I am proud to announce my very first GUEST POST!!! YAY!
In my support of indie authors I proudly present to you Lucien Black. *crowd goes wild*
I am so happy to be here on vampsweresandcassay’s blog. Thanks Cassay for giving me some time to reach out to your followers.
Let me introduce myself, my name is Lucien Black, author of the Speculative Fiction Series, No Vacancies. I’ve been writing since 1989 and the lifelong dream was to be a published author with multiple properties in print. Finally, in 2008, after many re-writes, I published my first book, No Vacancies Volume 1 and this has been a fantastic journey. I’m here to introduce you to my works and hope that you will take this journey with me as well.
The concept of No Vacancies started with a profound love for all things comic book related. My early writing aspirations including becoming a regular writer of a comic book series. I attempted to break into the industry, but always found that the doors were closed. For those of you unfamiliar with the comic space, the industry is very tough and breaking in can be an insurmountable task. Artists journey from convention to convention, hoping for two minutes in front of an editor that will catch a glimpse of their work and give them a shot. Writers have a much harder time, since an editor does not have the time to read a script or a summary, while perusing portfolio after portfolio of artists. Eventually, I continued writing, but found myself writing for my own benefit rather than to seek publication.
Eventually, my wife challenged me to adapt a different style of writing to my scripts and convert them into short stories. I argued at first, but eventually found myself slipping easily into this new routine. What I needed was an idea that would convey the type of story I wanted to write, but for a while new medium. Taking some cues from the old movie serials, comic books and the old pulp magazines, I developed the concept of No Vacancies.
Two volumes of No Vacancies are released each year and each book contains four short stories. At times, the stories are stand alone, or appear only in the one volume of No Vacancies. These are ideas or concepts that I felt I needed to convey, but were not necessarily part of a bigger series or story. The first volume of No Vacancies contains a story called “One More Sunday”, which tells the tale of the events which led up to the death of the city’s primary superhero. In this noir thriller, Detective Sam Arkwright finds himself wrapped up in a case that is beyond his imagination and takes him to the edge and back as he uncovers not only how the Protector died, but secrets hidden away long ago but the reclusive superhero.
The other stories contained in the series are serialized or episodic tales, told over multiple volumes of the No Vacancies series. So, each volume of the series, contains a part or episode of the titled story. Outcast, for example, starts in No Vacancies Volume 1 and ends in No Vacancies Volume 4, with some heavy cliffhanger endings along the way.
With what I have in my writing repertoire, I expect there to be somewhere around fifteen volumes in the No Vacancies series and that is if I stop developing new series along the way. Already, I’ve jumped from 12 to 15 volumes, based on new ideas, characters or stories I wish to tell.
Starting in Volume 4, I introduce a new episodic series called Myth, which I expect to run over volumes 4-8. The next installment, Volume 5, introduces a superhero series called Seven. Seven tells the story of a superhero team that has fallen by hard times. Between character deaths and real- life challenges, the team is in utter chaos at a time when they are needed most.
Down the line, I see another installment of the Outcast series, picking up from where the story ends in Volume 4. There are some major challenges ahead for the characters of the Outcast series. I won’t give too much away, but expect a new villain even more ruthless than Adrian Vandenberg. The romance between Nathaniel and Detective Jackie Thompson will also start to see some light in the second installment of the Outcast story.
My first foray into the Fantasy genre will be coming soon as well. The Smokey Tower, told over multiple volumes, introduces my take on wizardry and the fantastical creatures and races found in traditional fantasy novels. Much like the horror elements of Outcast, I want to create a story with unique twists on old themes. I want readers to jump into these stories and feel familiar yet wildly unfamiliar with the concepts and ideas.
Along the way, future installments of No Vacancies will also have several stand-alone short stories, all combining elements from multiple genres and should promise for a continued wild ride.
What I have for your followers today is an exclusive excerpt from Volume 5 of No Vacancies. This story, expected to fun four to five volumes of No Vacancies, is called Seven and tells the tale of a dysfunctional Superhero team and how their lives changed over the years since they banded together. This is a story of revenge, bad choices, but most of all friendship and loyalty. Today I present to you the first two chapters, so please enjoy!
Her long blond hair, once vibrant and shiny, hung wet and dirty over her face and down to her shoulders. Her skin, now pallid, used to glimmer in the sun and glow in the moonlight. Her body once viewed as a temple by all men, now covered in bruises, contusions, and scars. Her green eyes, once like two emerald doorways to another world, now dull and recessed into her skull.
Elizabeth Barrett can’t remember how long she has been a prisoner; her arms chained behind her back and a steel ring around her neck, chained to the ground. The steel plate, magically secured to her mouth, preventing her from using her magical abilities to free herself and returning to the side of her friends.
Her captor, an underworld crime boss known as Blacksoul, has held her prisoner for months upon months where she has been subjected to repeated physical beatings and mental attacks. Blacksoul’s attempts to siphon off her magic abilities have to date failed, but Elizabeth’s defenses are diminishing…her strength wanes with each passing day.
For centuries, Elizabeth was the catalyst for the Gathering-- a bringing together of seven powerful beings in a time of great evil. Over the years, she has gone by many names and befriended many valiant allies. On only two occasions, she allowed herself to fall in love. The first time, the man who led the Seven turned out to be the source of evil she was born to destroy. It was after he was defeated that Elizabeth found out she was with child—his child.
Most recently, Elizabeth let her guard down and fell in love with a man that was no longer a man, but a vengeful spirit, sent back to Earth to pay for his past sins. Though they shared no physical connection, their souls were united in love and their union led to Elizabeth’s current imprisonment. During battle with Blacksoul, Elizabeth’s love met his demise and her momentary distraction allowed Blacksoul to get the upper hand and capture her.
To her reckoning, she knew Blacksoul was strong, but there was no way he could stop the Seven, especially her love. Elizabeth knew that someone or something intervened on Blacksoul’s behalf and gave him the strength he needed to imprison her.
Now Elizabeth struggles against her bonds, hoping to break free. She knows not the whereabouts of her friends. Nor does she know of their well being. She now hopes against hope that they are still alive and still together, for the source of evil, the reason she brought the most recent seven together, is still at large. And the world is in great jeopardy.
“I said it’s not for sale,” Brian Carson shouted at the group of well-dressed businessmen that stood outside his executive office.
“Brian, be reasonable,” Henry Tyson said. “Prism Industries is no longer a viable company. Our stockholders have sold off their shares of the company and we have no money left for research and development. Our creditors are lined up at the front desk everyday asking for payment of debts for which we have no money to pay. The employees have all quit or have been laid off. Brian. It’s over.”
“Fuck you Henry,” Brian said and slammed the door shut.
Henry Tyson let his head hang low for a few seconds, looked at the other men with him and then knocked on the door once again. “Brian.”
“Go away,” Brian Carson shouted from inside his locked office.
“Brian. If you don’t agree to sell the building, the last asset of Prism Industries, we few shareholders that remain will be forced to take action.”
Just then, a few feet away from the group of businessmen, the wall to the right of them exploded; a flash of black light burned everything in its path and eventually crashed out the side of the building. Glass and debris toppled thirty stories to the ground below and sent people scattering.
The businessmen scattered, some sought cover under nearby tables or behind office furniture. One man ran into the nearby stairwell while another jumped into the open elevator. Henry Tyson didn’t move. He was perfectly calm, a fact which confused the other men.
Brian Carson stepped through the gaping hole in his office wall. His hands and eyes radiated black energy. “Get out of my building.”
“Brian,” Tyson said.
“Fine,” Tyson said. “We’ll leave. But know this Brian. You have lost everything that your father built. You caused the demise of Prism. No one else.” With that said, Tyson turned and walked to the elevator. The other men with him all scrambled behind Tyson and ducked inside. The elevator doors slid shut and began its descent.
Rage filled Brian’s veins and he unleashed two more blasts of black energy that destroyed the furniture just outside his office. He screamed obscenities at the top of his lungs and stormed back through the hole in his office wall.
Inside Brian’s office was a disaster; furniture overturned, piles of paper lined the floor and empty bottles of various types of alcohol were scattered about. Brian trudged through the mess, his chest heaving from the anger and anxiety coursing through his body. He approached his desk; the only piece of furniture not overturned and started rifling through the mess. He was searching for something that he could not find.
“Where is it?” He shouted. “AARRRGH,” Brian shouted as he swiped his arms along the desk and sent everything to the floor. Then he bent down, gripped the underside of the desk and flipped it over. Sweat beaded on his face and forehead, his long black hair matted down. Then, he stormed to the private bathroom inside his office.
As he stepped through the debris leading to the bathroom, his foot came to rest on a portrait of a much different Brian Carson. Inside the bathroom was just as bad as everywhere else in the office. His now black hair once blond; his face bright and shiny and his teeth sparkled with a wide grin. He gritted his teeth at the memories the picture inspired. Brian Carson the aloof millionaire. Brian Carson the playboy socialite. Brian Carson, AKA Imbue, the corporate superhero sponsored by Prism Industries. Everyone knew who he was…Brian kept no secrets. He often came to work dressed in his superhero costume; white on white with a white cape. “Idiot,” he said under his breath. The very decisions he made in the past came back and destroyed his life. It made it easy for his enemies to find him and his family and kill his wife in the process…caused him to abandon his children because he could not deal with the grief. “Angelica,” he said his deceased wife’s name under his breath. Brian kicked at the debris and rushed to the bathroom.
Inside the bathroom was a complete mess with empty bottles of prescription medicines, mostly painkillers. Brian walked to the sink, picked up a small black pouch, and unzipped it. Inside the pouch were two clean syringes, a long strip of rubber tubing and a small vial of clear liquid. He waited a few seconds, his faced fixated on the contents of the bag. He needed the release. He needed the high to feel alive. He needed all his pain to go away. Brian looked up at the vanity mirror, which had long been broken. The shards of glass reflected a broken image back to Brian, which also reflected how he felt inside. With an overwhelming sadness, Brian pulled the rubber tubing from the pouch.
Now doesn’t that sound very very interesting. I wonder where the rest of the story is headed.
Thank You Lucien for stopping by!
If you would like to purchase a copy of Lucien’s novels you can use one of the following links: