Rancor: Vampyre Hunter … Free

rancour

Hard to believe the first copy of this book was published by Simply Read Books (published as Rancour) twelve years ago. Harder to believe that when it was first published, it was considered a unique storyline and not a cliched copycat of the now thousands of vampire/werewolf/love triangle books out there.

When it was first published (just a few months before Twilight) reviewers compared it to Underworld and Constantine –only because those movies have something to do with vampires or the supernatural. Then Twilight became popular, and Rancour was only ever compared to it.

I was hired to write three novels and paid an advance for the third (which never made it to print). Vampires seem to be making a resurgence and so I am considering releasing the third, never-before-seen book. We’ll see.

For now, a few reviews:

“Werewolves, vampires, keg parties, murders and love: Terror and suspense rarely let up in this teen thriller” – Pam Withers, author of the popular Xtreme Series

“Vampires, werewolves, and teenage angst — the supernatural has often been worked into teen tales, but rarely in quite the way that Vancouver author James McCann has done in his first novel.” – Quill and Quire, October 2005

“An enthralling read for an action fan or a mythology follower. Reliving the motions of an ancient being, paralleled by a new kid in town. Modern acts speak in an ancient tongue that resonates for longer than anyone can fathom. A treat for all who love a good fictional story.” – Windsor Star, 2007

“The time – the present. The place – Fillmore High and the surrounding town. The cast of characters – Alix, Betty, Kharl, Simon – plus their families, friends and enemies. It all points to a typical teen fiction novel. And that’s where the resemblance ends.” – CM Magazine, 2005 (Pyre)

And here we are. Twelve years later and people are still reading it. It’s no longer available in the Simply Read Books version, but it is available under my imprint:

Plus, the Kindle version is free until the 21st.

rancor_2016

 

Below is a song that inspired the story. From a movie that inspired the story.

Almost forgot about the Reaper news!

Rancour has once again been cast in a TV show. (Just as an extra, but it’s still a role!)

My book will be a prop in the TV series Reaper, shot here in Vancouver. I’ll let you all know what episode and when it airs!

(Unless his spot gets cut during editing …)

UPDATED: Rancour can be seen in season one, episode twelve, about 38 mins into the program.That’s Jessica Stroup “reading” Rancour!

reaper

And I Used to Also Work 43 Hours a Week?

So much has been going on since I last blogged!

First, I got to meet Darren Shan. For those of you who don’t know, Mr. Shan has been an inspiration of mine since I first discovered his Saga of Darren Shan series (misnamed in some countries as “Cirque du Freak – that’s actually just the title of the first book). I was introduced to his work while I was at Kidsbooks, and I’d taken a call from a teacher who was concerned about the contents of the series. Her grades 6+ wanted to read it, and she wanted to know if it was too dark.

Since that’s not a question I can answer without reading the book first, I thought it only fair to judge the book after I gave it a shot. Wow! I was hooked! Here was a series with simple English, but extremely complex plots and twists.

I’ve been a big promoter of Darren Shan’s ever since, so when news came of him possibly (and then definitely!) coming to Vancouver I was stoked. I immediately phoned Phyllis Simon at Kidsbooks and asked if I could meet Shan backstage, and she was able to do that for me. Let me just say that Darren Shan is a super nice guy. He’s the type of author that makes you glad for his success!


Then on Friday I had a workshop at BCTELA. I’ve been feeling as though my map making seminar has perhaps ran its course, and that maybe it was time to try something new. I had tried a fun hero vs. villain workshop with my CWC students the week before that went over well, so I thought I’d give that a shot with the teachers.
This is what happens when one tries something new:
First, the computer the school had was using had an older version of Power Point than what I was using. I tried downloading the Power Point viewer, but the newest one is only compatible with Windows VISTA. Can you guess which finger I’m showing Microsoft?
This meant I had no visuals. What I did have was an hour and a half to fill. I thought fast! I borrowed the laptop from the Kidsbooks display, because I knew they were using Windows Vista. My student techie helped me to hook it up to the projector … and thankfully that worked! Except for the fonts, which weren’t compatible between my memory stick and the KB Computer. But at least I had photos. The rest I could talk my way through!
The workshop was a huge hit! The teachers had a blast, and were impressed with how easily they could start a story by using my technique. What a great time!

After that, I scooted on down to the Surrey International Writers’ Conference (hereby known as SiWC) for the weekend. I managed to make it for the dinner on Friday, and two workshops on Saturday, plus a great party with the Compuserve Kidlit crowd on Saturday night. At the party, Diana Gabaldon read from her newest work and Jack Whyte read from a Broadway play he’s been working on.

Tomorrow I’m off to Seattle to see Walter Dean Myers speak. That should be interesting!

And, yes, I am writing up a storm. I have a writer friend who I have to check in with every day and confess either how much or how little I’ve written. I never want to say zero pages!

Chocolate & Chat

These are some photos from kc dyer’s and my “Chocolate and Chat”, the second of a series of events we have planned throughout the Lower Mainland. It was a beautiful sunny day, and instead of setting up shop inside the bookstore we greeted people on the streets outside of the Edgemont Village Kidsbooks location.

 

It was a fun day, and to those of you who stopped by (either to this event or the one on the Thursday before at Vancouver Kidsbooks) I’d like to say thanks. If you missed these two events, stay tuned for four more coming up at various Chapters locations!

It was a fun day, and to those of you who stopped by (either to this event or the one on the Thursday before at Vancouver Kidsbooks) I’d like to say thanks. If you missed these two events, stay tuned for four more coming up at various Chapters locations!

Nearly Forgot About Book Expo & SBH

For those of you attending Book Expo in Toronto this weekend, or the Spring Book Hatching here in Vancouver, this is a poster that you can pick up.
The poster was designed by Andrea Armstrong, a very talented graphic designer. The character was drawn by Jen Moore, who has done artwork for TV (such as the Masters of Horror TV show where the book RANCOUR appeared as a prop!).

Pyre Due Date

Alas, but Pyre won’t be shipped until June 20th. This means he won’t make it in time for the Spring Book Hatching (drat those vampire defenders!), but I will have some fancy posters to give away and (if you haven’t already) you can always pick up your copy of Rancour!

Here is a reminder of the event:

An Actual Writing Post


Being that I’m an author, I suppose I should add a post or two about writing. This past weekend (being that my weekend consists of only one day) was awesome. I got home from school on Saturday around 6pm, after running two very fun workshops at CWC. This week we discussed poetry, which isn’t exactly my strong point. In all honesty, the only poems I can recite from heart would probably get me fired.

But there it was Saturday evening and I wondered what I should do. I had the option of meeting some friends for a movie, but instead I opted out and headed for my local 24-hour cafe and wrote. I’ve been writing the third instalment to my Rancour books, only because that seems to be what’s coming out of me. Truthfully, I’d much prefer to be writing about Galen in ancient Sparta but, well, Kane Prophet has a story to be told and he’s insisting it be told first.

My students asked me once what inspires me. I told them a story of how I was walking through Metrotown (a.k.a. the Third level in Dante’s Hell), where I came upon a store called Millennium. Inside, there was a wall of swords and I found one with this amazing brown wooden sheath and great hilt.(How’s that for masterful description?) When I picked it up I said to myself, “This is Kane’s sword. This is what he uses to go after the vampires.” So I bought it.

This sword has been my inspiration now for several weeks, and this story has just been flowing through me. (I’m having a hard time not making a Hiro reference, but I imagine most of you are tired of reading about my superhero obsession.) Sometimes I pick up the sword, and I imagine how Kane would feel having to fight evil with it.

And then I go back to my regular life.