For Stefan Székely it is a fate worse than death: To be dead yet stuck with his dead parents. After 13 years Stefan can endure it no longer. He wants a castle of his own.
First he must visit his family’s bank in Budapest. But with endless strife across Europe, Stefan hardly recognizes Budapest, capital of the new Hungarian Federation. Nevertheless, he embarks on his reign as a vampire playboy – until he gets a stern warning from the local vampire gang.
Will Stefan fight for his right to party like it’s 2027? Or will an encounter with a stranger change everything? As clashes between vampire gangs and State Security escalate, Stefan discovers he might be the key to changing the fate of Europe forever. If he can survive three bloody nights in Budapest.
For Stefan Székely it is a fate worse than death: To be a vampire yet stuck with his vampire parents. After 13 years Stefan can endure it no more. He wants a castle of his own. But first he must visit his family’s bank in Budapest.
With endless strife rumbling across Europe, Stefan hardly recognizes Budapest, now capital of the Hungarian Federation. The world has changed. Nevertheless, he embarks on the reign of terror he always denied himself, living the vampire playboy lifestyle. Until he gets a stern warning from the local vampire gang. He is not welcome – unless he plays by their rules.
Should Stefan fight for his right to party like it’s 2027? Or will an unexpected encounter with a stranger change everything? As clashes between vampire gangs and State Security escalate, Stefan realizes he just might be the key to changing the fate of Europe forever! . . . If he can survive three bloody nights in Budapest.
In 2014 my medically accurate vampire novel A DRY PATCH OF SKIN came out to a couple rave reviews. My main purpose then was to counter the hysteria of the Twilight experience with some medical research crossed with an understanding of established legends. I wanted to tell a realistic vampire tale. I even set the story in my own city and the action in the story followed the actual days and months I was writing the story. The story and my writing of the story ended the same week. Of course, I revised and edited after that.
Then I thought . . . what might possibly happen next? So I chose a gap of, say, 13 years (the number seems significant in horror stories). Now, where did I leave my protagonist? How is he doing? What could have happened since the end of the first book? What has changed in the world during these 13 years? How would what’s different in the world affect his own corner of the world? How would he cope with these changes?
As I started on another vampire story I quickly realized that I had to also write essentially a science-fiction story. A futuristic story. If I were setting the story 13 years after the end of the previous novel, then this sequel would be set in 2027. And it would be somewhere in Europe, which is where our hero was at the end of the first book.
What do I know of 2027? Not much. Like many science fictioneers writing about the future, I took the present circumstances, the way things are now (good and bad), and extrapolated how they might progress. Remember that novel by George Orwell, 1984? It was published in 1948 just as fears of a Communist takeover gripped Europe. It was supposed to be a warning. Orwell imagined how the concerns of his present might play out in the future.
With the current strife in Europe, mass immigration, refugees coming to Europe from the Middle East and Africa, the increase in crime, warfare between left and right political groups, I could see all these happenings extending, continuing and growing through the following decade. The moral question that arises is whether an author should follow his/her own beliefs; that is, how the world should be, a Utopian view – or choose a path of development which would be the best setting for the story, however the society might become – or try to take an honest look at current events and let things fall where they might, for good or ill.
I chose both. If I have to make a choice, I will lean toward what makes a good story over what my own beliefs might be. For the sake of this story and for the way I think society will continue to progress/digress or develop or evolve over the next 10 years, I’m letting the European conflicts play out in the sequel: my now less-medically accurate vampire novel, titled SUNRISE.
In this sequel, the new Hungarian Federationis a strictly run Euro-centrist society. The State Security apparatus runs a tidy ship and getting in is very problematic. Staying in if you are a “diseased” resident such as a vampire is dangerous. However, our hero, Stefan Székely, is already within the boundaries of the Hungarian Federation at his family’s estate in the former Croatia; therefore, I, the author, must deal with the vagaries of that location. It was not an unpleasant effort. I love to travel vicariously.
Needless to say, our hero has difficulties – or there wouldn’t be a story. Yet as I charged through the final chapters and then undertook the revision stage, the look and feel, the horrors, and the dystopian ambiance seemed right. Will Stefan escape from the repressive Hungarian Federation? Or will powers greater than himself and the vampire gangs of Budapest have the final say?
In SUNRISE the world gets darker before the light shines again. Book 3, to be titled SUNSET, picks up the story even further into the future. By then, we are in full-fledged Dystopia territory. But, hey! I’m sure everything will work out just fine…if you transform into a vampire in time.
When the handwritten letter from Japan arrives, Benjamin cannot help but flash back five years. He was in Hawaii when he met Hanako, a Japanese stewardess. But Addy, Benjamin’s wife of three years, knows what the letter really means: a love child was born.
Now Benjamin must save a child he has never met, learn the truth behind Hanako’s death, and risk his marriage and his career to do the right thing. But venturing into the lonely woods of northern Ishikawa throws him into an ancient world of strict customs and tight-lipped villagers.
AIKO is a romance and a mystery, spun as a modern version of Madame Butterfly.
They’ve changed history, but not even an Interdimensional Voyager can stop a comet!
Set-d’Elous (a.k.a. Sebastian Talbot) lies paralyzed, tormented by the evil Empress—his wife. Meanwhile, the other Voyagers were blown far and wide by the terrorists’ bomb. Tammy and Chuck awaken on Earth, unable to explain where they’ve been. Chucker, lost in the jungle, discovers his assassination team shot the wrong man.
Chucker must track down his mentor Set-d’Elous and free him from captivity, then search for his parents. Back on Ghoupallesz, a violent new cult has arisen, warning of destruction, led by the disfigured Michael, former IRS Service Center playboy.
Legend tells of a cleansing comet. Fortunately, Jinetta-d’Elous (a.k.a. Gina Parton, Interdimensional Voyager) comes forward to drive industry ahead from airships to interstellar spacecraft. But will they make it in time? Or will petty differences and ancient grievances get in the way for survival of the few lucky ones?
THE DREAM LAND Trilogy concludes with an epic crash of parallel timelines and a comet that will test even the hardiest of Interdimensional Voyagers!
So you’ve conquered a new world…. Now to change their history!
Sebastian Talbot (a.k.a. Set-d’Elous, legendary warrior) has exiled himself to a desolate island, content to laze away the days writing his memoir. Until the emissary from Queen Tammy arrives with a mission he cannot refuse. Tammy, the IRS clerk he took to Ghoupallesz, wants him to go fetch her son who she left on Earth.
That mission raises questions for Sebastian: If he can go back and forth through these interdimensional doorways and arrive in a different time period, perhaps he can prevent the big war he fought through, the war that destroyed his family as well as millions of others. Then, while on patrol duty in his “next” life, he comes upon a young poetess he knows will become the rebel leader who helps overthrow the monarchy and initiates the wars. What would you do?
THE DREAM LAND Trilogy continues in Book II with parallel timelines, world domination and global destruction, and as always the crazy minutiæ of heroic minds daring to play God without a rule book.
Íris is a refugee from an abusive youth in Iceland, further abused on the streets of Toronto – until she sees Art as an escape. With a scholarship, she drifts from depression to nightmare to Wiccan rituals to the next exhibit. There’s a lot she must forget to succeed in a life she refuses to take responsibility for.
Eric is settling in at Fairmont College, starting a new life after betrayal and heartbreak. Divorced and hitting forty, he has a lot to prove – to his father, his colleagues, and mostly to himself. The last thing he needs is a distraction – and there’s nothing more distracting than Iris.
A Beautiful Chill is a contemporary novel set in the duplicitous world of academic rules and artistic license.
[These two characters appear again in Stephen Swartz’s contemporary novel A Girl Called Wolf.]
How far would you go to save the love of your life? Through a portal to another world?
Sebastian, that quiet tax examiner at the corner desk in the IRS service center, carries a dark secret: once upon a time he and his high school sweetheart Gina found a rip in the universe and stepped through it to a strange world of magical beauty.
Far from being a Disney-esque playground, the world of Ghoupallesz bursts with cosmopolitan elegance, alien perversions, and political strife. Gina, the adventurous one, falls in love with the adventurous possibilities. Not Sebastian; always practical, he insists they return to Earth. Gina refuses so he goes back alone, vowing never to return. Yet he finds himself drawn back repeatedly–he calls it “research”–and often crosses paths with Gina. Sometimes he saves her, sometimes she saves him, forever soul mates.
Now years later, life on Earth hasn’t gone well for Sebastian. Then the headaches revisit him, with flashes of memories from Ghoupallesz. Gina is in trouble again, he senses, and he must, as always, save her. Meanwhile, a pair of too-curious IRS co-workers have accidently overdosed on the Elixir of Love he brought back on his last trip and the antidote exists only on Ghoupallesz. With these co-workers in tow, Sebastian returns through the interdimensional portal, fearing it may be his final adventure. He must gather his old comrades from the war, cross the towering Zet mountains, and free Gina from the Zetin warlord’s castle before her execution. Perhaps then she will stay with him.
But are his adventures to the other side real? Or are they just the dreams of a psychotic killer? That’s what the police want to know when Sebastian returns without his co-workers.
THE DREAM LAND is a genre-mashing epic of interdimensional intrigue and police procedural, a psychological thriller marbled with twisted humor, steampunk pathos, and time/space conundrums.
Four years of college has not taught Alex as much as he will learn in a month on the Turkish coast!
Fresh from college, Alex Parris, naïve History major and innocent computer geek, claims his reward from his proud parents: a tour of the Classical world. Most of all, Alex longs to visit the site of ancient Troy (Ilium) and walk the same pathways as the Greek and Trojan warriors did nearly 3000 years ago.
While sailing from Greece to Istanbul on a cruise ship, Alex meets an older woman, Eléna, who he indulgently fantasizes as the mythic Helen to his Paris. She, with her own mysterious background, toys with him and draws him into an affair. Eléna leads Alex through their sacrilegious journey through Istanbul and he is happy to try on the confident, adult role he has long desired. Alex sees Eléna as the perfect woman for him and he can see a future together.
The culmination of Alex’s tour is the visit to the site of ancient Troy, a place that is finally more important to him than sex. There, bored with Alex’s history lesson, Eléna sparks a confrontation with some Turkish men. Seeing his lover accosted, Alex must save her, even as he knows he is no match for them. Fortunately for Alex, there are three off-duty Navy men who join him in the fight. When they escape from the local jail, a new Odyssey begins for Alex, making their way across the Turkish countryside. Alex must return for Eléna. But what is he willing to do, how much will he have to endure to be reunited with his lover?
After Ilium is available on Amazon for Kindle, here.