Thriller Writer
the website of author Eric J. Gates
Bloodline - an extract
Bloodstone - an extract
Blood Feud - an extract
Blood Demon - an extract
Winks 1 - the CULL
Winks 2 - the CULL
Winks 3 - the CULL
Winks 4 - the CULL
Winks 5 - the CULL
Winks 6 - the CULL
Winks 7 - the CULL
Winks 8 - the CULL
Winks 4 - the CULL

Winks 4 - Playing with your minds… again


“Mere longevity is a good thing for those who watch Life from the side lines. For those who play the game, an hour may be a year, a single day's work an achievement for eternity.”

-          Helen Hayes, acclaimed American actress (1900 -1993)


MAJOR SPOILER ALERT – read no further unless you have finished 'the CULL - Bloodline'


It is a pre-requisite of writing thrillers that the author misleads the reader. This can be done openly or by playing with their minds on a more subtle level. I could not resist doing a little of the latter.

The tale is about vampires, yes, but, if you take a peek at the page on this website entitled ‘The Novels’, you will see that this one is included in my ‘running’ classification. I created this grouping for stories where someone is either running from, or toward, an unrelenting destiny, as a personal bookmark, if you will. I intended that the next one, Leaving Shadows, would be a break from some of the elements that I’ve used in the first three, whilst not disappointing my readers by suddenly changing my style or narrative voice. You’ll see what I mean when you read my spy thriller.

Now, the running designation, and its meaning, was a major hint about one of the themes in the CULL.

Evolution. Destiny. Change, above all else.

It was entirely possible that an astute reader, remembering this grouping, or merely aware that someone usually gets bitten in every vampire novel, might conclude that I was going to do something along those lines.

Okay, you’ve guessed that, but I’m not going to make it easy. I decided, from Chapter Two onward, to start messing with your heads.

Amy Bree, a nice name (see Winks 1), was chosen for its possible Irish connection. Although there are other potential origins for the surname, the one I went with was the Anglicised form of O’Breaghdha (ie. someone from Bregia (or Magh Breagh) in ancient County Meath). It’s an old name whose first recorded spelling dates from the end of King William I’s reign (William the Conqueror) and is registered in the Devonshire section of the Doomsday Book. It’s an even older name than Ó Gríobhtha (Griffin’s Gaelic name), which dates from 1172.

Now I don’t expect people to know this (apologies to Sir Michael…) but Bree does sound a little Irish, doesn’t it. When Jennifer Craven reveals her theory about the origin of the vampires, that’s when your subconscious should have raised a red flag. There's more about Amy's origins in Book 3 of the series too - strange that, given how my subconscious must have worked when I wrote Book 1 originally as a stand-alone story - did my inner self know something my outer self didn't?

In the meantime, back at the ranch (Office 312), Katie was having migraines that forced her to wear sunglasses in bright light. She also showed considerable athletic ability for someone who’s 62 (remember Amy had to run to keep up with her as they raced to capture the Blood Sucker in the alley in Washington), not that being this age is synonymous with being on your last legs. She also has light grey eyes and mentioned in passing that she had led a largely healthy life.

All tiny clues seeded throughout the book; some to help, some to hinder. Bet you still mentally cried out at Katie’s fate at the hands of Griffin, though.

Yes, we scriveners can be a tricky bunch. Don’t say you weren’t warned though – check out
Winks 7 for Full Disclosure.

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