In August 2004, I signed a contract with LBF Books for my novel Vampires of the Scarlet Order. Lachesis Publishing ultimately acquired LBF and asked me to do another book in the series, which became Dragon’s Fall: Rise of the Scarlet Order. Earlier this year, the publishing contracts came up for renewal and both Lachesis and I decided it was time for the publishing rights to come back to me. The deal is now formalized and the rights will revert to me at the end of May. It feels like the end of a fifteen-year long era. I’m starting to get things set up so there’s minimal downtime between the Lachesis editions being taken down and the release of new editions from my Hadrosaur Productions.
As a result, I spent this last week giving Dragon’s Fall a fresh proofread. While it was the second book written, it was always intended to be the first book in the series. Timing my proofread right before Easter was an interesting coincidence, since one of the novel’s inciting incidents is based on the legend of Joseph of Arimathea taking the Holy Grail to the British Isles. It also explores a question that I’ve wondered about occasionally and that’s why don’t we have any writings from Jesus himself since indications from the Bible are that Jesus was literate. Now, there are many possible answers to this and most don’t even have huge theological implications. Still, the speculative writer in me did feel compelled to ask, what if Jesus did have writings that were lost?
Anyway, my proofreading pass is now complete and I just need to typeset the interior and finalize plans for a new cover. I’m excited about the preliminary discussions I’ve had with the cover artist and I hope to have a cover reveal and more news about that soon. Aside from proofreading catches and some stronger prose, the new edition will not be substantially changed from the earlier edition. I do expect the cover will make the title and subtitle a little clearer with “Dragon’s Fall” in a larger font and the somewhat modified subtitle “Rise of the Scarlet Order Vampires” in a smaller font.
Once I finish some documentation in the coming week, I also plan to turn my attention to Vampires of the Scarlet Order. I’m thinking this novel will have somewhat more changes than Dragon’s Fall. Little of the actual text will change, but I’m tentatively planning to rearrange the chapters a bit to improve the narrative flow. As those who’ve read the novel know, I originally chose to tell the story in a very linear, chronological format. I’m thinking of revising it so that I start in the present day (where most of the action takes place), then let the characters tell the historical parts of the story when it’s natural for them to do so.
The return to my Scarlet Order world in this past week also coincides with the release of the latest Dance in the Vampire Bund manga’s English language translation. Its title is “Age of Scarlet Order.” The manga opens with the United States military appearing to take out vampire queen Mina Tepes and her werewolf companion Akira Kaburagi Regendorf in a drone strike. We then meet vampire refugees attempting to flee religious extremists in scenes that feel not unlike some that occur in contemporary America. From this opening, the story takes a turn and explores the origins of the vampires. Nozomu Tamaki first started using “Scarlet Order” in the titles of his books about a decade after my Scarlet Order Vampires first appeared. I have to admit, I came to his work out of curiosity about the similar title, but I’ve since become a fan of this series.
Excellent twist on the vampire norm. I think it’s brilliant to use familiar story characters to give a different spin on the political view so-to-speak.
Thank you! I’m glad it intrigues you.
I admit I’m unfamiliar with those books. My memory is vague, but it seems like some of that might have been mentioned in your interview that appeared in *Hungur Magazine* for November 2011. One of my pieces was in that issue as well; that was where I first learned about you. But I haven’t looked at that issue in years.
I’ve thought too about Jesus of Nazareth writing. I’m pretty sure that even then Jewish males were expected to read the Torah by the age of 13, which was the beginning of adulthood. That’s part of the reason why the story of him asking and answering questions among the teachers at age 12 was significant, because he was not yet an adult. A 12-year-old impressing literate teachers with his knowledge of written material would almost certainly mean he was literate.
The Bible says he began his ministry at age 30, which was the age one was recognized as an elder, essentially old enough for the priesthood, even though he apparently wasn’t of the priestly tribe of Levi. Priests and rabbis (the term he was called by) at that time were definitely expected to be literate.
Finally, there is one reference to Jesus writing. It is in John 8. A woman was about to be stoned to death for committing adultery, which was considered the proper thing to do under the law. Jesus said (according to the New International Version), “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” He then wrote on the ground with his finger. One by one, they left.
That, at least, is a piece of writing by Jesus that is lost.
I would definitely have discussed Vampires of the Scarlet Order in that November 2011 interview. Dragon’s Fall had not been released in it’s entirety, but the first two sections were released as stand alone novellas by then under the titles “Bondage” and “The Dragon’s Quest.” I imagine the stand alone novellas will go away when the rights revert to me at the end of May. According to my notes, that issue also includes my Scarlet Order vampire story “Luftgeist.” It’s one of my favorites and tells about Lord Draco’s interactions with the Nazis. Yes, there are humans so evil a blood sucking vampire will have nothing to do with them! I’ll have to go back and look up the copy and reread your story. I remember reading the issue when it came out, but it’s been nine years.
The evidence you cite is the Biblical evidence I know that Jesus must have been literate. With a three-year ministry and much travel, it’s pretty obvious he didn’t have much time to write, but it seems like any fragment of writing would have been considered precious by his followers, so it’s a little surprising nothing at all was preserved. Of course, some could have been and then lost in the early years, which would be a shame — and that’s what I try to convey with this element of my book.