ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jenn Lyons lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband, three cats and a lot of opinions on anything from Sumerian creation myths to the correct way to make a martini. At various points in her life, she has wanted to be an archaeologist, anthropologist, architect, diamond cutter, fashion illustrator, graphic designer, or Batman. Turning from such obvious trades, she is now a video game producer by day, and spends her evenings writing science fiction and fantasy. When not writing, she can be found debating the Oxford comma and Joss Whedon’s oeuvre at various local coffee shops.Her debut novel with World Weaver Press, Blood Chimera, chronicles the experiences of a Kidnap & Ransom expert who discovers he is an unwitting member of a race of vampiric shapeshifters who secretly control society. She is currently working on the follow-up, Blood Sin.
I wasn’t supposed to be a writer. From an early age, I knew that I was going to be an artist. That was my destiny. I can vividly remember when the oracles chose my fate. I was in kindergarten, first day at a new school, and the first year class was coloring in a photocopy of a Sioux Indian chief in full headdress. I’d arrived too late to go with the kindergarten kids on their field trip, so I ended up in a corner with a stack of blank paper. I saw the kids around me coloring in that picture; I drew it too.
Anyway, I can remember the disbelief on the teacher’s face when she realized I’d drawn it from scratch. That was the first time I’d realized that I was unusual, and after that it was all downhill. Five-years-old, and my life path was chosen.
It’s not that I mind being an artist, but everyone assumed that’s all I could be. I was an artist, it was my talent, my mutant power, my fate.
Artist was a survival skill for me in childhood, a talent that allowed me to win over some of girls in the playground who would otherwise have bullied me, the ticket for an easy A in English because I was painting the sets for school plays, and had the same teacher for both.
But what saved me wasn’t art. It was reading.
I was bullied as school and abused at home. Is it any surprise my safe haven was a library, where one wasn’t allowed to speak above a whisper? Books were my escape. Books were my salvation. Ishmael went to sea; I opened another book. By middle-school, I was reading a 350 page book a day, and I’m often amazed I didn’t end up hit by a car since I rarely raised my head out of a book for something as mundane as crossing the road.
Long years passed before I finally figured out that art was a thing I could do, but not who I was. I could go long stretches without drawing anything, and be perfectly content. Writing, however, was a different matter.
I’ve always written, you see. I wrote stories about Egyptian princesses for history classes and I wrote my first adorable attempt at a novel at age twelve. I wrote elaborate backgrounds for my Dungeons & Dragons characters and I wrote journals describing their adventures. These were always very private things. The thought of showing others didn’t happen until my twenties, when my then husband suggested we co-write a book together. Co-writing a book together rapidly turned into me writing a book alone, but to my surprise (and everyone else’s) I finished it.
Don’t get me wrong: it was horrible, and I didn’t have a clue. My failure to get the book published was devastating (although in hindsight, saved me a whole lot of embarrassment.) There was only one cure, which was to keep writing. I wrote another book, almost but not quite as bad, and then shelved both.
I put both books away and filled the gaps in my creative soul with RPGs and Mushes until, after my divorce (he got our comics, I got the books), I brushed both books off again, reread them, and decided I needed to finish what I’d started. There were some good ideas there, even if everything else about the stories needed to be gutted and rewritten from scratch.
Neither of those books were the first one I finished however: the first book I was willing to actually show the world and be happy about. That book is this one, Blood Chimera, a novel I started a decade after the others, but finished first.
I write the sort of book that I love myself: complicated and gray, filled with people whose motives are seldom pure but almost always comprehensible, and centered around a hero who is trying to do the right thing, even when it’s unclear what the right thing is. I’m terribly fond of this band of misfits I’ve created and their broken, dark world.
The sequel to Blood Chimera is finished and in editing (I’m currently plotting the third and fourth books in the series.) I’m working on my fifth book now, and there’s no doubt in my mind this is the only destiny for me that matters.
ABOUT BLOOD CHIMERA
Publisher: World Weaver Press
Paperback & ebook
Some ransoms aren’t meant to be paid. Kidnap and Ransom negotiation used to be straightforward. The bad guys kidnap someone, and K&R expert Jackson Pastor negotiates their release, skillfully traversing a maze of bloodthirsty monsters: criminals, terrorists, police, and especially the FBI. But that was before he met real bloodthirsty monsters.
When Jackson Pastor arrives in Los Angeles to help a new client recover his kidnapped wife, he finds himself dropped in the middle of a 500-year-old war between rival European and Mexican vampire clans, a conflict that threatens to escalate into a full-on public gang war. Worse, Jackson hasn’t been brought to Los Angeles to be a negotiator. His new boss wants to turn him into an assassin. With Jackson about to be caught in the middle of a clan war, his only hope of escape may lie with a secret FBI monster-hunting task-force led by a very dangerous, eccentric wizard. Which could be a problem, since Jackson’s a monster himself.