How To Write A Generic Vampire Novel – By Someone Who Did

CZ Hazard writes,

My name is C Z Hazard, and I’m a writer.

91DtHj7avWL._SL1500_I have been working in the comic industry for twenty years on and off, with a much more sensible real name.  I’ve always loved story-telling, and I quit working front-line retail so I could start writing, but I still work behind the scenes to help keep the store (Comic Connections, Banbury) running smoothly, and work the bigger shows  – such as MCM London and Birmingham – with the guys.

As someone who can’t draw at all, I spent years working on various projects with artist friends, none of which ever came to fruition due to the demands and distractions of real life and because, well, it actually requires hard work, dedication and discipline, once you get to the nuts and bolts and daily grind of drawing a page a day.

Too many unfinished products meant I eventually turned my hand to prose, to see if I could actually finish a project, and close down a few of the open tabs in my brain.

My first novella, Not In The Eye, was released on Amazon Kindle in 2013 and was very well received, scoring some great reviews from respected Amazon reviewers.  I took that to crowd-sourcing earlier this year for a physical print edition, and got a Kickstarter Staff Pick for our troubles.  The project ended up hitting over 200% of target, and several of its stretch goals.  All rewards were sent out as promised in a (semi-)timely fashion.

81s0688u3WL._SL1500_Not In The Eye is a satirical novel about the lack of original ideas left, and tells the story of how, when a truly original idea comes along -albeit in the world of pornography – it gets the attention of everyone, leaves a mark and changes things irreparably.  Full of pop-culture references and parodies for even the most hardcore of comic fans, it’s a savage indictment of the culturally bankrupt future we potentially face once all our favourite intellectual properties have been strip-mined.

It is currently available on Amazon Kindle, or in physical print from the fine people at Orbital Comics in London, Warwick Books, and Comic Connections in Banbury.

My second novel, Generic Vampire Novel #937, is a multi-layered comedy horror about publishing houses, literary agents, the movie studio system, and other blood-sucking parasites.  It tells the story of frustrated science-fiction author Shamus Ohio, whose latest novel succeeds above and beyond all expectations, but with horrible world-changing consequences.  Through in-depth Watchmen-esque appendix chapters, we expand upon the characters and the world they inhabit, a world which is worryingly similar to our own.

71UA-qEIhkL._SL1500_Released in two parts:  Part One – American Sexy was launched on Halloween 2014 and is currently completely free on Amazon Kindle (follow the link, grab a free book, then come back), Part Two – Horrorcaust, is available on pre-order right now for a scheduled release on October 31st.  Look for a Kickstarter campaign for a print edition in the New Year.

Since I started writing professionally, I’ve also worked on the packaging and pack-in fiction for several third party Transformer companies (iGear, MMC, KFC, Mech iDeas, Make Toys and Fans Project), including several comic projects, sometimes under the name Ceno Kibble.

Into next year, I hope to complete a few short stories as well as release my third novel through the B*Star Kitty Press label, and move into comic-books proper.

About Rich Johnston

Chief writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. Father of two. Comic book clairvoyant. Political cartoonist.

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