Wreythville’s cemetery had rested quietly submerged under South Holston Lake for decades, but now a drought and receding waters have exposed an island of graves. Those coffins should have been moved when the dam was constructed, but no one, certainly not the TVA, wanted to go near such cursed ground, nor what lurked within the hidden pine boxes. Some things were best left alone. And yet, more than a half century later, a reunion of childhood friends disturbs the newly emergent graves and a lake bed-dwelling mansion of haunts. Where the blood brothers seek adventure, they find death, dark transformation, and a new breed of the undying.
A malevolent spirit and its kindred, an ancient breed of blood drinkers, return with frightful new powers that defy even the sunshine. These vampires can stalk by day to exact vengeance on those who entrapped them. Vanishings and murders plague God’s Country as former nightwalkers work to reclaim Holston Valley and stalk the shadows of Bristol. Von Damme’s zealots and vampires will let nothing stop them, not the eroding waters, not the forest afire, and not even the glare of broad daylight. Troy, Silke, and his blood brothers must join forces with the darkness if they have any hope of stopping the Dawn of the Vampires
Set in Bristol, Tennessee/Virginia
e-book: September 3, 2018.
Print edition: October, 2018
Why revise to the point of a second edition?
I first set out to correct errors and add the real names of places. Then, I wanted to improve the interconnectivity of the story: John’s death, Aunt Jada, and the history of South Holston Dam. Knowing most of my readers lived in or were connected to Bristol, I felt I should highlight more of God’s Country. I wanted to add more humor and diving, as well as strengthen the female characters. I modernized DOTV, too. At that time, I was also working on the screenplay, which led to the decision to revise or eliminate some of the characters. The most common complaint about the story was introducing too many protagonists to start. I wanted fireworks, not head scratching questions of who is that? To improve the writing flow, I told the tale from one POV, Troy’s. That removed some of the choppiness. Having lived out west now for nearly 30 years, I learned wildfires come with droughts and changed the atmosphere.
Why did it take so long to re-release Dawn of the Vampire?
I sold the rights to the manuscript back in March of 1990. That included rights until Dawn of the Vampire had been out of print, not just out of stock, for sixteen years. It often bothered me that my most read piece of fiction wasn’t as well composed as I would like, although I did the best I could at the time under the time constraints. I wanted to finish before my editor left to attend graduate school. When I regained the rights in 2015, I decided I wanted to do more than reprint it. Once I missed the 25th anniversary, I was in less of a hurry and polished the story more. Kat helped eliminate old threads of the original story that no longer worked. Still, I didn’t want to wait until 2021 for the 30th year anniversary, so here is the second edition, fictional history rewritten.