Carpathia is available in paperback and Kindle format at Amazon.com for $8 and $.99, respectively.
It’s a steampunk-paranormal-action-adventure tale set in 1880s Romania. No, don’t let the setting turn you off. There’s an American cavalry officer in the mix, and he’s smitten with an English lass, who may or may not love an English bloke who is trying to avenge the death of his own beloved at the hand of an evil prince who has his own plans.
There’s also a race going on. In fact, the whole idea started with the race, but those who’ve read my blogs and newspaper stuff shouldn’t find that unusual.
DVD Bonus Feature! Carpathia fun facts
I had a lot of fun writing Carpathia, which started out as a challenge to myself to simply write a novel!
I’m not sure if other authors do this, but during the process I included some “Easter Eggs” in the story that would make it special to me. Not sure why, but the other day while working on my next novel — and inserting an Easter Egg 🙂 — I thought it would be interesting to go back and see if I could remember all of them.
There aren’t many, but for the pleasure of the tens of you (haha) who have read Carpathia, here are the ones I can recall, in no particular order. There may be some spoilers in here, so be warned.
- Several of the character names have hidden meaning:
- “Stump,” “Ainsworth,” and “Hart” are the names of U.S. Navy ships that were assigned to Destroyer Squadron 10, my first command after boot camp.
- “Olivia” was a shout-out to author O.M. Grey, whose book Avalon Revisited and support influenced my decision to write a novel.
- “Comte de Moille” was partially named for my wife’s hometown, LaMoille, Illinois. Small spoiler: The name LaMoille figures prominently in the next book.
- “Ahiga” means “he who fights” and “Bidziil” means “he is strong” in Navajo.
- “Nzoka” means “snake” in the language of the Akamba people of East Africa.
- Vlad the Impaler, the real-life Dracula, had a younger brother named “Radu,” which is what I named my evil vampire prince.
- Bram Stoker, the author of “Dracula,” appears in Jameson’s journal by his given name, Abraham. This is, again, a shout-out to O.M. Grey, who had a couple of famous literary detectives appear (namelessly) in a cameo in Avalon Revisited.
- When I started Carpathia the only thing I knew for sure was it would involve a car race and vampires. The setting of Chapter 1 in a Apothecary/hardware store came next, and then the poster, and from there it all … just … floated … up.
- The Prologue was written about ten chapters in, which is also about the time I knew how it would end. I mean, exactly how it would end. The fun part after that was connecting those dots.
- Originally, Olivia was in love with Jameson, who was aware of her feelings but did not reciprocate. Stump was always going to be smitten with her, setting up a small triangle. But by the point where the race began I saw this wasn’t going to work, and I went back and did some spot-rewriting.
- The physical model for Stump is actor Donal Logue, who I thought was brilliant in the cancelled-much-too-early TV show “Terriers,” among other things. I wanted Stump to be a bit careworn, but to also look like someone who can handle themselves. Interestingly enough, none of the other characters is based on an actor or person I know; their descriptions just seemed to fit the people in my head :D.
- The two scenes that were by far the most fun to write were:
- Chapters 18-19 when Stump meets Antonin the vampire on the road. The feisty American cavalry officer and Lord-knows-how-old undead creature banter while some backstory is revealed. I like Antonin so much he just may appear again in the next one.
- The dinner party and after-dinner drinks at the Prince’s castle, especially the creation of the zombie. I was having a ton of fun, and chewing scenery like no tomorrow.
- Several have asked about the scenes set on the airship, and yes, my Navy experience was hugely beneficial in writing them. I took what I know about combatant ships, and what I love about the Horatio Hornblower books, and put it up in the sky.
- As a kid my favorite monster was the werewolf and my least favorite the vampire. Yet, in Carpathia I’ve made the shapeshifters very much servants to the vampires. Not sure how that came about, but it seemed to work well to have the vamps have some kind of supernatural aides.
- The two entries from Jameson’s Journal neatly divide the book into three parts: pre-race, race, and conclusion at the castle. No Epilogue was originally planned, but I thought it would be good to bookend the story, and I very much like what I wrote there.
- Finally, the name Carpathia came pretty late in the going; as many may recall, for a long time it was the Not-So-Great-American-Novel (NSGAN). Of course I knew about the ship associated with the Titanic, but didn’t think it would be too big a deal. What I didn’t know was that there were already so many books associated with the name, from Titanic stories to several installments in the Left Behind series to a book of poetry! D’oh.