1. How did you come up with the title?
I was in London on my own about this time last year and decided to take the tour of the forgotten underground on a whim. My best friend, Kris Kobus, works for the Tube and suggested the tour. It was fascinating seeing the stations and tunnels that had fallen into disuse and the stories about them. I always have a notebook with me so if inspiration hits I'm prepared. It did. I took notes on everything the tour guide said and the idea grew and grew that it would make a great setting for a vampire novel – thus Blood Underground. The word “Thavs” is a descriptive term I came up with based on the English word “chavs.” It is explained in the introductory chapter.
2. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
First of all, I want my readers to have fun and enjoy the ride. Second, I want them to become emotionally invested in the characters. And last of all, in this particular story, the message I want the readers to get is how much our humanness means to us.
3. How much of the book is realistic?
Quite of bit of the book is realistic. As I said, I take a notebook with me everywhere I go and I take extensive notes, even while on vacation. Besides the underground folklore incorporated into my story, there are other locations and situations taken from real life – the pubs, the museums – all are based in reality. A painting in one of the galleries in London inspired one of the main characters in Blood Underground and is featured prominently in the story as an impetus for flashbacks. My characters, or quite a few of them, are based loosely on some of my friends – their moods, their affectations, etc.
4. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?
I’ve been told that I sometimes tend to give too much background information but I want my readers to be able to know my characters inside and out, and to know why they are the way they are. So to answer your question, no; I wouldn’t change anything about Blood Underground.
5. What was the hardest part of writing your book?
I’m a linear thinker; to me everything has a logical beginning, middle, and end. That was how I wrote all of my previous novels – started at the beginning and worked my way to the end. For Blood Underground I decided to try something different and it nearly did me in! After the initial chapter which is a prologue that tells the reader what “thavs” are and the origin of the term, the story goes back and forth from present day to the early 1800s, working its way forward through history with each successive flashback. It was very difficult for me to write in this manner but I think it works for this storyline very well.
6. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned that I can think outside of a straight line and actually do it pretty well, or so early reviews have lead me to believe.
7. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I began writing when I was in college back in the 1970s, never anything serious, though. It was just for me that I wrote - mainly short stories and such. I started writing seriously in 2007 as a way to beat the boredom of winter in Fargo, North Dakota, where I currently live and work.
8. Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Sadly, I really do not have a favorite author. I know it sounds shallow, but I have read tons of books over the years, all different genres, fiction, non-fiction, etc. but ever since I started writing I just haven’t read very much. And I can’t read the other vampire author’s works until I’m done writing in that genre – I don’t want to subconsciously use any of their ideas in my own writing. I know that there is duplication in the horror novels – it’s bound to happen, but I want to be able to say with certainty that it was accidental if one of my stories seems to be like someone else’s. If I had to pick, it would probably be F. Scott Fitzgerald. That whole era he wrote about has always been a point of fascination for me. His words seem to soar off of the page and he makes it easy for one to envision exactly what it is he’s trying to say.
9. Tell us your latest news.
I am going back to London in late October of this year to do some more research on the other two Blood Underground books. After basing so much of my writing in England, I have begun to feel as if it is my second home. I have met some of my “fans” and have forged some very good friendships over there from my writing. I will also be on the lookout for interesting locations to shoot for the cover of the next two books.
10. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I appreciate every one of my readers, truly I do. And whether you fall in love with my books and the characters or you feel cheated by an ending, please keep reading and commenting on my books. I've been told my writing is everything from "wonderful, inspiring, etc." to "vampire porn" (I get a big chuckle every time I think about that one) and I take it all in stride. All-in-all I enjoy the fans and hearing how much they love my writing and that they can't wait for the next book to come out.
About the Book
The early part of the 19th Century held a lot of promise for a young man born into the upper-crust of London society. Henry Stuart was such a man – educated, handsome, and headstrong - the only son of a prominent financier. The world was poised at Henry’s feet ready to give up its treasures - and pleasures - to one so seemingly deserving of such a gift. On the night of his graduation from university there began a series of events which would alter the course of his life forever, sending him down a dark and treacherous path. Along the journey are characters of all sorts with whom Henry must interact if he is going to find his way. Follow his journey from privileged gent to that of being one of the most feared vampires in all of London – if not the whole of England. Will the beast win out in the end? Or will Henry’s humanity triumph?
Price: $6.99 paperback, $2.99 Kindle
Publisher: NoDakJak Media
Release date: July 26, 2012
Buy Links: Amazon, Kindle
About the Author
Terence Jackson was born at Ft. Jackson, South Carolina. His father was in the U.S. Air Force and his mother was a nurse prior to having children. Terence's credits his love for the written word to his mother, and avid reader who taught him to read years before he began schooling. He works at North Dakota State University as an administrative secretary - the only male secretary on campus. Terence grew up watching all those great black & white horror movies - Dracula, The Werewolf, etc. - on Saturday mornings and always had a love for the macabre. He also watched a lot of British television, especially Dr. Who and the comedies so he’s been a huge anglophile for some time, as well. His first novel, Thirty Days and Counting, is filled with insights into his own life and his family history. It is a military love story set in the era of “don’t ask, don’t tell”. Though fictionalized, there are a lot of truths in this work. The second novel, Von Dred, is a lengthy vampire tale that covers over a century in the life of William Smythe, the main character. Von Dred was inspired by Terence's love of the vampire genre and a student of his at North Dakota State University who in fact designed the cover for the book. His next work is a sequel to Von Dred - The Book of Jacob. Both of these vampire tales give some refreshing insight into the vampire lore. Jacob brings the Von Dred story full circle with twists and turns and a few other surprises.
Terence is now working on a trilogy of books about vampires who inhabit the unused and abandoned tunnels that crisscross underneath the city of London. The first of the series - Thavs – was made available on 26 July of this year - Thom Blood and Tunnel of Blood are to follow. The series is called Blood Underground Books One, Two, and Three.
Other things are in the works, not just vampire stories. Terence is working on a novel about the lives of those in musical theatre entitled The Big Song. Also in the works are novels about the personification of Death called Passing On Death, a story about how we touch the lives of others even after we are gone entitled Persona, and lastly, a book of historical fiction about the first vampire aptly titled The First (sorry, but I love vampires!).
Links to connect with Terence:
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