Back in the 1990s, Vanessa A. Ryan lost everything when her house burned down. Among her lost items were manuscripts for books that she was in the process of writing.
She then gave up on writing, but it found its way back into her life when yet another tragedy struck.
"Life got in the way, and I didn't get back to writing until a few years ago," the 14-year-long Long Beach resident and author said in an interview with the Long Beach Post. "My mother died a few years ago, and I needed to deal with my grief. That was just a way for me to just throw myself back into writing."
Since then, Ryan has published four novels, including three in a vampire e-book series called Horror at the Lake, A Vampire Tale.
"The book tells the story of Susan Runcan who is on a quest to clear the name of her grandfather, Lindon Runcan, a famous archaeologist whose career ended under a cloud of suspicion," according to the series' synopsis. "Although Lindon claimed thieves stole precious artifacts from his last expedition in Egypt, depriving the Egyptian government and his backers of the spoils, Lindon stole them himself."
Susan then travels to her grandfather's home on the lake, which is in a "town filled with rumors and fear. And what she discovers will change her life forever."
Without disclosing many details, Ryan said her series also includes vampires, paying homage to classic stories like Dracula.
"I really liked the more traditional mystery of Dracula," Ryan said. "I wanted to write something more traditional and something more mysterious, rather than stuff like True Blood, where people know they're vampires. In this series, you don't know who the vampires are."
While Ryan said her series relies on mystery and traditional horror, there are also aspects of comedy, taken from her background as a stand-up comedian.
Two books from the series, The Legacy of Fear and The Trail of Terror are already out while pre-orders are being taken for The Blood of Redemption, which is due out April 7. Another book that Ryan wrote, A Palette for Murder, also has pre-orders available and is expected to be released April 15.
For more information about Ryan and to purchase her books, click here.