Look into my eyes!
by Marie Marshall
I’d like you to look into the eyes of Chevonne Kusnetsov. Chevonne’s a teenager from New York city, a few decades into the future, and when she’s not barging her way through street-gang members and a neo-goth cult of vampire-fans at school, she’s a ruthless, nighttime destroyer of vampires on the streets of the city. She has few friends at school – maybe only slightly nerdy E.J. and wannabe goth Di – and the cell of vampire-fighters she belongs to isn’t exactly an environment that fosters friendship. Vamps keep things too busy for that. Hers is a story of how, ultimately, if you’re young you’re shoved to the sidelines, you’re someone to whom things happen rather than someone who makes things happen, from the beginning when a mentor dies to the end when there’s an attack on a famous American landmark. As her story unfolds, Chevonne finds love, death, blood, and heartbreak; she fights vampires on a plane, witnesses a school massacre, and learns, from the story of a famous 19c vampire-hunter, how the contagion of the Undead spread from Europe to America.
All this is in my new novel From My Cold, Undead Hand: Chevonne Kusnetsov vs the Sharp Teeth Krew. It’s due out soon, I’ll let you know when! It’s the first in a series of three novels, the second of which – KWIREBOY vs VAMPIRE – is already being written. The series is aimed at the teenage / young-adult readership, a niche readership I never planned to write for but somehow I ended up here. I’m not complaining, it’s fun. The sketches here are by Millie Ho, and are preliminary artwork for the cover. Millie has already provided the cover for The Everywhen Angels, my previous teen/YA novel; as you already know, as well as being an artist Millie is a writer with a wonderful way with words. She’s currently hard at work on a YA novel of her own. If you want to know more about her, click on either of the two images in this post.
Want to know where I got the title From My Cold, Undead Hand from? Well here’s Chevonne to tell you about an encounter on a rooftop:
I spin round. There’s a vamp – another one to its right – and it’s holding my kite by the pack strap. Meck! They look like teens, all gang colors and handanas – must have been sired pretty young. And they’re smiling. I hate it when they do that. I also hate it when they have gats. This one right in front of me has one of those neat little Saudi machine-pistols, and it’s pointing right at me. Y’know, I’ve seen the old movies, read the old books, and nobody ever thinks to arm a storybook vampire. Hunters come armed with swords and stakes, vampires come armed with teeth. Real life, real life now outside the books and the old films, is different. In real life vampires carry guns. This is America, after all, and the vamp facing me is exercising a Constitutional right.
Once again, Marie is a creative juggernaut and it has been a pleasure translating her words into pictures.