Monday, November 14, 2011

Blog Tour: From Russia with Blood by Michael Lee

This virtual book tour is presented by Bewitching Book Tours.
You can click HERE to get to the entire tour schedule.

Welcome to The Wormhole and my day on the tour!
I am thrilled to present my feature:
Michael J. Lee and From Russia With Blood.
We are so lucky...
We get both an book excerpt and a guest post!!!
Please welcome...Michael Lee!
Watching the Paranormal Walls Come Tumbling Down

I can’t hate the Twilight series. The success of the first movie directly spawned True Blood and the Vampire Diaries. The book series is a big reason why the Paranormal genre went from a niche to a juggernaut.

It wasn’t always like this. And I remember the pre Twilight years only too well.

I was a semi-finalist in the Austin Teleplay contest. It was a major event for amateur screenwriters. I was invited to the festival and had one on one access to people like producer Barry Josephson. I was having a great time. Then I talked to one of the top TV agents in LA. TV is a hard game. You have to have an agent who specializes in teleplays otherwise they won’t even look at your work. And the top TV agencies don’t read unsolicited manuscripts so winning a major contest is one of the few ways you can get your screenplays read at a major agency. I was having a pretty good conversation with this agent and I was very hopeful. She asked me which show my spec script was for. I answered, Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Nope, sorry. They weren’t going to read it. They weren’t going to even look at it.

I stood there with my jaw hanging open for a few seconds while I tried to process her response. I knew Buffy wasn’t a ratings winner, but she responded with such open contempt for the show. It had been critically acclaimed. It had a ravenous fan base. Yet none of that meant anything. It was persona non grata or script non grata as far the other showrunners were concerned. She suggested I do something like CSI instead. Or maybe Monk. That’s what all the tough showrunners around town were watching. Not stuff for teenage girls.

Well, that put my TV writing career on hold for a bit. I tried meekly to defend my beloved show but the hardened and serious professional was having none of it. No joy for Buffy. No joy for me.

One hit movie later and things changed. A lot. Sure CSI is still king of the ratings but I don’t think anyone would scoff at a Supernatural or a True Blood spec script. Now a smart, well written paranormal series is just another TV show.

Maybe you viewed that Buffy vs. Edward video a hundred times. Maybe your vampires burn in the sunlight rather than sparkle. But things were very, very different for the genre before Twilight. Now if you make it to the finals of a major screenplay contest with a True Blood spec the agents there will take you seriously. 
Excerpt of From Russia with Blood:
 Instantly he was right next to her. One hand gripped her shoulder and yanked her backward. His other hand held something that flashed brightly. There was a loud echoing sound.
Pop! Pop! Pop!
Gunfire. He’s got a gun!
Larissa stumbled away from Ian. She saw the speeding auto tear down the center of the road. It swerved toward her as she ran.
There was a dark alley immediately behind her. She sprinted into it. It looked narrow. She didn’t think a car could follow. She hoped it couldn’t.
She was ten steps down the alley when she heard a huge crash behind her. She felt it too and half stumbled for a few steps. Larissa whipped her head around and saw the car with its hood crumpled around the corner of the alley. The headlights were flickering and the horn blared.
She slowed a little bit. The car horn stopped blaring. The driver’s side door opened with a crunch and a large man in a dark suit kicked his way out. He staggered into the mouth of the alley clutching his forehead. Larissa saw blood oozing from a cut on his scalp. Then she saw the gun in his other hand. The man raised it at her.
She stood frozen. Was this it? The moment her dreams had warned her about?
Pop! Pop! Pop!
It was the same sound as before. Sharp and loud like fireworks on the Fourth of July. The man hadn’t fired. He stumbled and then fell awkwardly to the ground. She’d never seen a dead body before but she knew that man was dead. He lay in such a twisted manner there could be no doubt.
A shadow approached the alley.
Larissa tore herself from the spot and ran.
She looked back once and saw a tall figure enter the alley. She was on the verge of recognizing him when she smacked into something large and heavy.
Two burly men had jumped out of the shadows and she had run right into their arms. She screamed with all her might as they lifted her off the ground. She kicked and flailed around.
“Is this her?” asked one man in a rough voice.
“Who cares. Shut her up!” came the answer.
A hand like sandpaper clamped down over her mouth and smothered her screams. She saw the black metal of a gun barrel. It hovered above her forehead. She bit down hard on the hand but it wouldn’t let go, even as her teeth tore through the skin.
Out of the corner of her eye she saw the tall figure streaking down the alley toward them. It was Ian. He was moving faster than any man she’d ever seen. It didn’t seem real. She’d been to the Central Park Zoo once. There she’d seen a snow leopard dash across its enclosure. It moved so fast and so fluid, like lightning. That was what it was like watching Ian move. There was nothing human about it.
Her attackers dropped her. She fell on her butt as Ian collided with the two of them like a train. There was a flurry of blows. One dropped to the ground. He crumpled like the man at the mouth of the alley and Larissa knew he was dead.
She backed away from the fight. Broken glass and other bits of debris scraped and cut her hands and rear end but she barely noticed. She was too busy watching the fight. What little fight there was.
Ian seized the other man. The brute was nearly twice his size but Ian held him tight and forced him to his knees. They were standing over a sodium lamp and by its pale light she saw the fangs gleaming inside Ian’s mouth.

About the author:

Micheal J Lee was born in the Midwest and has spent time out on the East Coast and in LA.  He learned the craft of screenwriting the hard way, as a barely paid reader. That’s how he got a good feel for writing form and the craft of storytelling. His approach to a story is a lot like Bruce Lee's approach to fighting, absorb what is useful.

Lee published his first paranormal romance, My Frankenstein, recently. It's been an adventure – and now he’s on to book 2, From Russia with Blood.

Thanks for stopping by The Wormhole!
Happy Reading!!!