Fun Facts About The Un-Life (Spoilers)

It's been a while! Hi! I've been busy with leading CampNaNoWriMo workshops and lots of book signings. But here I am today, ready to tell you a little more about my novel, The Un-Life of William Moore.

I highly suggest reading the novel before reading these "fun facts," as there are spoilers ahead. You can purchase the book at most all places you buy books, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and your local book store.

-Fun Facts About The Un-Life of William Moore-

1)  The novel is approximately 63k words.  When I first “finished” the story, it only had 35k. Being so short and condensed, the story's pace was way too fast.  The additional word count helped to slow things down, develop characters, and make it a more standard sized novel. 

2)  My first working title was “Billy the Vampire.” This title made it too obvious what the story was about, even though it conveyed the corny tone I wanted at the time.  Later, I wanted to make it more subtle. I chose the official title (The Un-Life of William Moore) because it's a sort of spin-off of “The Life and Times of…” phrase.  “Un-Life” was an interesting term I thought put a cool spin on it, and maybe leaves the reader wondering:   what does that mean?  It’s more than just identifying William as undead, but as someone that doesn’t have what you’d call a “normal” life. Maybe it isn’t even much of a life at all.

3)  William Moore himself went through three last name changes.  I was adamant on the first name – I wanted the vampire to have a very not-vampirey name in the playful name of Billy.  Who will shake in their boots against a vampire named Billy?  I thought it sounded like a kid’s name.  The full first name, William, also suited what I wanted well because it’s a very common name.  It's the 5th most common male name, which made Billy’s first last name, McArthur, strange.  It wasn’t plain enough for plain ol’ Billy.  So I changed it to Brown, the fifth most common last name to match the commonality.  However, the name Brown gained a negative connotation for me later in my life, and I didn’t want Billy to have that name anymore.  I debated over other common last names until I finally settled on Moore. I think it’s much better suited for him.  Later, I also really liked how the chosen font for the cover made the W and M foil each other so well.

4)  In contrast, Kaylah only went through one name change.  Kaylah’s last name started out as some form of Stuart before it was Rhodes. I changed her last name because it didn't quite seem to fit, and it also sounded too much like "Kristen Stewart," who plays Bella Swan in Twilight. I originally spelled the first name Kaelah.  It’s a unique spelling of a common name that I wanted to contrast with Billy’s super common name.  But I thought Kaelah was a little too uniquely spelled, so I changed it to Kaylah last minute. The same rule applies with Alexandre – he and Kaylah are both spelled just a little out of the norm to make William seem just that more average.  

5)  My inspiration for The Un-Life of William Moore began with the concept of a normal monster.  Not one that’s sexy or excessively aggressive like the norm is now, but a very human looking and acting monster.  I took it a step further and tried to make a pathetic monster – too polite for his own good, super socially awkward, shy, plain to look at, and rather weak.  But at the same time, I wanted to throw back to old school monster lore, not only literally in the form of powers and weakness, but to bring back the darkness, too.  I wanted to bring back that being a monster was a curse instead of being something desirable. That all the downsides weren’t worth the longevity. That there’s nothing romantic about it.  What I came up with was William Moore, one of the last vampires still struggling to survive the modern age where exposure and starvation is a constant threat every day.

6)  Alyssa is named after a friend of mine with a multitude of talents that I hope to co-write a novel or two with someday. The character, though, isn’t really based off the real Alyssa.  There could be similarities, but it was not intended. You might recall my "How Did I Get Here?" blog post where I talked about role playing on a forum. That’s where I met her.  Our characters always somehow would be best friends and I think it says a lot about how well we write together. 

7)  The date that William Moore became a vampire is September 30th, the birthday of my best friend from high school, Katie. Yes, the Katie from the dedication!  She was supportive early on before the story was even finished and the first one to read it completely.

8)  Professor Hark’s name is a subtle nod to Harker, as in Jonathan and Mina Harker, from Bram Stoker’s Dracula.  I find it an entertaining notion that possibly after the events in Dracula that the Harkers would take up the mantle of vampire hunting.I happen to know of several Harks in my area, which inspired the name when I realized how close it was to Harker.  Previously, Professor Hark had been called some corny spoof of Van Helsing like Von Helen and other weird iterations I didn’t like. They didn’t sound like real names or sounded too close to Van Helsing and ruined the subtleness.  

That is it for now! I might release more fun facts in the future, so stay tuned. Thank you for going on this writing journey for me. I'll talk about my trip to Gateway Con soon.

-Dana Lockhart



    I didn't know how to contact you, but I wanted you to have the photo I took of you at Big River Steampunk festival. It was great to meet you. Lyle Payne


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