A GUEST POST BY SCOTT S. PHILLIPS
I would like to welcome author Scott S. Phillips to Ginger Nut Towers
Scott S. Phillips (who is not the guy who wrote THE ICE HARVEST, nor is he the drummer for Creed) has written in almost every capacity imaginable: films, TV, comic books and even dialogue for talking dolls. He’s also the author of the novels SQUIRREL EYES and FRIDAY THE 13TH: CHURCH OF THE DIVINE PSYCHOPATH, and the short story collection TALES OF MISERY AND IMAGINATION. His film reviews have been collected in the aptly titled UNSAFE ON ANY SCREEN. With Robert E. Vardeman, Scott is co-editor of the anthology A CAREER GUIDE TO YOUR JOB IN HELL, and he has a story in that collection.
Scott wrote the screenplay for the cult action flick DRIVE (recently named “The Best American Martial Arts Movie Ever Made” by Kung Fu Cinema), and wrote 12 episodes of the CW Network’s KAMEN RIDER DRAGON KNIGHT. Perhaps most importantly, he once performed as stand-in for the legendary Lemmy in a Motorhead video.
Hi folks — first up, I’d like to thank Jim for giving me the guest-post slot on The Ginger Nuts of Horror. Letting me write something for a blog is always a dangerous prospect, because I’m perfectly capable of blathering on at length, but I’ll try to keep it short (well, relatively speaking) in this case.
Jim gave me the slot in order to talk a bit about my 8-part serial novel, PETE, DRINKER OF BLOOD, part 1 of which hit ebook shelves in February. Part 2 will be available in mid-March, with new installments coming every month.
I first had the idea for PETE back in 1999, when I was living in a tiny apartment in Los Feliz, California. At the time I was going through a pretty bad patch and felt kind of isolated and freakish. I started thinking about what it would be like to be a vampire with social anxiety and insomnia, and that triggered things. I made some notes for a novel, but for various reasons, never got around to doing anything else with it.
A little background — I’ve been writing for a heck of a long time. I was one of those kids making Super-8mm movies in his backyard, and that eventually led to writing screenplays. Selling a script while living in Albuquerque, New Mexico can be a tough gig, however, and even though I had worked on a couple movies that were shot in and around Albuquerque (those would be RED DAWN and ANIMAL BEHAVIOR), I never quite had the nerve to move to Hollywood. Along the way, I sold a couple short stories and wrote and drew some comic books, then finally found the courage to head for Tinseltown in 1995. I got very lucky very quickly — landed a manager, sold a script (DRIVE, but not the one you’re thinking of — I wrote the Kung Fu movie starring Mark Dacascos), and had some screenwriting assignments after that, some of which got produced, some of which didn’t (and we’re all probably better off in most of those cases). Since then I’ve written a couple books (including FRIDAY THE 13TH: CHURCH OF THE DIVINE PSYCHOPATH, a spinoff novel featuring Jason Voorhees), and a bunch of episodes of a kids’ TV series for the CW Network, KAMEN RIDER DRAGON KNIGHT. Also wrote and directed a pair of incredibly low-budget horror flicks, THE STINK OF FLESH and GIMME SKELTER.
But I never stopped thinking about Pete Tyler, my slightly awkward vampire. Finally, in 2010, the idea bubbled to the top again and I wrote PETE as a screenplay. Not content with that, though, I started adapting the script as a novel in early 2011, but found myself sidetracked by a couple of writing assignments — one a screenplay, the other a comic book.
And it was that comic book (SINBAD, ROGUE OF MARS 2, a four-issue mini-series coming soon from Bluewater Comics) that got me thinking about the whole serial novel thing. Obviously the serial novel is nothing new — far from it, in fact — but it had never occurred to me to tackle doing one that way until I was scripting the third issue of SINBAD, when a (slightly dim) light bulb went off over my head. “Hey, this is one story told in four parts, being released one a month, before finally being collected in trade paperback,” I said to the Chihuahua, who could’ve cared less. “Why not do that with PETE?”
“Keep scritching,” the Chihuahua replied.
I dug out what I’d written of the PETE novel, realized I pretty much had the first installment finished, then sat down with the script and broke it down into the 8 parts that will make up the novel.
Admittedly, I’m not a big reader of vampire fiction, but I’m a huge fan of vampire movies, particularly the Hammer flicks with Christopher Lee. When I went to see THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING on opening day, a little girl and her mom were seated in front of me. When Christopher Lee showed up, the little girl said “Look, mom — Dracula!” Pretty damned delightful, if you ask me. But if you wanna know my favorite vampire novel, I’d say it’s THE DRACULA TAPE, by Fred Saberhagen. Right behind that would be SALEM’S LOT, by that King fella.
So yeah, PETE, DRINKER OF BLOOD isn’t your typical vampire story, as you may have guessed from the title. I tend to be a bit of an oddball storyteller — my buddy Nathan Long, author of a bunch of cool WARHAMMER books and the recent novel JANE CARVER OF WAAR — once described my writing as “a sort of lyrical redneck poetry.” Not that I write about rednecks so much (although I do, from time to time); I think Nathan meant I have a kind of funky sensibility, more down-to earth than snootily literary. And Pete is not your typical vampire — he’s a blue-collar guy who became a vampire in the 1970s and he’s never quite gone beyond that. He digs the classic rock and reruns of THE MATCH GAME, and he really, really dislikes the Goth-type vampires and their frilly shirts and techno music. He lives a quiet life in Los Angeles, feeds on a specialized diet, and basically does his own thing. This all goes a bit haywire when he falls for a sexy bartender at the seedy dive bar he hangs out in, and things only get worse when Carson Fitzgerald, the sinister vampire who turned Pete and the others in Los Angeles, returns home, determined to take back his “children” for his own vile needs. Forced to team up with the vampires he hates, Pete winds his way through far more adventure than he’d ever care to.
I’m currently banging out the words on PETE, and I’m very excited about the project. It’s a heck of a lot of fun to write, and I hope it’ll be a lot of fun to read. If you’re inclined to give it a shot, it’s available for Kindle, Nook, and in various formats at Smashwords.
Thanks for reading, and thanks again, Jim!
— Scott S. Phillips
Find out more about Scott at his website