The Shades trilogy is a series of three vampire novels, the first two have which have been completed. I am still planning out the third novel, Darkness Eternal, and I have no idea, at the moment, when that novel might be offered up to the wide blue yonder.
The first novel is The Shades. The second novel, following directly on from the first, is Anti-Life.
These novels are all set in the United Kingdom, in the current day, most of the events taking place in some unnamed northern town. I did not want to be too specific, because I wanted my readers to imagine that it might be their town. For the same reason the narrator is left nameless, as well: he is the Everyman. He could be you. He is no hero, just an ordinary guy. He is definitely not me (I am far too lazy to go potholing, for example; and I don’t drive).
What drove me to begin this trilogy, when there are so many other vampire novels out there, all of their black covers clamouring for your hard-earned pennies? Well, hopefully, to tell a tale never told. That is the point of all new novels, to tell a story in a new and interesting way.
Another reason was a description which I heard of vampires being ‘sparkly’. Now, as I have not read the Stephenie Meyer novels, I cannot really comment on them. They may be incredibly well written, for all that I know. But I know about vampires, from having spent years researching the ‘historical’ aspects of the subject, and one thing which vampires are not is sparkly.
So, in writing this trilogy, I decided to go in the opposite direction, making my vampires utterly evil, and creatures of primal darkness.
Extract from The Shades
We did not have to carry on too far before the passage broadened and heightened to become a large cave. I could see sanctities and stalagmites, and plenty of them, the shadows of them lengthened behind them as the light of my torch picked them out. The sound of dripping water had stopped. But the cave still seemed to be a little bit damp.
The roof of the cave, at the centre, was high above our heads. I reckon that at the highest point, right in the centre, it was maybe fifty feet above the floor of the cavern. This was about the biggest cavern we had come across in the Claven Caves yet – it was certainly worth spending your Sunday down here, especially considering the fact that it was probably still tipping down with rain outside. What else was I going to do on a Sunday, apart from waste time watching bad television? Two hundred channels, and nothing to watch.
We moved into the cavern, going slowly, even though the floor of the cave was very level, perhaps even surprisingly so.
The beam of the torch on my helmet picked out something on the floor of the cave. I pointed.
“It looks like at least one person has been down here before.” I said.
Dave looked where I was pointing. Lying on the bare stone floor of the cave there were ashes. There had once been a fire down here, although I had no idea of knowing how long ago. The light of my torch picked out something at the end of the ashes, though. It was a partial human skull. The bottom jaw was missing, but it was still clearly a human skull.
The Shades and Anti-Life are available as e-books on the Amazon Kindle store.