Hey, everyone! Today I’d like to welcome back friend and fellow author C. S. Boyack. Craig is no stranger to this site and it’s always a pleasure to host him. He’s had a busy writing year and has a brand new release. The Ballad of Mrs. Malony is the latest book in The Hat series.
Having read and enjoyed the first two books, I look forward to diving into this one. And with vampires in the story, it’s perfect October read. And now here is Craig to tell you more about it.
Thanks for having me back so soon, Joan. My promotion schedule has been kind of crazy this year. This time I have something aimed toward the Halloween season. It’s called The Ballad of Mrs. Molony, and it’s a bit of dark humor, wrapped inside a paranormal adventure.
Lizzie and the hat are back, and this time they’re on the trail of a pair of brutal vampires. This leads me to my topic today, vampire culture. I know it sounds weird, but inside a fictitious work, things have to make sense.
I expect this series to run for a good while and I needed to make some big decisions about the adversaries and allies they run across. I came up with two loose frameworks. One is a kind of underground society and the witches that show up fit this mold. Others are more like predatory animals and that’s where I placed my vampires. This isn’t to say that some of them won’t gather and do something one day, but at this stage think predatory animals. Silent night-stalkers.
In book one “The Hat” we learned they live among the street people. Nobody pays them any attention and they mingle with the herd they feed from. In the wild, animals will specialize from time to time. We see this with killer whales, lions, and more. No reason vampires couldn’t do the same thing.
This brings me to a specific sub-culture of America. The country music and rodeo culture. This group is prone to large gatherings, plenty of alcohol, and the events happen at night. Sounds like a perfect hunting ground for a predator. Thus, we have a couple of undead former rodeo cowboys who stalk the fringes of this culture.
Somewhere along the line, it occurred to me that vampires were people before they ever became blood-sucking monsters, so there would be a lot of variation. Some were monsters before they ever became vampires. This makes for the better villains.
I wanted to expand on this idea, so I added one more vampire to the mix. I haven’t talked about her yet, and she doesn’t even have a name. She’s a fun-loving party girl who likes the idea of not having a shelf life. She feeds when she has to but doesn’t kill her victims. (So she says, anyway.) She also stalks the events but avoids rodeos because the other vampires are dangerous and deadly.
Most people won’t notice, but adding the party girl did a few things for me. It helped me expand the idea of vampires with only a couple of scenes. We’ve seen street people, we’ve seen her hunting ground, and we know the dangerous ones are out there, too. It also added a special flare to have a vampire who’s afraid of the ones Lizzie and the hat are after in this story. It ramps up the tension just a bit.
I’m pretty happy with how the vampiric world comes across in this book. It also gives me options for the future if I ever want to revisit vampires. Maybe the next ones stalk the NHRA circuit and feed upon racing queens or something. Plenty of parties at those events.
Which brings me to the next fun little twist in this series. Lizzie and the hat have a cover band called Lizzie and the Pythons. They tend to play a mixture of rock and blues. To get closer to their targets, they’re going to have to add a bit of country music to their playlist. Seems like there’s always a dance at these rodeo events and what better way to stalk the vampires they’re watching for? The band is a neat trick because it gives Lizzie and the hat a way to be out at night when the monsters roam. I also like the way they wind up doing the same thing the monsters are doing. Hunting their prey at the party.
Well, this is meant to be a blog post and not a synopsis. Joan and I are partners over at Story Empire and I thought a few of the tricks might be suitable for this post. Thanks again for having me over Joan.
Blurb: Lizzie and the hat are back, and this time they’re chasing vampires across a subculture of America. A pair of rodeo cowboys are holding a woman captive to use like a milk cow since they joined the undead.
The person who put them onto the trail is also a vampire, but he has to be the worst vampire in history. Is he really that pitiful, or is he setting a trap for our heroes? Does the woman even exists? Can Lizzie and the hat find her before she also takes up bloodsucking?
Follow Lizzie and the hat as they use their cover band to stalk vamps across the country music scene.
Purchase your copy here: The Ballad of Mrs. Molony
Other stories in the series are:
You can contact Craig at the following locations: