Drayton (The Taker): Evolution of a Vampire

DeadPixel Publications
19

Drayton once believed he was a vampire. He doesn’t know what he is. Or why he has lived for thousands of years. He takes not his victim’s blood but the silky essence of their soul during their last breath. Often mistaken for the Angel of Death, his victims sometimes ask for forgiveness. Sometimes he delivers. After all, he is not without sin. 


Blake Barnes commits suicide by freezing on Mt. Hood. As his life fades, he assumes Death has come to him in the form of a young man. In his last moments, he asks Death to find his family, to tell them he's sorry. Drayton honors this last request as he absorbs Blake Barnes' waning essence. He travels to the Lowcountry of South Carolina to find his family. But saying sorry is not always as easy as the words imply. Drayton seeks to unravel the mess Blake Barnes has left behind and the predator he's unleashed on his family.


INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR


Did you ever think you’d write about vampires?

Nope. Drayton came out of nowhere when I was at a community theatre production of Dracula. I figured that an immortal vampire would more likely become compassionate and wise as he grew older. Twilight put a different spin on the vampire genre, much different than Nosferatu. Drayton’s nothing like Twilight. Or Nosferatu.


What's a downside to writing a character similar that's similar to you? 

Predictable. Boring. If every book I write is similar, it ceases to surprise the reader. That’s what I loved about Drayton, he was just the opposite of me. This paranormal being was fearless not out of bravado but the wisdom brought about by countless years of immortality. I called him a vampire because it was the word that fit him the best in his early years, but he became something much for that. Whatever a vampire becomes after the gore and bloodsucking, sort of like the caterpillar and butterfly. 


Do your characters ever resemble you in your beliefs?

Some do. But there are others that are just fun to go the other way, especially antagonists. I do find it interesting, even courageous, when authors can write very demented, sick and twisted antagonists. It’s very revealing to show the world what’s bouncing around in your head.


What do you think is the most important aspect of writing a character?

Letting him or her grow in my head. It’s when I’m driving to work, taking a shower, or lying in bed that they come to life. It’s also one of the most gratifying elements of writing. I’ve enjoyed letting this vampire walk through my mind, leaving his short stories behind.


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More by Tony Bertauski

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Tony Bertauski
 The epic Halfskin journey all in one boxed set.

HALFSKIN (#1)
Biomites are artificial stem cells that can replace any cell in your body. No more kidney failure, no severed spines or blood disease. No cancer. Pharmaceuticals become obsolete. With each dose of biomites, we become stronger, we become smarter and prettier. 

We become better. 

At what point are we no longer human? 

Nix Richards nearly died in a car accident when he was young. Biomites saved his life. Ten years later, he’s not so lucky. The Halfskin Laws decree a human composed of 50% biomites is no longer human. Halfskins have no legal rights and will have their biomites shutdown. It’s not called murder, merely deactivation. 

Cali Richards has been Nix’s legal guardian since their parents died. She has lost far too many people in her life to let the government take Nix. She is a nanobiometric engineer and will discover how to hide him. But even brilliance can succumb to the pressure of suffering. And technology can’t cure insanity. 

Cali and Nix keep a slippery grip on reality as they elude a maniacal federal agent dedicated to saving humanity from what he calls 'The Biomite Plague'.

CLAY (#2)
Jamie wants to be a halfskin. 

Her life has become dull and pointless. If she had more biomites—synthetic stem cells that promise hope—she could take control of her life. But Jamie’s body is already 49.9% biomites. The rest is clay—her God-given organic cells. Any more biomites and she becomes a halfskin. And halfskins are shutdown. 

But there is a way. 

Black market biomites, called nixes, can’t be detected by the government’s halfskin hunter, M0ther. Jamie would have to sacrifice her clay to get the nixes, but they would make her halfskin without anyone knowing. Including M0ther. But first she has to find them. 

Nix Richards can help. He’s the first halfskin to escape M0ther and Jamie has something he wants. He’ll need her to help him find a fabricator. He’ll betray anyone to get it, even those closest to him. 

This psychological thriller will keep Nix and Jamie second-guessing every move while they elude M0ther and Marcus Anderson, the man that wants to rid the world of biomites. But in the end, they’ll all discover just how deep the betrayal goes. 

BRICKS (#3)
Fabbers, slabbers and fakies were dehumanizing slurs for fabricated humans. Bricks, however, was the People’s favorite.

The Sentience Laws were created to protect the rights of Bricks, but the laws didn’t last long. Banished to the remote isolation of the Settlement, Paul and Raine are sentenced to live the rest of their lives in the wilderness.

Escape and freedom will depend on Marcus Anderson, the man responsible for all the suffering that’s been endured since the invention of biomites—the synthetic stem cells used to fabricate halfskins and Bricks. Marcus needs them in order to find the “powers-that-be,” the man he believes is truly responsible for the world’s suffering. Their journey will take them to a tiny island in the South Atlantic, where the truth is much closer than they realize. That’s where they will discover the “powers-that-be”.

And so much more.


INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR


WHAT GENRE DO YOU PREFER?

Science fiction, dystopia, technothriller and, to some extent, young adult. I do have a series of novellas in the vampire genre. Yeah, I know. Doesn’t fit. That character, Drayton, came out of nowhere when I was at a community theatre production of Dracula. I figured that an immortal vampire would more likely become compassionate and wise as he grew older. The technothriller Halfskin is similar to vampires in that technology promises immortality and complete control of our bodies. But then what?


WHY A SYNTHETIC STEM CELL?

Organic life is too nilly-willy. We’re limited by our DNA. Give it to the scientists to perfect this vehicle that carries us around because it is a vehicle. If we no longer have organic bodies, if every one of our cells is replaced by something manmade all the way down to the neurons and synapses, then what are we? What if our world is just a computerized environment, ala The Matrix? Would we know the difference? Look, we’re printing organs today. I’m not, but someone is. Some genius has figured out how to push play and heart or liver or kidney comes down the chute. Halfskin takes the idea into the distant future and explores whether this leads to more happiness or just more of the same. Because more money, more problems.


DO YOU HAVE ANOTHER JOB BESIDES AUTHOR?

Day job, I’m a college horticulture teacher. Writing is a passion. No plans to change it. 


WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO?

Breathe.


WHAT TALENT WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO HAVE?

Omnipresent supergalactic oneness.


IF WE HAD A CUSTOM THAT ALLOWED US TO EAT OUR CHILDREN, WHAT KIND OF SAUCE WOULD YOU USE?

Ketchup, the miracle condiment.


ARE OUR ELECTRONIC DEVICES STEALING OUR SOUL? AND IF SO, DO YOU MAKE 

OFFERINGS TO YOUR TOASTER?

I offer white bread and the toaster gives back crunchy, brown bread. Never doubt a true miracle. 


Reviews

4.2
19 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
DeadPixel Publications
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Published on
Dec 31, 2013
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Pages
56
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Fantasy / General
Fiction / Fantasy / Paranormal
Fiction / Romance / Paranormal / Vampires
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Tony Bertauski
 The epic Halfskin journey all in one boxed set.

HALFSKIN (#1)
Biomites are artificial stem cells that can replace any cell in your body. No more kidney failure, no severed spines or blood disease. No cancer. Pharmaceuticals become obsolete. With each dose of biomites, we become stronger, we become smarter and prettier. 

We become better. 

At what point are we no longer human? 

Nix Richards nearly died in a car accident when he was young. Biomites saved his life. Ten years later, he’s not so lucky. The Halfskin Laws decree a human composed of 50% biomites is no longer human. Halfskins have no legal rights and will have their biomites shutdown. It’s not called murder, merely deactivation. 

Cali Richards has been Nix’s legal guardian since their parents died. She has lost far too many people in her life to let the government take Nix. She is a nanobiometric engineer and will discover how to hide him. But even brilliance can succumb to the pressure of suffering. And technology can’t cure insanity. 

Cali and Nix keep a slippery grip on reality as they elude a maniacal federal agent dedicated to saving humanity from what he calls 'The Biomite Plague'.

CLAY (#2)
Jamie wants to be a halfskin. 

Her life has become dull and pointless. If she had more biomites—synthetic stem cells that promise hope—she could take control of her life. But Jamie’s body is already 49.9% biomites. The rest is clay—her God-given organic cells. Any more biomites and she becomes a halfskin. And halfskins are shutdown. 

But there is a way. 

Black market biomites, called nixes, can’t be detected by the government’s halfskin hunter, M0ther. Jamie would have to sacrifice her clay to get the nixes, but they would make her halfskin without anyone knowing. Including M0ther. But first she has to find them. 

Nix Richards can help. He’s the first halfskin to escape M0ther and Jamie has something he wants. He’ll need her to help him find a fabricator. He’ll betray anyone to get it, even those closest to him. 

This psychological thriller will keep Nix and Jamie second-guessing every move while they elude M0ther and Marcus Anderson, the man that wants to rid the world of biomites. But in the end, they’ll all discover just how deep the betrayal goes. 

BRICKS (#3)
Fabbers, slabbers and fakies were dehumanizing slurs for fabricated humans. Bricks, however, was the People’s favorite.

The Sentience Laws were created to protect the rights of Bricks, but the laws didn’t last long. Banished to the remote isolation of the Settlement, Paul and Raine are sentenced to live the rest of their lives in the wilderness.

Escape and freedom will depend on Marcus Anderson, the man responsible for all the suffering that’s been endured since the invention of biomites—the synthetic stem cells used to fabricate halfskins and Bricks. Marcus needs them in order to find the “powers-that-be,” the man he believes is truly responsible for the world’s suffering. Their journey will take them to a tiny island in the South Atlantic, where the truth is much closer than they realize. That’s where they will discover the “powers-that-be”.

And so much more.


INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR


WHAT GENRE DO YOU PREFER?

Science fiction, dystopia, technothriller and, to some extent, young adult. I do have a series of novellas in the vampire genre. Yeah, I know. Doesn’t fit. That character, Drayton, came out of nowhere when I was at a community theatre production of Dracula. I figured that an immortal vampire would more likely become compassionate and wise as he grew older. The technothriller Halfskin is similar to vampires in that technology promises immortality and complete control of our bodies. But then what?


WHY A SYNTHETIC STEM CELL?

Organic life is too nilly-willy. We’re limited by our DNA. Give it to the scientists to perfect this vehicle that carries us around because it is a vehicle. If we no longer have organic bodies, if every one of our cells is replaced by something manmade all the way down to the neurons and synapses, then what are we? What if our world is just a computerized environment, ala The Matrix? Would we know the difference? Look, we’re printing organs today. I’m not, but someone is. Some genius has figured out how to push play and heart or liver or kidney comes down the chute. Halfskin takes the idea into the distant future and explores whether this leads to more happiness or just more of the same. Because more money, more problems.


DO YOU HAVE ANOTHER JOB BESIDES AUTHOR?

Day job, I’m a college horticulture teacher. Writing is a passion. No plans to change it. 


WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO?

Breathe.


WHAT TALENT WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO HAVE?

Omnipresent supergalactic oneness.


IF WE HAD A CUSTOM THAT ALLOWED US TO EAT OUR CHILDREN, WHAT KIND OF SAUCE WOULD YOU USE?

Ketchup, the miracle condiment.


ARE OUR ELECTRONIC DEVICES STEALING OUR SOUL? AND IF SO, DO YOU MAKE 

OFFERINGS TO YOUR TOASTER?

I offer white bread and the toaster gives back crunchy, brown bread. Never doubt a true miracle. 


Tony Bertauski
We map the universe with five senses 
Interpret reality with our mind 
We rely on this body 
What a poor vessel it is 

Jamie wants to be a halfskin. 

Her life has become dull and pointless. If she had more biomites—synthetic stem cells that promise hope—she could take control of her life. But Jamie’s body is already 49.9% biomites. The rest is clay—her God-given organic cells. Any more biomites and she becomes a halfskin. And halfskins are shutdown. 

But there is a way. 

Black market biomites, called nixes, can’t be detected by the government’s halfskin hunter, M0ther. Jamie would have to sacrifice her clay to get the nixes, but they would make her halfskin without anyone knowing. Including M0ther. But first she has to find them. 

Nix Richards can help. He’s the first halfskin to escape M0ther and Jamie has something he wants. He’ll need her to help him find a fabricator. He’ll betray anyone to get it, even those closest to him. 

This psychological thriller will keep Nix and Jamie second-guessing every move while they elude M0ther and Marcus Anderson, the man that wants to rid the world of biomites. But in the end, they’ll all discover just how deep the betrayal goes. 


INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR


WHAT GENRE DO YOU PREFER?

Science fiction, dystopia, technothriller and, to some extent, young adult. I do have a series of novellas in the vampire genre. Yeah, I know. Doesn’t fit. That character, Drayton, came out of nowhere when I was at a community theatre production of Dracula. I figured that an immortal vampire would more likely become compassionate and wise as he grew older. The technothriller Halfskin is similar to vampires in that technology promises immortality and complete control of our bodies. But then what?


WHY A SYNTHETIC STEM CELL?

Organic life is too nilly-willy. We’re limited by our DNA. Give it to the scientists to perfect this vehicle that carries us around because it is a vehicle. If we no longer have organic bodies, if every one of our cells is replaced by something manmade all the way down to the neurons and synapses, then what are we? What if our world is just a computerized environment, ala The Matrix? Would we know the difference? Look, we’re printing organs today. I’m not, but someone is. Some genius has figured out how to push play and heart or liver or kidney comes down the chute. Halfskin takes the idea into the distant future and explores whether this leads to more happiness or just more of the same. Because more money, more problems.


DO YOU HAVE ANOTHER JOB BESIDES AUTHOR?

Day job, I’m a college horticulture teacher. Writing is a passion. No plans to change it. 


WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO?

Breathe.


WHAT TALENT WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO HAVE?

Omnipresent supergalactic oneness.


IF WE HAD A CUSTOM THAT ALLOWED US TO EAT OUR CHILDREN, WHAT KIND OF SAUCE WOULD YOU USE?

Ketchup, the miracle condiment.


ARE OUR ELECTRONIC DEVICES STEALING OUR SOUL? AND IF SO, DO YOU MAKE 

OFFERINGS TO YOUR TOASTER?

I offer white bread and the toaster gives back crunchy, brown bread. Never doubt a true miracle. 


Tony Bertauski
Biomites are artificial stem cells that can replace any cell in your body. No more kidney failure, no severed spines or blood disease. No cancer. Pharmaceuticals become obsolete. With each dose of biomites, we become stronger, we become smarter and prettier. We become better. 

At what point are we no longer human? 

Nix Richards nearly died in a car accident when he was young. Biomites saved his life. Ten years later, he's not so lucky. The Halfskin Laws decree a human composed of 50% biomites is no longer human. Halfskins have no legal rights and will have their biomites shutdown. It's not called murder, merely deactivation. 

Cali Richards has been Nix's legal guardian since their parents died. She has lost far too many people in her life to let the government take Nix. She is a nanobiometric engineer and will discover how to hide him. But even brilliance can succumb to the pressure of suffering. And technology can't cure insanity. Cali and Nix keep a slippery grip on reality as they elude a maniacal federal agent dedicated to saving humanity from what he calls 'The Biomite Plague'.


INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR


WHAT GENRE DO YOU PREFER?

Science fiction, dystopia, technothriller and, to some extent, young adult. I do have a series of novellas in the vampire genre. Yeah, I know. Doesn’t fit. That character, Drayton, came out of nowhere when I was at a community theatre production of Dracula. I figured that an immortal vampire would more likely become compassionate and wise as he grew older. The technothriller Halfskin is similar to vampires in that technology promises immortality and complete control of our bodies. But then what?


WHY A SYNTHETIC STEM CELL?

Organic life is too nilly-willy. We’re limited by our DNA. Give it to the scientists to perfect this vehicle that carries us around because it is a vehicle. If we no longer have organic bodies, if every one of our cells is replaced by something manmade all the way down to the neurons and synapses, then what are we? What if our world is just a computerized environment, ala The Matrix? Would we know the difference? Look, we’re printing organs today. I’m not, but someone is. Some genius has figured out how to push play and heart or liver or kidney comes down the chute. Halfskin takes the idea into the distant future and explores whether this leads to more happiness or just more of the same. Because more money, more problems.


DO YOU HAVE ANOTHER JOB BESIDES AUTHOR?

Day job, I’m a college horticulture teacher. Writing is a passion. No plans to change it. 


WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO?

Breathe.


WHAT TALENT WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO HAVE?

Omnipresent supergalactic oneness.


IF WE HAD A CUSTOM THAT ALLOWED US TO EAT OUR CHILDREN, WHAT KIND OF SAUCE WOULD YOU USE?

Ketchup, the miracle condiment.


ARE OUR ELECTRONIC DEVICES STEALING OUR SOUL? AND IF SO, DO YOU MAKE 

OFFERINGS TO YOUR TOASTER?

I offer white bread and the toaster gives back crunchy, brown bread. Never doubt a true miracle. 


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