It may take up to five days for this to show up on my Amazon author's page, so I figured I'd upload it to the Cliffs and the Vampire Relics Facebook page. Hopefully, it makes sense.
When I first began writing The Chalice, I had no plan to carry the story any further. But, one day, I decided to write a little drabble documenting an encounter between Kelat and Cadmus Pariah. I wanted to see where a few hundred words describing Cadmus' invasion of Kelat's sacred space, hidden away in the heart of Jerusalem, would take me.
The result was Cadmus mentioning a mysterious crown I had never thought of before. He called it the Blood Crown and hinted that it was still in the Apostate's possession, somewhere in the twisted tunnels that navigated the Roman catacombs. From there, I was committed to expand the story.
I decided that I wanted to include Orphaeus Cygnus in the narrative, because I enjoyed describing the dynamic between him and Cadmus. That decision threw me way out in the realm of absurdity, when I realised I was conjuring what was essentially a horror/fantasy version of the Bob Hope/Bing Crosby Road Pictures, with Orphaeus and Cadmus taking on the mantle of those classic comedians. As a result, The Blood Crown carries with it a kind of levity in some of the situations Cadmus and Orphaeus find themselves, during their journey from Israel to Vatican City.
The Blood Crown is the book in which I decided to share myths I had conceived years prior to the writing of the Relics trilogy. Some of the tales were written in the 1980s, mapping the history of the Tarmi and their kin, who escaped a dying world in the hope of finding a new home. Other stories, like the ones that explain how the full moons got their names, were written after I became involved in my local Wiccan community, and became a kind of bard, participating as high priestess and sharing these new myths with those in the Caledonii Tradition. These were based on the concept behind Rudyard Kipling's Just-So Stories. I was always keen on why we believe what do. Why do we, and all beings on this Earth, behave in a certain manner? So it seemed a natural progression in my own spiritual education to ask why each of the full moons had titles attributed to them. As a result, The Moon Myths were born, but they had never been read outside my "circle" of Witch friends and acquaintances. Those stories, along with many others mentioned above, became the backbone of The Blood Crown.
To be frank, of the three books in the Relics series, The Blood Crown is my favourite. The only part of it that distressed me while writing it, and still does upon revisiting, is the story concerning Faust, in a large section of the narrative called "The Sainted Confessor."
Mentioned only in passing in The Chalice, Faust was a Vampire in New York City, who fell victim to Cadmus' charms in the dazzling Disco days of Studio 54. He grew to prominence as The Blood Crown's plot developed in an almost organic fashion. Since the character of Faust became anchored to a talented young actor I know, the horrors that befell him distressed me on a cellular level. During the time I wrote it, on through to present time, I would occasionally apologise to him. That part of the book, however, gives me faith that, sometimes, the story really does write itself. Faust evolved from an incidental mention in The Chalice to an integral part of the story in both The Blood Crown and The Augury of Gideon.
There were some liberties taken in regard to historical events and some geographical descriptions. This was intentional, because I don't perceive these stories as happening in our reality. That said, if you come across something in the book that doesn't quite compute, I invite you to reach out to see if it was a result of alternate reality voodoo, or actually a mistake on my part.
In fact, if you want to contact me about anything, by all means, do. You can do so by posting queries, concerns, or anything in between on my author's page here on Amazon, or you can find me on Facebook, with the username "VampireRelics."
I hope you enjoy reading The Blood Crown as much as I enjoyed writing it.