SUNRISE …the end of the workday for vampires…
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 Federation is 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.