Saturday, May 17, 2014

Guest Blog: To Touch the Sun by Laura L. Enright

It’s the funniest thing. I’ve fallen in love with the novels of my Sentient/Feral Vampire Series.

And yet I started out with no real desire to write a vampire novel.

I enjoyed reading vampire novels. I cut my teeth (so to speak) on Anne Rice books and Richard Matheson’s fantastic I Am Legend. Lately I’ve been hoping to get to the third book of The Strain Series by Chuck and Guillermo Del Torro because the first two were so incredible. 

But I never had a vampire tale to tell until I found myself trying to impress an agent. Noting that the agency represented a vampire series, I decided to try my hand at the genre. And unlike other books I’ve written in which I had a clear plot in mind before setting pen to paper, for my vampire novel I had only a two word idea rolling around my head: “Vampire Chef.”

Sometimes I laugh when I tell people that was the working title. But from that little seed germinated a pretty intricate story. The agent I’d tried to impress wound up mysteriously leaving the business before I could get the proposal package to him. But, by the time I finished the first novel, I realized there were more tales to tell. While hunting for representation for the first novel, I wrote three more novels in the series plus a spin off novel featuring two paranormal investigators that appear in the third vampire novel.
The novel started out as a means to an end. The more I saw it take shape though, the more its publication became the end result. Now I can’t stop telling the stories.

I wanted to give the main character, Narian a sort of every man feel. As a vampire he is special but mentally and emotionally he remains the unassuming man he was before succumbing to vampirism. Narain’s biggest challenge has been not to lose that sense of self despite the strengths and weaknesses of his condition. That’s what intrigued me about the concept of vampirism. What would a person do if they contracted a strange (sometimes deadly) condition that so altered his life?

Narain meeting his beloved Sophie offered a reprieve from some of his concerns. While Narain didn’t need to kill to feed he found so intimate a violation repulsive. And he feared passing on the power that came with vampirims to someone of a dangerous mind. Sophie agreeing to be his food source after they discovered she wasn’t susceptible to the condition helped free him from that concern. Indeed while she appears in the novel only in reminiscences, she’s very important to the plot. Her money and sacrifice allowed Narain as normal a life as possible. It even allowed him to achieve his goal of becoming a chef and owning a restaurant.

But he’s cognizant of the dangers of his condition. When the novel opens, Sophie’s death is a blow to him emotionally but that sense of normalcy is also at risk. He’s grown complacent over the years and now he must figure out how to return to hunting for his food for if he doesn’t he may end up losing control.

I hope people find as much enjoyment in reading Narain’s tale as I had in writing it. 

To Touch the Sun, the new novel by Laura L. Enright, was released Feb. 25 through Dagda Publishing. The novel, set in Chicago, is the first in Enright’s Sentient/Feral Vampire Series set in Chicago and is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle format.

1916: France, World War I

Narain Khan was 25 when he left his native India to fight in the trenches of the West­ern Front dur­ing WWI. It was his hope that he could stay on after the war to pur­sue his dream of study­ing the culi­nary arts and becom­ing a world class chef. Instead, he fell to shrap­nel amidst the car­nage of No Man’s Land which, when dark­ness fell, attracted a roam­ing pack of feral vampires–mindless feeders–who fell upon the sol­diers left wounded and dying. Attacked by the fer­als, Narain was trans­formed into the other type of vam­pire: A sen­tient capa­ble of mov­ing about in soci­ety with only a few restric­tions and able to feed with­out killing the host.

Present Day: Chicago, U.S.

Narain has reached a cross­roads. Help­ing him adjust to his con­di­tion through the decades was his beloved Sophie who was not only his wife, but his food source once they real­ized she wasn’t sus­cep­ti­ble to the con­di­tion. Her sac­ri­fice enabled him to lead as nor­mal a life as pos­si­ble, mak­ing hunt­ing for food unnec­es­sary. Can­cer had taken Sophie the pre­vi­ous year and after the stock of blood she had saved up has been depleted, Narain is faced with again hav­ing to hunt for his food, some­thing he is both morally opposed to, but also causes him to fear pass­ing on the con­di­tion to unwit­ting, per­haps dan­ger­ous hosts. If left too long, how­ever, hunger can bring out the deadly feral nature even in a sen­tient vam­pire. As a well-​​respected chef and owner of a suc­cess­ful Chicago restau­rant, Narain has worked hard to pro­mote a veneer of nor­mal­ity. The last thing he and his busi­ness part­ner and friend Dom Amato needs is for Narain’s hunger to get the bet­ter of him.

Events con­spire, how­ever, to drag Narain away from the safe life he has cul­ti­vated back into one of mad­ness and dan­ger: The attrac­tion he feels for micro­bi­ol­o­gist Cassie Lam­bert, who has a link to his past Narain is unaware of, and the re-​​emergence of a ghost from the Great War. Cap­tain Regi­nald Jame­son was a sadis­tic preda­tor when Narain had chal­lenged him dur­ing their ser­vice in the trenches of France. The vam­pire Jame­son of 90 years later is infi­nitely more dan­ger­ous, his sadism backed by the bizarre abil­i­ties of their con­di­tion. The dis­cov­ery that Cassie Lam­bert has made about the cause of vam­pirism is one that Jame­son is will­ing to kill to obtain.

Jame­son has brought back another ghost from their shared his­tory in his search to find immu­nity to sun­light. The exper­i­ments of his researchers, how­ever, have resulted in the cre­ation of a third, more ter­ri­fy­ing breed of vam­pire: Boris, a psy­cho­pathic mon­ster who will stop at noth­ing to destroy all in his path.
In try­ing to pro­tect Cassie from Jame­son and Boris, Narain will have to rely on skills that he’s allowed to atro­phy over the decades. In a cli­matic strug­gle, Narain will have to learn that to defeat the real mon­sters, he has to embrace what he is and awaken the beast within. 

About The Author:
A resident of Chicago, Laura is the author of Chicago's Most Wanted™ The Top 10 Book of Murderous Mobsters, Midway Monsters, and Windy City OdditiesVampires' Most Wanted: The Top 10 Book of Bloodthirsty Biters, Stake-wielding Slayers, and Other Undead Oddities.
To Touch The Sun is her first full-length horror novel. For news and information, visit
To purchase the book visit
For more information on the series visit

1 comment:

Laura L. Enright said...

Thanks for having me on the blog. I appreciate it.