Today I’m doing a guest post and I welcome the author of Thirst:Blood of my Blood, R P Channing!
~ Kira Sutherland ~
After a near fatal accident (and getting cheated on by her ‘boyfriend’), and beating up the lead cheerleader (with whom the boyfriend cheated…), and being labeled as having ‘issues’ in her school because she, uhm, sees ghosts, Kira is left with two choices:
1. Continue her ‘therapy’ (where she’s told the ghost is a hallucination and also gets her legs ogled too often…)
2.Go to Starkfield Academy, a boarding school for “Crazies and Convicts” (as the social media sites call them.)
She chooses the latter…
~ Cory Rand ~
Cory Rand has not had an easy life. His mother died in a car accident when he was twelve, and so did his mother’s best friend…sort of. You see, Janice made a promise to take care of Cory just before she died, and so she lingers. Undead. A ghost that watches out for him.
Brought up in an abusive home, Cory quickly falls into a life of disreputable behavior. After his third offense (which was prompted by a girl, as usual – he has a weakness) he’s left with two choices:
- Be tried as an adult and share a cell with a guy named Bubba (he thinks…)
- Go to Starkfield Academy, which Cory is pretty sure is run by vampires. But, hey, at least he’ll get an education.
He chooses the latter…
It’s at Starkfield that Kira meets Cory Rand, a boy with an insatiable Rage who sees ghosts, too. As well as other things, other things from his past, things that confuse him, things like fire and witches and demons.
Things he’s always ignored.
Published November 26th 2015
– Young Adult Romance
– Paranormal Romance
– High School
– Vampires, Demons, Witches
– Dark Fantasy
Why I Write YA
A truly skilled writer should be able to write in just about any genre. Each genre has its rules. Horror has the depressing ending and the blood. Romance has the happy ending and the ‘hot parts.’ Mysteries have, well, the mystery. Each genre follows a generally accepted plot that readers of that genre expect and enjoy.
YA is the exception. YA is fair game.
I hate classifying genres, as do most artists, but it’s necessary to do so for the reader. Someone who’s big on Historical Romance wants to know that the book she’s buying is historical romance. And so we label things.
But YA encompasses all the above genres. It encompasses mystery, fantasy, romance, horror. A YA book can be set in any time, past or future, any location. It can contain fantasy or not, love or not. It is a wide-open genre where anything is possible.
Go have a look at some of the most popular YA books out there. They’re different one to the other. A popular YA book does not have to contain fantasy (although many of them do contain love, but so do most other genres).
I picked YA for two reasons:
- It’s liberating.
- It doesn’t go too far into areas of other genres that I find myself uncomfortable with.
I like reading horror, but I hate the gore.
I like reading romances, but I don’t feel like putting all the details into my stories.
YA offers the liberation of writing in any genre while still staying firmly within one senior genre.
Of course, YA requires young characters. But the great thing about young characters is that everyone can relate to them. It’s hard for a twenty-year old to relate to a fifty-year old character. But almost everyone can relate to a sixteen or seventeen-year old character, because we were all once seventeen.
So “Young” Adult is not even “Young” adult. It’s a genre that offers a tremendous amount of freedom of expression, and which has a huge market.
Writers hate talking about markets, but it’s something we have to consider. A story with no market is a dead story, it is a story that will never be read. And the one thing a writer needs to do is be read.
In YA, it’s possible to build up your readership while still staying true to the Senior Genre – YA. Some of your readers might not enjoy one of your stories (e.g. if they don’t like fantasy) but they might still enjoy another (e.g. if they like dystopian.) It’s a great way to build a solid readership over time.
I’m currently working on two stories, both wildly different from each other, both in slightly different ‘sub genres.’ The great thing about YA is that I can work on both of them while knowing I won’t alienate my readers, because they are technically both “YA” while still being unique stories within themselves.
I don’t see myself moving away from this genre, because I’d hate to be categorized or have my expression limited in any way due to ideas of what stories “should” or “shouldn’t” contain.
YA is the one genre where anything goes, and where everyone can read it regardless of age.
Writing in any other genre, for me, would be stifling.
The Puppy Eyes
My life was perfect.
I had the perfect shoes and the perfect friends and I lived in the perfect house.
My nails were perfect and my hair was perfect (except on Sundays, it was always
windy on Sundays) and I had the perfect clothes. My lips were a perfect red and my
hair perfectly straight. My eyeshadow was perfect, my hips were…okay, and my
waist…well…also okay. Nothing was wrong in my life.
But then there was Jack.
Jack was a problem.
He needed to go. I mean, when you’re dead, you’re dead! I had told him this
endlessly. Somehow, Jack didn’t get it. I mean, I felt sorry for the guy. Sure. Being
stuck between this life and the next. But just because I found him, does that mean I
needed to keep him?
I think not!
Sadly, when Jack got that look in his eyes, that weary, almost teary (if his tearducts
worked) look, I melted. I just couldn’t send him away. Not even Jack knew
where he would go after he died.
Would he, like, die? As in — dead, nada, kaput, finito, gone, no more? Bye bye,
sayonara, ciao, hasta la vista baby and all that?
I couldn’t have that on my conscience. No way.
I lay on my bed, wondering what to do about him. “Jaaaaaaack,” I hollered.
Still no answer.
His eyes rolled down to the ground. He was making those puppy eyes again.
“Jack, I told you not to do that. I told you not to play on my sympathies.”
His puppy eyes became worse.
His skin was gray and, well, dead.
“Oh, brother,” I said. “I have to do something about you. If mom finds out I have
another ‘imaginary friend’ — at my age — well, I’d die of embarrassment. But, like,
really die. Not like you.” I wondered about this. Would I die? Was Jack a freak
accident, or did all people live on like him? Think of the cemeteries…
The idea excited me somewhat.
“What would you have me do, Miss Kira?”
“Knock off the Miss Kira crap. I told you it’s just Kira.”
“Yes, Miss Kira.”
The dead. There’s just no reasoning.
“Fine, Miss Kira it is then.” Rover barked like a lunatic in the garden. No one
else might be able to see Jack, but I was sure my dog could.
“I have to do something about this,” I mumbled.
Mike knocked on the door before I had time to leave the house. Mike was the
guy I thought (at the time) was perfect.
“Who is it?”
“It’s me, baby.”
Baby, urgh — I wasn’t his baby. I dated Mike because he was the quarterback,
because girls are supposed to like the quarterback, because it’s just so darn perfect to
be seen with the quarterback, like we’re brainwashed into thinking these things from
the first romantic doll set mom buys us.
This was my previous life.
“Uh-huh. Gonna let me in?”
So you can try rub me up and then complain when I don’t let you? This, dear
reader, was the big problem with Mike. The second we first kissed, his hand went way
too far south for me to be comfortable — and I pulled back.
Mike suddenly wasn’t so perfect.
“Uhm, I was just on my way out,” I said.
“Kira? C’mon, open the door.” He sounded upset. “Is there someone in there
Boys. As if.
I didn’t know much about love (nothing, actually) but I knew this wasn’t it.
“Uhm, now’s not the time, Mike.”
“C’mon, Kira, what’s going on?” He banged harder.
When in doubt…lie. I opened the door a crack. “There’s a dead rat in the house,
Mike. Been here for days. I gotta go get some detergent and stuff to handle the
Mike stepped back. He peered through the crack of the door.
“It’s really bad,” I said.
“I’ll drive you.”
“I’m afraid the smell” — I stuck my armpit to my nose — “has found its way all
over me. I’ll drive myself.”
“O — okay. Fine.” And then he grinned like he wanted something. “Later? My
Urgh. “Uhm, sure…er…later. Not sure when though.”
I fought the urge to roll my eyes. According to girls at school, he was apparently
so damn good looking — theoretically. But for me personally, he did nothing. Moved
nothing. Twisted nothing. “Look, I gotta go, Mike. I gotta — ”
“Kira.” His eyes grew stern. “You’ve been avoiding me…”
Bingo! Well done contestant number one! And what have you won? A brain!
I tilted my head. “Mike, look, this…rat — I need to deal with it. We’ll talk later,
okay? Bye.” I closed the door, not waiting for an answer, and peered out the peep
hole. Mike hung around for a second, shoulders wide and eyes glaring straight at me
through the door. Could he see me? Did he know I was looking at him?
He kicked something off the ground, and I had the distinct impression he
mouthed the word Bitch before leaving. But I wasn’t sure…
“Roll down the window, Jack.” Jack was recently dead, so he still had a smell
about him. (Which only I could smell…)
I had purposely skipped breakfast. Maybe Jack would help me lose weight. I was
(still am) a little wide, although it had never stopped guys flirting with me. I know
how to dress.
But I could be skinnier.
Lucy Rogers was skinny. All bones and no boobs.
Charlene Carverton was a babe. Cheerleader. Big chest (which she pushed out
generously with a push-up — if only guys knew). Toned thighs. Charlene only dated
college boys (back then), which I still think is pretty gross for a girl her age.
“He’s not for you,” Jack said out the blue.
“This…Mike — he’s wrong for you, Miss Kira.” For all Jack’s faults (mainly,
being dead), he has a good heart. Factually, probably it’s why I kept him around at
“You think I don’t know that?”
“Then why don’t you dump him?”
I braked at a stop sign. Looked left and right. “Because I’d look like an idiot. I
flirted with him and showed interest, and one kiss later I can’t stand the sight of him.”
“So dump him.”
“It’s not that simple. Kids at school — they can be vicious. I have to let it fade
slowly. If I drop the bomb on him, I’ll never hear the end of it through senior year.”
“And you care?”
Yes, I did. Forget Guantanamo, schools are rough. “You don’t understand, Jack.
Maybe school was different in your day. But in mine, well, we walk through metal
“Schools weren’t too different in my day.” I noted the sadness in his voice.
Right. “You miss…your life?”
Jack shrugged. “I like being with you, Miss Kira. And I don’t remember much of
my life. I think I’m in limbo.”
“Yes, like I have some unfinished business. If only I could remember…what…it
is…” He scratched his head.
“Well, it can’t be love. If it were love, I’d be a vampire. That’s who teenage girls
fall in love with these days.”
“A vampire? That’s just what I need — two undead beings stalking me.”
“I feel I have something to do around you, Miss Kira. I don’t know what, but
something. Something important.”
I looked over at him. “Me?”
I was still looking at him when I missed the stop sign.
The Mack truck drove straight into us.
$20 Amazon Gift Voucher Giveaway
At the back of the book there is a giveaway link. Once the book hits fifty reviews on Amazon, one of those reviewers will win a $20 (US Dollars) Amazon Gift Voucher!
About the author:
R P Channing started writing three years ago, but never published anything even after churning out over a million words of fiction. Thirst: Blood of my Blood is the first book he dared to publish. When asked why, he said, “Because it’s the first thing I wrote that my wife actually enjoyed reading.” When not hammering away (most literally) at his keyboard, he can be found buried in a book, reading anything from romance to horror to young adult to non-fiction to comedy.