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Friday Night Stories: Dana Lockhart's The Unlife of William Moore

When you hear there's another YA urban fantasy out - with vampires in it - your mind tends to go to one of two places. Either it's that sparkly That-Which-Shall-Not-Be-Named series or it's Anne Rice. Maybe you think of Kostova's excellent novel, The Historian (serious respect, if you do).

Since I'm a vampire fan of the old school (enter Stoker's Dracula), I tend to be a harder sell than most. There's a stark line in quality I always tend to come up against when trying to read something other than established classics. Call me snooty, I don't really care. I can't stand reads where I can tell you what's going to happen, step-by-step. I love a story where anything can happen (and often does). I love a book where I'm lulled by the familiar until I blink, look around, and realize that hazy place you go to when you read isn't anything actually like what I know. I love it when I get real shivers. Well-written urban fantasies ought to do that, I think.

Juxtapose this with another familiar situation: Your friend announces, probably with a mixture of pride and self-conscience terror, that they have written a book. Maybe you agree to read it out of a sense of friendly obligation. Maybe your curiosity really is peaked. Maybe you just want something new to do. - When my friend Dana Lockhart told me she-had-written-a-book-and-would-I-maybe-proof-read-it-for-her??, none of those scenarios happened.

The Un-Life of William Moore

When you're a writer and have other friends who are writers too, not only are things like this bound to happen eventually, you're excited for them. This is because you've been there, more or less, all along their process. You've met together to write at local breweries and coffee shops. You've bounced ideas off each other for months - maybe even years. You've shared your worries, woes, and little triumphs at writers guild meetings about your WIPs.

The jittery anticipation especially ramps up when you know they're sharing their first work with you. Everybody gives first books a hard time. Hell, I still give my first book, Rienspel, a hard time. It's something creative which formed for a long time deep inside you. Half-hidden and utterly secret, half utterly exhilarating.

This Wednesday on my Facebook, I'll be live reading a teaser to Dana Lockhart's uncanny The Un-Life of William Moore. Then, this Friday (April 24th) at 7p MST I'll be proudly reading live on my author Facebook from the first chapter of my friend Dana Lockhart's The Un-Life of William Moore.