4.12.2023 | Wednesday

Social Vampire Blitz

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Social Vampire Blitz

Social Vampire

Author: James Schannep
Publication date: April 4th 2023
Genres: Romance, Young Adult

At a new school, you get a chance to reinvent yourself, so…why not be a vampire?

Gordon is hiding something. Is it the fact that he’s secretly a vampire? No, of course n-wait. Yes. That’s exactly what he’s hiding. Let’s go with that.

So when this nerdy teen moves to a small town where all the kids are obsessed with vampire fiction, he reinvents himself as their dream character: dark & brooding, cool as hell, and overly susceptible to stabs through the heart.

While rivaling the alpha male jock, garnering the attention of the most popular girl in his class, and forming a hilarious friendship with the girl next door (the only one who knows his secret), Gordon might find that his new school is the perfect place for him to shine-or, better yet, sparkle.

But if his classmates dig up the truth, it’ll be the nail in his coffin…

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo

an excerpt

This was either the best idea I’d ever had, or the worst. Time would tell soon enough. Dad had lent me an old pair of running shorts; which couldn’t have been more than six inches long. He’d also given me a retro tank top, now hanging loosely about my frame.

The plan was to expose the most skin possible and this was the next best thing to going bare-chested. No way was I going for a run without a shirt (I may have mentioned my musculature could best be described as “veal cutlet”). I completed the look with a sweatband about my forehead; the ensemble straight from a jogging magazine from when the activity first became popular in the 1960s.

After tightening my laces one last time for good measure, I went out through the garage, off for a leisurely trot. The soccer game would already be in full swing, as it took a while to make up my mind (and wardrobe) before finally heading out. As I approached the athletic fields, these suspicions were confirmed by sounds of whistles, coached commands, and spurious cheering.

I took a deep breath, rounded the corner, and ran parallel to the soccer fields. The effect was immediate. People who were casually milling about stopped to stare, nudging those nearest so they too could see. Fans in the bleachers not only stopped watching the game, but they stood up to get a better angle as I approached. Proud parents turned their iPhones away from their kids to capture this new spectacle. Even the players fell out in mid-stride to stare, leaving the ball to casually roll to a stop. Mouths dropped, hanging agape. Eyes widened, all in an effort to get a better look at me.

I might have left out a small detail; a part of my running outfit, pinched from Dad’s practical SFX boxes in the garage and applied before heading out on this run. What was it, you ask? Just a simple body lotion from some old alien creature-feature Dad had worked on that released straight to video. Slathered generously over every inch of exposed flesh, it meant to mimic bioluminescence and give the wearer’s skin the appearance of starlight. While wearing this stuff, an actor would light up a room in full darkness.

Rocky Mountain High’s elder vampires might be known for glowing in the sun, but me? I was shimmering. I was scintillating. I was a starlight-spangled banner running next to that field. Air traffic controllers would have to divert flights away from my location for fear of blinding the pilots. I was the glinting face of a meteoric diamond on a collision course with the surface of the sun.

So, yeah. You could say I was glowing.

Once I spotted Karen, I slowed my jog to a walk and waved. She dazedly raised a hand and waved back with the same disbelief she might have had if I really were the alien from that movie, newly stepped off my spacecraft to greet shocked Earthlings.

Do it, I mouthed. I pointed towards the game and Karen shifted her attention. The ball sat near the enemy team’s goal; all of their defensive players staring at me in disbelief. Karen took the hint, dashed forward two strides, and kicked the ball cleanly into the air and through her opponent’s open net.

I cupped my hands to my mouth and shouted, “Go Hawks!”

The movements of her shot and the whack of her foot against the ball brought back some of the spectators to the game. Then the cheering roar of a scored goal brought back the rest. I used this distraction to quickly retreat from view, disappear around the corner behind the bleachers, and continue my run past the school.

After all, it was a beautiful day. Nice day for a jog.

about the author

James Schannep has no tragic backstory.

Having grown up in a fairly ordinary suburban household, with a family who loved him, he was forced to dream up far flung adventures on strange new worlds where the hero can save the day and make a difference through strength of character alone.

Schannep attended the United States Air Force Academy, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in English Literature with a minor in General Engineering. After serving honorably as a Nuclear Missile Command and Control Officer, he returned to trying to make a difference through story.

As a screenwriter, game designer, and novelist, he is probably best known for his Click Your Poison series of interactive gamebooks.

Social Vampire is his first novel.

When not dreaming up strange new worlds, James lives in the one inhabited by his wife, who faithfully remains the patroness of his art, and with his children, who don’t quite grasp what they’ve inherited yet with such an eccentric father.

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