Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Last Vampire With Kathryn Meyer Griffith

The Story of  The Last Vampire
Author’s Revised Edition by Kathryn Meyer Griffith
A rerelease of my 1992 Zebra end-of-the-world vampire novel
…and was a 2012 EPIC EBOOK AWARDS FINALIST for horror

The story of how I came to write, publish and rerelease my end-of-the-world vampire love story The Last Vampire-Revised Author’s Edition again twenty years after its initial release is a long strange tale. What’s new, though? Looking back over my forty year writing career most of the origins and journeys of my fourteen published novels are all pretty strange. Ask any author who published in the 1980’s to now and you’d get a lot of the same bizarre accounts. Publishing back then–and now–was not for the faint of heart.
In the beginning, as all authors had to do before the ebook publishers and the Internet, I dealt with the old legacy (traditional publishers) the slow-frustrating-time consuming old-fashioned way through snail mail, editors and agents. Sometimes between the writing, scouring for a publisher, getting a contract with that publisher, getting the manuscript ready to go on the book shelves and what you had to put up with during and afterwards could be enough to drive any sane writer crazy. I mean…it all took so long. So tedious and soul-killing at times. Oh, the stories I could tell. Well, but not here anyway. This is the story of one book.
I started writing The Last Vampire, oh, I guess, around 1990 or so. With the help of Dean Koontz (I sent him a letter asking for advice on how to get a better publishing company and deal and he and his wife, who did the actual talking though Dean must have been nearby by the way the conversation went, answered by kindly telephoning me one rainy fall night) I’d gotten my first agent in 1990. She’d already sold my fourth book, Vampire Blood, to my new publisher Zebra and I had begun work on my fifth novel, The Last Vampire. I know, I know. Another vampire novel?
But as I began writing it I realized it wasn’t going to be just another vampire novel. This book would be a saga about the end-of-the-world, about personal courage, the destruction and fall of society and about what humans–and vampires–would have to do to survive in the new merciless world after earthquakes and anarchy had taken their tolls. I wanted to transcend the vampire novel genre. Or, at least, try to.
I even threw in a little inside joke on the other top horror writers of the day by using their names for the other bloodsuckers in the ruthless vampire gang my main character goes to war against.  Stephen. Dean. Anne. Chelsea. Peter. And so on. Hmm, though, no one ever got the joke…or never told me if they did. Oh, well.
I’ll admit it now because it’s so many years later, I’d also used the book as a sort of therapy to deal with an increasingly frustrating situation I was experiencing in my real life at work. Age discrimination. My new art director thought I was too old, I was forty-two at the time, to be a senior graphic artist, didn’t have but a two year college degree instead of four (but I’d been doing the actual job 13 years!), and had been making my life on the job miserable. He’d openly demoted me; was overworking me. Besides my regular workload, he put a couple younger artists over me who bossed me around. I spent half my day doing their copying duties and being their gofer. One of the artists, a woman, was openly condescending and cruel to me. So humiliating. I guess I got even by writing about it (imagine, my main character was a graphic artist, or used to be before the world fell apart) and killing the art director off in the book; then, for good measure, destroying the whole city of St. Louis (where I worked), the Arch, splitting the Mississippi River and decimating the Poplar Street Bridge as well. What fun I had! It was great therapy.
Well, between working full time as a graphic designer, raising a son, keeping a husband happy, and being there for my large family I struggled to finish writing The Last Vampire. Got it done and Zebra paperbacks brought it out in 1992 with little fanfare. I’d had the usual over-worked disinterested editor. I had to fight hard for the integrity of every word. And I hated the cover. A kneeling woman (supposedly my main character vampiress) in a blindingly white snowy background. So bland.
I thought it was the best thing I’d ever written. I truly believed in it and its story. It was my baby and I hopefully shoved it out into the world and…nothing.
It was long before the Internet, emails, blogs, web review sites, and editing on the computer. I didn’t know how to promote. Was too busy living my life. I left that up to my publisher. That’s what an author did in those days. Apparently, they didn’t know how to either. I never got one review that I knew of and never any feedback besides the dismal royalty statements…which never made any sense to me anyway. What in the heck were those huge amounts taken out for returns anyway? The book didn’t sell well, they said.  Too bad. So sad. Go on and write another one.
Which I did. Witches. Came out in 1993 and did very well.
Over the next twenty years I went on to write and publish nine more books, seven short stories and a novella. The seven oldest of them went out of print. Then in 2010 Kim Richards at Damnation Books/Eternal Press contracted two of my newest horror novels and asked if she could reprint, with new covers and all in ebooks for the first time ever, revised editions of all my older novels. I said a resounding yes! and now all of them will be out again for a new generation to read and hopefully enjoy by June 2012.
And The Last Vampire-Revised Author’s Edition? It’s finally come into its own after all these long years. Most of the reviews have been glowing. People seem to get it, love it and it was even a FINALIST for a 2012 EPIC EBOOK AWARD in the horror category. I didn’t win the final award, but being nominated one of the top three was honor enough for me. I’m humbled, vindicated, thrilled.
And so plays out the rollercoaster life of a writer. Never lose hope. Never give up. And never stop writing.
Written this day of April 20, 2012 by author Kathryn Meyer Griffith


Damnation Books Buy Link:


About Kathryn Meyer Griffith...
Since childhood I’ve always been an artist and worked as a graphic designer in the corporate world and for newspapers for twenty-three years before I quit to write full time. I began writing novels at 21, over forty years ago now, and have had sixteen (eleven romantic horror, one historical romance, one romantic suspense, one romantic time travel and two murder mysteries) previous novels and eight short stories published from Zebra Books, Leisure Books, Avalon Books, The Wild Rose Press, Damnation Books and Eternal Press.
I’ve been married to Russell for thirty-four years; have a son, James, and two grandchildren, Joshua and Caitlyn, and I live in a small quaint town in Illinois called Columbia, which is right across the JB Bridge from St. Louis, Mo. We have three quirky cats, ghost cat Sasha, live cats Cleo and Sasha (Too), and the five of us live happily in an old house in the heart of town. Though I’ve been an artist, and a folk singer in my youth with my brother Jim, writing has always been my greatest passion, my butterfly stage, and I’ll probably write stories until the day I die…or until my memory goes.***

Novels and short stories from Kathryn Meyer Griffith:
Evil Stalks the Night (Leisure, 1984; Damnation Books, 2012) 
The Heart of the Rose (Leisure, 1985; Eternal Press Author’s Revised Edition 2010) Eternal Press Buy Link:  
Blood Forge (Leisure, 1989; Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition, 2012)  
Vampire Blood (Zebra, 1991; Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition, 2011) 
The Last Vampire (Zebra, 1992; Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition 2010) Damnation Books Buy Link: 
Witches (Zebra, 1993; Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition 2011) 
The Nameless One (short story in 1993 Zebra Anthology Dark Seductions; Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition, 2011) Damnation Books Buy Link: 
The Calling (Zebra, 1994; Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition, 2011) 
Scraps of Paper (Avalon Books Murder Mystery, 2003…soon to be an Amazon Kindle Direct ebook)
All Things Slip Away (Avalon Books Murder Mystery, 2006…soon an Amazon Kindle Direct ebook)
Egyptian Heart (The Wild Rose Press, 2007; Author’s Revised Edition, Eternal Press 2011)  Eternal Press buy link:  My self-made
Winter’s Journey (The Wild Rose Press, 2008; Author’s Revised Edition, Eternal Press 2011) Eternal Press Buy Link:
You Tube Book Trailer address:
The Ice Bridge (The Wild Rose Press, 2008; Author’s Revised Edition, Eternal Press 2011)
Don’t Look Back, Agnes novella & bonus short story: In This House (2008; ghostly romantic short story out; Eternal Press 2012)
BEFORE THE END: A Time of Demons (Damnation Books 2010) 
Damnation Books buy link: http
You Tube self-made Book trailer with original song  
The Woman in Crimson (Damnation Books 2010) 
You Tube Book Trailer Link:
The Complete Guide to Writing Paranormal Fiction: Volume 1 (I did the Introduction) 
Dinosaur lake (from Amazon Kindle Direct 2012)

My Websites: (to see all my book trailers with original music by my singer/songwriter brother JS Meyer)

E-mail me at  I love to hear from my readers. ***

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Jeanne for having me on your blog again. I really appreciate it. Warmly, author Kathryn Meyer Griffith