Sunday, July 29, 2018


Welcome back to the voluptuous world of the vampyre, in this sequel to Nocturne, where madness and death once again haunt Vincent Bantry and Michael Flynn.

England, 1905.
Changeling and vampyre struggle to survive in the rapidly evolving Europe at the dawn of the age of science and technology. The automobile, telephone and forensic medicine complicate the difficult lives of the Children of the Night. Vampyre show themselves more rarely their beloved changelings must be more cautious than ever.

The newspaper carries a disturbing story which makes terrible sense to Bantry and Flynn. Changelings like themselves are perishing in the bleak, beautiful Devonshire moorland; some have vanished utterly. Who is murdering, and why? And what's become of the blond, handsome and irresistible Nicholas Crane, whose reputation as a profligate and scoundrel is legendary? Nick was last seen with a changeling woman before both disappeared and the turmoil of blood, deceit and fear began.

Twilight is
, by turns, murder mystery, chilling thriller and unexpected love story -- always with the twist of delicious fantasy readers found beguiling in the first novel of Bantry, Flynn and the vampyre Chabrier.

Novel length: 125,000 words
Rated: adult (18+; sex, violence, language)
ISBN: 0975808028
Publication date: March 2004
Publisher: DreamCraft
Price: $6.99 - ebook; $17.99 - paper (NEW LOWER PRICE)
Cover: Jade

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The ideas and storyline for this novel were put together in the same 'opus' as the original story on which it's built, NOCTURNE ... and, obviously, there was nothing I could do with the ideas until or unless NOCTURNE had been published *and* turned into a success. To put it another way, what's the point of writing a sequel to a novel that wasn't popular? The great news is, NOCTURNE has been well reviewed and well liked ... and the door was opened for TWILIGHT to be written!

One of the things I do, in the early stages of planning a novel, is to make notes. Lots of them. For instance, I'm working on a contemporary thriller with an occult aspect, and I have 14,000 words of notes! What this means is, a novel idea can be shelved for almost two decades (urk), forgotten utterly ... unearthed, dusted off, and ... there it is, ready to go when the time is right.

This described TWILIGHT! The challenge I'd wanted to give myself was this: having deconstructed the vampyre myth and offered up a 'real world' alternative, where the Old Ones are so far from the red-eyed, fanged terrors of Bram Stoker, they could almost be real ... could I then find a way to turn it around and write a vampyre story involving red-eyed terrors, graveyards at midnight, virgins getting seduced by said fanged terrors, and a crazed mob on a murdering rampage? Could I write that and make it utterly real, and have it be not just believable but in the category of, 'My gods, we're lucky this hasn't happened before!'

I've always loved a challenge, and I think I made this novel work on many levels: readers will tell me how well I pulled it off. TWILIGHT is something of a Gothic; it has a 'darker' flavor than other things I've written, which is only fitting when you remember, it's also a Sherlock Holmesian murder mystery -- but at the same time it's four or five love stories rolled into one, all of them interconnected and interdependent.

Was it complex to write? Yes, it was! First, I grappled with plot and characters ... the relationships between the characters make the story 'go,' and since it's a murder mystery that wouldn't disgrace Conan Doyle, the details had to be 'wrangled' exhaustively. The thing the writer can't get away with, in this kind of story, is a lapse of memory ... the story pivots on two or three crucial points, and if suspense and excitement are going to carry through to the last chapter, the details can *only* be revealed at the right moment, or it's like ... the rabbit coming before the magician's hat!

Having gotten all THAT worked out, I had a hill (not a mountain, but a good, steep hill) to climb. The research tale for this novel is a whole 'nother story.

And lastly, I gave myself much more of a chore than had been intended. I'd promised DreamCraft a short piece, something in the regions of 45,00 words, rather too short to be called a novel. We'd intended to release TWILIGHT as a chapbook, something in the regions of 80pp - 100pp. Then my muse got to work, and the project ran away. After the copy edit, I turned in a manuscript/disk of 104,000 words, and when that's streamed into the DTP software that runs the lasers, it comes it at 250pp!

It's so gratifing to be able to write this book. It wouldn't be in print, between astonishing covers, if NOCTURNE hadn't been so well received ... and I'd like to thank readers and reviewers for the wonderful comments on that one. I hope you enjoy TWILIGHT also -- not least because I'd love to come back to these characters. I've made the notes for a story set in Egypt in 1915, which will be a blast to write.


NOCTURNE was set in 1893, and 12 years have passed between that story and this one. In those years, much happened, and technology has begun to enter the lives of even these timeless characters. They're on the phone now; they're listening to the gramophone, which is playing 78rpm records, and thinking about buying a car; and they're worried not only about being photographed, but fingerprinted!

Politics, also, is a melting pot. The Suffragette Movement was in full swing in '05, even though women would not 'get the vote' for many years yet. (The first place in the world to give women the vote was actually South Australia ... the downside to that fact is, it was only done because so many men were away fighting in South Africa, there weren't enough people left at home to hold a coherent election!)

The research for a book like this has to be pretty meticulous. Unlike, for instance, the Sixteenth Century, the Edwardian era is *very* well known, well documented ... oddly alien, strangely familiar. It's the world of Oscar Wilde and Arthur Conan Doyle. Movies are right around the corner, and records are already a reality. The world is in a turmoil of war, while at home police methods are getting closer to what we know: forensic science has been born.

In fact, the world of 1905 is more alien on a social level. Racism and sexism were rampant, and to say the class system ruled is a terrible understatement. Crafting TWILIGHT was a challenge in many ways, because, as a writer, I had to grapple with 'isms' which are *past* alien ... and remember, even your good guys share this mind-set, because they are what their times have made them. I pushed the envelope as far as I could, with our heroes: where their minds are, what they think and believe, where they'd like the future to go. The results of this development process are interesting, to say the least.

The geography of TWILIGHT was less a challenge than the setting for NOCTURNE. In fact, it's 50% real place and 50% fictionalized. Enjoy yourelf on Google for a few minutes: take a look at the maps of the SW coast of England...! You'll find several of the places mentioned in the book. However, there's a fictional spin on everything. If you're vacationing in this part of the world, you won't find the holy well, the church with the crypt, and so forth. I took the lie of the land and did my 'thing' with it. The map above dates from the 1980s, but the main features are common with the world of eight decades before.

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