The works of Award winning author, Rick Pipito, and more

Posts tagged “legends

Day 21 – Eden’s Order Trilogy

Eden's Order Cover

Day 21 of #scrypthalloween shows the cover of my EDEN’S ORDER TRILOGY sans text. @dpipito did the art which depicts a tree that represents the tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden, but has hints of skin, blood, and bones to signify each novel within. This collection consists of the novels: FLESH AND LEFTOVERS, BLOOD THE SECOND HELPING, and BONES AT BREAKFAST. It also contains the spinoff short stories: ZOMBIE INCIDENTS, LEGENDS OF VAMPIRE, and IN CASE OF WEREWOLF, as well as a timeline of events.

It is available in print at lulu.com and Barnes and Noble sites, as well as in digital at Amazon…

Official description: In FLESH AND LEFTOVERS Gordon Lightcap and Moira Donatelli recruit survivors of #zombie incidents in preparation for something much more sinister.
BLOOD, THE SECOND HELPING takes the two on separate paths. Gordon seeks answers, assisted by an old flame. As they scour the globe in search of #vampire legends, Moira has aligned herself with Cain, but her goals are in question. BONES AT BREAKFAST places Gordon and Moira reluctantly working for the Russian military. Cases of #werewolf activity become obstacles in stopping Cain from finding the Garden of Eden.

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Blood, The Second Helping – Trailer

History’s mysteries come full circle in the trailer for my second novel BLOOD, THE SECOND HELPING.  What do you think?


Day 9: The Story Behind the Art

coversWhile the stories to the books written by Rick Pipito are the main content, a good cover to the book is what catches the eye.  Let’s take a few moments to talk about the ideas behind each cover and the art that Dan Pipito brought to life.

 

FLESH AND LEFTOVERS has a cover that come into mind over the phone.  I pitched my idea for the first book to Dan and he immediately said, “Zombies?  Okay, I’ve got it.  The cover is a set of teeth tearing into a raw hunk of meat.”  He felt that it matched the title of horror and food amalgamation.

 

For the spinoff comic ZOMBIE INCIDENTS, the concept was mine.  I had access to various fake body parts that looked and felt real.  In my mind I thought, “What would Hannibal Lecter keep in his fridge?”  We set up my spare refrigerator with a bowl of bloody leftovers, through in the fake body parts and snapped a picture.  Then Dan put the whole thing through a celophane like filter to give it that artistic touch (after all, leftovers ARE often found wrapped in plastic).

 

BLOOD, THE SECOND HELPING’s vampire theme is evident in the cover.  Dan incorporated a lot of the story elements from the book.  The city bathed in blood is symbolic, while the shadowy outline of the antagonist’s face is seen behind the large fangs.  A pivotal scene from the book is also shown with a reconstructed body rising from the fountain of youth.  It’s a very busy (in a great way) cover that keeps with the theme of the teeth from F&L.

 

LEGENDS OF VAMPIRE, the BTSH spinoff comic, was another of my ideas.  Wanting to keep the real photograph idea of the first comic, this time we had a friend pose for us holding a glass of wine.  The closeup shot of her neck with the wine (which is good for your blood of course) was put through an antique filter to give it an oil painting appearance.  Dan added the fang marks and highlighted veins to be more pronounced to give it the “I’ve just been bitten by a vampire” paleness.

 

BONES AT BREAKFAST is the last in the first trilogy, so it made sense to close it out with a similar theme of teeth.  This time Dan had the full snout of a wolf prominent in the foreground.  You can notice that the jaw is not as pronounced as a normal wolf, giving it that human likeness of a werewolf in front of a very full moon.

 

The comic spinoff, IN CASE OF WEREWOLF, was another photograph idea.  I gave Dan the concept and he took some bones from a medical office skeleton, threw them on a plate with some prop hair, and added a cup of coffee and orange juice to symbolize the bones at breakfast aspect.  Again, he passed the photo through a filter before adding text and finalizing the cover.

 

THE EDEN’S ORDER TRILOGY cover is a simple tree.  This is no ordinary tree.  Upon second glance, you can see that the bark of the tree is stretched skin like in texture, the branches are in fact shaped like bones, and the red tips where the buds would be is blood.  This is to show not just the tree of life from the Garden of Eden (a place we visit in the novels), but also to represent the flesh, blood, and bones from the titles of the included books.

 

SOULS 4 SUPPER marks the start of a new themed trilogy.  Dan went simpler this time.  I told him about what my version of Pandora’s Box would look like and that is what we decided for the cover.  He added intricate gear and piston layouts, and I told him I wanted souls to be wisping from the top of it like they were escaping.  His decision for the textured background and very little color is perfect for focusing on the object depicted.

 

The comic spinoff, GHOSTLY HAUNTINGS, came as an easier venture.  Dan worked in a kitchen at the time, so when I said I had this idea to have ghosts escaping from a pot of stew, he grabbed the biggest deepest pot he could and took a picture of the steaming contents.  Then he added ghostly faces into the stew and steam.  The even better part of this is that the faces are actually warped and altered photos of famous people and pieces of art.  They are altered to the point beyond recognition, but if you look closely, you may just see something you recognize.

 

DEVIL’S DESSERT has an intriguing cover.  The Crown of Thorns, the Spear of Destiny, and the Sword of Eden are all artifacts crucial to the book’s storyline.  Those are the items represented in the two tone cover, with a little bit of orangy-yellow fire coming from the blade.

 

TECHNO FEAST’s cover was another mutual idea.  The main threat of this book operates from a satellite.  This satellite depicted isn’t necessarily THE antagonist, but it makes sense once you read the novel.  Outerspace in the background with the purplish gasses displayed among the deep blue make it a contrast that is eye captivating.

 

PANDORA’S CHAOS TRILOGY is another combination idea.  The Statue is a way of representing the ancient history involved in the story (think roman architecture).  It’s one arm has a broken limb.  You can see feathers of what is an angel wing, while a dragonfly like demon wing droops to the other side.  It’s face is very mechanical looking, while his heart is Pandora’s Box yet again, but with ghostly energy emanating from it.  Souls, Demons and angels, & technology (the focus of these 3 books) are represented evenly.

 

NO, IT’S NOT.  YES, IT IS: ARGUMENTS is the only book by me (Rick Pipito) that does not have a cover done by Dan.  The idea here was to represent the turmoil of arguing that the non-fiction book’s topic is about.  I had wanted to represent the two sides to one’s own psyche.  There is a wavering of opinions that often are quite contrasting without facts.  So, I had my wife take a picture of me facing one way with my glasses on and a different hairstyle.  Then I removed my glasses, and took another shot of me with some facial scruff.  By putting the two of them together and filtering them to look like a blueprint of arguments, it seems as if my two selves are in a dispute with each other.  It not only symbolizes some of the times that I’ve struggled to decide what is right or wrong, but also gave me the experience of making my own cover for what will eventually be a trilogy of non-fiction.

 

In addition to these amazing covers, there is also the few pieces of internal art that work with the stories when they are needed, and then there is of course the comic books which have multiple artists representing the plots.  All of the above book covers can be seen in closer view through the novels and comics sections of this site.  They are also available through purchase links on the right side of this page.

 

Be sure to follow Dan on Instagram and twitter @dpipito, as well as myself @rickpipito.  Like our facebook page for all the published works http://www.facebook.com/fleshandleftovers.

 


Halloween Spotlight: Vampires

vpicBy Rick Pipito

Vampires are legendary.  It’s that simple.  There are tales throughout the ages of these creatures that have many different approaches to the lore.  When I was halfway finished writing my zombie novel, I decided to slowly tie in the vampire aspect.  I wanted something else to tackle.  As I consulted Dan again with my ideas to expand the novels and a topic for our second comic book collaborative, I decided on a new approach.

Everything from vampire lore needed to exist in the same universe.  Their weaknesses and strengths may not be universal among all blood suckers, but I didn’t want to discredit the varying kinds.  And so, “Blood, The Second Helping” the novel was born, as well as its graphic spinoff “Legends of Vampire.”  The characters involved in the first book needed to deal with something more dangerous than zombies this time, and vampires were the next logical choice.  They are faster, smarter, and have abilities and influence throughout the ages, making them a powerful ally or lethal foe.  Here’s a brief view of how it works in my created universe.

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1) Silver weakness – The reason for this vulnerability goes back to the dawn of man.  When Cain, the first vampire, murdered his brother Abel, the rock that he used kill his kin contained high amounts of silver.  Forever, Cain would be damned to walk with a blood thirst and weakened by the element he used for murder.

2) Sunlight weakness – Not all vampires are harmed by the sun’s rays.  Upon being locked in a room void of any sunlight for thousands of years, and surviving on only insects and small rodents, a vampire will become harmed by the sun’s rays.  The lack of nutrition and fresh blood causes their skin to develop a lupus like disease.  Immediate exposure to sunlight will either severly burn their flesh or cause them to turn to ash.

3) Generational differences: Cain, being the first vampire, is immortal.  Even being stabbed through the heart with silver will not keep him at bay forever.  Even if his body were to be destroyed entirely, his soul would reside somewhere until it returns to life.  The twelve that he turned into his first generation vampires can die much easier.  They each have their own abilities based on their talents in life.  With each generation down the line, vampires progressively get weaker as the cursed blood slowly phases out through genetics.  It is when the sixth generation comes that these creatures no longer require blood.  They have become mindless zombies at this point and need flesh to survive.

4) Crucifix deterrant: Do crucifixes actually harm a vampire?  The answer is no.  There are certain sects of vampires who may believe in darkness.  The sight of a cross literally enrages or repulses them.  This is not the case with all vampires though.

5) Memory: Vampires remember and gain knowledge of everyone they’ve ever consumed the blood of.  One vampire in particular, Kristoff, has the ability to learn everything and recall that knowledge at will.  His photographic mind is of genius level proportions, enabling him to go as far as researching an injectible cure for his bloodlust… a cure for the vampire curse.

6) Garlic weakness: Garlic is like any other food.  Its powerful scent and taste does not actually repel a vampire.  It does have an effect on one vampire however.  Evelyn, is a wine connoseur.  She has found that the effects of wine on the blood are beneficial to the amounts of times she needs to feed.  Unfortunately for her, she had a severe allergy to garlic when she was once human.  That allergy remains in her vampire years and will cause her airways to close or for her skin to break out in a rash if exposed to enough of it.

7) Mind Control: Two vampires have exhibited mental abilities beyond normal means.  One of these vampires has the ability to control anyone’s mind, while the other can communicate with animals and insects.  Either one of these abilities makes them a more deadly foe than the normal vampire.

8) Healing: Vampires heal at a much more rapid rate than usual.  If they lose a limb it will grow back eventually, unless that limb was severed with something made of silver.  Silver hinders their ability to heal wounds.  Drinking fresh blood will cause them to heal even more rapidly.  In the case of the vampire, Evelyn, she has an even greater gift of healing.  She can cure the wounds and ailments of others by absorbing them into her by a mere touch.  The downside is that for a time, these afflictions are fully experienced by her until her vampire DNA forces it out.

9) Disease: There are many blood diseases and ailments out there.  If you think that these abnormalities don’t affect vampires, then you are wrong.  The effects of drinking the blood of someone who may have H.I.V. for example, are just as deadly for a blood sucker as they are for a human.

10) Youth vampire: Although he is not a vampire like the others, one man is still considered as much.  This man is not a descendant of Cain’s curse.  Instead, he had an accident that causes him to age exponentially faster than normal humans.  He’s got no enhanced abilities like vampires do, but he can make himself younger by absorbing the youth of others.  For example: If he were to breathe in the essence of a 12 year old, that child would become as old as he was at that moment of absorbing, while he’d gain the difference in years back to his youth.  Theoretically, he could live forever this way.

11) Wannabe: There are some goth teens that have the desire to be something more.  Believing that they are either vampires or will become vampires through their actions, they go on a string of murders, consuming some of the blood of their victims, including family members and friends.  These are in fact NOT true vampires.

12) Historical influence: The following events are just some of the events directly related to vampires or their influence throughout human history: Cain and Abel, The Fountain of Youth, Excalibur, King Arthur, The Great Sphinx, Vlad Tepes, Sampson and Delilah, Lilith, CIA controversies, Kennedy Assassination, Elizabeth Bathory, and much more.

13) Mirrors: Vampires DO in fact cast reflections in mirrors.  One vampire was not happy with their appearance however and decided to smash any mirror they’d come into contact with.

14) Foresight: One vampire has the ability to foresee events to come.  Of course these visions could always change depending on actions taken in the present, but this one has the sole ability to see the future through dreams/visions.

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Those are the vampires in our universe here.  Notice there are no sparkles involved.  Dan and I of course discussed the spinoff comic over another appropriate bottle of wine, pictured above.  So what are our vampire influences?  Below are just some of our favorites:

Rick’s favorite vampire Movie is Interview with The Vampire.  His favorite Book on vampires is Bram Stoker’s Dracula.  The Video Game series Legacy of Kain remains at the top of his list.  Rick’s pick for vampire of the year is Selene from the Underworld series.

Dan’s favorite vampire Movie is 30 Days of Night.  His favorite Book involving vampires is What if…Wolverine was Lord Of The Vampires.  The Video Game series Castlevania remains at the top of his list. Dan’s pick for vampire of the year is the classic Nosferatu creature.

What are your favorites?  Are you a vampire fan?  Grab yourself a copy of “Blood, The Second Helping” the novel.  It is available at www.lulu.com in softback book and on www.amazon.com for the Kindle.  Also, the spinoff comic book “Blood The Second Helping: Legends of Vampire” is available for purchase at www.indyplanet.com.  Help support our blood curling madness.

“Blood, The Second Helping” and its spinoff are (C) 2011 by Rick Pipito.  Stay tuned for our werewolf spotlight…