Well the big day has finally arrived. Angel of Mercy, the first book in my Chronicles of the Grey Raven series is finally available for purchase on Smashwords and Amazon. The book can also be found on Kobo, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, and Scribd as well. At $0.99 or £0.74 for UK residents it’s a bargain!
The book has taken a good ten months to write two drafts. Along the way there have been many discussions with my beta reader and number one cheerleader, Aileen Chapman who acted as my sounding board whenever I strayed into swampy ground. On more than one occasion she’s pulled me up and asked why am I taking it in that direction? Sometimes she backed down and other times she stood her ground and forced me to re-evaluate.
Angel of Mercy started out as Catriona’s Story, which was shortened to Cat’s Story. It was a short story that came to me after a day spent digging with the local archaeological group on the Castle Craig in Stirling. The hill is best known for the Wallace Monument that was built in the 1860s to commemorate Wallace’s victory at the Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297. He watched the English troops crossing the river from the top of the hill and from that vantage point I found myself going back in time with a character I’d created recently, Catriona. I imagined she had been there, not at the battle but in the aftermath she was rescued by my vampires.
Once the story was written however I filed it away and went onto to write my vampire novel and used the short story as background material where Doctor Catriona MacGregor recalls her childhood and the loss of her mother after the battle. However a funny thing happened between the end of that book and the beginning of Angel of Mercy. I let my former supervisor at work read the short story and to my surprise he liked it but suggested it could be a novel because as he put it, ‘there’s a lot more to this story, it needs expanded.’ That put me in a quandary because I was set on releasing my vampire novel, also called Angel of Mercy, but I’ve never been one to knock back a challenge and so I expanded the short story into a novel. As well as stealing my heart, it also stole the title of the other vampire novel, which has now been called Nosferatu.
Angel of Mercy introduces my vampires to the world and I could have gone back much further in time to the Sack of Rome under Brennus, as one of my characters, Morganna was there when the Celts descended on Rome in 367 BC. But this seemed a good place to kick off this series and I’ve no idea how long it will be. Many of the articles I’ve posted on WordPress and archived on my website could be expanded into novellas at least. I know that my vampire world has grown arms and legs, fur and sharp teeth. These are heroes I can believe in, the kind of people who appear when all is lost and save the day. There’s a strength and a nobility to my vampires that far surpasses any vampire books I’ve read so far and I know I’m biased but I firmly believe I’ve broken new ground because I wasn’t afraid to try something totally new and depart from mainstream vampire mythology and create my own.
The Grey Raven interviews and the articles about Elizabeth McIvor have been a lot of fun to write and I will be writing more of them in the coming weeks and months. These shorter pieces are essentially back story for the characters who appear in Angel of Mercy and others who’ll be introduced in Nosferatu. Taking the mindset of a journalist I’ve interviewed my vampires and asked all kinds of questions and I’m quite often surprised at the answers because I’ll have the idea it’s going one way when it suddenly deviates into uncharted territory. I may put them all together at some stage in the future but for now I’m focused on putting Angel of Mercy out there and rewriting Nosferatu.
If you’d like to review Angel of Mercy I’m more than happy to provide a free copy in your preferred format and am willing to do a reciprocal review if you like. Drop me an email at the address below. If you’d like a giveaway copy for a competition, please email the details to email@example.com