The Stakes Were Not High Enough
Into the Night and The Glass Demon are two different stories in an immersive paranormal collection. What were some sources that informed the development of these stories?
I’ve always been fascinated with vampires, and they remain a popular movie monster to this day, some of them are even portrayed as heroes. Samuel has the same lure to these beings without really understanding how much danger he’s in. I felt the stakes were not high enough to craft another vampire story, so I made it happen at the same time as a barbarian invasion. It’s not meant to be historically accurate, I thought of it as Underworld meets Braveheart.
The Glass Demon is fictional, but I wanted it to feel like it could be true. Even to this day I enjoy watching Ghost Adventures, Paranormal Caught on Tape, A Haunting, and movies like The Rite. I also read The Encyclopedia of Demons & Demonology by Rosemary Ellen Guiley. My inspiration came from true experiences, but I wanted the human element to be stronger than the horror aspect. William is damaged, but I still wanted my readers to feel for him. This is more of his challenge than it is about a supernatural, paranormal Exorcist-type story.
What were some challenges you set for yourself as a writer with this set?
The most important thing I strived for was preventing my characters from fading into the background. I wanted action, but I didn’t want it to become action-driven over character-driven. These are tales of some people in impossible situations, and they could’ve given up at any time—but they didn’t.
What draws you to the paranormal genre and makes it ripe for you to write in?
I subscribe to Discovery+ so I watch a lot of paranormal shows. I’ve had a few minor experiences myself while growing up, from hearing whispers to seeing forms that slowly fade away. None of that happens to me anymore, but it still left its mark on me. If we rely on only the things we physically see, then we see nothing at all. It doesn’t matter if you believe in the supernatural, but the concept should at least be considered.
Do you have more novellas planned for this world you’ve created?
I had thought of doing sequels at one time. I tried to make it feel like both stories could continue. Into The Night could continue to Ireland where Gavin and his family escaped, and something in The Glass Demon world could trigger William to reunite with Victor and Mikael. At the moment I’m not active in either, but the possibility is there.
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Into The Night & The Glass Demon: Novellas Volume I
Into the Night is the first story of Volume One of an immersive paranormal saga. Into the Night introduces Samuel on his journey of self-realization and discovery. Samuel is a naïve yet adventurous loner in a world that is in a dark place. Vampires scour the lands at night hunting, Barbarians randomly attack villages and townsfolk during the day. Samuel grew up hearing about these incidents but not seeing them for himself. Samuel is oblivious to what is about to take place.
In one of the towns, he meets Valencia, a confident, streetwise, and worldly vampire slayer who is bewildered that Samuel has managed to stay alive for so long. Valencia is attracted to Samuel’s innocence and optimism, something that she lost long ago.
What I loved the most about Jerry J.C. Veit’s story is the bond between Samuel and Valencia and the humorous dialogue between them. At times I felt the same feelings of frustration that Valencia felt towards Samuel’s ignorance and naivety. J.C. Veit has created memorable characters in this first installment of this action-packed adventure.
The Glass Demon is the second novella in the book. This is a completely different story from the first. The Glass Demon is a chilling story that follows William Corgel through a demonically haunted house that feels supremely ominous. It is just them against that horrible world and its comforting for readers to know they are safe together.
J.C. Veit is great at immersing readers in fantastical worlds and settings and making them feel what the main characters feel. I felt like I had no clue what was happening next and I love that in a story. Readers who enjoy original story lines and read supernatural adventures / thrillers filled with vampires, barbarians and well portrayed action will enjoy this novella.
Pages: 285 | ASIN : B0BK5LLV3K
Posted in Book Reviews, Four Stars
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Losing our Humanity
Into the Night features an unlikely pairing of characters who set out on a journey to battle barbarians and vampires across the English countryside. I felt like the setting was very detailed in this story. Why did you choose this time and place for your book?
Historically, in the early 1300’s, England became the landing point of the Vikings when they decided to leave their northern towns. Vampire legends were also very well-known and taken seriously throughout almost every century.
Vampire belief peaked and declined and then rose again as time went on. Vampires are indeed everlasting; at first being a tale of horror and then becoming a fascination. It is no doubt that vampires evolved like no other monster in our literature. The lore is still alive today and fills us both with fear and desire.
I studied old maps of the English countryside and manipulated some letters of real older towns to create my locations. I also mentioned some landmarks that still exist today to give Into the Night a more historical background rather than that of pure fantasy. Somehow, barbarians, vampires, and England just seemed to fit perfectly.
The book got its title because one evening I was driving with the sun behind me and darker night skies ahead of me. I was literally driving into the night. It felt ominous and fit the vibe of my story well. Also at that time, was a popular song on the radio that shared the same name by Santana and Chad Kroeger.
The hero’s Samuel and Valencia are dynamic characters that battle vampire matriarchs Isabella and Cerbera who are also well developed. What was your inspiration for the characters relationship and how they contrast with the villains?
Samuel is a drifter with no clear path in life. Valencia is unable to forget a bad memory and is driven to seek revenge. In a way Valencia is too harsh and Sam too meek; together they take what the other has too much of and it makes them a perfect duo.
The vampire sisters mask their vile intentions and wicked deeds with beauty that beguiles those they encounter. Without Valencia, Samuel would not have been able to (or perhaps not want to) resist them. It stems from the duality of our minds – the fear of losing our humanity (Soul, goodness) and the desire to break free from physical obstacles and society’s restraints and give in to lust. Valencia keeps him grounded and stands as an icon of strength and courage; which eventually wins Sam’s admiration.
I felt like this novel did a great job utilizing vampire lore and creating some of its own. How did you set about creating the vampires in your story?
Into the Night was my first screenplay (and my second published book). At the time I was reading: Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting by Syd Field. That’s when I decided to practice what I was reading. My first words of the story were Valencia’s speech to Sam, at their first encounter, about Cerbera stalking her prey. I remember putting the monologue on Facebook and getting replies like: “what happens next?” The truth is I didn’t know. I was just practicing a writing exercise I had assigned to myself, but I knew I had to make something out of it now.
It helped that I took a liking to everything vampire; watching movies from Nosferatu to Interview with a Vampire to Underworld, and collecting a library of vampire literature; from Camilla to Vlad to vampire encyclopedias.
Cerbera’s name is taken from a plant species found in India; known as the suicide tree due to its toxicity. The vampire sisters each have a unique trait. One paralyzes men with a touch, the other with a look. Together they symbolize heightened sexuality that dominates all men and is based on the biblical character, Lilith, who eventually formed the race of the succubus. The vampires in Into the Night are a compilation of everything I read and saw.
I would love to see more of the pairing of Samuel and Valencia. Do you have any plans to expand their story in the future?
I have thought about bringing Samuel and Valencia back together as a vampire fighting couple. With the barbarian threat culled and the vampire’s uncanny trait to keep coming back; I would be able to dedicate the story to just vampires.
In the middle of the story Sam and Valencia rescue a family that escapes to Ireland. That was intended to be the main plot for the continuation. The team rejoins to aid the family and fight a vampire threat in Ireland.
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In the autumn of 1325 an army of barbarians invade the south-western region of England. A drifter named, Samuel and a strong-willed woman named, Valencia journey north to Ashborough to seek the aid of the steward’s army.
While on their mission they realize the barbarian army is close behind them along with two vampire matriarchs and their vampire horde. They find themselves in the midst of two wars as they fight northward on, what seems to be, a Sisyphean task.
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Into the Night
Into the Night, by Jerry J.C. Veit, is a play featuring an unlikely pairing of main characters who have set out on a journey together to battle the barbarians making their own way across the countryside. While on their mission, Samuel and Valencia are simultaneously fighting to save themselves from two ruthless vampires hellbent on destroying them both. Valencia’s past with Isabella, one of the vampires pursuing them, her knowledge of vampires and their habits, and her well-honed fighting skills drive her desire to set out on this dangerous trek across the English countryside. Samuel, unknowingly, has agreed to a trip that will change the course of his life.
This piece by Jerry Veit reads smoothly and much more like a narrative than a play. In fact, I found myself often forgetting that I was indeed reading a drama rather than a fantasy in narrative form. Veit has included a good bit of narrative which helps to set extremely vivid scenes and helps the reader visualize the intensity of the protagonists’ multiple encounters with the vampires and the barbarians.
As for the two different plot lines within the play, I found the vampires’ appearances throughout the story to be somewhat less than I had expected. The bulk of their interactions seem to be at the beginning of the play. I was much more interested in the plot involving our heroes and the vile vampires, Isabella and Cerbera. Though the barbarians involvement in the plot was important, well-drawn out, and wrapped up neatly, I would have preferred to have read less of the main characters’ plight with them.
Regarding the author’s style and chosen genre for this story, I felt it would have read wonderfully as a novel. Veit is adept at writing narrative description of time and place. He also gives his characters memorable lines, both dramatic and comedic. This work could translate easily to stage or to a full-length novel. I would love to see more of the pairing of Samuel and Valencia.
Valencia herself is an enigma, and Veit has written her character amazingly well. His introduction of her in Act I leads the reader down a path of assumptions about both her nature and her abilities. Veit works her expertise with weaponry into the plot in a satisfying fashion leaving no room for doubt about her from that point on in the plot. As the reader, I was as surprised as Samuel to find her so skilled and, later, to discover the reasons behind her competence in battle.
Without giving away too much of the play, I must comment on the conclusion. Being one of the readers wrapped up in the parallel story line involving Samuel and Valencia, I would like to have read more about the search for Samuel in the last act. I won’t say more. (Readers will know what I mean.) It has the makings of a strong act of its own leading to the conclusion.
I give Into the Night, by Jerry J.C. Veit, 5 out of 5 stars. I am not one to enjoy plays, but as I said, this one reads more like a narrative and has all the hallmarks of a vivid, well-thought through, detailed fantasy. Veit has managed to set his story in England in the 1300’s, giving readers who prefer that historical feel to their vampire tales something in which to revel. His characters, both heroes and villains, are memorable and leave the reader wishing for more–always the true sign of great work.
Pages: 166 | ASIN: B00Q1P3U2I
Posted in Book Reviews, Five Stars
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