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Sunday, May 3, 2009

Don't Kill the Pumpkins! By Lex Valentine

What do you do when work at a cemetery, you write about vampires in your stories, and your birthday is on Halloween? If you’re me, you thank your lucky stars that you weren’t born on Easter because you know what happens to the wild bunnies at the cemetery? Oh, yeah. Hawks. *wince*

I’ve had the Halloween birthday my whole life so I’m pretty much used to the jokes and the people who gush about how cool it is. Truthfully, any birthday that falls on a holiday is a short-changed birthday. People are always busy with plans and other stuff. Your birthday is never the priority, the holiday is. It pretty much sucks.

Once I had a boyfriend who was born on Valentine’s Day. People would gape when we told when our birthdays were. “Really?” was the inevitable question. Uh, yeah. Why the heck would we lie about it? It got to the point that when people asked us that we’d both reach for our driver’s licenses. And the jokes! OMG the jokes! Are you gonna get engaged on St. Patrick’s Day and married on Christmas? Oy vey.

Working for a cemetery has certainly garnered a few odd questions besides the requisite “Have you seen a dead body?” and “Eww. How can you stand it?” I usually explain that I’m the IT geek there and people simmer down, realizing I don’t have anything to do with the deceased. Once they realize that, the question tends to be, “Have you seen a ghost?” (No, I haven’t. I don’t believe in them.)

Writing stories about vampires seems to be the thing that people focus on the least when I suppose it’s really the thing I’d prefer that they focus on. Of course, when or if (some people are just not interested) they ask about my characters, I explain that in the Darkworld, vampires are NOT the undead. There is no rising from the dead factor to deal with. Their reflections show in mirrors. They can walk in the sun (although they do have a sensitivity to it), eat garlic, aren’t squicked out by holy relics, holy water, or crosses, have heartbeats, and don’t sleep in coffins… They do, however, drink blood and have razor sharp fangs. In fact, in my novella The Pixie Prince which was just contracted by Cobblestone Press, the heroine shreds a king sized pillow with her fangs during sex. The hero was mightily amused by this. I am too, truth be told.

In the Tales of the Darkworld, my vampire family the Granvilles own a cemetery. They’re a very prominent family in the death care industry. Even immortals in the Darkworld can be killed or can die. That being the case, their services are needed. Two of the three siblings that own the cemetery have their books out already. Shifting Winds is the story of Elysia Granville, a woman scorned and dumped in front of all of her peers. She meets a dragon shifter at a Halloween ball and falls in love. And yeah, she’s dressed as Elvira, he’s dressed as the Grim Reaper, and they do have sex in a mausoleum. You wanna read this now, dontcha?

In the second book, Hot Water, you meet Elysia’s brother Colin who goes to a vampire themed club called Carpe Noctem and meets a hot dragon shifter woman. He falls for her, of course. It IS a romance after all. You knew how it was going to end without me even mentioning it, right?

Working in my industry has given a lot of realism to my characters when it comes to their work and that part of the Darkworld stories that deal with death. In terms of Halloween, well, let’s just day that I used cliché costumes for a reason. I just don’t get into all the fancy stuff that has to do with the holiday. I have one concession to my Halloween birthday… I collect pumpkins and jack o’ lanterns. On some of the message boards I belong to, I have a little graphic that says “I love pumpkins” and beneath it I have the tagline “Noooooo! Don’t kill the pumpkins for pie!” I don’t like pumpkin pie so it works for me.

I guess the holiday has its moments for me. At my age, you sorta stop having birthdays anyway. I’ve shifted over from having my birthday to celebrating Halloween and now that there is no conflict, I’m a happy camper and can enjoy the decorations and fun. I have tons of cool Halloween graphics for websites and stuff. And I really do like the pumpkins. I’d much rather look at them than eat them.

If you’re interested in buying my Tales of the Darkworld books, they are available at Pink Petal Books ( My other release, The Wise Guy, is a story about a mage who was born on the Sabbath. That book is available at Noble Romance. ( If you’re really interested in the story where the vampire shreds the king size pillow, keep an eye out for it in the Coming Soon section at Cobblestone Press ( It’s a Twisted Tale which means it’s a twisted take on the Princess and the Pea fairy tale.

If you leave a comment between now and May 8 and tell me what your favorite jack o’ lantern carving is, I will have my black cat Rambo (yes the one in The Wise Guy book and trailer!) draw a name to win one your choice of my releases. Make sure you check back here on May 8 to see if you have won. If your name is drawn, you’ll need to email me and tell me which book you’d like.

For those of you already familiar with my Tales of the Darkworld series, stop by my website ( and vote in the poll to choose who will star in my free Christmas book! Many thanks to Belinda for letting me come by and talk about my birthday, my work, and my books! Have yourself a wonderful half-way to Halloween holiday!


She said...

Well, you've certainly piqued my interest with the shredded pillow. The sex had to be good. ;} My favorite pumpkin face is a happy face but honestly I'd rather have pumpkin pie (homemade, not store bought) or pumpkin roll, or pumpkin cookies. I love pumpkin. My brother was born on Thanksgiving. He was 5 before I could remember the date since Thanksgiving changes every year. Incidentally, he hates turkey and pumpkin pie. Go figure!

Booksrforever123 said...

I love the exotic ones that you see in the carving books, but I've never been able to do any of them and mine usually have a version of the happy face too. Boring, I know, but all I am creatively able to physically do.

Belinda McBride said...

You know, its been ages since I've carved a pumpkin! I have this morbid fascination with those people who make fine art out of carving pumpkins.

But I remember as a kid, my dad did an awesome scary faced pumpkin with frown lines between his eyes.

RachieG said...

I love carving cats in pumpkins..they seem cool and are a bit different.

FUN contest this month! I'll be checkin' in everyday :D

May's my birthday month, so I <3 it!

Josef13 said...

Each year I like to try carving out one of the various witches riding on brooms with the spooky cats hanging on for halloween. Alas I usually don't end up with the version from the pumpkin carving books. :)

Your books look very interesting, I'd love to read!

Lex Valentine said...

She - It was anal sex *gasp* And the comments between the hero and heroine afterward are really funny!

Books - I like the plain ole smiley ones... and the puking pumpkin!

Belinda - The kits they have now make it really easy to make fancy ones if you want to.

Rachie - I have 12 cats so the cat carving would fit in perfectly at my house

Josef - I think my Darkworld books ARE very interesting! I'm about to finish Book 3 but there is lots of info about them on my website and at I hope you decide to check them out even if Rambo doesn't choose your name. :)

kimmyl said...

my favorite pumpkin carving is of a flying witch. It is so awesome to see how neat some of the carvings are.

Savanna Kougar said...

Hi Lex, I luv that... shredding the pillow with her fangs.

I've only gotten to do pumpkin carving once, at a friend's party. It was darn fun.

MarthaE said...

Vampires and dragon shifters too? Sounds interesting! Favorite jack o'latern for me would be the happy faced guy with pointy eyebrows!

Lex Valentine said...

Well, Rambo was given slips of paper, each with the name of a person who posted a comment about jack o' lanterns. The one paper he picked up and ran away with had the name of... Josef13 on it!

Wooooo hoooo! Josef13 please email me at lex at lexvalentine dot com and tell me which book you would like to have.

Congratulations and thanks to everyone for reading and posting comments!