Saturday, June 2, 2012
Drasmyr, by Matthew Ryan
By Matthew D Ryan
In a world of wizards and vampires a clever man may make a fortune. But hunting the undead is no small task, as Coragan the bounty hunter will soon find out. He will need all his wits and the help of his comrades to succeed this time. Together, they must pit themselves against a creature so old time itself bends knee, an ancient vampire by the name of Lucian val Drasmyr. Read Drasmyr, a dark fantasy novel by Matthew D. Ryan.
We vampires do not make easy prey. Our weaknesses are few, our strengths many. Fear is something we do not know, and death but a distant memory. So tread softly, pray to your god, and gird yourself with silver when the moons arise and night’s dark prince awakens. We fear not the wizard, nor the warrior, neither rogue, nor priest; our strength is timeless, drawn from darkness and we know no master save the hot lust of our unending hunger. We long for blood, your blood and no blade, nor spell, nor clever artifice, can keep us long from our prize. Feel our teeth at your throat, your life ebb from you, and know as darkness comes to claim you that the price of your folly is your everlasting soul.
Author’s Smashwords Page: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/matthewdryan
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There’s a woman in chain mail standing across the room from me; her sword is leveled at my chest. I can smell the enchantment on the blade, it’s a strong one; maybe even strong enough to cause me harm. Still, I’m not too concerned; it’s at least a ten foot lunge and I know I move faster than she does. Indeed, she’s the one who is looking worried. My display of strength and the death of her comrade have shaken her resolve.
She’s got a pretty face, flushed with excitement but strong and in control. It is her neck that really draws me, though, so soft and inviting, filled with the warm blood I desire. The curve of her flesh glistens, waiting for a well-placed gentle kiss.
She’s breathing rapidly now, her breath coming in shallow gasps. Her trek up through the castle has sapped much of her strength. And the fear she feels is naked in her eyes. Now, she’s getting ready to pounce, just a little too much tension in her stance, her eyes just a little too focused. She couldn’t give me more warning if she were to ask my permission first.
She moves in with remarkable speed, her blade striking out like a serpent’s tongue. Even winded, she still manages to cut my cape, then prances away with her back toward the wall, ready for anything. Anything, except me.
I close the distance and with a clean sweep of my hand knock her sword clattering across the room. Stepping forward, I place myself between her and her weapon. What will she do now, I wonder? Oh, the dagger. That’s good. There’s no enchantment on that one. Not much good that, even if she could grip it well in her bloodied hand.
I laugh a little, loud enough so she can hear me, exulting in the terror I see contorting her features. She’s backing toward the door, looking for escape.
I move toward her with the speed of my kind. My hand closes over her wrist and with a quick snap, the bones are shattered and the useless dagger is sent to the floor. Vainly she flails at me with her other hand. Despite the pain in her wrist she is trying to pull free. In desperation, she brings her knee upward in a fierce jab. If I were a man, I’m sure I’d be on the ground right now. Unfortunately for her, I am no longer a man.
Her struggles are growing weaker. Perhaps the pain or the fear is wearing her down. She collapses on the ground. Her helm falls to the floor with a loud metallic clang and her long, golden tresses drape down to shroud her face. Reaching down with a lover’s touch, I cup her chin and raise her eyes to mine. Tears stream down her cheeks, sparkling in the moonlight. She’s really quite beautiful with a face befitting an angel; it is a great irony that she should fall to a devil such as I.
For the first time this evening, I speak. “Well, intruder, did you not know there is a penalty for trespassing in my lair?”
“Please, please, let me go,” she begs. “I’ll never come back, I’ll do anything you want.”
“Then tell me why you are here. Who sent you?”
“We came for the sceptre.” She glances askance at the crumpled ruin that was once her companion.
I nod in the dead man’s direction. “Yes, perhaps you can reach him. Perhaps you can take the wooden stake from his chest and drive it through my heart, thus ridding this pestilent world of my accursed presence... and perhaps I will rip your arm off if you try. Now answer the question, my dear. Who sent you?”
The naked terror in her face highlights her beauty. For a fleeting moment, I am loathe to wreck such a delicate flower. Indeed, it is the irony of her reply that seals my decision.
“It was Arcalian... the mage. Please... I don’t want to die.”
A warm, almost human smile crawls across my lips. “Don’t worry, my dear, you won’t.”
A brief flash of relief evaporates from her face changing into the gruesome horror of realization as I lunge for her throat. My teeth pierce her neck, freeing a flow of warm, sweet blood. As I feed her body goes limp in my arms and her struggles cease.
She is very nearly drained and quite ready. A quick movement of my hand and my left breast is exposed. Another slash and a gentle trickle of rapidly cooling blood is flowing down my chest. I gaze at my victim. Her breath is coming in ragged gasps; a moment more and she will expire. Ever so slowly I pull her to her knees before me. With my hand behind her head I pull her up and force her lips to my breast. She murmurs a weak protest, but her will, as her blood, is all but gone.
I whisper softly in the woman’s ear, “Drink, my love, and the pain and the weariness shall pass from you forever. I know you are thirsty, my love, I know you hunger. I can ease your suffering, your unendurable torments. Drink, and you shall cast off this paltry existence, this mortal shell of such feeble constitution and you shall become as I: strong, immortal, invincible.”
A moment passes before she begins to suck on the wound. I feel the blood flowing from my chest. As time slips away her strength begins to return. The flow from my chest grows stronger and I am forced to restrain her. At long last, she is finished and I lift her in my arms. Several long strides take me to the old bedchamber. She can rest here for the remainder of the evening. It may be several nights before she can hunt on her own, and I have other business to attend to.
Today I would like to welcome author Matthew D. Ryan to my blog...
Matthew D. Ryan is your typical starving writer looking for his first big break. He lives in upstate New York on the shores of Lake Champlain—a lake famous for the elusive Lake Champlain Monster (a.k.a. Champy), a beastie Matt believes he saw once while canoeing with his brother. He’s owned a number of dogs in his lifetime, and is currently coping with his first cat—the cat’s name is Confucius.
Who or what inspired you to become a writer?
There is no who involved, I just sort of fell into it. After college I worked for a year at my brother’s cellular phone company in Boston; then a friend and I took a trip around the country. When I got back, I decided to write a short story… that short story soon became the idea for my first book, and, after many revisions, it became the prologue for the larger work. That work is, of course, Drasmyr.
How long did it take you to write Drasmyr?
To be honest, I don’t remember how long the first draft took. I think (but this really a rough guess) it was about three months. I did the whole thing almost stream of consciousness. Of course, if you look at it from first draft to final publication, it took about 16 or 17 years. I wrote the first draft in 1995-1996ish, and published it in February of 2012.
While writing how many times do you go back and rewrite a plot?
The plot took on a life of its own from the moment I started writing. The general storyline in final form is pretty much the same as it was on the first draft. So, I guess the answer to your question is 0; the plot is as it was originally.
You run into a bookstore, where do you go first?
The fantasy section. I’m big on dragons, wizards, and warriors. Always have been.
How many books in a month do you tend to read?
It really depends. Some times its as few as 0, or as many as 4 (most of the books I read tend to be pretty long) if I’m feeling inspired. I’m trying to develop the habit of reading on a continuous basis, but every once in a while I suffer from a kind of burnout.
In all the books you've read. Who is your most favorite character and why?
I am excluding my own book in this (I really like my vampire… even if he is evil). I guess it’s kind of a toss-up between Robert Jordan’s Rand Al’thor and Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman’s Raistlin Majere. Rand because he appeals to the “aspiring god” within me; I just love it when he goes around and blasts the snot out of things. Raistlin for similar reasons… I mean he actually did, sort of, become a god. And I kind of identify with Raistlin’s “geeky” early years.
State 5 random facts about yourself.
*I’m forty years old.
*I’m a guy.
*I was raised Catholic.
*I graduated from SUNY Geneseo.
*I studied philosophy in college.
Your favorite Genre?
Fantasy. That’s what I write; that’s what I’ve lived and breathed for about the last 35 years.
What are you currently reading?
Charles Dickens’ “Oliver Twist.”
What is the best book you've read?
Book VI in the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. I think that was “The Lord of Chaos.” The finale where the Aes Sedai wind up kneeling to Rand was awesome.
Any new projects coming up?
Okay, I kind of wrote things backward or perhaps in the correct order, depending upon how you look at it. “Drasmyr” is intended as the prequel to a longer series (I’m thinking a four book series), but that series has not been written yet. So, I’m currently working on book I in that series. Kind of think of how “The Hobbit” relates to “The Lord of the Rings,” “Drasmyr” is the same way to the upcoming series, “From the Ashes of Ruin.”
Here’s your chance to market your book. Describe it. And why readers should pick it up?
“Drasmyr” tells the story of a traditional gothic vampire set in a fantasy world of wizards and warriors. Basically, it’s “Dracula” meets “The Lord of the Rings.” The vampire is as a vampire should be an evil antagonist who takes no prisoners… okay, he takes a few prisoners, but he turns them into vampires. Set against him is a brave group of mercenaries and wizards led by Coragan the Bounty Hunter, and Regecon the Archmage. It’s a classic tale of good versus evil, with a number of interesting twists and subtle undercurrents woven throughout. Readers should pick it up because, first and foremost, it’s an enjoyable read; the characters are multi-dimensional and well-developed; the cause, although not as epic as in some fantasy books, is still of dire significance filling the story with tension and appeal. Most importantly, the vampire is irredeemable. He does not sparkle. He does not play nice. He exists to feed and kill.
About the Author:
Matthew D. Ryan is a published author living in upstate New York on the shores of Lake Champlain. He has a background in philosophy, mathematics, and computer science. He also has a black belt in the martial arts and studies yoga. He has been deeply involved in the fantasy genre for most of his life as a reader, writer, and game designer. He believes he saw the legendary Lake Champlain Monster (a.k.a Champy) once and he has a cat named Confucius.
Where you can find author Matthew D. Ryan: