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Short Story Challenge Episode 3: Frank Versus the Vampire

Welcome to the Mat-Cave!

I am now about three weeks in to the 22-week Short Story Challenge I set for myself back at the beginning of August and I’m still feeling pretty positive about things. The basic idea behind the challenge was to get me writing more and to help me work on transitioning over to prose from having written mainly comic books and film/TV screenplays for the past 10+ years. Once I’m done with the new short story for each week, I follow the lead of Dean Wesley Smith and post the piece for sale on the various eBook distribution outlets, like Amazon, BN.Com and Smashwords (and through Smashwords to places like iTuns, Diesel, Sony’s eBook store and so on).

So far it seems to be working pretty well for me. Although everything I’ve written so far is a short story ebook, sales have been moving along nicely and I’m seeing a steady increase each week.

This week I finished up a story that was a lot of fun for me, “Frank Versus the Vampire.” It was a move back to the contemporary/urban fantasy that I played around with in “Cora and the Clockwork Men,” but I think it was a much more effective story. It also used a first person perspective for the narration, something I constantly go back and forth on the merits of. I thought it worked well for “Frank” because that seems to be the prevalent POV for contemporary fantasy AND because the lead chararacter was very much in the vein of an old school pulp detective, at least in my head.

The story come pretty quickly once I had figured out what my first line was — although, the first line ended up being made into the third line when I was finished. It took about 3 hours of writing over 2 days to complete. Originally, the piece was going to go to an anthology, but my buddy, Shawn Granger, talked me out of it.

Oh, the reason “Frank Versus the Vampire” was so much fun for me? Three reasons. First, the character was one I had created for a video game back in the mid nineties. While the game never took off, I had a lot of fun with him and always thought he had a lot of potential, so I kept him in the back of my head ever since.

The second reason was to work off some of my frustration at modern vampire tales. I kind of feel like modern vampires have been turned in the smarmy douchebags and this was my commentary on that. I do plan to do another vampire story with Frank down the road, just to show how vampires should really be treated…which is, of course, what every writer says and none of us ever get it right. At least you’ll get to watch me fail miserably and mock me for the effort when I’m finished.

Third, I wrote the character with a real person in mind. If I am ever able to make a Frank Fenris flick (it would be a “flick,” not a “movie” and especially not a “film”) then I would cast the incredibly talented Jason May in the lead role. Jason is an incredibly talented artist, photographer, designer and all-around creative type – heck, he makes his own guitars! Check out the photo below for what I had in my head for Frank and swoon, ladies, swoon.

Jason May would play Frank Fenris in a flick if I had my way.

Final, pre-edit total: 3098 words and about 3 hours of writing…plus an hour or so on the cover.

You can find the short at:
Amazon for the Kindle
BN.Com for the Nook

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Mat Nastos
TV, Film, comic book, fantasy & steampunk writer/director, known best for bad horror movies about giant scorpions, killer pigs & dinosaurs in the sewers. You can find his work on Smashwords or at his Amazon Author Page.

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