe, did not dare to move.
“Do you know who I am, boy?” the man asked. Even though I was 28 at the time, I suspected that anyone under the age of at least a century or two would be a boy to this being who was, without a doubt, the answer to my dangerous prayers.
Vampyre. Father. Incubus. Lover.
“You are the night incarnate,” I barely managed to murmur, more words from incantations I had written in my own blood onto the ragged papyrus of my journal. “You are the father of my death, the bringer of my life.”
Words of the summoning.
Words of madness.
My heart was threatening to explode, and had it done so in that moment, it may well have turned out to be a blessing, compared to what lay ahead.
“My name is Ambrose,” the man said, “and I am the destroyer of your world.”
Words I had imagined.
A name I had learned in my dreams.
As he spoke, he had picked up the vial of oil and poured what little remained onto the palm of his right hand, then began stroking himself with it until his evil blade glistened ominously in the lantern’s pale light.
“Because you have summoned me, and because I know you are a virgin to men, I will be gentle with you this first time,” he promised, though he was already prying the trembling globes of my rump apart and had placed the broad head of his saber against the tightly-clenched orifice and began to enter me.
There was no discussion, no polite dance prior to the act.
He simply did it before I could say another word.
I was paralyzed with a sensation like nothing I had experienced ever before – a devil’s cocktail consisting of equal portions of fear, dread, desire and a blinding phantasm of pain that came when my “gentle” destroyer slid so hard and fast and deep into me that I whimpered like a schoolboy and bit down on my own wrist to keep from crying out, the result being that I tasted my own blood.
Whatever sounds I made were not words – just the delirious groans and protests of a man who suddenly finds himself filled beyond his capacity to bear by the quick and merciless thrusts of another man.
It was the most horrific moment of my life.
It was the most shameful moment of my life.
And it was, without a doubt, the most strikingly intimate moment of my life.
Ambrose had his way with me for what must have been an hour, while I lay there on the cushions alternating between unbearable agony and intolerable pleasure I did not want to admit even though I could not deny it.
Perhaps sensing that, he held me down the entire time so that I might later have the luxury of claiming – if only to myself – that I was forced.
When his fangs cut into the tender flesh at the apex of neck and shoulder and he began drawing the living essence of me into his mouth, I experienced a single moment of true and absolute panic, for it is said that once a Creator drinks from the veins of one who has summoned him, there is no undoing the spell, no going back to the safe sanctuary of sanity and reason.
I have often wondered if I would have gone back to being just a man, but the crossroads had already been passed. The deed was done. The oath was sealed in my blood.
I belonged to Ambrose now.
He continued sinking in again and again until I became delirious from the ride and began lifting myself up to meet him when I sensed he was close to release.
I wanted it to be over.
I wanted it to never end.
I raised myself higher.
“That’s a good boy,” he murmured against my ear, reaching around my body to take my tormented shaft in his hand. “Now come with me into this night that never ends.”
His skilled hand milked the liquid pleasure out of me at the same time I felt a searing burn filling me up inside, an evil fire cauterizing the lethal cut this fiend had delivered to my very soul.
“Vampyre, father, incubus, lover,” I wept as his hand tightened and released around my throbbing phallus. “Come to me now, make me yours forever.”
His flame burned inside me for another hour while we lay together in the aftermath, his vampyre body resting heavily on my back.
“Come find me, Mikal,” he commanded me. “When you do, it will be time to begin.”
The wind went still.
The lantern had gone dark.
Ambrose was gone, but I knew without a doubt that I had met my maker.
Prince of Umberlight – available from Amazon or directly from the publisher at www.eyescrypublications.com
About Della Van Hise (aka Alexis Fegan Black)
Della Van Hise is a native of Florida, transplanted to California at the age of 21, who has subsequently sunk her roots into the high desert near Joshua Tree National Park. She has not personally seen any aliens since around 1992, but there is rumored to be a secret UFO base underneath her house.
Della’s writing started around age 11 on an old Smith Corona typewriter. No, not an electric one. A real antique, made of metal and heavier than a wet coffin. Her first professional novel was best-selling KILLING TIME – the controversial Star Trek novel which was recalled and re-edited in 1984 (making the first edition a rare collector’s item) – and which was the foundational plot for the STAR TREK “Reboot” movie.
Della has written extensively in the non-fiction genre, with titles such as QUANTUM SHAMAN: DIARY OF A NAGUAL WOMAN and SCRAWLS ON THE WALLS OF THE SOUL. “Quantum Shaman” focuses heavily on the author’s metaphysical explorations and experiences, while “Scrawls” is a continuation of those journeys many years later. If you enjoyed the works of Carlos Castaneda or Don Miguel Ruiz, you’ll enjoy the non-fiction works of Della Van Hise.
In addition, Della has written professionally for Tomorrow Magazine and other prominent science fiction publications. Her most recent fiction works include Sons of Neverland (an award-winning vampire novel); No Forwarding Address (a science fiction quest of the heart’s yearning); and Coyote (a sensuous novel combining the mystical aspects of martial arts, coming of age, and personal sacrifice.)
Della shares her life with her significant other, Wendy Rathbone, and a variety of cats, dogs and desert wildlife.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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