I’ve edited and critiqued nearly 2000 manuscripts over the last 20 years, and very few of those stand out as being memorable in the right way. Bloodstained Love is one of the good ones. It’s difficult to create a protagonist-murderer that we actually like and sympathize with. It’s even harder to conceive a gorgeous blood-sucking, man-eating, self-serving antagonist who reveals her vulnerability when we least expect it and actually begs us to understand her. But the toughest task of all is to write a vampire story that’s about more than blood and immortality and biting the heads off rats, though that’s all cool. At its core, Bloodstained Love is about passion, obsession, and losing oneself in another person. Anyone who’s ever been in love can relate to that. Kudos to Ken Derby for pulling it off!
Laura Backes is publisher of Children’s Book Insider, The Newsletter for Children’s Writers and co-founder of The CBI Clubhouse, an online membership community for aspiring and published children’s authors (www.CBIClubhouse.com). A 24-year veteran of the publishing industry, Laura has worked in publicity, subsidiary rights, and as a literary agent and freelance editor. She’s the author of Best Books for Kids Who (Think They) Hate to Read (Three Rivers Press/Crown Publishing), and technical editor of Writing Children’s Books for Dummies (Wiley). Her articles have been featured in The Writer and Writer’s Digest magazines, and she speaks at workshops around the country. She also blogs at www.Write4Kids.com/blog and www.eWriting4Kids.com, where she focuses on the exciting new world of children’s e-books.