I am pleased to participate in the Book Blitz hosted by Xpresso Book Tours for Krystle Jones' The Red Sector Chronicles.
Krystle Jones was born and raised in the small, southern town of Tullahoma, Tennessee. Reading and writing have been lifelong passions of hers. In addition to being a novelist, she is also an award-winning flutist, and moonlights as a voice actress. Her voice can be heard in the popular online game, Alice is Dead 3.
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Welcome to Darlene's Book Nook, Krystle!
Krystle has written a guest post, so I will now turn the floor over to her.
Walking in a Vampire Hunter's Shoes
by Krystle Jones
I didn’t know my MC, Sloane, was going to be a vampire hunter when I came up with the idea for The Red Sector Chronicles. I just saw a dark-haired girl, standing in a cityscape painted in shades of red. (Random aside: I think red moons look so cool. Naturally, I had to find an excuse to have one in my novel. =)
A lot of my character ideas start like this, as pictures in my head, and then I flesh them out on paper during my brainstorming process. At first, I was just going to have Sloane be a vampire, because I thought, “Writing as a vampire would be fun!” Then I got to playing the “what if…?” game and thought, “What if Sloane was a vampire hunter who became a vampire, and vampires are what she hates more than anything on this earth?”
That made for a much more compelling character and plotline, so I rolled with it.
Thus, Sloane the Vampire Hunter was born.
I wanted her to be tough. I wanted her to be sassy. Most of all, I wanted her to kick a lot of ass. But kicking said ass was a lot harder to write about than I thought it would be!
In my original draft of the first book in my trilogy, The Scarlet Dagger, I knew she would have to “prove herself” to the audience if she was going to be perceived as a femme fatale. So I had her run-up on a vampire straight-away – and she got her butt kicked. My hubby, when
I shoved the manuscript in his facehe lovingly agreed to see my baby book, I said, “So, she’s pretty cool, huh?”
Now, my husband isn’t known for beating around the bush. He just says what he means.
“What?” I asked. “Why not?”
“She gets beat-up right away,” he said, pointing to the manuscript. “She needs to kill this thing. Then I’d be impressed.”
“Oh, and make her more like Blade, ‘cuz that’d be cool.”
(No kidding on that last part.)
I did make her more like Blade, in the sense of her being a lot tougher to tango with. And that was part of the challenge. She couldn’t be so awesomely badass that no one could beat her, because that gets old. Plus, it’s unbelievable. She needed to have some kryptonite. And she gets that, in the form of a hot vampire, some acidic metal called Scarlet Steel, and a whole slew of other problems.
One of my favorite parts of writing from Sloane’s perspective were all the fighting scenes. I didn’t want to drag them out, but I wanted readers to feel like they were there with her, so I put as many details as I could in them instead of saying, “She punched him. He punched her. Sloane goes flying through a cement wall.” I took karate lessons for many years when I was a kid, and it was fun reliving those years through Sloane, because all of a sudden, I had someplace to use my knowledge. (Never had to get in a fight yet, thankfully!)
When she becomes a vampire, I also had to think about how that affected her psychologically, since she despised vampires. I mean, they did ruin the world. Sloane was very complex and fun to write about while she was in the “figuring-things-out” stage of being a vampire. She sort of wants to like vampires, but she knows she’s supposed to hate them – and she really does – so she’s kind of stuck.
I’d like to keep writing about tough chicks. Not that I have anything against softer heroines (the Bella’s of the literary world), but writing about a girl who can protect herself is a lot of fun.
Thanks so much for joining us today, Krystle!
About the Book:
SERIES: The Red Sector Chronicles, Books #1-3
AUTHOR: Krystle Jones
AUTHOR: Krystle Jones
PUBLICATION DATE: October 31, 2013
FORMAT: E-book, 578 pages
GENRE: Dystopia, Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
The strength of Sloane’s heart is about to be put to the ultimate test.
After the Eclipse – the night vampires began openly slaughtering human victims – everything changed. Out of fear, the government salvaged what remained of the human population and enclosed them in massive, security-laden cities called White Sectors, while marking the vampire infested territory as Red Sectors.
When seventeen-year-old Sloane McAllister’s twin brother disappears, she seems to be the only one who thinks he isn’t dead, and she vows to stop at nothing to find him. Gathering her courage, she braves the Red Sector to search for clues to his whereabouts. By chance, she encounters Aden, a handsome, charismatic vampire with a hidden agenda. He turns Sloane against her will and whisks her away to his underground city. Enemies quickly become friends as Sloane struggles against her attraction to Aden, and resists her growing loyalties to the creatures that ruined her life.
But the vampires themselves are the least of her problems. A war is brewing between the humans and vampires, along with a growing web of deceit and betrayal. And before it’s all over, loyalties will be tested, hearts will be broken, and no one’s lives will ever be the same.
Amazon / Smashwords
The floorboards behind me creaked ever so slightly, and I drew my pistol, scanning the patches of darkness within the living room. A set of small windows casted squares of red moonlight on the dusty planks. There, so light it was nearly unnoticeable, was a footprint in the dust, much too large to be my own.
Fear, icy and tangible, tapped its claws along my spine and up the base of my neck. I froze for a long second before rushing to the front door, my head screaming, Get out! Get out now!
I was literally inside the doorframe, one foot in the house, one foot out, when a hand reached out of the shadows and grabbed me by the throat, slamming me into the wall so hard I lost my breath.
Someone wrested the pistol from my grasp before I could collect enough of my senses to think to fire it. My fingers were so clammy I couldn’t get a hold on my attacker’s hand as I clawed at it, trying to free myself. A thumb pressed into my air tube, and I choked as a tall, lithe silhouette stepped in front of me. The figure’s gaze shifted, its eyes reflecting red like the lenses in a cat’s eyes as it glanced at my right wrist, where the tattoo was bathed in moonlight.
“What are you doing here, hunter?” came the low, musical voice of a man. Though his timbre was soft, there was a steely edge to it.
I coughed and sputtered, glimpsing the bottom corner of a black leather trench coat and ruling out that my mother’s guard had caught up to me. The Scarlet Guard got their name from their red uniforms… and their thirst for bloodshed. But if this man wasn’t with the Scarlet Guard, then who was he? What was he doing here – in my house, of all places – on the anniversary of the Eclipse?
The figure leaned in. Wispy platinum blond bangs came into view, though his face was still obscured by shadows. He studied me a moment longer before I heard a tiny gasp. “It can’t be…” he whispered in disbelief, and my brows furrowed.
Who is he? Do I know him? He’s not Orion...
My eyes dropped to his slightly agape mouth, and my blood ran cold. There, just visible beneath his upper lip, were the points of two fangs.
A vampire? But he can’t be. He looks so… human.
I thought of the creature I had faced only a few minutes ago, of its animal urge to kill me, and panic fluttered in my chest. In the few short years humans had known vampires existed, never had we seen one that looked exactly like a regular human being. The fact it could talk was stunning; I didn’t even know vampires could speak. Of the two I had faced, they both seemed hell-bent on ripping out my throat first.
Suddenly, the man – the vampire – in front of me seemed twice as dangerous as any monster I had encountered. And he had my pistol.
“What’s your name?” the man asked. His musical voice was cool and soft, and all the more frightening for it.
His thumb released just enough pressure that I could feel my voice box again, and I gulped for air. I had to get out of here and away from him however I could. A wild, irrational thought formed in my mind, and I tried to speak, my words strangled because I could barely breathe.
He leaned in. “What did you say?”
I looked up, a wicked smile on my face. “Trick-or-Treat,” I rasped.
Somehow, the man – or vampire, or whatever he was – had missed the dagger when he subdued me, most likely too focused on the pistol and thinking it to be my only weapon. I brought the dagger straight up, tip first with the serrated side facing out, with the aim of impaling him in the chin.
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