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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Brian McKinley Author of Ancient Blood

I was so excited to have Brian join us to talk about Ancient Blood, this book was positively incredible and blew me away completely. A bravo and we cant wait for the encore! He's hilarious too by the way... I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did.


Ambrosia Arts : What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Brian: Deciding which words to use and typing them all in.

Ambrosia Arts : Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

Brian : Besides how hard it is to write an entire book? I learned all kinds of architectural and design terms so that I could properly describe Sebastian’s mansion (and most of it wound up getting cut out!) as well as a lot of medieval feast terms. Honestly, I had to do little bits of research for all kinds of aspects of the story because I hate getting details wrong. It’s been several years, so I don’t remember everything, but I learn a lot for every book I write.

Ambrosia Arts: Do you have any advice for other writers?

Brian : Read as much as you can and keep working. Your writing will only get better with practice.

Ambrosia Arts : Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Brian : Hello, are you out there? If you read my book, then please review it!

Ambrosia Arts : What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing it to life?

Brian : ANCIENT BLOOD was probably the most personal book I’ve ever written, and the character of Avery featured a lot of self-examination. I really had to be careful to keep Avery a character rather than me, but still pour my emotions and feelings into him. That sense of a person baring their soul had to come through in the book for it to work. The reader had to engage with Avery at the deepest level and really take the journey with him, so I had to be very emotionally honest with the character when I was writing him. I had to pull out those dirty, secret feelings that I and friends I’ve known have had and hope that such raw honesty would draw readers in rather than repel them.

Ambrosia Arts : Do you ever experience writer's block?

Brian : All the time! One of the most difficult things for me is make myself start writing. Once I get going, I can often develop a rhythm, but sometimes every sentence is a struggle. On my second book, I had periods of up to two years where I didn’t write a thing. I hope to never experience such a long period again.

Ambrosia Arts : Do you write an outline before every book you write?

Brian : Yes. For me, an outline is a necessity. I need some kind of roadmap to follow and I need to convince myself that there’s a solid enough story to proceed. I feel free to deviate from or change my outline as I go, but I don’t trust raw ideas. It’s too easy to start with something that sounds like a great idea, get several chapters in, and suddenly realize that you’ve got no idea where the story is going and you’ve lost inspiration. You can’t count on inspiration. For me, writing is such a lengthy and difficult process that I need to be confident in that final destination before I can start.
Ambrosia Arts : Have you ever hated something you wrote?

Brian : Not really. There have been times when I’ve looked back at lines or scenes and decided that they could be better, but if I’m critical of something as I write it, I’ll go back and change it. I’m a perfectionist, so usually everything I write is as good as I can make it at the time. I’m always willing to improve, but I have to believe that what I’m doing is great at the time or I’ll lock myself into immobility.

Ambrosia Arts : What is your favorite theme/genre to write about?

Brian : I’d probably call it “Extraordinary people in ordinary situations.” Kind of a reverse of the usual horror set up, but it really covers my favorite stuff. I like the fun of examining what everyday life is like for extraordinary creatures and people dealing with the mundane world.

Ambrosia Arts : What was the first piece you ever wrote?

Brian : It’s so far back, I can’t even remember. I used to write science fiction stories for my grandparents when I was five or six years old and continued to write little epics all through my school years.

Ambrosia Arts : How much do you feel you've improved in the last few years?

Brian : I think the last year or two have seen a huge improvement in my writing style and my instinct for storytelling. I’ve lost a lot of the pretension and showy literary style that I used to use to dress up my work and have really begun to write strong, clear sentences. I owe a lot of that to a local critique group I joined. My work before and after working with them is noticeably different.

Ambrosia Arts : Where do you get most of your ideas?

Brian aka Brain : From my brain. Seriously, I draw ideas from all over. I take elements of things that happened to me or other people I know, stories from history, people from history, and mix them with characters that have been living in my head for years. A lot of times I get ideas by watching movies, TV shows, or reading other books and thinking about the roads they didn’t take with their story. Some of my best ideas have come from my frustration at never seeing or reading something, therefore I decide that I’m going to do it!

Ambrosia Arts : What is your favorite place for thinking?

Brian : Thinking for me tends to happen everywhere. Driving, sitting around, or wherever. I’m in my head 90% of the time, so I’m almost always thinking about some aspect of my stories.

Ambrosia Arts : Who was your favorite childhood author?

Brian : Dr. Suess.

Ancient Blood:

A Novel of the Hegemony


By  Brian Patrick McKinley




Avery Doyle loves vampires; he’s read every novel, seen all the movies, and researched the folklore.  When his first one-night-stand, Caroline, turns out to be a true vampire on the run, he jumps at the chance to leave his ordinary life and join her as a “child of the night.”  The honeymoon ends, however, when Caroline’s brutal Creator Sebastian enslaves them on his island estate and Avery must confront the dehumanizing reality behind his dreams.

In order to survive, Caroline and Avery take their place as servants in Sebastian’s household during a gathering of the most powerful vampires on Earth, the Hegemony, and soon find themselves involved in the myriad intrigues and deceptions that form the night-to-night existence of The Order.

A society of wealth, power, and inhuman decadence whose existence is protected by human complicity and disbelief, The Order is the immortal aristocracy hidden behind the giant corporations and political leaders of the world. Sebastian, however, has a plan that will change The Order forever and shatter human civilization.

To avoid this terrible fate, Avery and Caroline will not only have to defy the most powerful creatures on Earth, but also confront the darkest aspects of themselves. For in the world of the Hegemony, even victory may cost them their souls . . .

A fast-paced thriller that both re-imagines and pays tribute to the traditional vampire, Ancient Blood is a story of love, ambition, sacrifice, and betrayal that is frighteningly human.


About the Author

Brian is a lifelong vampire fan from New Jersey and has written four screenplays, a stage play which won a state-wide contest and was produced by a NJ community theater, and numerous short stories which have been published online in various magazines.






She gave me the earring and, as delicately as I could, I pierced one of the smaller arteries at the bottom of her neck. I handed the earring back to her and bent to drink. While I did, she punctured my neck in the same way and put her lips to the wound. This is probably the one major advantage a starving Vampyr has over a starving human, this mutual-cannibalism we can perform. I guess it’s a little like having sex while freezing just to generate bodily warmth, but among Vampyrs, this is considered the purest form of lovemaking. It didn’t have the climactic intensity of sex, but it was a warmer plateau, like riding that pre-orgasmic moment forever. Or, for those of a more gastronomic bent, imagine eating the best chocolate sundae you ever had and never reaching the bottom of the dish and never losing your appetite for it. It made me feel close to her in a way that was impossible with any other form of verbal or physical expression. At that moment, we were literally one being, one system circulating its life between our separate halves.

We fed and kissed and comforted each other for the rest of the night. When sunrise came, we fell into our daytime hibernation coma holding each other.


You can find Ancient Blood  at:



Find Brian at:

Midnight Hour Publishing:




  1. Quote: "Ambrosia Arts : What was the hardest part of writing your book?
    Brian: Deciding which words to use and typing them all in."

    LOL Brian!

    My daughter just got a Dr Seuss collection for her birthday. Good taste all round. Great interview :)