Born and raised in Everett, Massachusetts (just outside of Boston), Scott M. Baker has spent the last twenty-two years living in northern Virginia. He has authored several short stories, including “Dead Water”, “Rednecks Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things”, “Cruise of the Living Dead”, “Deck the Malls with Bowels of Holly” (an alcoholic mall Santa battles zombie reindeer), and “Denizens.” His two latest short stories – “The Last Flight of The Bismarck,” about steampunk zombies, and “The Hunger,” a tale of cannibalism during a zombie outbreak – will both be released later this year in anthologies being published by Knighwatch Press.
Scott’s first zombie novel, Rotter World, which details the struggle between humans and vampires during a zombie apocalypse, was released by Permuted Press in April 2012. He has also authored The Vampire Hunters trilogy, which has been published by Pill Hill Press and received excellent reviews from Famous Monsters of Filmland and Fangoria, among others. Scott has finished his fifth novel, Yeitso, a homage to the monster movies of the 1950s set in northern New Mexico, which is currently with a publisher, and is wrapping up his sixth novel, Hell Gates, the first in a series of young adult novels set in a world in which the realms of Hell and earth have merged.
When he is not busy writing, Scott can either be found relaxing on his back deck with a cup of iced coffee, or doting on the four house rabbits that live with him.
Please visit the author’s website at scottmbakerauthor.blogspot.com.
Within the vaults of the Smithsonian Institute lies the key to finding the Vampyrnomicon, the Book of the Undead, that contains the history and secrets of the vampires. According to legend, whoever possesses the book can establish a vampire nation on earth – or destroy the undead once and for all. With an opportunity to end the war against the undead so close, Drake Matthews is determined to find the book.
But the vampires also want the Vampyrnomicon. When Master Chiang Shih and her coven of the most powerful and dangerous vampires arrive in Washington to claim the book as their own, the hunters find themselves facing their most dangerous enemy yet. With the stakes so high, so is the ferocity of the struggle.
Toni sighed, resigned that she had to tell the truth, but knowing her opinion would be unpopular. “We tried this once before. In the Ukraine. And failed miserably. The Russians annihilated all of our covens. Over two hundred vampires and five masters were killed. Ion and I barely escaped. Why would you want to try again? And why here in Washington, where we face one of our most dangerous enemies?”
“Because this time we have something that guarantees victory. We have the Vampyrnomicon.”
“The Vampyrnomicon is a legend,” spat Melinda.
“It’s far from a legend,” corrected Walker, an angry edge to his tone.
“You’ve seen it?”
“We once owned it.” Chiang Shih stared down the adolescent, who cowered. “Various masters were caretakers of the book for centuries. The last owner was Emilio Carius, a master from Saragossa who was arrested as part of the Inquisition in the late 15thCentury. Neither Carius or the Vampyrnomicon were ever seen again.”
“So what changed?” asked Treja.
“The inquisitor who interrogated Emilio Carius was Antonio Ferrar.”
Toni raised an eyebrow. “The same Antonio Ferrar whose personal belongings are on display at the Smithsonian?”
“The same.” Chiang Shih nodded. “And with Ferrar’s personal belongings here in Washington, that means theVampyrnomicon is here also.”
“If it still exists,” Melinda muttered under her breath.
Chiang Shih shot her a withering look. She struggled to keep her voice calm, despite her anger. “The Vampyrnomicon is among Ferrar’s personal affects. I can sense it. We’ll find it. And once we do, we’ll obtain a power that has been deprived to us for millennia, a power that will give us dominion over humans. Once we have that power, we’ll take this city from the humans. No longer will we live in sewers and abandoned buildings, but in the humans’ homes. Soon the humans won’t be hunting us, but serving us, as our slaves and as our food.”
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Vampyrnomicon follows the same vein as Vampire Hunters- Book one in the series. It full to the TIPPY TOP of ACTION. NOW, NOW, NOW. Blood is the color that is splashed on the pages until the book bleeds for its readers. This would be an excellent read for anyone that love Walking Dead or action-packed books. I know some tend to stay away from paranormal, thinking it's all hot lusty werewolves doing sweaty things with half naked women, but this book definitely does not suffer from that fate. The characters are more like to slay the werewolves than swoon over them.
That being said. For me, it had the same problem as the first book. I want more plot development and character arcs. I feel like it would've take a little more effort but the book would've been a hundred times better if you could really feel a connection with the characters. The storyline was a little better than the first one, but still lacking what a book the focuses on plot has- a direction or intention from the author.
I recommend this book for action lovers, those that love gore and cursing and badass MF'ers that no shit from anyone. If you like gentler reads, look somewhere else.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Since I was old enough to write. When I wasn’t reading, which was rare, I was writing. I began when I was about ten years old, jotting down stories in notebooks or creating my own monster magazines. I loved doing book reports in elementary school because it allowed me to explore my two passions. My favorite class in high school was creative writing. And I was one of the few in college that actually enjoyed term papers. I didn’t start writing professionally until I was out of grad school. I would say that I’ve spent forty years reaching this point in my writing career, but that sounds depressing. [chuckles]
How long does it take you to write a book?
It takes me up to a year from first developing the idea to getting the manuscript ready for submittal, and that’s because I do this as my second job. I spend a month planning out the novel and developing the characters so that, when I actually sit down to write, everything flows quickly. It takes about five to seven months to complete the first draft, depending on the size of the book. I give my beta readers a month to comment. Then it takes another eight weeks to incorporate the feedback into the final draft and review it one last time. Once I retire and devote all my time to writing, I hope to cut that time in half.
What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I usually write for about ninety minutes a day when I get home from work, and try to fit in two- or three-hour marathon sessions on the weekend. If I’m on a roll, I can easily crank out 2500 words a session.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I include a lot of action in my novels, more so than in your average horror/urban fantasy. When I write, I imagine how the story will play out if the novel was ever made into a movie. I like to have blockbuster endings that go on for thirty or more pages and keep the readers engrossed. My favorite compliment is when fans tell me they stayed up late finishing my book because they couldn’t put it down.
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
Mostly from a warped and over active imagination. Seriously, though, I conducted a lot of research while preparing to write The Vampire Hunters trilogy, mostly on vampire history and the origins of the various legends. I then picked which aspects I wanted to include in my mythos (for example, my vampires are immune to religious symbols and garlic but are horribly scarred by holy water). I’m also a historian by training, which is one of the reasons I included so many flash back sequences in my books. Those scenes were fun to write, and it finally gave me an opportunity to put six years of college and grad school to good use.
You would also be surprised at how many people are willing to be interviewed by writers. For The Vampire Hunters trilogy, I was able to arrange tours of the Washington D.C. sewer system and a local funeral parlor, which greatly helped the realism of those scenes. For Yeitso, I spent an entire morning with an entomologist for the National Archives who answered all my questions about insects. I have as much fun researching my novels as I do writing them.
When did you write your first book and how old were you?
I wrote my first novel while in graduate school, when I was twenty-nine. It was an espionage thriller, and it was amateurish and pathetic. But I learned a lot from that experience, and my next novels were much more professional.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I spend what little free time I have reading, watching monster movies, and playing with the four house rabbits that live with me. I also enjoy video gaming, but have not had a chance to play anything in over six months. I’m still stuck at a boss fight on Dead Island.
What does your family think of your writing?
My family and friends are very supportive. And my colleagues at work think it’s cool that they have a horror novelist in their ranks.
My mother is the funny one, though. She used to be a nurse’s aide and is a gorehound in her own right. When I get feedback from her it’s usually, “There’s not that much blood in the human body” or “That’s not what intestines really look like.”
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
How great ideas seemingly come out of nowhere. Once I started writing The Vampire Hunters, the plot for the next two books in the trilogy just came naturally. The entire concept for Hell Gate developed while watching an episode of SyFy Channel’s Face Off. A lot of my short stories came from passing news reports or stories someone related. My friends are becoming careful to watch what they say around me otherwise out of concern I’ll turn whatever they say into a novel.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I have four books currently in print: The Vampire Hunters trilogy and Rotter World, which is about a small band of vampires and humans putting aside their distrust for each and trying to survive a zombie outbreak. My fifth novel is currently with a publisher for consideration. It’s called Yeitso and is my homage to the giant monster movies of the 1950s that I grew up with as a kid. I’m putting the final edits on Hell Gate, which is a young adult novel dealing with a sixteen-year-old boy coming to age during an apocalypse caused by his mother. And I’m about to start work on my seventh novel, a sequel to Rotter World. I’m proud of all of them, but I’m partial to The Vampire Hunters: Dominion because I think it has the best character development of all my novels, and I love the spin I put on the vampire legend.
I also have an impressive selection of short stories: six published in anthologies or on line and two that are scheduled for publication this fall. Of those, my favorite is a zombie Christmas tale titled “Deck the Malls with Bowels of Holly.” An alcoholic mall Santa battles zombie reindeer. You can’t get much campier than that.
Do you have any suggestions to help aspiring writers to become a better writer? If so, what are they?
Write every day, even if you don’t feel like it or are not inspired. Like any skill, the more you practice, the better you’ll become at it. And don’t give up, no matter how discouraged you get. No one who has stopped writing has ever been published.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
So far I’ve gotten only positive feedback. A few reviewers have become devoted fans. And several readers who picked up one of my books have written me to tell me how much they enjoyed it. Several have even provided feedback, which I always listen to. I’m writing for them.
I have one fan in particular who is very special. She reached out to me in March 2010 after The Vampire Hunters was published and complimented me on my book. In the course of our chats, I discovered that she also wrote vampire novels, and volunteered to read her manuscript. Her first book is being published later this year, and we’re about to celebrate the anniversary of our first date.
Do you like to create books for adults?
I do. I can get away with things in an adult-oriented novel that I can’t in other genres. However, I am experimenting with new formats. Yeitso is the first book I published in which I don’t use the “f” word and I keep the gore and sex to a minimum. And Hell Gate is my first attempt at a young adult audience. Someday I want to try my hand at a children’s book based on one of my pets. It’ll be called Ruby, the Rude Rabbit.
What do you think makes a good story?
The most important element to a good story is well-developed characters. The story itself is important, but if the reader isn’t emotionally invested in your characters and doesn’t care what happens to them, the novel will fall flat.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I wanted to be a horror movie star like Boris Karloff or Bela Lugosi. All my friends told me I’d be a natural. I used to think they were being supportive, but now I realize they were just being mean.
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