Maneater: A Valdosta Pynes Novella (The Clean Blood Series Book 2)
Life as the undead ain’t always easy in the Big Easy. Just ask Valdosta Pynes…
After being turned into a vampire by a fallen angel, Valdosta left the only home she’d ever known to start her life over on the haunted streets of New Orleans. Using her Dark Gift to help others, she is hired as a hit woman by a shady organization known only as The Conservancy. While on a mission, Valdosta’s life takes a dramatic turn when the target of her assassination survives the attack. Now, not only is she at the top of Heaven’s terror watch list, she’s being tracked down by a seasoned investigator with a nose for blood, and stalked by werewolves who may or may not have her best interests in mind.
In Maneater, the much anticipated sequel to Absconder, W. Charlene Ammons lures the reader back into the world of Valdosta Pynes. Unlikely alliances will be formed, family secrets will be revealed, and Valdosta learns the preternatural, much like humans, are not always as they seem.
Author Interview – W. Charlene Ammons
Q: What draws you to the Science Fiction & Fantasy / Horror Occult Genre?
A: I’ve always had a love for the strange and supernatural. I love the idea that life is not bound by just the things we see. I want to believe there’s more than just us, living here for 80 years and then going to nothingness. There must be something more.
One of the things I’m working on next is a steampunk children’s book dealing with time-travel. That’s something new to me, but I’ve always loved the idea of time travel…Ever since watching the show Quantum Leap as a kid.
As far as horror goes, I studied criminology in college and took a class on serial killers. I was obsessed with learning why they acted the way they did. My goal at the time was to become a profiler with the FBI. I wanted to be Clarice Starling. So, I suppose my roots into horror start there. After all, the real monsters are human, not some creature hiding under the bed.
Q. Where did the story Maneater come from?
Maneater is the sequel to the first novella I wrote, Absconder. In this second installment, the protagonist, Valdosta Pynes, moves to the big city in an attempt to hide from Heavenly assassins and to begin her life anew as a vampire.
I’d been playing with the idea of a sequel for some time after writing Absconder. Fans who read it said they wanted more. I thought I wanted to transform Valdosta from a run of the mill vampire to one who uses her strength to help those who were like her (abused). She wanted to be the hero she didn’t have. So, I created her as The Maneater.
I’d have to say that of all the stories I’ve written, Maneater is by far my favorite. It has a comic book, superhero quality to it, and that makes me very happy.
Q. Are Valdosta Pynes experiences based on someone you know or events in your own life?
I think every character an author writes has a little bit of their souls tucked away in them; horcruxes if you will. As for Valdosta, her attitude toward life mirrors my own in so many ways. Some of the experiences with abuse hit home with me. In my former career, I was a law enforcement officer. I saw domestic violence first hand, far too often. Valdosta’s approach to eliminating crime is deviant, yet satisfies a need for all of us to see the bad guys receive an outlaw type of justice.
Q. Have you ever had a Paranormal experience or an encounter with the Dark Gift?
Unfortunately, no experiences with the Dark Gift, although I had a guy ask me one time if I was a vampire ;). I have, however, had several paranormal experiences. Some very strange things happened right after my father’s death. Pictures and clocks flying off the wall, some of my father’s belongings being moved, fans and lights turning off and on. I have no doubt it was my Dad trying to communicate with us.
I also get strange feelings sometimes when I touch old things, especially in old houses. I’m very drawn to antiques, old home places and the cemetery.
Q. Do you view writing as a kind of spiritual practice?
I think so. I think writing can save your soul. When I say it can save your soul, I mean that not in the Christian way, but that it is therapeutic, saving a person from losing their mind. It’s a release. A ventilation system of sorts. If I’m depressed, I find it helpful to write. Angry? Get to typing, sister!
Writing is chicken noodle soup for the soul.
Q. What research did you do on the City of New Orleans; if any was it shocking to you?
I visited New Orleans a few years back and fell in love. I’ve only been there once physically, but I revisit it in my mind day after day.
So, some of the material I got first hand while traveling, either through tours or books I bought. The other part came from researching on Pinterest or the Internet. For example, I knew about the carousel bar, but I researched the history of it and the hotel on the website. While looking on Pinterest, I found a beautiful painting, which just happened to be hanging in the same bar. I quickly decided to tie it all together, making the lady posing in the photo the current owner of the hotel.
Another idea I had was to take the fleur-de-lis and give it an alternative history. I researched it, gave it a twist, and it quickly became the symbol of the supernatural.
W. Charlene Ammons
Charlene Ammons was born and raised in Northwest Florida as the daughter of the local chief of police. After a twelve year career in law enforcement, Ammons left the field to pursue her writing career full-time. She is currently working towards her Master’s Degree in Library Science.
In her spare time, she enjoys gardening, dancing around her kitchen to the Delta Blues and chasing down ghosts on the Chipola River. She currently resides in the Florida Panhandle with her husband Brian.
Ammons has penned three novels: The Plan, The Lesson, and Gypsy Soul, all of which are a part of The Honeysuckle Chronicles series. She has plans for one more book in the series.
Her first novella, Absconder, was released in 2014 and the follow-up, Maneater, will release in November 2016.
She has also worked on a collaborative piece of fiction with local authors titled Tales From Beyond. Ammons’ short story included in the book is called The Crossroads. It was published in 2013.