Monthly Archives: April 2013

Mark Knight blog hop!

Hi all!

Come visit Mark on his blog hop (if you are still interested in hosting, let me know, there’s open slots). This is going to be a great tour. Here is the cover anBlood Family Blog Hop

April 11th-May 15th

11th: Jodie Pierce (

12th: Pam Funke (

13th: Victoria Wooldridge (

13th: Steve Bargdill ( 

14th: Robert Fuller Jr. ( Interview

15th: Liliana Soares (

15th: L.M. Hirscher (

16th: Shannon Shaw

17th: Saffron Bryant (

18th: Cara Crabtree (

18th: Jennifer Wedmore: (

20th: Ann Snizek (

20th: Cheree Crump (

22nd: Mia Darien (

23rd: Olga Nunez Miret (

25th: Mia Darien ( – Character Interview

26th: Karen Doctor (

27th: Delia Remington

30th: Chris Redding (

May 1st: Missy M.M. Frye (

May 1st: Sabrena Pattat (

1st: Carrie Fort (

3rd: Dorothy Dryer (

7th: Mae Clair (

9th: Robert Fuller Jr. ( – Interview

10th: Penelope Anne Barotto (

11th: Tessa Stokes (

11th: Genevieve Scholl (

13th: Karen Smith (

14th: Michele B Iring-Pani (

14th: David R. Bennett (

15th: L.M. David (

Thanks for joining us! Check out each day for new information and leave comments so we know you’ve been there. Check out his book, Blood Family at:

Keep Writing!

Jodie Pierce


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The Four

Hi all!

Here’s a short story I wrote that is an anomoly…it’s not about vampires! It got a little boring for me for writing since there were no vampires and I’m a vampire girl so it’s only a short story. Hope you like it!

I never planned on becoming a leader. I was more than content being on my own, crashing parties in the plush Hollywood scene unnoticed, doing all the cocaine I could and sneaking back out. One day I turned around and I had three people following me, asking me questions like, “So what are we doing tonight Fangs?” and “Where ya wanna go tonight to party?”. They had ruined my punk rocking, cocaine snorting, party crashing, squatting nights and didn’t even know it. However, what I didn’t know was I was going to enjoy their company.

Eric. Drew. Casey. Those were their names and at first thats all they were were names to me. However, eventually they became more. Drew was the dopehead skater boy, always riding, standing or squatting on his precious skateboard. He even slept with the thing, afraid someone would take it from him and in our world of squatting, anything was possible. He was a follower and never said much. His sandy blonde hair hung over his blue eyes which you almost couldn’t see and he wore clothes he no doubt got from a shelter somewhere that were way to big for him but that added to the skater look.

Eric was our bankroll and drug dealer and all he had to do was visit his father a minimum of once a week for the cash and as often as needed for the drugs. His father was a drug dealer too and supported his sons’ habits (weed for Drew and cocaine for us all). When he showed up his father always gave him 2 grand in cash so we had a few bucks to buy food for the week and didn’t have to stay in shelters or eat the awful soup kitchen food. Eric tried to blend in with his jeans and a t-shirt but you could always tell they were name brand. However, by the end of the week, he finally looked like one of us (all dirty) from sleeping on the ground. It was his early twenties rebellion but he just wasn’t cut out to do it on his own but it benefited us so we never said anything.

Casey was the other girl in the group to even things out. Two boys and two girls was nice. Not that anything went on between any of us in the group except the time I got Casey really drunk and made out with her on a dare from the boys but that was a one time thing. Casey was a punk with lots of piercings, leather pants, a short black leather halter top and Doc Martens that would kick some serious butt. She was tuff and could hold her own in any fight. She was good to have on your side but a kind person once she was there. She was also a follower but once in awhile she spoke up if she ‘felt’ the situation was wrong. She had been on the streets since she was a kid and knew them better than any of us so we listened to her gut ‘feelings’.

Me? They call me Fangs due to my obsession with vampires. I already explained my craving for cocaine and fun. I hit the streets at eighteen and never looked back or slowed down even now that I’m in my thirties I still look like I’m in my twenties. I still get carded for alcohol and cigarettes for crying out loud. Good thing I keep up with my State Id with a fake address on it. I’ve never been in trouble with the law. Let me rephrase that, I’ve never been caught by the law and I keep a low profile in the squatting houses.

“So what are we doing tonight Fangs?” asked Eric. (I told you so).

“The usual. Thought we all could do some lines, let Drew smoke his weed then head over to that new skate park and let him try it out. What do you think guys?” I asked. Drew nodded excitedly and the others looked at each other and shrugged their shoulders.

“Sounds good to me” Casey said.

“Sure” Eric agreed.



By the time we all got to the skate park we were all completely wasted so it was lucky that the park was almost completely empty. Drew got on his board and started skating and surprisingly was amazing despite his altered state. Eric, Casey and I took a seat at the top of one of the tubes to watch him and laugh at the other skaters as they fell off their boards. Soon the other skaters got tired of being laughed at and left the park so Drew was the only one left skating. I had never seen such a smile on his face as I did that night. Drew had been in his glory and had the entire place to himself. Eventually we got tired and went back to the house we were squatting in. When we woke up the next afternoon, Drew was laying next to us holding his skateboard and still smiling. We woke up Drew and went and got something to eat. Casey, always up for something asked:

“Fangs, what are we gonna do tonight?” (again with the same question. Agh!)

“Well, I thought we’d go down by the bridge and see who’s there and then check out the water” I announced.

“Oh…I know how much you like to look at the water Fangs” Casey said.

“Sounds like a good plan” Eric replied.



Under the bridge proved to be a bust. There was no one there we knew and the bums there were more disgusting than I could handle. I had to swallow the vomit that came up in my mouth twice at the smell of them when we got too close. So on to the river we went and that always made me happy. The rushing black water always soothed me. I knew that it was filthy sewer water from the factories nearby but during the night you couldn’t see how bad it was. I thought about the river in Ohio that once caught on fire and decided that my water here could probably do the same by day but at night it was beautiful. The four of us stood there just admiring the blackness and the peace it provided. Suddenly that peace was broken by a scream. We turned to look and a man had Casey and was backing away with her. Eric and Drew started towards him and he tightened his grip on her making her scream again. I had darted sideways as the man was distracted by Eric and Drew and I went around a pillar and was able to come up behind the man. He was a little taller than me but I had pulled out my knife and I pushed it to the side of his neck.

“Let her go or I’ll push this into your jugular and you’ll be dead in five seconds” I hissed. The man thought about it for a few minutes and then pushed Casey to the ground in front of him. I then pushed him to the ground over her and he hit with a thud. Eric and Drew were immediately on him and had him pinned to the ground waiting for instructions from me. I helped Casey up, checked her out and she was fine.

“Turn him over on his back guys. Casey, I think you should get the first hit” I said. Casey took her size nine Doc Martin and shoved it with all her strength into the mans’ balls. He crumpled up into the fetus position holding his manhood crying.

“Now it’s free hits for everyone” I announced. Eric and Drew were behind the man and they started kicking him unmercilessly. Casey and I were in front of him and started kicking him as well. He tried to fend us off at first but he gave up quickly and just put his arms up over his face. Casey slammed her foot on top of his body and I swear I heard a few ribs break. Finally, when he stopped moving I told the other three to stop. I bent down and checked his pulse and he was dead.

“He’s dead” I informed the others.

“Good. I’ll get some newspapers to cover him up with” Casey said. That was the end of it. Just like that.



When we woke up later that afternoon all was forgotten. We did our usual routine (drugs and dinner). Later that night Eric asked:

“So Fangs, what are we going to do tonight?”(do you see a fucking pattern here?).

“Well, there’s this party up in North Hollywood I thought we could crash but someone has to promise to keep an eye on Drew this time. I don’t want him wandering off into the house on his skateboard again, crashing into things, breaking them and drawing attention to us. So who’s it going to be?” I asked as Drew hung his head in shame.

“I’ll do it this time” Casey volunteered with a smile. Drew smiled back at Casey happy that it was her that had his back. He was always nervous at parties with all those people he didn’t know.

We rode the bus up to North Hollywood and when we arrived at the party there were probably over a hundred people at the party. The four of us snuck in between the hedges and immediately started to attempt to blend in. Eric had snuck in his house and brought us all back nice clothes from his house and we washed up at the YMCA that evening before we got on the bus. There were drugs everywhere, free for the taking. There were naked girls being thrown into the pool, giggling the entire time until they sunk under the blue chlorine filled water. There were guys boasting to girls about the bit parts they played in some movie no one has ever heard of and probably never will or their part is sitting on some cutting room floor somewhere. Most people wouldn’t know where to start in this menagerie of events but not the four. We headed straight for the drugs. Afterall, Eric didn’t make his weekly visit to his father until tomorrow and we needed some tonight and that was why we were here. We moved through the crowd like one giant lion stalking a herd of antelope. We reached the drugs and tried not to take it in greedily but we all were almost facing boarderline withdrawl symptoms so we snorted and smoked all we could without being suspicious. Casey carried Drews’ skateboard under her arm which he reluctlantly gave up but he knew Casey would just have kicked his butt and taken it from him anyway if he hadn’t given it over. We all rode home on the bus, happy and stoned as could be and unable to sit still. We darted from seat to seat throughout the entire bus. Drew rode his skateboard up and down the center isle the whole time we were on the bus. Good thing we were the only ones on the bus at the time. This ended our week and we waited for the following evening for Eric to return from his fathers house with the drugs and the cash to start our new week and our new adventures for we lived week by week on the streets.



Usually the night after Eric came back with his cash and drugs, we divided things up, did some of our drugs and went our seperate ways for that night. Later that night when everyone returned, no one thought about it when Drew didn’t return by the time we all went to bed. Drew was a night owl and often stayed out later than the rest of the group. However, when he wasn’t there in the afternoon when we all woke up we were concerned. We split up and hit all the skate parks we could think of to see if maybe he just passed out at one or even got hurt at one and was laying there helpless. We returned to the house and no one had a good report. No one had seen him or found anyone who had seen him recently. Now we all were really concerned and were considering the neighboring hospitals when Drew stumbled in.

“Where’ve you been man?” Eric asked. Drew shrugged his shoulders, fell to the floor and started throwing up.

“What’s wrong with him Fang?” Casey asked.

“I dunno” I replied thinking ‘what am I? A friggin doctor?’ Drew continued throwing up.

“You think his stuff got laced with something bad last night?” Eric asked.

“Could be. He’s the only one that smokes that stuff” I said.

“Maybe we should get him to a hospital” Casey suggested.

“He doesn’t have insurance. They won’t treat him” Eric informed her.

“And the clinic is closed. We are going to have to wait until morning” I said.

“I don’t see any other choice” Eric said.

“If you guys say so” Casey said doubtfully.

The next afternoon when we tried to wake up Drew he wouldn’t wake up. I knelt down at his side to feel for his pulse and couldn’t find one.

“He’s dead” I said backing away from his body.

“Dead? How can that be?” Casey shrieked.

“Look. I’m no doctor and the hospital system isn’t fair. It’s not my fault. What can I say?” I asked.

“She’s right. It’s not her fault” Eric chimed in. “We need to find a new place to squat. This place just isn’t the same without Drew.

“We’re just going to leave the body? He was our friend” Casey again shrieked.

“Happens all the time. You should know that. Someone will find him and turn him in. It will be fine. Let’s go” Eric said and started picking up our few possessions and we left. Just like that.



The following day we three were all sitting at the skate park like we were waiting for something or someone. We all felt if we waited long enough we’d see Drew come skating by and it would be like the horrible tragedy of last night never happened. But he never came. We waited until after dark and our need for cocaine kicked in before we left and went to our new place we found to squat in. It just wasn’t the same without Drew. Us three were very solomn and hardly said a word to each other the entire day and night after Drew’s death. That was our way of mourning him was in silence since he was usually so quiet.

“So Fangs, now what?” Casey asked (relentless).

“I dunno” I said.

“Come on. You gotta pull us out of this funk” Eric said. (relentless, the two of them).

“Well…we could just get trashed out of our mind” I lamely suggested.

“Come on. Where’s your sense of adventure?” Eric asked. “Where’s the Fangs we know and love?”.

“Ok” I said excitedly. “We…could…break into the Psychiatric Ward at Fairlawn Meadows tomorrow night and see my old friend Melissa after getting blitzed. I’ll visit during the day to let her know to expect us and check out the place again. What’d ya think? Haven’t done that in awhile and it’s always fun” I said now on the edge of my seat with enthusiasm.

“Cool” said Casey.

“Atta girl. I knew you’d come up with something fun” said Eric proudly.

That next day I went and visited Melissa and told her about our little plan. She was as excited as we were and even more excited about the pack of cigarettes that I brought her. Later that night we snorted our allotment for the day and headed to Fairlawn Meadows giddy and stoned out of our minds. We found the back delivery door Melissa had left open for us and snuck into the building. The entire building smelled of medicine, bleach and camphor so I stuck my nose in shirt to filter the stench before it stung my nostrils. We hid in the shadows and ran from room to room and window to window looking for Melissa. We crawled under the nurses’ station window to get to the other end of the hallway. The whole time we had to keep from laughing though it was hard and were paranoid due to the drugs. Some of the shadows looked like giant arms reaching out to grab us and lock us up in this place. Finally we found room 115, Melissas’ room and her door was unlocked which was against policy but she left it that way for us. When we entered she was in her bed pretending to be asleep.

“Wakey wakey flakey flakey” I whispered into her ear. She giggled so I knew she was faking sleep.

“So you guys got in ok I see” she said. “Now where’s my coke?” she laughed. I had promised to bring her some cocaine when we came so I brought it out and she took it greedily and shoved it all up her nose as fast as she could and just sat back in her bed with her eyes closed waiting for the high to quickly wash over her once the aftertaste was gone. We all sat in a hushed silence, trying not to laugh at her. Once her high came her eyes popped open and her head jolted up and she started to giggle. We all jumped on her to quiet her but by then we were all giggling. We saw a flashlight coming down the hallway and the three of us jumped under the bed and Melissa pretended to be asleep again, all of us holding in our own giggles. The door opened and a stern looking nurse shined the light on the bed and saw the back of Melissa and her stillness and decided after a few minutes she was asleep and closed the door. We could hear her footsteps fade away down the hallway so we came out from underneath the bed and jumped back on it with Melissa. It wasn’t long before we were in a giggling state again but this time we tried to keep it quiet.

“So what’s going on outside in the world Fangs?” Melissa asked.

“Nothing. You got it easy in here. Three meals a day, a warm bed, a shower and people to talk to. It’s better than the streets sometimes” I said.

“You wouldn’t last a day in here with everyone telling you what to do all day and when you can do it” Melissa said.

“Sometimes I wonder” I said dreamily.

“Stop it! You don’t want to end up like me. Yes you need medication for your different personalities but you don’t belong in here” she advised.

“So you’ve received you’re Medical Degree in here now?” I asked “And I have multiple personality disorder” I said.

“I just meant…” Melissa started.

“No. That’s fine. It’s time to go anyway. My buzz is wearing off” I replied and headed for the door. “See you again sometime. C’mon guys” I said and disappeared into the hallway shadows. We slunk again back between room to room, crawled under the nurses’ station and weaved around the stairs. Casey was the last one in the line and as we headed out the door we were met by a nurse and the warden. We three all ran in different directions to shouts behind us.

“Catch them! They are escaping!” came the male voice.

“Got one!” came the female voice. I couldn’t force myself to stop to turn around and look. What if there were more of them and they got me? I just kept running and running until I reached the place we were squatting in. I flopped down exhausted on the old matress I was sleeping on and waited. The next one through the door was Eric who was huffing and puffing like he’d just run a marathon and was a four-hundred pound man but he was slim and only ran as far as I did.

“Where’s Casey?” I asked the dumb question, already knowing the answer before it came out of my mouth.

“The nurse and the warden caught her and took her back into the hospital. I had to hide for a few minutes to make sure there were only the two of them before I ran here and then I ran a diversion pattern so I wouldn’t lead them directly to our place. I’m exhausted” he said and slumped down onto his matress.

“I can’t believe they got Casey. How’d they know to wait for us there? You don’t know what that place is going to do to her. They are going to break her spirit. They’re going to kill the Casey we know and love. We’re going to have to go and visit more to keep her alive” I said at the brink of hysterics.

“Fangs, calm down. You’re starting to freak me out. You’re always the calm one. Don’t loose it on me now. Pull it together girl” he shouted and started to shake me. I pushed him off me and back onto his own matress.

“I’m fine now. It’s just a little hard to swallow after loosing Drew not that long ago” I said just now realizing how attached I’d become to our group of four. How much I’d come to depend on the others to be there and now that two were gone I felt like half of me was missing with them. Still not completely composed I said:

“Got any coke left? I could really use some right now”.

“No” Eric said. “I visit my father tomorrow and I’m all tapped out” he explained.

“Guess we should try to get some sleep then” I said knowing I wouldn’t be able to sleep with my mind racing but maybe Eric could.

“Guess we should at least try” he replied. I laid there all night watching the shadows around me thinking about Drew and Casey and how it was going to be without them. I silently kicked myself over and over for getting attached to people on the street. I knew better and all these years I never made friends or let anybody in and the three times I do I loose two of them. I silently cursed myself for my stupidity and the rage I felt inside.

I decided to go with Eric the next day to his fathers’ house to get our money and drugs. While there, a rival druglord came by and shot up the place. Eric jumped on top of me to protect me and we rolled behind this huge bulletproof coffeetable. As he flipped it in front of us the drugs and money on it went flying into the air. The house was being shot up and the people running were falling in place dead. Erics’ father just sat in his chair, unmoving, like he knew it was coming and his time was up and took the bullets that riddled his body. When the shooting stopped and Eric rolled off me I looked around and was surrounded by dead people, broken glass, drugs and money all over the floor. I turned to Eric and he was bleeding from the chest.

“Don’t worry about me Fangs” he said.

“Eric, you’re bleeding” I said in a frenzy, my adrenaline pumping. I looked him over and found the bullethole that was a direct hit to his chest. I was amazed he was still alive and talking.

“At least I didn’t die on the street. My Dad would have been proud” Eric said.

“We were all proud of you” I said and took his hand in mine. He smiled, his head fell to the side and blood ran out of the side of his mouth. I closed his eyes, took all the drugs and money I could find (hey, why not, huh?) and left for the streets alone. I vowed to myself to never again get close to anyone and to never forget how it was when it was just the four of us.

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Mark Knight blog hop!

Hi all! Please join me on Sunday on Facebook under Blood Family events ( The event is from 2pm-6pm. We will have vampire fun, giveaways and prizes. I need hosts to fill in the event. Please respond to me asap at thevampirequeen1 (dot) com. Hope all lover of books and vampires should join us.



Hope to hear from you soon!

Keep Writing & Reading!

Jodie Pierce

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The Fantastic Mark Knight and Blood Family-Quest for the Vampire Key

Hi all!


Please help me welcome the fantastic Mark Knight to my blog today! He is the Author of the new Blood Family: Quest for the Vampire Key just newly available on but widely known already. He is a great Author and has become a close friend of mine so excuse me if I’m a bit partial to him. This is going to be a fairly long post but it is so worth the read!


About this author:

Mark Knight grew up in Massachusetts, USA. Settling in the UK, Mark continued to write novels of differing genres, including horror and television scripts. Mark has worked on feature film scriptwriter, having scripted two horror scripts for Hollywood’s Little Slices of Death production company and one for Illusion Studios. He also won several short story competitions, and has had his work featured in published anthologies. Mark concentrates now on Young Adult fantasy/horror/science fiction novels.

Here is my interview with him:


What is your name? Do you use a pen name (if so, why?)?

Mark Knight


Tell me a bit about yourself:

I grew up in the USA, living on the West and East coast. Now I live in the UK in the Greater London area. I live very close to Leavesden Studios where all the Harry Potter films were made.


What type of genre do you write?

Originally my thing was science fiction. My first few novels were sci fi. When a friend in the movie industry asked me to collaborate on horror scripts with him, I began to develop an interest in horror and supernatural. My first novel with that theme was Blood Family, which had a 17 year old protagonist. Now I am almost exclusively a Young Adult writer.


What genre to you personally read?

I tend to read YA as that is what I write. I do like biographies as well, especially biographies of writers. Tolkien’s was most absorbing.


Tell me about your latest?

Blood Family is a novel about family and origins. Daniel Dark thinks he is a normal kid. He finds out he is adopted. Then he finds out his real father is a vampire. Finally, he discovers that his true mother has been imprisoned by his vampire father since Daniel’s birth. That is what sets him off on his quest, which ultimately takes him far from home. Along the way, his deadly vampire powers emerge.


What sparked your passion for books and the art of a good story?

I think it started with the books my mom read to me and the books I discovered in school. When we were given a vampire short story to read in my 6th grade English class, it started me thinking: ‘I could write a short story’.  What I wrote was a small 20 page ‘novel’, which my teacher read out to the class. From then on I knew what I wanted to do.


Is there a particular book that changed or affected your life in a big way?

Possibly The Hobbit. I lived in Ireland for a few years after relocating from America. We were out in the country. No TV and certainly no internet back then. I found The Hobbit and got lost in it, as though it were a real place. That was what appealed to me, creating a kind of visceral reality with words.


Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp?

I don’t set out to put forth a message. Often you find yourself implanting one, though, without even intending it. A lot of my stories are about the importance of family, and that your family is what makes you you. Many of my stories are quests, and they highlight perseverance, that you must have perseverance in order to get to that goal. I think that is a reflection of my own determination to get published!


What challenges have you faced in your writing career?

I have had many challenges; books and scripts that were almost published but ultimately weren’t. Blood Family got me my first agent. It also got me a meet with an editor of a very big publishing house in London. Sadly, we couldn’t agree on some changes that were required. The vampires in the story are part interdimensional, and the editors wanted them to be, well, ‘normal’ vampires. Part of the reason I wrote the book was to present a new take on vampire lore.


What has been your best moment as a writer?

I think acquiring an agent and the meet with the publisher. Although it did not end with publishing deal, it was a huge thrill. It verified to me that my work was considered ‘worthy’ of publication.


Who is your author idol?

Every author who has given a good story to people, who have thrilled them and elicited emotions from them, is my hero. Whether self-published or traditionally published. If their work moves people, then they have done something great.


Do you see yourself in any of your characters?

Every one! Every character is a reflection of one or more aspects of the author. Yes, even the antagonists. You can base it on other people, but really it all comes from within yourself.


Do you feel like your dream has come true or is there much more to do?

I feel as though the dream is unfolding gradually. I guess my real goal is to hear back from people who were swept up in my stories, engaged with my characters, and now can’t get them out of their heads! That’s the dream.


What does your workspace look like?

A converted second bedroom that has a desk with two monitors, and heaps of scrap paper where I have written down notes in coffee shops, trains, etc. It must look a mess, but to me it is all perfectly logical!


Have you ever had a day when you just wanted to quit?

You know…I don’t think I have.


What do you do when you’re not writing?

I love films and have a big DVD collection. Sometimes it can be distracting. Writing should always come first! I do love travelling when I can, and often explore London, which can be like a warren of undiscovered wonders.


What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer?

That whatever setbacks may happen, you can still get excited about the next project. There is always a next project!


Did you have a moment when you realized you were meant to be a writer?

I think after I wrote my first novel. I was 16. It was all by hand. It was terrible. But it resulted in my telling myself, ‘I’m going to be a writer’. And I have never, ever deviated from that.


What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Again, perseverance. ‘Don’t never give up!’ was one of the first bits of advice I read from an author (the bad grammar was deliberate!). If you love writing, you will keep writing.


After this book, what is next?

I have three other novels all ready to go, save a bit of last minute proofreading. They are all paranormal, all YA. One is about a boy who is cursed and made undead. I also have one about a group of teenaged friends who all have psychic powers. Just completed is a novel about angels reborn in human form, along with their demon enemies, to resume their war here on Earth.


Your website?

This site has just had a huge overhaul by a very talented web designer; I am amazed with what he has done!


Your blog?

I post often, and have great fun on there. People will sign up for my newsletter will get a copy of my most popular paranormal short story, Forbidden – about an angel’s illicit love affair with a demon and subsequent punishment – just for signing up.


Other websites?

Blood Family has its own site,

It has lots on it already, but I am constantly expanding it. Check back for insights into how the book was researched, and images pertaining to the novel. Oh – and the timeline of events in the Blood Family storyline.


Where can your book be found?

Blood Family will be published on and Later on it will be on Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, and other outlets. I love to hear from my readers, and hope they love it.


Here’s how Blood Family came to be:



Posted: January 1, 2013 in MUSINGS

April 2, 2004 was the earliest date I have recorded for the inception of Blood Family. Also known as Blood Family – Quest for the Vampire Key, the novel was going to be a Young Adult horror adventure which would by my take on vampires and what vampires might be. And when I’d decided that, I knew I was in for an interesting journey, but had no idea where it would take me…

Vampires, vampires, everywhere…

I’ve always loved vampire tales and vampire movies. As a youngster growing up in Massachusetts, I was aware of quite a few famous vampires. Bela Lugosi’s Dracula, of course, but also Dark Shadows’ Barnabus Collins and the Count off of Sesame Street. They were everywhere, Scooby DooThe Groovy Goulies, and even Gilligan’s Island had a vampire episode (didn’t Ginger look great in that gothic dream sequence?). In fact, it was a short vampire tale that we read in school – that’s right, school; it actually had some cool moments – that flicked on the writing switch within me. I now  wanted to write. And so I did – a science fiction tale that had nothing to do about vampires. But my seventh grade English teacher read it out to the class nonetheless. My first audience! I knew what I wanted to do with my life.

As with everything I write, I knew that Blood Family had to be not just a good book, but a book that I would want to snatch from the bookshelves if I saw it there. So it had to be exciting. It had to feel real. And it had to be different. But not too different – vampires have to be vampires. Blood, immortality, strength, and supreme coolness. Oh yes, and fangs. (Where the hell are the fangs in the Twilight series?). Yes, I would keep all of the good stuff. Otherwise, I might piss off any potential readers. But how could I make them different?

The Devil In The Details

The angle I came up with was to make my vampires dimensional creatures that entered our world via ritual portals, altering those human beings who let them in. The dark spirits would take over the body of a willing host and that host would change. Strength. Long life. Hypnotic powers. And a thirst for blood.

That was my angle. I liked that. Now for my characters. The first character any writer should come up with is the main character. If he or she isn’t of supreme interest to you, then that character’s journey won’t be either. Daniel Dark starts out as a sullen, lazy seventeen-year-old New England kid. He loves his car. He loves his girlfriend. He loves the occasional spliff. But he has father issues. Dad is harsh, distant, and, to make matters worse, a strict pastor of a local church. But those daddy issues become enflamed a hundredfold when he receives a mysterious parcel from an entity claiming to be his true father – a vampiric entity calling himself Dominus.


Blood Family cover art by David M Rabbitte

Daniel Dark

As Daniel’s true origins unfold, he realizes that his life has changed completely. Not only is he adopted, but his real father is some kind of demon, one not even fully in this world. His adoptive mother tells him that his true mother is actually her sister, Celeste. Celeste has been a captive of Dominus since before Daniel’s birth. Daniel then knows what he has to do. He has to find his real mother, and confront his real father.

I had decided to make Daniel an American as I had grown up in New England myself, near Boston. I knew what it was like to live there, and to go to school there. I knew how the kids talked. Now I live in old England, and thought it would be exciting to lead Daniel on a quest that would lead him to the UK. Where in the UK, though? What was the spookiest, most myth-ridden area of England, a place where the malevolent Dominus might reside?

A Haunted Inn

I decided upon the moors of Devon. These vast tracts of wilderness and bogs located in South West of the country would be the perfect place for Silverwood Manor – the mansion in which Dominus and his followers resided.

Research. That was the next thing. I knew I couldn’t just read about Devon and its moors and hope that it would all sound authentic once incorporated in my novel; no, I knew very early on that I had to go there.

My friend Mike Hopkins lives in that area and, as it turned out, was pretty much an authority on the moors. Notebook and digital recorder in hand, I set off for Devon for several days. I stayed in the Old Church House Inn is set in the tranquil village of Torbryan. This historic Inn was built by stonemasons in the middle of the 14th century. During my nights there I had experienced not only strange sounds in my room but the distinct impression that someone was in the room and standing close to my bed. On the day that I checked out of the Inn I made a joke to the proprietor about the place being haunted. He told me that many people had experienced just what I had experienced. I left the Church House Inn with a chill lodged well within in my spine.


But I am getting ahead of myself. There was much to see and take in even prior to checking in at the Church House.  I had taken the train from London to Torquay in Devon – a journey that took several hours . My first impression of the colourful town of Torquay was that it looked like something out of the 1950s or earlier. Perhaps even a town you might find in France or Spain. The climate was much warmer than the parts of England I knew, and was right by the sea. It is not called the English Riviera for nothing. I even spotted palm trees lining the roads. Was this really England? The writer Agatha Christie certainly had loved it here, having lived in Torquay most of her life.

How things would change by the time I got to the moors!

A Moor Is A Mysterious Place

‘Ok, ok’, I hear you say. ‘But what on earth is a moor?’ Imagine a vast wilderness, peppered with white granite rocks, russet hills, and peat bogs that squish beneath your feet as you walk. A perfect place for ghosts, or vampires. And Dartmoor is three hundred and sixty eight square miles of it.

There is a quiet and an eeriness to the place which cannot fully be put into words. It is a place where mists and howling winds are perfectly at home. The barren trees, I noted, were so relentlessly windswept that they took on the shape of scrawny hands clawing at the air. Ancient stone circles are everywhere – not quite as imposing as Stonehenge but remarkable all the same. Some were over a hundred meters across. Thousands of years ago, these circles would have been roofed with grasses set atop wooden supports. An entire extended family of perhaps a hundred people would live inside.

And what of the various legends associated with this place? There was the legend of the hairy hands. Cross a bridge here, and a pair of hairy hands will cover your eyes. Shudder. Great black cats, perhaps panthers, have been spotted skulking here. And then of course there are the ‘bottomless bogs’, as featured in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes classic, The Hound of the Baskervilles (1901). Thin, loamy topsoil fills in any gaps between impervious granite. You could be walking along and suddenly – you sink. ‘You just don’t know where any of them are,’ Mike cautioned. But were they actually bottomless? The mischievous smile I got back from Mike answered that one.

After tales of ghosts, phantom panthers, hairy hands, and way more than I will go into, I knew that I had a lot of material for my novel. Much of my journey became Daniel’s journey.

Blood Family –  coming very soon as a e-book for Kindle, Nook, and all good e-reader devices!


What an excellent insight to the creation of a classic tale with a twist. I personally read this book and here is my review of it:


Blood Family: Quest for the Vampire Key is an awesome, awesome, awesome book. Did I say awesome? I read a lot and believe me, I’ve not read anything like this since I read Anne Rice novels back in the 90’s. I originally read just the sample of this story on the Author’s website. I was so intrigued that I bugged and bugged him for the full novel. It far exceeded my expectations and I had already had high hopes for it after the sample.

Young Daniel finds out from his family that he is a Dhampir and the blood package he received in the mail further confirmed what he feared. He was adopted from his ‘mom’s’ sister, Celeste and his father was Dominus, Lord of the Shadow World. Daniel leaves his home and everyone he knows in search of his biological mother. After visiting Xochil, a shaman, he learns much of what he’s going to need to know to battle to keep himself from succumbing to his fathers’ twisted world. He meets a young paranormal investigator whose father was killed by Dominus and takes her along on his journey reluctantly. Read the story to follow his journey. Will he find his mother? Will he keep himself from the snares of his father? There’s so much to this story that it will keep you guessing.

The Author, Mark Knight, takes you on a twisting and turning journey with his main character. Just when you think you have things figured out and how much more could possibly happen, he adds another aspect to the story that sucks you in. He’s created a world where you really feel like you are going through this journey with Daniel yourself and envelopes you in a world of insane, cunning and manipulative characters. He is an excellent storyteller and paints the picture so well for you that you can actually see it in your mind. His attention to detail and creativity is leaps and bounds beyond anything I’ve ever read. The story is simply creative, well thought out and just crazy good! It is a must read for anyone who loves paranormal, mind blowing, dark fantasy. I just can’t say enough to give this book its proper justice. If this were a movie, which it would be awesome if taken on, it would break all the blockbuster records out there and win all the Oscars if the right people were cast. On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the highest, it is a 100! If there was a grade above an A+, it would be used for this book! You will not be disappointed with this book. It was worth every minute I spent reading it and I’m already looking forward to a sequel. “Behind every door, and down every alleyway, we will be watching.”


People, I can’t stress this enough, this is the best book I’ve read in a very long time! Please, please, please check out this book! You won’t be disappointed. I’m expecting to see Mark again in a year and him being a billionaire saying, “Oh yeah, I remember your little blog”…LOL! Good luck Mark!


Keep Writing!

Jodie Pierce

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