Guest Post – Blood-Sucking Dead Guys

I don’t usually use official bios, but I love Kimber’s, so here it is:

Kimber An never had enough books when she was a kid and the ones she had didn’t turn out the way she wanted. And so she started writing her own. She also loved babies a lot, but didn’t know how to talk to boys. Instead, she became a nanny and took care of other people’s babies. Finally, she moved to Alaska where she met a boy who understood getting whacked in the head with a wadded up piece of paper meant true love. She married him and now she reads books to her own babies, and is living happily ever after.

And here she is!


By Kimber An

If you’re an aspiring author, you’ve probably been told to write the book of your heart, don’t follow the trends, et cetera and so forth.  I tried that and my third time through Queryland with yet another book of my heart, a Young Adult Science Fiction-based Time Travel Romance set in World War II England with an African American female Spitfire Pilot and a white-as-a-bleached-sheet British pilot, I came to the conclusion that…

…I would never achieve publication unless I threw in a Blood-Sucking Dead Guy too.

Oh, yeah, I was being told right and left not to follow the vampire trend, that everyone hates Bella Swan (even though the Twilight franchise has sold bazillions in books, movies, and related merchandise), and so on.  But, then, I’d stroll the Young Adult aisle at the bookstore and see nothing but Blood-Suckin’ Dead Guys.  And I thought, “Um.  Yeah.  Right.”

Now, I’m not saying all that advice was wrong.  It was possibly true that after polishing three novels for submission and pestering every published author I knew for advice and reading every book and cyber-article I could get my hands on that maybe, just maybe, my writing skills had improved too.

Whatever the case, it was the Blood-Suckin’ Dead Guy who scored a hit on my fourth trip.

The funny thing is I’ve never been into vampires.  I had to look them up on Wikipedia and I didn’t read Twilight until my daughter made me.  (P.S. She prefers Buffy The Vampire Slayer.) I can’t think of vamps as anything other than just another humanoid species making its way on planet Earth.  ‘Cause, I’ve always been more into Science Fiction than Fantasy.  A lot more.  We own three different versions of Star Trek The Wrath of Kahn. I couldn’t see how a species could be all evil.  And magic is just unexplained science, right?  How can an average human get bit and suddenly be transformed into a super intelligent and sophisticated vampire?  I’m a lifelong professional childcare provider and now the mother of four.  I canNOT wrap my brain cells around a species which does not have a childhood.  And if it has a childhood, then it must have an adolescence during which time it would rebel against the adult status quo.  It’s only natural when any younger person begins to find his or her own way in life.

Anyway, I was writing this little story called Sweet about a girl who escapes an alien/human hybrid who kidnapped her.  She can’t find her way home and her boyfriend comes to her rescue.  Trouble is, he’s been turned into an alien/human hybrid too.  I knew it would never do.   So, I threw in the Blood-Sucking Dead Guy too, and he morphed into this adorable overgrown little boy named Brandon who likes Twinkies (he can only enjoy their smell now) and Nintendo DS.  He’s eager to help, follows Ophelia around like a lost puppy, and rebels against the other Oldbloods to help his new human friends.  Get this, he’s not even the hero of the story.  He’s a Beta Male, a really cute Beta, but very firmly a Beta.

Crushed Sugar is a *prequel* to Sugar Rush, like Star Wars Phantom Menace is a prequel to the original Star Wars movie released in 1977, now officially titled Star Wars A New Hope. A much shorter tale of a faint heart, a fair maiden, and, yes, a blood-sucking dead guy (not Brandon, but an Asian-American one this time), Crushed Sugar takes place over the first two days of the Heroine’s junior year in high school, three months *before* the start of Sugar Rush. If you’ve read Sugar Rush, please bear in mind that in Crushed Sugar the villain starts out fully human and doesn’t even become Addicted before The End.  He’s seriously hot and has always been nice to Ophelia.  She has no idea what he will become.

The Blurb

Be careful what you wish for.

Ophelia’s had a wicked crush on Martin since they were kids, but she was always just his geeky little friend.  Then, on the first day of her junior year, he’s suddenly and wildly attracted to her.  She can’t imagine what’s changed, but shocking her small school’s social order fills her with vindication for insults suffered.

Ophelia meets Adrian right after and true love extinguishes the wicked crush.  In secret, he gives her courage against a specter threat.

Tristan Li is pale and hungry, and draws Martin’s immediate ire.  He knows things about Ophelia which she assumes are delusions brought on by an aggravated illness like her own, diabetes.  When battle breaks out between his ancient race and new blood, even the courage of her secret love might be crushed.

Crushed Sugar is a novella and, therefore, a shorter, cheaper read.  It’s due to be released this Friday, March 25th, but you can enter to win a free copy today by leaving a comment.  Please pop over to my book review blog, Enduring Romance   to win other cool prizes, including an Alaskan souvenir.  I live in Alaska and The Ophelia Dawson Chronicles is set almost entirely here too.

Tia here. You can find out more at Kimber’s website or Decadent Publishing. Decadent Publishing is going to give a random commenter a free copy of CRUSHED SUGAR, so be sure to leave a message for Kimber if you want to enter. Also, leave a message for her if you just want to chat, because she’s pretty friendly.

To start the conversation, how about sharing a time you’ve bucked the conventional wisdom, like Kimber did, and found success anyway.

14 Thoughts to “Guest Post – Blood-Sucking Dead Guys”

  1. Tia Nevitt

    I guessed I bucked conventional wisdom by joining the military instead of going to college. I went to college anyway, but about 10 years after people usually go to college. It worked out just fine for me.

  2. Thanks for having me, Tia!

    Lemmesee, well, I snagged my husband in an unconventional way. You know how you’re supposed to meet someone by chance, exchange longing looks, and fall rapturously in love? Well, I’d been traipsing around creation, doing college, being a nanny, and all that when I suddenly decided I was ready to get married. I didn’t know how to go about it and there weren’t any guys I liked where I was. I heard there were lots more guys than girls in Alaska, so I moved here. I walked into the biggest church in town and discovered I was only the second girl in a Sunday School class of about thirty guys. After secretly pumping the air with my fist and hissing, “Yesssss!” I just scanned the crowd and took my pick. Been married, oh, my goodness, long, long time and have four beautiful babies.

    P.S. If you’re looking to snag a husband, Alaska’s still a good place to do that. But, you’d better hurry. The male-to-female ratio is shrinking.

  3. J

    I’m not sure I have any good stories about not following conventional wisdom, but I do like the sci-fi spin you’ve put on the Blood Sucking Dead Guy theme, Kimber An. I’ll have to keep an eye out for your books. 🙂

    1. Tia Nevitt

      J, I updated the post with links to Kimber’s website and her page at her publisher. I should have done that to start with!

  4. Thanks, J! If you leave an email addy, you’d be entered into the drawing to win a free copy.

    1. Tia Nevitt

      Kimber, I’ll be able to supply you with the email addresses of everyone who comments. I love WordPress!

  5. J

    Thanks Tia, I’m sure I’ll have fun exploring the links. Kimber, I’m looking forward to seeing more of Ophelia’s world.

  6. The Alaskan setting intrigues me. I love reading about places I’m not familiar with.

    I also love reading about places I know well, but for different reasons.

  7. Chicory

    I’m not crazy about vampires (except Dracula) but this article has got me interested. 🙂 I love the idea of aliens and vampires.

  8. Thanks for stopping by, Raven and Chicory.

    I remember an episode of Star Trek Voyager, a time travel or alternative timeline story in which the starship crashed into an ice planet and got frozen in a glacier. It was kinda eerie and it kinda made sense to my imagination how easily a starship could crash in the Arctic and never be found. You jump out of a plane over Alaska and odds are they’ll never find your body. If the plane goes down too, they might not find it either. And wasn’t it Antarctica where they found the meteorite with the Martian bacteria in it? Of course, I’m not the first person to wonder about these things. I’ve never watched them, but I’ve heard about a movie set in Nome with vampires because of the loooong dark winters there (we thought it was funny because there were mountains in the commercial for it) and another show where some aliens’ spaceships had crashed in Alaska somewhere. And didn’t the Cullens live in Alaska for a while? The winters may be dark, but the summers are light 24 hours a day. What would blood-sucking dead guys do to avoid the sun when it’s sunny around the clock for a couple of months? My next book ends at the start of summer, so I’m going to need to figure that one out. Of course, my alien/human hybrids don’t have the same issues as with the sun as the traditional vampires and they certainly don’t sparkle. It’s going to be fun figuring it out.

    1. Tia Nevitt

      “and they certainly don’t sparkle.” [snicker!]

  9. Deborah Blake

    Ah, another Trekkie 🙂

    The book looks cute, Kimber–I hope it does well for you!

  10. Live long and prosper, Deborah.

  11. […] have the rest of the weekend to comment and enter Kimber An’s giveaway. Curious about Kimber’s work? Here’s a five-star review of Crushed Sugar and of Sugar […]

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