I’m excited to announce the release of the second edition of Vampires of the Scarlet Order. This edition features new cover art by Chaz Kemp:
The second edition has also been reedited. As I mentioned in Tuesday’s blog post, I went through the novel and corrected as many spelling, grammar, and continuity errors as I could catch. However, my edit also went a little deeper. This year, I’ve had some good conversations with some talented people about audience expectation and I realized that although the novel was generally well received, certain elements violated something that I think most audiences have come to expect.
The first edition opens in Spain during the year 1491. We meet a man named Rudolfo who seeks revenge for the death of his father. He is invited to join the Scarlet Order Vampires. We follow the Scarlet Order’s exploits for another chapter and then Rudolfo disappears. Another member of the Scarlet Order turns up in Louisiana and turns a schoolteacher named Marcella into a vampire. Then we meet a vampire named Mercy. Eventually Rudolfo reappears, but is gone some two chapters later until the end of the book. His story is important to the novel, but it’s not the driving force.
I came to realize this is the story of three young vampires who start finding clues to a terrible government conspiracy. Each of them has a tie to the historical Scarlet Order and, in order to understand the mystery they’ve uncovered, they must seek out the Scarlet Order’s former leader. The book violated audience expectation in that none of the characters met in the first two or three chapters end up being the story’s protagonists, unless you consider the Scarlet Order itself a protagonist. As presented, the book was “about” the fall and rise of the Scarlet Order, but it took a few chapters to meet the novel’s true protagonists. This could be fine if there were a compelling reason to do it this way, but I couldn’t convince myself I was telling the story in the best way possible.
In the new edition, I start by introducing the physicist Jane Heckman who is peripherally involved in the research that drives the plot and who meets Rudolfo and becomes a vampire. He then tells her the story of his involvement with the Scarlet Order. Rudolfo disappears, which gives her a problem to solve. Once she seeks out Desmond Drake in Northern New Mexico, the story is handed over to Marcella, the Louisiana schoolteacher and so on. The new edition tells the same story, it just reveals the information in a different order. My goal is that the readers get to know our protagonists early and care about their story because they’re the ones who have to resolve the book’s primary conundrum. As told on the book’s back cover:
A new generation of vampires embarks on a quest to save humanity.
Opening a forgotten crypt during a military exercise, Dr. Jane Heckman is made a vampire and begins a journey to unlock the secret origins of her new kindred.
Elsewhere, solitary vampire Marcella DuBois emerges from the shadows and uncovers a government plot to create vampire-like super soldiers.
Daniel McKee, a vampire working as an astronomer, moves to a new town where he’s adopted by a family, only to have government agents strip those he loves away from him.
All three vampires discover the government is dabbling in technologies so advanced they’ll tap into realms and dimensions they don’t understand. To save humans and vampires alike, Jane, Marcella, and Daniel must seek out the legendary master vampire Desmond, Lord Draco and encourage him to resurrect his band of mercenaries, the Scarlet Order.
I invite you to join Jane, Marcella, and Daniel on their quest.
The ebook of Vampires of the Scarlet Order is available at:
The print edition of Vampires of the Scarlet Order is available at:
If you’d like to get the first edition before it’s gone, there are signed copies at:
Very nice and well presented.
Thank you, Jason.
Wow, you did have to do a lot of work. I think I might have just left it and focused on creating a new story or series!
That said, I think you’re right and the first few characters on the page need to be the ones who are the main focus of the plot. They are who the reader gets invested in.
It ended up not being as hard or time-consuming as it might seem. Because it was already a fix-up novel with the chapters in discrete parts, it was mostly a case of rearranging the chapters and writing clean transitions. The fact that the clean transitions were easy to write was another clue that I was going in the right direction. The chapters set in the past fit in clear places within the narrative. The whole edit took about two weeks.