The Wattppad Spotlight – Bloodistan by David V.M.

Am I shamelessly plugging my own work? Damn right, I am. Because let’s not beat around the bush, the point of almost every blog (to some extent at least) is self promotion. So here I am, promoting myself. Ta da.

Bloodistan is a story about vampires. Kinda. It’s also about politics. Kinda. It’s also about news and the media in a post-Snowden world. Kinda. I’ll just tell you about the story before things get a little too confusing.

It is set in a fictional island nation to the east of Cyprus called Damya, where a mixed population of Arabs, Russians and Turks have coexisted since settlements began there in the Soviet era. These communities also have to deal with their not-so-human neighbours. The kind that sorta need blood to survive, need to kill human women in order to reproduce and who can’t come out in the sunlight.

The story explores the origins of vampires in this location and the involvement of the US in a murky government conspiracy involving the place through the eyes of three twentysomethings who are forced to deal with the monsters of their past in different ways. And by monsters, I mean figurative monsters. But I also mean literal monsters. The kind with fangs.

If you’re into vampire stories with a twist, stuff that you’d find in the weird side of the bookstore and/or conspiracy thrillers, you might enjoy Bloodistan. Full disclosure, I’m probably really biased about this since I wrote it. But I’d be honoured if you could check it out.

You can read Bloodistan here.

The Wattpad Spotlight – Let’s Go For A Pint by Marian Cavlovic

This is my comfort read.

Honestly, you don’t know how nice it is to have something like that. I finish a hard day’s studying/writing/kraken hunting/muscle developing/wench deflowering/exaggerating and fall into bed, my hands feeling for the cool surface of my phone. Then I find this book in my library and read a couple of chapters and I just feel cozy. It’s a little like watching Friends. Only, more paranormal.

This whole thing may be a reaction to urban fantasy tropes. It may be a reaction to the exceedingly cloying ism-ism that seems to have seems to have permeated popular culture in recent years. Or it may just be a funny vampire story. Who knows, it could perhaps even be all of those things put together.

The story follow Lena, a vampire (well, duh) as she deals with day-to-day problems like getting along with humans, going to parties, dealing with amputee-witches, fending off rabid admirers and much more. It is told in episodic fashion, kind of like a sitcom. There is some level of continuity between chapters but the structure doesn’t follow the arc structure I’ve come to expect from fiction. It is very serialized.

And that is precisely why I chose this story for the spotlight. It is one of the few I’ve come across on Wattpad that has made full use of the serialized nature of the medium. This story is perfect for Wattpad. You can return to it after a week-long hiatus and have no problem getting back into the story. More than that, it does what sitcoms do best. Give you characters to fall in love with. Because here, the characters (and they’re a weird bunch, let me tell you) are always the focus.

It’s funny and charming and tongue-in-cheek and delightful and you’ll fall in love with it very quickly.

You can read Let’s Go For A Pint here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Wattpad Spotlight – The Purpose Of Miss Shepley by Arden Brooks

I’m a Jane Eyre person. Everyone is either a Wuthering Heights person or a Jane Eyre person, even if you’ve read neither. Because both are suppressed and passionate and violently lashing out against the straitjackets (ahem I meant corsets) society was putting on their writers. But the former wears that passion on its sleeve. It’s boisterous and loud and bombastic. Rolling hills and what have you. Jane Eyre was always the more quiet of the two.

I haven’t really come across any Historical Fiction that managed to nail that passionate yet held back tone that permeates Jane Eyre. This one comes pretty close. Only apparently, it isn’t Historical Fiction.

The Purpose of Miss Shepley is ostensibly a Fantasy novel. The Fantastic elements are not obvious. It is only hinted in brief flashes of lore that something extraordinary is going on in the background. But we aren’t allowed to hear most of it because our protagonist and first person narrator is whisked away halfway through overhearing most important conversations so lemon paste can be applied to her (perhaps plain perhaps pretty) visage.

And I have a strong feeling that that sort of thing is very intentional. While also reinforcing its theme of repression and individual agency vis a vis social norms and a family legacy, it also creates a lot of mystery about the fantastic elements.

The story follows Edith Shepley, whose mother belonged to the very noble house (or perhaps Barony) of Ewert. The background of her father, on the other hand, is a lot more ambiguous. We don’t know who he is. But we do know for sure that Edith looks like a Wyrm. The story so far is an interesting peek at Noble life in the world it is set in. What I like about nineteenth century literature (and biographies of royalty. Yes. I’m that guy. Deal with it) is this juxtaposition between the ordinarily free and playful process of courtship and the far more imperious matters of lineages and ideal matches. This wasn’t really a problem in most other cultures where marriages were (and yet are) arranged by parents.

In Regency England, that was still probably the case, especially among Royalty but there’s always this almost farcical attempt at trying to maintain the structures of courtship and agency. Wooing and the like. This was probably what exasperated most fathers of daughters back then and irritated most men.

This sort of emotional and political complexity set against the backdrop of idyllic landscapes, domestic scenes and the comforts of royalty is what The Purpose of Miss Shepley is all about.

It requires a patient reader, to be sure. The opening is a little meandering and it takes its time establishing its characters. The characterisation, though, is very well done. The dialogue, descriptions and overall prose style are very effective.

You can read The Purpose of Miss Shepley here