By A.J. Llewellyn
As a kid, I was obsessed with my morning cereal. It wasn’t so much the crunchy stuff that got my attention but the toys at the bottom of the box. The other thing I loved was that I ate my Coco Pops (the Australian version of Coco Puffs) I could read the Superman serial on the back of the box.
I looked forward to those little yarns each week and kept them for a while. I cut out the stories and kept the cardboard pieces in a box until my step mother did a sweep of my bedroom one day and tossed out the box which not only contained the Superman serial but the beginnings of lots of little story ideas I’d developed. She didn’t realize this was important to me and I guess all these years later it still bugs me.
Serials have always intrigued me. As I grew older and went to school and college, I was fascinated to learn how many of my literary favorites had started producing their stories as serials. I did find an old copy of a Charles Dickens story and an Agatha Christie piece that had been serialized. In fact, I adore Agatha Christie and I was surprised to learn many of her short stories were published as serials.
This idea has lived in my brain for so long that when it popped, finally, I asked the astonishing and talented D.J. Manly to work on it with me. As we wind up our 12-month serial, Blood Slave: Nibiru Vampire Warriors, I feel satisfied and full. We invested so much into each 16,000 word chapter, every snippet of ideas tossed into the mix that I feel as if I finally got my own cereal box. I love the idea of our readers receiving big chunks of action-packed drama and romance and having to wait a month for the next installment.
Judging by the emails we are getting it worked! I am grateful D.J. said yes and that our readers have taken our heroes, Zero and Stride to heart. We are almost done with Chapter Eleven and Chapter Twelve will start taking shape soon. I don’t want to say goodbye to these beloved characters but I hope that in the future we can revisit them in a different format, a novella or novel perhaps. In the meantime, enjoy the serial, whether you read it with cereal or not. I know it’s one of my great pleasures still, to enjoy reading over breakfast.
Coco Pops boxes may no longer be involved but my heart is always open to great adventure.
And the perfect bowl of cereal.