Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Inspiration for Vertigo - Michael Mandrake

Greetings readers, this is Michael Mandrake here to talk about my newest book from Sizzler Editions, Vertigo, my m/m historical paranormal romance. What inspired me to write the book? Well, it started with Saschal Illyvich’s subcall a couple of years ago, asking for gay sci-fi shorts for the anthology, Riding the Rocket. When I sat down to write, I had no idea what I wanted from my characters. Actually, I wanted to try my hand at steampunk but instead, I wrote something totally unique, might’ve been a shifter, some kind of unexplainable being. Whatever it was, it came out a lot different than what I expected.

Once it was printed, I knew my Doctor Hayden and his “monster” had more story so, I sat down and wrote about 25k more for these lovable characters. I gave them everything they wanted; some tension, hot sex to resolve conflicts, and an interesting ending I never would’ve dreamed of.

What I enjoy most about Vertigo is the chemistry between my characters which I must admit was a little shaky until Sascha assisted me with edits. Once he gave me some pointers, my couple seemed more in sync and I was able to finish book one without feeling like I missed something. During the writing process, I listened to haunting classical and progressive rock band Opeth to put me in the right mindset. When playing their album Blackwater Park, the characters responded the most causing my fingers to fly over the keyboard.

All of my stories have a special place in my heart but this one is my most precious gem. I adore Hayden and David so much they’ve refused to leave me and the readers without at least one more book. So, I’ll be making them happy with book two in the next couple of months. In the meantime, please enjoy book one.

I’ll be doing a book tour 2/1-2/8 where I’ll give away copies of the book as well as my last novella, The Power of Muse and a chance to win a $25 Amazon GC. Find the details here

Hope you enjoyed this post. Here is the blurb, booktrailer, and excerpt.


After losing his lover to mental disorder, Dr. Hayden Curry throws himself into work, silently wishing he could experience something extraordinary in love. He finds his match in David, a creature Hayden revives after discovering him and hauling him back to his lab. Upon awakening, David asks Dr. Hayden’s help in discovering more about himself. Hayden agrees but senses secrets in David. Will he get to the bottom of things and be able to continue the special relationship he and David have, or will the secrets that come forward tear them apart?

Before I went to my haven, I glanced outside my window. Outside, the rainfall reduced to a drizzle, coupled by slow moving clouds over the moonlight. The trees blew after only a few gusts of winds, ripped the leaves off and made quite a mess on the grass underneath.

These would be the nights I would cherish with him most. After relishing in the afterglows of new inventions and glasses of wine, there were mind blowing affections to follow.

Such a good lover…

Once I got to my place of work, I immediately began searching for the vials I had for the latest concoction. When I did not see them, I lost my head rather quickly.

“Where on God’s green earth,” I screamed and walked from one end of my laboratory to the other. "Where are those samples I just had? Libertina!"

Immediately, the pale and slim maiden with dark hair ran to my aid.

"Yes sir, have you lost something again, sir?"

"I have Libertina. The tubes I examined the night before. They seemed to…oh."

Within moments, my dearest uncovered the missing necessities I searched for, right underneath my novel, The Bounded Scientist.

I shrunk back and smiled wryly. "Thank you Libertina, ahem, that will be all my sweet."

"Yes sir, if there is anything you need, I'll be tending to your clothes, sir." Quickly, she curtsied and scurried off, closing the door behind her.

Ah, what a fine young maiden I have. If I were more attracted to the ladies, then I might give her go, but only gentlemen tickled my fancy these days.

I could not be that upset even in this pitiful state. Not that many people understood me when they came to know me. Throughout the years, many thought they should have thrown me in the local mental ward because of the ideas I'd had.

Nevertheless, my determination and visions had made me one of the most recognizable names in London, apart from the fact I inherited my father's large fortune.

Still, even with all the money and notoriety, I had always felt something was missing from my life. I longed for something new to happen. Whether it was a new discovery or invention it had to be different from what I had already seen.

I looked at the experiment I had been working on for seemingly weeks in disgust. Things hadn’t been the same anyway since Lawrence departed but I was determined to move on with my life’s work despite what happened to him. I had to hold on to the hope he would return.

After around the fifteenth trial of not receiving my desired result, I retreated to my bedroom to sleep. Unlike times before, I decided not to read before bed but instead lay there until my eyes got too heavy.

I hoped the nightmares would not start again since after they occurred I stayed awake staring at the ceilings of my room, often needing a drink of the alcoholic variety to put me to rest. I felt myself becoming rather dependent on the beverages. Certainly, doing this sort of thing would cloud my senses and not allow me to function properly. Many men of science I knew had become like this and I refused to become one of them.

I’ll never.

I always reassured myself that I wouldn’t continue to down this dangerous path, however, everyday, being alone with only yourself to talk with could be a detriment to one’s mental state.

Although fully capable of doing everyday things, I’d come to accept that I was different. After all, for one, I wasn’t attracted to women. Two, I enjoyed reading more than being outside playing in games.

In fact my mom would frequently say that she wished I’d be like “normal” boys and go play ball instead of reading. This from the same woman who didn’t know how to read until after she birthed me. With the help of my caregiver, I taught myself how to read the written word thus showed my mum in the process. Still, even afterwards, she didn’t consider it as an important skill. “I’ve always had people to do things like read for me,” she said, giving illiteracy credence. Totally absurd but true.

If I wasn’t able to read and learn I might die.

Such is true of me, Doctor Hayden Curry. I preferred to have my mind stimulated before anything else. This isn’t saying that I didn’t enjoy the sins of the flesh because I did, but, books were like gold to me, more important than any penny I owned. I’d inherited most of it which allowed me to live the lavish lifestyle and work on experiments instead of seeing patients to cure their ailments. I wasn’t interested in short term solutions anyway. I wanted results that could change the world and mankind forever.

Michael Mandrake is the author of several novellas including his latest, Vertigo from Sizzler Editions. His next books, True Meaning 2: The Complete Portrait from XOXO and Under the Gun from No Boundaries Press are due out in 2012. To find out more please visit http://tabooindeed.blogspot.com

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