I know you all have been wondering – where’s that What If? blog that I love (well, tolerate) so well. I’ve been working (‘nough said about THAT) and writing. First a novella as a sequel to my An Accidental Vampire story then a short story as a bridge between the two stories so the second (well, third in the series) will work better time frame wise and vampire maturity wise. Whoever heard of a vampire amateur sleuth anyway? Simon Gireaux may be a New Blood, (remember that term, there’s a shameless promotion moment coming) and a former peasant farmwife in 1650 France, but that doesn’t mean she’s not sharp enough to help solve a murder.
New Blood, a short story now available at www.smashwords.com/profile/view/davidburton, (told ya it was coming) helps take Simone from New Blood status to Young Blood (the afore mentioned novella coming late summer. Can you not wait?) where she might reasonably be expected to be of help solving a murder. Now, all this heavy-duty back and forth writing is all part of my plan to become rich and famous.
Now I’d rather be rich than famous, but usually (there are exceptions and no, I don’t want to talk about it) as a writer you need to be a FAMOUS!!! author to be rich. Of course being a famous writer isn’t like being a rock star or movie star. Sure, they make the big bucks but who needs paparazzi sticking a camera in your face when go to the 7-11 for the milk your personal assistant forgot to pick up because that bitch waitress at the restaurant where he went to pick up the seaweed salad which only they know to make the proper way was so rude, or the ones who lay in wait hoping to get a photo of you without at least a half hour’s worth of makeup, or the ones who lurk in the bushes at the back of your compound hoping for a naked picture of you (I hate that. Don’t you?). Sure they get hot girls and hunky guys throwing themselves at their feet (or wherever), and they get to go to fancy shmancy parties and glitzy movie premiers, but then they have to spend hours getting all glammed up and haven’t they heard that every picture taken on a red carpet takes a little bit of their soul? Who wants that kind of fame?
My kind of fame is more likely to be where I’m working in a bare, fifth floor walk up cold-water flat, pounding out brilliant prose on an ancient computer run on power bootlegged from a garish neon sign for the sleazy strip joint next door where the Ls are all missing and so it flickers GIR S GIR S GIR S all night as Disco pulses out into the dim nighttime street, grabbing drunk and horny and lonely men by the crotch and dragging them in to watch slightly past-their-prime women make promises they won’t keep and with the lights on you might not want them to. And if I nod off from a bit too much hair of the dog there’s the occasional flash from across the street of an alcoholic PI snapping shaky pics of overweight, middle age men being ridden by a bleach blonde with a cowboy hat and boots who’s never seen a cow in her life but knows a donkey when she sees one.
Sure the local denizens would know I was some kind of famous writer, but if I wasn’t buying the drinks, who gives a shit? All except the pretty bank teller in the branch office three blocks away on the edge of respectability where I went to cash my famous writer royalty checks. She has a loser boyfriend always urging her to spread the bank’s wealth his way, of course without any risk or effort by him. Her self-esteem is so low, for reasons she won’t tell, (but one can speculate) that she thinks she can’t do any better so eventually she will try something at the bank, get caught and sent to jail where she’ll discover true love, and self-esteem with a female prison guard and live happily ever after. I do my bit when she asks why I come in when I could easily use electronic banking, and I say, “Just to see a little beauty in my day.” She gives me an aw shucks you’re sweet and wouldn’t it be swell if my boyfriend disappeared look. And I might say, “Wouldn’t it.” Her bright, innocent eyes will fill with hope and promise as she says breathlessly, “Do you think it could really happen?” And I’d just smile into their depths and start to think. “When you’re famous you can get away with anything,” I’d say. After all, what good is fame if you don’t use it to get you want?
What if you made a deal with the devil for fame and fortune? Been done, to be sure. But a modern-day update of The Devil and Daniel Webster is always a possibility.
What if you already had all that fabled fame and fortune but got tired of the celebrity life and walked away from it. The fame, not the fortune. But, there was one paparazzo who wouldn’t give up and continued to stalk you even as you moved to the country or out of the country. He/she was convinced you made that deal and wanted to be there when the Devil came to collect his/her due. Despite repeated warnings, restraining orders, late night confrontations in the woods, and early morning visits with a baseball bat to the stalker’s RV. And maybe through all that, he does manage to witness your meeting with the Devil. But, because of all the things you’ve done to discourage the stalker and to any witnesses, you’ve inadvertently become one of the Devil’s minions and instead of taking your soul he allows you to keep it, as long as you continue doing bad things to good and bad people, like that familiar man/woman with the camera who thinks he’s hidden in those bushes overlooking the crossroads.
What if you were sort of a genius scientist who wanted to be a wealthy famous scientist famed for some popular civilization loved invention, but the credit for everything you did was stolen by your genius unethical boss scientist. So you sneak into his private lab to find evidence of his thievery and you discover he’s working on a dimensional/wormhole portal to an advanced civilization but hasn’t been able to make it work. Being the genius you are, you figure it out and go through and find some amazing technology that will make your fame and fortune, and maybe you find a girl/guy who is sort of nice. But, you come back through and your boss catches you and you fight and think you killed him so you run back to the other dimension/planet/ civilization. There you find it’s really an evil dictatorship who’d love to find out how you got there and go conquer your world. With the help of your new loved one you escape and have to go to your former evil boss who is still alive and angry for help, ultimately destroying the portal machine. You and the boss make up and with some high-tech brought along by your new love you become famous for saving Earth so that all can live happily ever after. Or not.
What if you were a famous and powerful sorcerer/witch and, say, every month you held an audience and anybody, peasant to noble, could come an ask for you help. You listened to them all then picked the one that most intrigued/interested you. Not always the obvious choice. Let the humor, mayhem, drama ensue.
Fame, as more than one celebrity or wanna-be celebrity has found out, is a classic case of be careful what you wish for, you might get it. And if you do gain some fame I hope it’s for a talent or doing something useful. Being famous for being famous doesn’t count.
Please look for the short stories An Accidental Vampire and New Blood on Amazon.com, KOBO, Barnes and Noble, and other e-book outlets soon.