Thursday, November 22, 2012

Forever Young The Beginning

Unlike any vampire story you have ever read………..

Gerald Simpkin's   Forever Young The Beginning


Short author bio: Now retired, I had a lifelong career in telecommunications.  I have a love of the written word and have always admired those who can skillfully express feelings and events in writing.  My novel 'Forever Young The Beginning' is my first attempt at fiction.  It is set in Europe in the mid-18th century.  I also wrote a book about Bible Codes in 1998 which is titled 'Secrets of the Bible'.

I live in the Southeastern United States in the countryside with my wife Kathy.  For some ten years, I had a deep love affair with flying.  Hopelessly hooked after my very first flight on a hang glider, I began a journey of flying gliders and ultralights, even becoming a dealer for three different brands and an observer for the southeastern region of the then U S H G Assn.  To this day, I have to say that I loved that more than any past time, hobby, or sport in which I ever participated.  Next to being a husband and father, it was the high point of my life, no pun intended.
I love to write and I thoroughly enjoy creating characters and developing them to where my readers can get a feel for not only how they look, but how they tick.  Developing a plot and filling it with shocks, surprises, humorous events, and tenderness is what I strive for; and I love to fill my stories with the full range of human emotions from true love to extreme hatred, from warm companionship to extreme rage, and from laughter to tears.  Surprises should be liberally sprinkled throughout the length of a story as well in my view.  My goal is to transport the reader to a place where he cannot otherwise go, simply by the power of my words.  I hope to refine the skills that I have long admired before I ever turned my hand toward becoming an author.

YOU CAN FIND GERALD and Forever Young The Beginning at .....

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Twitter: geraldsimpkins@GeraldSimpkins
Book Synopsis: A 23 year old Scottish seaman/apprentice trader (Ian McCloud) is on a ship in the Mediterranean and they are attacked by Moroccan pirates in two ships.  After a pitched battle at sea, they prevail and are surprised to learn that they have inadvertently rescued two captive Spanish girls being taken to Morocco.  After several days of sailing towards Spain, Ian and the 17 year old Alandra are both falling in love.  The prize ship Ian is piloting is separated from his uncle’s ship by a terrific storm, and Ian ends up in Marseille, France with eight of his shipmates.
     There he has a ferocious life or death fight in an infamous tavern and inn, the result of which is that he is targeted to be killed.  Instead, he is infected by a vampire and is saved by another one who witnessed the attack.  After learning that he is no longer human, he has some serious soul-searching to do and realizes that his former life is lost to him. 
     I am sure that this next part is new to vampire fans and is unique to my book only.  He learns that for his own good, he has to undergo a rigorous imprinting phase as his body changes into the creature he will become.  The tolerances he imprints will be with him for eternity.  Successful completion of imprinting requires a great deal of pain, but the result is that the convert becomes an Adept vampire; one who can freely mingle with human society day or night, eat their food, work with them side by side and be undetected.  The most painful part of the imprinting process is the blood fast during which no blood may be consumed in order to forever develop a tolerance for doing without it for periods of time.  Male vampires must make love while imprinting or lose their libido forever, which makes for an interesting dilemma for Ian.  His mentors do not consume human blood and really, Adepts mostly do not.  After all, blood is hemoglobin, saline protein, and other things no matter what kind of blood it is.  Non-mentored rogue vampires do prey on humans in the cities of Europe and elsewhere in my story.
     The remainder of the book is a mix of his warm new friendships, including some with children; tender romantic interludes, a love triangle involving a human woman, some horrific and sorrowful events, eye-popping fighting against rogue vampires, and being pursued by various enemies he has made during his sometimes turbulent journey.  He is called to testify before the Supreme Council, a group of nine powerful vampires who monitor vampire related events throughout Europe with an eye toward keeping the existence of vampires a secret from humanity in general.
     Ian is schooled by a wise mentor in how to approach and recruit young to middle aged officials in order to have their services for the balance of their careers in government.  One such recruit is tracked throughout the story in order to show the intricacy and far reaching magnitude of Ian’s mentor’s program.
     His wealth is grown over the years by means of inside information from his mentor and from members of the Supreme Council.  He is taught how to make a generational change of identity and how to conceal his true wealth in anonymous interlocking trusts in various countries as a necessary part of being an immortal and remaining undetected, yet increasing his holdings in order to live the life of an Adept Prince among vampires; but his heart sometimes longs for the simpler life he knew when he first fell in love with Alandra.  Tortured by his fear of her reaction to what he has become, he resolutely goes about the business of his mentor and his adopted family, and lives the life that fate has dealt him.  Fate is a fickle mistress however as Ian learns.
     Being that I had only a little exposure to vampire literature and movies, I have written what I believe is a completely original take on the subject.  The love scenes are tenderly done with no sexually explicit content, and if ‘Forever Young The Beginning’ was a miniseries on TV, it could be rated PG13 excepting for the violent and brutally gruesome fighting scenes.  No vulgar language is used and the tiny amount of profanity that occurs is only as an exclamation of extreme anger now and then.  Laughter and surprises are liberally sprinkled throughout my story, and I guarantee that you will love the ending.
1.       How did you come up with the title?  Vampires live forever and if they are converted when young, then they will be ‘Forever Young’.  Since this is the foundational story for a series, it is titled ‘Forever Young The Beginning’.  I plan to have it available on Barnes & Noble/Nook soon.
2.       What inspired you to write this book?  I think it was that what little I had seen in movies regarding the subject seemed to fall short of what such a genre could really be.  I did read Ann Rice’s book about the vampire Lestat, and I thought that it seemed depressing.  It seemed to me that such a subject should be exciting, adventurous and romantic as well as dreadful.  Since my vampires are extreme creatures with extreme abilities, I thought it reasonable that extremes of happiness and sorrow, of love and hate, of warm friendships and rage were all to be included in a well-crafted vampire story.  I wanted to avoid some of the stereotypes that I have seen, while preserving others that seem more worthy and not too corny. 
     In my story, there is a scene where Ian is learning of a theory which his mentors have concerning the origin of vampires.  They tie their origin to the 6th chapter of Genesis in the Bible and there is a discussion of that in relation to vampires that takes place one evening in the chateau of his mentors while human guests are present.  I doubt that has ever been used in any vampire story, but my exposure to such stories is limited. 
3.       How are your story ideas born?  For the most part, they literally come to me as I am writing, although I sometimes think of something when not writing.  The story is always lurking in my mind no matter what else I am doing on any given day when I am in the process of writing.  I recently learned of a spy ring that George Washington is credited with starting during the revolutionary war and I have resolved to incorporate that into my next book.
4.       What is your writing process?  Few notes, but long hours at the keyboard.  I sometimes do 12 hour stretches with only a few breaks.  When I am at an impasse, I quit and take a note pad and literally make a map or diagram of where the story might go next.  That will happen in the basement den as I watch a show or two that I have recorded.  I will make a stick drawing and I will follow maybe three or four branches and note several events on each path as they occur to me.  After looking at all of them for a while, I will begin to get ideas so fast that I can barely write them down.  I am usually ready to get back to it the following day.  At least that is how it was when I wrote ‘Forever Young The Beginning’.  I do make up a word document and add each character to it so as to never confuse one with another while writing.  I will refer to it now and then.  Even so, I had to correct a few places in my book where I had inadvertently put one character’s name in place of another.  Their names were similar, so that contributed to the problem.  That is a good thing for anyone to avoid in their writing process.  I always keep my manuscript’s latest version on three separate flash drives as well as under duplicate files in ‘My Documents’.  Ditto for cover art and cast of characters.
5.       What’s your favorite part of the writing process?  I absolutely love it when I suddenly get an idea for something and then I have to search for a way to integrate it into the story.  I am consumed until I find the perfect place to spring it on the reader.  My thoughts race as I weigh this new event and whether or not it is plausible given the content of the story up to that time.  If it is in the future somewhere, I cannot wait to get the text there so I can fit it in!  Sometimes then I will backtrack and adjust the text if needed to support this new idea.  Then the best part of it all is to find the proper words to convey the emotions felt by the characters in that instant.  I often search for some way to highlight that instant, and to freeze that frame briefly in the reader’s mind.  It might be the sound of the wind in the treetops or the sound of surf crashing in the distance or something of that sort that in the real world, any of us would remember later in recalling such an event from our memory of it.  Sometimes I end a chapter right when it happens or is revealed, and the next chapter opens with other characters in the story somewhere else doing whatever they are doing at that time.  I am hoping that the reader is in a state of shocked surprise at that instant.  Yet other times the conclusion of such an event is uproarious laughter by all characters present.
6.       How long did it take to write your latest release?  ‘Forever Young The Beginning’ took me around three months to write and then it took me three more months to edit and publish it, including doing my own cover art.
7.       Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing?  No.  I did go through the entire book eleven times cutting some 20,000 words from it, catching typos, punctuation errors, etc.  I did add in some extra villains with scores to settle.  That was for the next book.
8.       What are the future plans for you and this book?  This is to be the foundation for an open-ended series that will span the time from before the American Revolutionary War to modern times.  The sequel will center on the Revolutionary War itself and the behind the scenes role Adept vampires play on both sides in the fight for American independence.
9.       Have you published anything else?  Yes.  I wrote ‘Secrets of the Bible’ in 1998.  It is about bible codes at equally spaced intervals in the Hebrew canon of scripture and how they amplify the events in the very verses in which they are found.  For instance, in the verse where the bible says Pharaoh pursued Israel into the Red Sea, it spells ‘stupid’ at equally spaced intervals.  Thus the encoded word supports the events detailed in the text itself, being that the Egyptian army perished there.  There are hundreds of such things encoded at equally spaced intervals in the Hebrew Canon of Scripture.

10.   Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?  Oh my, yes!  Thank you for taking a chance on me.  Thank you so very much for investing your time and money on nothing more than the product of my imagination.  I am both humbled and grateful.  And I am very open and approachable regarding feedback too, wanting only the very most enjoyable experience for my readers.

Remember that Forever Young The Beginning is

Unlike any vampire story you have ever read………..


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