Books have been my passion as long as I can remember. When I was a child, I was very ill. In order to keep me in bed and resting so much, my parents plied me with books to occupy my attention.
My first publishing credit, so to speak, came when I was in the fifth grade. I wrote a short story that beat all of the other class submissions and earned me a ticket to a young writer's conference. It was a story based on a dream that I'd had where food items came to life, grew to human size and took over the place. I thought it was creative! All of the winning works were printed in an anthology. I wish I still had that book.
My next publishing credit came in the sixth grade. I wrote a three act play for an assignment. The school published it in an end-of-the-year anthology of student works that the teachers had found most creative. Again, I wish I still had that book.
English and writing lessons were always my favorite in school and I always did well in them.
I've always been more of an up-all-night/sleep-all-day type of person. I think I was about 12 when my family and friends started calling me "Vampyre". I already had a fascination with horror and the macabre so I welcomed the moniker. Though the concept had already been inside me, I think that was the true emergence point of my darker side.
My freshman year in high school marked the next big milestone in my writing. I was the typical teen, full of angst. Writing was my creative outlet. If I wasn't able to put my thoughts down on paper, I wouldn't be where I am today. I still have one piece of very dark poetry that I remember writing in that period. The rest I've forgotton.
My friend Angi brought me a manuscript she'd been writing and asked me to edit it. She's a brilliant writer but unfortunately is a terrible speller! I collaborated with her to finish it and we did. Together we completed it. We wrote a sequel and were at work on the final book of the planned trilogy when disaster struck. All of our manuscripts were stolen. Neither of us had computers or typewriters even. They were all hand-written and now gone. We never recovered them.
I did take a typing class which didn't seem all that impressive at the time, but hindsight being 20-20, it was probably the best class I ever chose to take. Now, I do about 75-80 wpm when I am on a roll. I think I would have gone insane if I had to write everything out by hand now. I'd probably be like Geoffrey Rush in his portrayal of the Marquis de Sade in the movie Quills, sitting in a cell, begging for writing materials.
Losing the manuscripts was a setback, but the process of writing the books still lurked in the back of my brain. I managed to avoid it for a long time until I was in my early 20s when an idea for a book kept niggling at me. I was 11 chapters in when a computer crash wiped the slate clean. I could do nothing but reformat my hard drive and weep. At that point, I started to question whether or not I was supposed to be a writer.
I chose to perservere. It was a few more years before the muse came back out of hiding.
In the mid 90's, I was a computer dummy. The Internet was still a fairly new concept for the general populous. My boyfriend at the time was a Macintosh guru. He hated PCs. He and his stepfather were in a bit of running competition to see who could get the best computer. I shook my head and thought "boys and their toys." It did mean that he and I had a few very nice Macs though and with our trusty Macs, I invented the Internet. No wait, sorry, that was Al Gore. My mistake.
Seriously, I did start to discover the Internet and found a fledgling site called Vampyres Only. It was a site with information about vampyre movies, books, art, etc. It had a guestbook and within a year, the site was so popular, the guestbook got used like a message board and grew huge every day. The site owner, Vlad III had to clear it out daily. Then he put up a message board and finally put chat rooms in there. It was in VO that Des made her debut. In there, I was known as Desmodus Rotundus. In 1995, on the Internet, I started role playing as Desmodus Rotundus. That branched out to more characters in different genres and the RPGs gave the muse a swift kick in to high gear. It was a creative outlet I'd never considered before but jumped headfirst in to. I've made a lot of bonds with people that I've met over the Internet. Some of the ones I know, who know my real name, still call me Des anyway. I don't mind. After 12 years of "being" Des, that persona is just as much a part of me as the rest. I am Des and she is me and there is no separating us.
When I started getting really serious about getting published, I thought long and hard about a pen name. I went through a whole list but I always kept coming back to Des. I didn't think Desmodus Rotundus would be taken seriously as a pen name so I opted for another variant of Des that I had used in RP. I knew from the beginning that was the logical choice. Why I explored others, who knows? I chose not to use my real name because it's ethnic and often gets botched in pronunciation attempts.
In the late 90s/early 2Ks, I took a real slow down in my chat-based RPGs to immerse myself in Everquest. After six years, I retired my character. I loved the game and it provided many, MANY hours of enjoyment for me but I just lost heart for it. I thought I was over my MMORPG addiction until I tried Everquest 2. I broke the habit again until I was introduced to Aion, then World of Warcraft... See the pattern here? I love the MMORPGs because they help fuel my creative juices for my fantasy works and also help me to work out things in my mind that I am doing with the book. One of my fantasy characters is a paladin, so I created a paladin character on the game of the same name to play and help get myself in to the mind set. Other book characters have sprung to life as a result of game characters I have played.
As I became more and more of an Internet junkie, I started taking an interest in web design. I'm sure I pestered friends who had built web pages incessantly, looking for more information. I bought myself a copy of HTML for Dummies and ended up teaching myself.
Since leaving high school, I went through a string of false starts, dead end jobs. I went back to college in for a degree in Web Development. I graduated with honors in and then entered in to another program in Information Systems Security. Graduated again with honors in 2004 but the tech field in this area is rather blah.
I have a day job for now, so writing takes place when I can squeeze it in. Having to be up in the morning now for work sucks, but being broke sucks even more. I try to balance work life and writing life. Hopefully the two will someday be one and the same. I don't direct my Muse, she directs me. Some days it is sci-fi, some days it is fantasy, some days it is horror, some days it is romance.