Blood Riders Book 3
To save his missing daughter a distraught slayer must venture deep into the heart of darkness
Legendary vampire hunter Anton Yoska is on the edge, tormented by the rumour that the precious child he once thought dead is still alive and lost in a world of monsters.
One creature alone knows for sure what happened to Gretchen, but Terek Modjeski won’t divulge his secret – revelling in the twisted power over his long-time foe.
Despairing and drinking heavily, Anton stumbles from near disaster to near disaster as he puts his team in jeopardy, testing their friendship and loyalty to snapping point.
Only one diabolical solution is possible – to confront Terek in his maximum security cell and force the bloodsucker to end his game of cat and mouse. But making the cunning infernal talk will mean employing brutal methods that go against every code Anton has ever lived by, forcing him to become as much of a demon as the leeches he hunts.
Face to face with the evil, taunting vampire, the desperate slayer takes a decision that will change his destiny forever – sending him hurtling into danger to confront a terrifying truth about his lost child that risks not only his sanity but the future of mankind.
– Which character would you like to be in this book?
I shouldn’t really admit it, but the hero – vampire hunter Anton Yoska – is a romanticised version of me. He embodies the bravery and noble streaks I’d like to have, if I wasn’t so selfish, lazy and constantly anxious.
– Do you always take a book/ereader wherever you go?
No, sometimes I like to stay as far away from words as possible. It’s difficult to read a story without critiquing it or comparing my style to the author’s. In fact, I know I’ve found a truly talented author when I can take off my critic’s hat and just be sucked into the joy of the plot and characters. At other times, reading can feel like doing homework!
– Say someone asks if they can use your name in a book. Would you rather be the ‘good one’ or the ‘bad one’?
The baddie every time. They get the best lines, the most dramatic deaths and are never boring or easily ignored. When I’m writing my villains, I try to give them some endearing or likeable quality – I love the conflict this creates for the readers. Even when a baddie is thoroughly evil, I like to show that this is the result of some incident that changed their destiny or attitudes. The most compelling villains are noble people who’ve gone over to the dark side.
– Do you prefer to read/write standalones or a series?
As a reader I prefer a series and I can perfectly understand why someone would want to continue spending time with characters they’ve come to know and love. But as a writer, I’d go for a standalone every time. Trying to develop a character over several books is hard work, as is making sure you haven’t repeated anything from a previous instalment or contradicted something you said two books earlier.
However, as I have now fallen in love with the characters in Blood Riders (I have a particular soft spot for Quintz) I am looking forward to writing their next adventure – as, like everyone else, I want to know what happens next!
– Where can I find you when you are reading?
In bed, mostly. I can’t get to sleep unless I’ve read for half an hour. It calms my mind after a hectic day. Before all the lockdowns, I’d have also said I read on long plane and train journeys.
In terms of era and location, I love Terry Pratchett Discworld stories and anything set during the Napoleonic Wars – especially on board Royal Navy ships. I tend not to read anything set in Transylvania as I spend too much time there already.
– Where can I find you when you are not writing/reading?
Watching movies on TV or listening to music – everything from ‘80s classics to Lindsey Stirling pop violin tracks. If you’re lucky you’ll find me baking. There is always cake in our house. Not good for the diet!
– Can you walk past a bookstore without going inside?
Only because I do the vast majority of my reading on my Kindle Fire. But like most people I find bookshops mysterious and alluring places and love going into them when I’m buying gifts for others.
– What are you most proud of?
For a great number of years I was a short story writer, so having my first novel Crimson Siege accepted for publication was a huge thrill. As was the first time I had a short story broadcast on BBC Radio 4. There’s nothing to compare to having an actor bring your words to life.
– What goes through your mind when you see your new book in your hands for the first time?
I should say joy and pride, but normally it’s just relief. It can be such a long, tiring slog to write a novel that holding the physical book presents tangible evidence that you made it to the finish line! The real buzz comes from seeing positive reviews and getting emails from readers, knowing that they’ve loved the story and characters.
– What piece of advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Two pieces of advice.
1/Don’t believe all you read about “overnight success” authors hitting the big time. Most have been slogging away unnoticed for a decade or more learning and honing their craft. It takes time, dedication and effort to achieve success – and getting loads of rejections along the way is all part of the journey.
2/ Readers make up their mind what they think of your story in the first few sentences. Catch their attention, enflame their emotions and pique their curiosity. Start with something imminent and exciting. We’re in the drama business – be dramatic.
Thank you, Jay Raven and Rachel’s Random Resources.
About the author
Jay Raven is the author of Gothic chillers and historical horror reminding readers that the past is a dangerous place to venture, full of monsters and murderous men. He blames his fascination with vampires, witches and werewolves on the Hammer Horror films he watched as a teenager, but living in a creepy old house on the edge of a 500-acre wood may have something to do with it.
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08P9L5NV2
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08P9L5NV2