Breakfast with a Vampire

Why can't I have normal imaginary friends?

My new friend Jade Mourning, who often interrupts me when I’m doing important things, recently asked me how I plan to classify my first novel about him.

Image of vampire in cafe, including nonsensical posters in the background, created by Midjourney
Image, including nonsensical posters in the background, created by Midjourney

“Even though I’m a vampire,” he said after appearing out of nowhere while I was stuffing my face at The Waffle House, “it can’t just be a vampire book, right? I mean, it’s kind of a buddy cop novel, too. A police procedural. A mystery. But it’s also a romance.”

“Well,” I tried to say through a sticky pile of food the size of a fist, “You cuss too much for the Twilight crowd. So, not YA romance, for sure.”

“It’s not me so much as Detective Owens,” he replied. “I mean, what a potty mouth. He swears more than a Provencio stuck in a redneck’s trailer home. So maybe it’s a thriller. A suspense novel? Since something terrible seems to lurk at every corner.”

“Well,” I said, “it’s also kind of a dark comedy.”

“Why?” he asked, looking a little hurt.

“Never mind.” You’ll understand when you read the book, I thought. Even though he’s the one that told me his story, I did write the damn thing.

“The synopsis has to focus on what a hero I am, too. I mean, I did save humanity, didn’t I?” he asked.

“Well, I wouldn’t go that far,” I said. Maple syrup was dripping down my chin, which reminded me of Jade’s friend Charly, who is quite the sloppy vampire. Although, it’s never maple syrup we see dripping down Charly’s chin. Unless there’s such a thing as red maple syrup. “I mean, you stumbled into some luck there, Jade. Without those two Singapore kids, we’d all be toast.”

“Fair enough. So, focus on the romance angle, after all? And make sure the book cover shows off my abs.”

“No,” I said. “It’s not that kind of book. There’s only one steamy scene in the whole novel. By the way. You look like shit. Are you drinking boozer blood again?”

Jade ignored me and said, “Oh. Well, what then? Should it be about how vampires have become nearly extinct?”

“I don’t think so,” I said. “Besides, and don’t take this the wrong way, most people already think vampires are extinct, and they’d like to keep it that way. There’s never going to be a Vampire Lives Matter movement.”

This time he really looked butt-hurt.

I continued: “Honestly? I’m kinda thinking slightly neurotic vampire with a small streaming empire buddies up with an Atlanta cop who hates vampires to take on a mutual enemy kinda thing.”

“Neurotic??? Anyway, that’s a mouthful,” he replied. “How about they team up to solve some local murders? And not neurotic. Suave. Sophisticated. Almost insanely alluring.” He unbuttoned the top two buttons of his silk shirt.

“Seriously? At a Waffle House?” I begged him to stop.

He shrugged. “People will find out about the apocalyptic stuff later, right? And what about Daphne?” he implored. “We can’t forget about Daphne.”

“I didn’t forget about Daphne.”

“Or Resila.”

“I didn’t forget about her, either. Don’t worry so much.”

“Or Moreland. Even though she’s a pain in the ass.”

“Please stop,” I pleaded. “Let me eat in peace. This is my first good breakfast in about three years. Writer wages being what they are.”

“What if everyone hates the book?” asked Jade.

Thank goodness Jade is more self-assured in the novel, or he’d have gotten smoked by his enemies about fifty times.

“Well,” I answered. “You are kind of an acquired taste. And if everybody hates the book, this is my last good breakfast for a while, so please go away.”

Jade is considerably more confident in the novel than he comes off in this story. He’s the nephew of Alexander the Great, after all. How low can his self-esteem even be? He’s just going through some stuff with Daphne, who’s a human he fell in love with when everything around him was ridiculously chaotic.

That situation is complicated by the fact that he’s just found out that his wife, who is the daughter of the man who founded Singapore, might still be alive after he had assumed for centuries that his friend Moreland killed her. If it’s a love triangle, it’s got wooden spikes at its points. I’d be a little neurotic, too.

The whole mess starts when the local police suspect Jade and his friend Charly of murdering a local, umm, murderer. Jade finds himself forced into a very uneasy alliance with one of the detectives investigating him — a vampire hunter who shares a past with Jade in a surprising way. As the body count rises, so does the necessity of their alliance.

Then there’s the small problem of entire towns getting wiped out by an emerging threat — a new hybrid of beings thanks to some DNA editing that — well, I don’t want to give away too much. Let’s just say that the hybrid beings are a menace to everyone: vampires, humans, and police.

As tense as it all is for my new friend, I enjoyed meeting all the people in his story. They added some much-needed levity to the proceedings. They often took control of things, like characters in my writing tend to do. I frequently had little say in their decision-making. I don’t have much control over Jade Mourning, either. He truly has a mind of his own.

Anyway, both Jade and I hope you’ll consider reading his book. Although, in truth, what Jade really needs is a good lawyer.


This article first appeared on Medium.

You can get the ebook for an introductory price of $2.99 (U.S., equivalent prices elsewhere). Paperback and hardcover editions are coming very soon. The novel is free on Kindle if you have Kindle Unlimited.

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