Author Guest Post With Eric Muss-Barnes

Eric Muss-Barnes has kindly agreed to guest post here about his work, and share his inspiration for becoming a writer in honor of his newest release, Annwn’s Maelstrom Festival: Concluding Volume of the Vampire Noctuaries.

 About The Author:
Novelist and author Eric Muss-Barnes was born and raised in Ohio. His grandest literary work to date is an epic 294,000 word vampire duology entitled The Vampire Noctuaries, beginning with The Gothic Rainbow and concluding with Annwn’s Maelstrom Festival. He has released a “vocational autobiography” detailing the humorous ups-and-downs leading him from his hometown to Hollywood, in a book entitled How You Can Get a Job at Walt Disney Studios Without a College Degree. In addition to his work at Walt Disney Studios, he has written, directed and produced an award-nominated, critically-acclaimed short-film entitled The Unseelie Court, a movie screened in numerous film festivals across the country and is available on DVD. His writing has been published in numerous magazines around the world and within multiple anthologies, such as Tales From The Dark Tower and The Skateboarder’s Journal – Lives on Board, while his professional photography has been exhibited and sold in art galleries from Cleveland to Los Angeles. His second book, entitled Schooling Your Boss To Not Suck, regales amusing tales of unfortunate managers at various jobs he’s held over the years while Forever Loving You is the tongue-in-cheek title of his book of poetry and axioms. Eric Muss-Barnes lives in Los Angeles, California.

Eric Muss-Barnes on the Web:
 Guest Post:

“Writing of Death, Because Life is Short”

Preserving the awe of living is the biggest inspiration I ever had to be a writer.

Such a life-affirming idea may seem strange when pimping discussing a dark and dreary vampire series like The Vampire Noctuaries, but it’s the truth.

There was one thing I noticed about careers, early on in life, and that was this – Everyone who excels in life has no other interests.

Think about it.

Wolfgang Mozart wrote music. Was he famous for anything else?

William Shakespeare wrote plays. Did he do anything more?

Donald Trump became a real estate tycoon. Did he work as a biochemist on the side?

Steve Jobs created a computer company. What else did he do?

The Beatles were rockstars. And did they accomplish something other than being rockstars?

Muhammad Ali was a famous boxer. Was he also a brain surgeon or an astrophysicist?

This realization scared me to death when I was a kid. I wanted to excel in life, yet I was also so in love, with so many things. Here I discovered, I could never attain greatness in anything, unless I focused on one path.

No one ever attains greatness without focus. This was proven time and time again by everyone who is a household name. In the entire history of humanity, there’s never been such a thing as a world-class actor/astronaut/musician/athlete/quantum physicist… except Buckaoo Banzai, of course.

Even a guy like Arnold Schwarzenegger – world-champion bodybuilder/movie star/politician. He’s one exception who excelled at many careers, but even he didn’t do them simultaneously! He focused. One at a time.

Hence, I was faced with an awful truth. What do I pick? What can I choose? Of all the wondrous things to live, and see, and explore in life, what do I truly want? Much to my chagrin, I couldn’t possibly become a karate champion, an astronaut, a fighter pilot, a secret agent, and an action movie star, all at the same time.

I had to pick one, and stick with it.

There was one profession in the world though, one option, that encapsulated them all. I may not become any of those people, but, for a little while, I could step into the shoes of all of them… as a writer!

That was my answer!

Writers need to research and live and experience things, in order to write about them. Suddenly, I realized that writing was the one profession I could imagine that would allow me the chance to experience all the other things life has to offer. Or, at least, writing would provide a valid excuse to do so.

Therefore, when I first began conceptualizing The Gothic Rainbow: Beginning Volume of the Vampire Noctuaries in 1991, I started going clubbing. A lot. I knew I wanted the novel to take place in the counterculture of the gothic/industrial underground club scene. I had already been “converted” to listening to that kind of music, and I’d been to a Skinny Puppy show and The Cure’s Disintegration tour, but I’d never gone to any nightclubs for those bands. Once I started going, I was hooked. What started as “book research” became a sincere interest in my life. I became a hardcore clubkid, sometimes going out 3 or 4 nights a week. Considering I wasn’t going to mainstream jock/fluffchick clubs and only attending punkrock/alternative/goth clubs, that meant I was going to every single club in the scene.

Set back in my birthplace of sinister Ohio woodlands and grey Lake Erie skies, I couldn’t resist inserting some Los Angeles into Annwn’s Maelstrom Festival: Concluding Volume of the Vampire Noctuaries once I had moved to California in real life. The characters only visit California for a brief time, but I wanted to articulate the silence of the Los Angeles basin in a way I had rarely seen expressed. Anyone who grew up in the woods of Ohio then walks in the mountains of Los Angeles will understand exactly what I mean. There is a constant sense of being watched upon the shores of the Great Lakes. The waters themselves know you’re there. Gazing at the Pacific, you can feel it – the sea has not spoken the name of man in centuries.

Ultimately, the duology of The Vampire Noctuaries is a series about redemption and salvation, not through a religious or spiritual means, but through the love characters find in each other. Wait! Don’t stop reading there. There are no “teenage love triangle” clichés or anything so trite as that. If you happen to be enraged in your own lonliness, don’t worry. You’ll like this story. It’s not puppydogs and sunshine after all. It’s vampires. Thus, it may be a dark and dreary story of cruel and malevolent beings, but it’s really about two people rescuing each other from the shadows. This isn’t a tale about people escaping the dark forest and returning to the light. This is about building a cabin among those dread trees and calling the warmth of the hearth your home.

In that way, darkness becomes light. Death reminds us to savor the wonderment of living. Shadows call us home to the sun.

That is how I was not only inspired to be a writer, but to write The Vampire Noctuaries.

The oldest adage about writing is “write what you know” and everyone has heard that advice a million times. I would contend that a less succinct, but more accurate adage is, “live an enriching life of which to write”. For the greatest joy of writing is in the thrill of using language to meaningfully convey the subtle wonders of your limited time upon this glorious earth.

About The Book:

Title: Annwn’s Maelstrom Festival: Concluding Volume of the Vampire Noctuaries
Author: Eric Muss-Barnes
Publication Date: February 2013
At last comes the long-awaited sequel to “The Gothic Rainbow” by Eric Muss-Barnes.

When you thought the shadows could become no darker, “Annwn’s Maelstrom Festival: Concluding Volume Of The Vampire Noctuaries” takes you further into the tale of Elric and Helle DuBois. Told from Helle’s perspective, the story picks up where The Gothic Rainbow: Beginning Volume of The Vampire Noctuaries ended.

We learn the true motives of Camillia, and the mystery of mortals played as Pawns, in centuries-old Killing Games, by the insidious DuBois sisters. The secrets grow deeper. The passion becomes stronger. The fury knows no limits. There is far more to Elric and Helle than they have ever dreamed.

Welcome to Annwn’s Obsidian Sideshow & Maelstrom Festival, where the love of Elric and Helle will cause dominions to fall and tragedy and death be left in their wake.


Find the novel Online:

Title: The Gothic Rainbow: Beginning Volume of the Vampire Noctuaries
Author: Eric Muss-Barnes
Publication Date: February 16th 2013
First published in 1997, the breakthrough vampire novel by Eric Muss Barnes, The Gothic Rainbow, has become a cult classic. This second edition published in 2013 adds a new full-color cover (the first edition was solid black-and-white).

The epic 190,000-word story is set in a dark, faeriepunk version of the modern-day underground nightclub scene. With a bit of surreal embellishment to enrich the tale, this novel was inspired by the parties, the places, the people and the atmosphere encompassing the authors exposure to several years of the gothic/industrial counterculture.

Written in first-person, the tale is focused upon dreary chasms of the human condition and tells the journey of a young male vampire and his relationship with a teenage mortal girl, Helle. Thinking he is only a spirit that communicates with her in dreams and rituals, Helle slowly comes to discover that he is very real and will change everything in her life forever.


Find the novel Online:


Happy reading until next time!