(Eternal Vigilance #1)
by Gabrielle Faust
After a century of Sleep, Tynan Llywelyn has awoken to find the world he once knew utterly obliterated by a brutal war of epic proportions. In a new apocalyptic society, bitterly divided by magic and technology, the Tyst Empire has found that a hundred years of global domination is not enough to sate their thirst for power. They have discovered the secret of the vampire race and have designed a plan to seize their own sinister form of immortality with the help of an ancient vampiric god. The Phuree, a rebel uprising that has been engaged in a bloody war with the Tyst since the beginning of the new regime, have obtained the knowledge of Lord Cardone's plans and have allied themselves with the remaining Immortal clan. The powerful Phuree oracle, Nahalo, has had a vision that in Tynan alone lies the power to defeat the vampiric god and the dictatorship. Cast into the midst of a global war between magic and technology, mortals and vampires, in a new world he is still struggling to define, Tynan must make the harrowing decision to save the world he so bitterly detests or stand and watch as humanity is destroyed by a primordial evil beyond all imagining.
Acclaimed horror author Gabrielle Faust is best known for her vampire series ETERNAL VIGILANCE. Her previous work has also included three collections of poetry, BEFORE ICARUS, AFTER ACHILLES, CROSSROADS and THE BEGINNING OF NIGHTS, the novella REGRET, the celebrated dark fantasy adventure novel REVENGE, the HIGH STAKES vampire anthology and the novel THE LINEAGE. Her work has appeared in the sites SciFi Wire, Fatally Yours, Examiner, Doorways Magazine and Fear Zone, as well as various anthologies and magazines. She was the Guest of Honor at the Queen of the Damned Vampire Ball in 2008. In 2009 she was a Special Guest of the Endless Night Festival in New Orleans and was crowned "New Orleans Vampire Royalty" by the Vampire Lestat Fan Club at the Tru Blood & Gold vampire ball alongside Charlaine Harris. Faust is currently a Staff Writer for Gothic Beauty Magazine and owner of both the Nightshade Vmapire Boutique and Nightshade Publications. She was the primary graphic designer for the 2011 World Horror Convention and maintains the position as co-crewchief for the International Housing Program for the SXSW Music Festival. In 2011 Faust was awarded the Texas Social Media Award by the Austin American Statesman. More information about Gabrielle Faust and her work can be found on her website www.gabriellefaust.com.
Please welcome ETERNAL VIGILANCE author Gabrielle Faust to Diane's Book Blog.
What is your favorite part of the story, ETERNAL VIGILANCE?
There are so many aspects of the series that I love, but I suppose what I find most fascinating is the evolution of the main character Tynan from a psychologically and emotional broken man who trusts no one to a strong leader rediscovering his own purpose in the world. If find it inspiring and exciting—I never know when he’s going to surprise me. J
How long did it take you to write ETERNAL VIGILANCE?
Well, I first began working on the idea truly when the tragedy of 9-11 happened. After that, I worked on the first novel, From Deep Within the Earth, in my spare time (I was a Senior Graphic Designer at the time in an ad agency) for the next couple of years. The first draft was completed in 2006 and submitted for publication. The following novels took between 6 and 9 months each to write because I was actually on a deadline for those.
If you were stranded on a desert island which of your characters do you want by your side?
Hmmm… Most likely Tynan because he is a survivor and resourceful and wise.
If you could be best friends with one of your characters, who would it be?
I think I would most likely be best friends with either Khanna or Jasmine. They are both bold, intelligent, and strong women.
What inspired you to write your first book?
As aforementioned the series was actually inspired by 9-11. I began writing the first novel after weeks of watching the carnage and suffering on TV. I found my voice as an author when I started truly delving in to the darkness of humanity’s incessant need to destroy itself and its seemingly unending repetition of the past. However, I also wanted to develop a world in which there was still a spark of hope and common struggle for survival, however small it might be. Eternal Vigilance is not simply a vampire series, but a study of the rise and fall of civilizations.
What is your favorite book that you wrote?
Outside of the Eternal Vigilance series, I would have to say my favorite book that I’ve written is Revenge, which I co-authored with Solomon Schneider. Revenge is unlike anything I have ever read—it is an epic adventure brimming with more bizarre worlds and creatures than you can imagine. It was an outrageous undertaking born out of a truly crazy time in both of our lives. We are very proud of it.
Who or what inspired you to be a writer?
I come from a very long line of storytellers and have been crafting tales since I was a small child. My first true inspiration, however, came from my grandparents on my father’s side, both of which were poets and playwrights. They encouraged me from a very young age to pursue writing and did not hold back on giving me constructive criticism and guidance on work I would send them to read.
What books have most influenced your life?
There are many, but the ones that first come to mind are Beautiful Losers by Leonard Cohen, Neuromancer by William Gibson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson, Illium by Dan Simmons, and of course, Interview With the Vampire by Anne Rice.
What's your favorite book-turned movie?
It’s a tie between Fight Club and Interview With the Vampire…
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
It’s hard for me to say that I have just one “favorite” author, but if I had to pick just one, one that I would buy their book no matter what, it would have to be William Gibson. He has a way of speaking about the world and technology in a way that seems instinctual and fluid and poetic. Truly unlike any other author’s voice. He is the Father of Cyberpunk, after all.
What is your typical day like?
Well my typical day is anything but glamorous. HA! It generally consists of writing, editing, answering emails, looking for freelance work, a bit of exercise, followed by spending quality time with my love and our friends. It is a good life in between the events that I appear at. J
How do you overcome writer’s block?
Generally it is about finding a new source of inspiration for the piece I am working on. Generally my writer’s block comes from outside stressors as well. Thus, working on eliminating what I am stressed about in other aspects of my life generally helps get the creative juices flowing again.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
This is an excerpt from Chapter 1 of the first Eternal Vigilance novel, From Deep Within the Earth…
“My eyes fluttered open.
Darkness. Dense, formless shadows pressed down on me with the weight of a corpse. All sense of dimension was lost to me in the pitch dark. My stomach twisted in a nauseous delirium, my teeth chattering uncontrollably as if from a severe hypothermia. Blind in my instinct to fight, I flailed about, searching for a way out of the smothering nothingness. My fists collided with a hard, flat surface— thick marble— to my left and then to my right. In a fleeting moment of clarity, I paused, the silence a high-pitched wail within my skull. I pressed my palms against the flat surfaces to either side of me. A heartbeat passed through my fingertips and into the stone. Confused rage engulfed my soul as the second of hesitation snapped like a matchstick. I slammed my body against the walls containing me, fighting furiously against my prison. Whatever sanity might have remained vanished in a hellish, unearthly shriek as I punched upwards with all of my strength.
Something exploded above me. The air rang with the sudden impact, a thick cloud of dust and hard, tiny shards of stone raining down upon my face and arms. Coughing and sputtering blindly, I pulled myself from the coffin, falling to the floor with an unceremonious thud. For a long while, I lay curled on the icy stone floor shivering, my arms wrapped tightly around my bent legs. My lungs ached from the dust and grit that filled the air around me, settling like a thin veil of ancient holy gauze upon my skin and hair. My body convulsed uncontrollably with pain, my mind whimpering, racing without rhyme or reason, clawing for the fragments of dreams that now spiraled away from my grasp, shreds of white silk in a cyclone wind.
It was cold. It was silent.
Gradually, my heart began to ease, and with it, my mind. My muscles loosened, making me weak and queasy as the adrenaline rushed through my veins and into my stomach.
Slowly, I opened my eyes again. I lay at the base of a massive stone sarcophagus. The tiny tomb was windowless and drenched in shadow. Angles and planes were one and the same, shadows converging in the same ephemeral fashion, swept to a dusty corner to be forgotten. It was a strange archaic beauty of a time long past. I marveled at my surroundings; it was like I was seeing the features of the room by moonlight. Time had not dulled my preternatural vision and I found myself lost within the cold alien beauty. A shudder breezed through me. Icy recognition gripped my heart as I separated the remaining tendrils of dreams, wrapped like whispers of cobwebs, from reality.
Chunks of what had been the lid of the sarcophagus lay scattered around me in dusty, irreparable ruins. With trembling fingers, I reached up and grasped the sides, using their solid strength to pull myself unsteadily to my feet. A dull ache invaded my legs when I attempted to use them, the muscles hurriedly repairing and rejuvenating themselves even as I rose. It made me wonder just how much time had passed since I had crawled into that box. It was a strange and distant sensation, that of my own tissue knitting together in fibrous strands, becoming stronger and stronger with each second. I listened to the blood rushing through my ears, simply learning to breathe again.
With great care, I turned from the coffin, my gaze drifting along the unadorned stone walls to finally rest on the small chamber door. Gradually, my memories fell about me like sand sifting through the cracks in an Egyptian temple. The truth was sickeningly sharp, twisting my innards with swarming hornet images. The spell I had cast upon myself was supposed to have been permanent; I was not to have awoken to the world ever again.
Anger ripped through me. I staggered towards the door and, with trembling fingers, traced the outline of the crucifix chiseled on the stone. My fingers danced delicately across the intricate and ancient curves. How skeletal the digits appeared: animated bones bathed in false blue light. My eyes traveled over my wrist to my arm. So thin, the flesh, an albino white, almost transparent, marred by ropes of blue veins that wrapped around my arm like earthworms. In much the same way that a starving prisoner forgets the pleasures of food, an aching numbness had replaced the unquenchable Thirst that had bound me to my madness. I could barely even remember the smell of blood or the taste of the flesh that held it. My parched, swollen tongue played over my sharp fangs, testing the tips in search of my past.
The remnants of my former paranoia returned, stalking the edges of my mind; savage little beasts. How long had I slept and what remained of the world above? The human race was a hive of industrious, destructive insects. I had seen revolutions spawned of revolutions, bloody wars quickened from the ashes of their predecessors. The centuries, flying past me as quickly as mortal decades, had elevated and leveled empires, cultures, and technologies, all the while dictating a silent directive of slow planetary death. The fabric of the world I had left behind had been riddled with a stifling fear. Layers upon layers of devious demons crept up behind the sleeping denizens of civilization, whispering their black intentions in riddles even a child could discern. No one listened, though, to the ever-pervasive moan of global societal collapse. No one dared to breathe the truth. Scream and the glass might shatter; sigh and the house might blow down. They were too enamored of watching the dirty whirlpool spiraling down deeper and deeper to a place of no return.
I had tried to observe it all from the detached place that all Immortals watch life. At least, it should have been a detached place. I was too young to have had my heart grow numb and, possessed with the idealism and naivety of innocence, embraced my new path with every ounce of my soul. I tried to change the world. I tried and failed, and after a mere two hundred and seventy years of Immortality, had found myself driven to the brink of madness by my own powers and an embittered disillusionment.
I had always longed for the aloof arrogance that seemed to come so naturally to most vampires. Where the hearts of others of my kind turned to stone as the centuries passed, mine only became tender, my antipathy for all that was vicious and cruel about the world nearly crushing my spirit. As my powers progressed and my unique ability to absorb the memories of my prey evolved, the atrocities inflicted, whether with malice or ignorance, and the sadness of humanity became a mantle of broken glass I donned each time I fed. I could not understand how my kindred could swim in excess and gluttony, when everywhere I looked there was chaos and pain.
At times I hated them; at times I envied them. They saw the world as a tediously simple game in which they partook only for mild amusement. A world that they ruled with ease and without conscience or remorse. Mortals were random senseless creatures—their lack of unity their undoing. I had never been able to see it that way, always too swept up in the philosophical debate of man versus vampire, predator versus prey, and the great evolution of the universe’s preordained plan. The others had said I retained too much of my own ancient sense of humanity. They said it would be my downfall.
My pulse pounded in my ears as I considered the possible fate of my own race in the cruel fist of Time. From my prison deep within the Earth, there was simply no way of knowing what had become of them.
I sank to the floor, barely able to draw breath, my mind racing over the infinite scrolls of confusion: a madman debating truth with his own reflection. The world I had turned my back on had been polluted and tortured, the ranks of humanity having lost complete control of their own governments. Societal voices had been buried beneath the screech of propaganda and loyalist contributions, technology evolving around them at such an infinite speed that the line between fact and fiction had nearly faded completely.
What if time had not taught the lessons all empires must learn in one dawning era or another? Was it conceivable that the world still grew outside, more gluttonous and numb and silent than the patronizingly pacified generations before? My heart slowed and plummeted, a stone ricocheting off the rotten gullet of a dead tree. Red tears of anguished rage streamed down my gaunt white cheeks as I pounded the walls like a child denied. NO! No. Nooo.
It was useless.
I was awake.”
What book are you reading now?
I am reading Nick Cave: Sinner Saint: The True Confessions, Thirty Years of Essential Interviews by .
What do you prefer paperback, hardcover, or ebooks?
Paperbacks or hardcovers, something I can hold in my hands that has that great book smell. I still haven’t been able to embrace ebooks…
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you for all of your continued support! The first trilogy of the Eternal Vigilance series is being re-release by Nightshade Publications. The first novel, From Deep Within the Earth is now available on Amazon—books 2 & 3 will be out by the end of the year.
Please welcome Tynan from Gabrielle Faust's ETERNAL VIGILANCE to Diane's Book Blog.
What is your full name? Do you have a nickname?
Tynan Llywelyn. I had a nickname once upon a time, but those that called me by that are all now dead and gone.
What is your hair color? Eye color?
Dark blond hair with hazel eyes flecked with gold.
How old are you?
Where were you born? Where have you lived since then? Where do you currently call home?
I was born just outside of Aberdeen, Scotland. Since that time I have traveled the world. I currently call my Maker’s estate just outside of Austin, Texas “home”.
What is in your refrigerator right now? On your bedroom floor? On your nightstand? In your garbage can?
Well, the refrigerator at the estate is stocked with homemade cheese, bread, and deer meat for the Phuree human refugees in our protection. My bedroom floor? My combat boots and a Persian rug. My nightstand… Several white candles and my leather-bound notebook containing my current philosophical musings. I do not have a garbage can…
Who are the people you are closest to?
The mother of my first child, Moria. My Immortal lover and mother of my second child, Jasmine. And…I cannot believe I can finally say this after all of these year of estrangement, but…my Maker, Phelan.
What is your biggest fear?
Seeing history repeat itself, yet again, and that all of my sacrifices will have been for naught.
What is your greatest regret?
This is difficult still for me to talk about, but it is turning my back on my followers when I began to question my own teachings. But I am, slowly, very slowly, beginning to realize the uselessness of regrets. They consumed me for too many years, stole too much of my sanity from me…
What is the quality you most like in a man/woman?
What do you most value in your friends?
Their immovable loyalty and the ability to empathize with those in pain.
What is your favorite journey?
Life itself is the greatest journey. I may curse my immortality from time to time, but I cannot deny my fascination with our circumstance and the higher powers that guide us in this reality. I have seen great unexplainable phenomenon, as well as the deepest depths of hell I would not wish on my greatest enemy. My journey is finding a purpose to it, a song that weaves it all together…
What is your motto?
Death is not an option.