Every Tuesday, get to know a bit about the stories behind the books you love, and discover your next favourite novel.
Sabitha: Dixon Reuel joins us to talk about Myth of Five, the 5th book in her paranormal post-apocalyptic series, Blood Brute. Dixon, tell us a bit about the series!
Dixon: The six-book series follows the adventures of The Vampire Rise as a zombie apocalypse befalls humanity. Realizing that their supply of human blood is at stake, Rise takes the fateful decision to leave his coven’s secluded smallholding of Owl Court to bring back human survivors. However, not every survivor is happy to be vampire-succor, nor are the rest of his coven so open to new people, despite the apocalypse. Caught between humanity and his coven, Rise undergoes the worst transformation a vampire can imagine: being bitten by a zombie and becoming a doubly-undead blood brute. Thus begins Rise of One, Blood Brute Book 1.
Sabitha: There’s so much fun action there! What inspired you to write this book?
Dixon: The idea of Blood Brute–of vampires surviving a zombie apocalypse–came to me while playing one of my favorite games, 7 Days To Die. In that survival crafting world, you basically kill zombies and craft defenses against their hordes, however it also got me thinking … what would vampires do during a zombie apocalypse? How would their supply of human blood be affected? Are they on humanity’s side and want to help rid the world of zombies? Or, would the vampires enjoy the chaos and downfall of humanity?
That got me thinking of the earliest humans. There is a plotline in Blood Brute where Rise discovers the eldest vampire: literally a caveman-like creature dating back to the Neanderthals/Denisovians. As Rise is a zombie-bitten vampire, he has to determine who he wants to be in terms of this great, ancient lineage.
Sabitha: I love when one piece of art inspires another like that. Speaking of inspiring art, we have a lot of writers in our community. Can you share your writing process?
Dixon: With five books and two prequels under my belt by now, my writing process has thankfully become nice and streamlined. I’m a big ol’ nerd who loves spreadsheets and stationery, so I’ve created a series of printables that take me from that initial writing idea, to developed characters and arcs, on to a detailed chapter-by-chapter outline where I can begin the first draft. I deeply adore this progressive ‘handholding’ using my own printables, so I don’t forget to deepen a particular plotline or to make sure the beginning-middle-end structure is evenly balanced. As I write full-time, I devote three focused hours to drafting five days a week. I find that is a nice balance between burning out and feeling frustrated at doing too little. As I’m an indie author, all the other hours of the day are spent marketing and social media-ing!
Sabitha: Your world is full of entertaining characters. Which character do you relate to the most and why?
Dixon: The character I relate most to in Blood Brute is that of Salter. She is tall, like myself, and adores books, writing, and stationery. She is also indoorsy and shuns the outside, also a bit like myself! Salter likes to let things simmer and fester, whereas I’m much more direct!
Sabitha: Thanks for sharing your story and your process. We’re looking forward to reading! Where can the Night Beats community find you and your book?
Dixon: They can find Rise of One, Blood Brute Book 1 on Amazon KDP in ebook, paperback, and hardback here. I have a website. And if you sign-up to my author newsletter, you’ll receive a free Blood Brute prequel!