Closing chapter of the Long Island Athanate

Ooooh. Here already. If this was a novel, I’d put this writing aside for a day or two and then re-read and edit it. I think it would be better. However, the whole idea of a weekly serial is it comes out every week. It’s good discipline for me to be inflexible with my writing schedule.

Over the next couple of weeks, I will go back over the whole novella, edit it and append an epilogue (basically to tie up the Elodie situation neatly). That will be what I publish. I think the name will be ‘Regime Change’ with ‘Long Island Athanate’ as the series name in case I write more with these characters. I may need to add a couple of lines of explanation and background of the Athanate for those people for whom this will be the first experience of the Bite Back world.

Next serial…we’ll see. Certainly posting a serial on this blog has been popular enough to keep going in the way I have. Something different perhaps. Comments below 🙂

What else? The Angel Stakes audiobook has been paid for and Audible/ACX have acknowledged and processed the payment, which only took 10 days(!). Next step is their internal technical and checking processes, which have taken a couple of weeks for previous audiobooks. I’ll post of FB and here when it’s finally published.

< * * * >

Thank you for visiting one of the posts from Change in Regime. This novella is now available on Amazon, and to also make it available on Kindle Unlimited, I have to remove these posts from my blog.

Anyway, here is the cover copy and link:

Like an electric current, arcing from ear to ear through the New York underworld, the word comes; he’s here. The city has a new Master of vampires, House Altau, and the existing, unaffiliated community is now facing a sentence of death.

The storm builds, and one of the leaders of that community, Livia or Julius, must chose to be the lightning conductor to save the rest from destruction. But will that be an acceptable sacrifice to Altau?

And if so, which one of them will it be?


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About Mark Henwick

I was born in Africa and left out in the sun too often. An early interest in philosophy and psychology was adequately exorcised by tending bars. And while trying to enroll in a class to read Science Fiction full time, I ended up taking an engineering degree which splendidly qualified me to move into marketing. That in turn spawned a late onset career in creative writing. When not working, I get high by the slightly less conventional means of a small light aircraft. My first books are available on Amazon at

16 responses to “Closing chapter of the Long Island Athanate”

  1. Mark Henwick says :

    Needs a paragraph to close it off better.

    • Justin says :

      Oh you sly dog, that was wonderful. Maybe something about the other NYC Houses being escorted out from side room? Tinted glass wall?

      • Mark Henwick says :

        Thanks. 🙂

        I thought about adding in some other Houses, but I didn’t think about letting them watch.

        The epilogue will handle Elodie and the situation she finds herself in as she recovers.

        I also feel I’ve left Adept Hinton a bit up in the air.

        • Justin says :

          Letting the other houses watch enforces the theme of Skylur is always aware of other peoples reactions before they themselves. As for Elodie, I looking forward to her relationship between the two houses. In regards to Adept Hilton, do not forget the Weres as well😁

  2. elkwood says :

    LOL i loved the ending !! Tks for sharing that side story with us!!!

    I’ll be reading it a few more times for sure !!!

  3. Michael Orton says :

    I did not see that resolution coming and yet the logic is impeccable.

    Oh, and despite your having posted this here I will still buy a copy of the novella when it comes out.

    The workman is worth his keep and if you don’t pay the piper he will stop playing what you want to hear.

    • Mark Henwick says :

      Thanks Michael!

      The novella will have a little extra as well, and I’m very pleased when the novellas are bought because it causes enough secondary promotion that the main Bite Back novels also get extra sales.

      As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, writing in this fashion, restricting myself to using my ‘experimental/self improvement’ time has been fun, but there are some holes in my background logic. However, the plot logic seems okay, and I’m pleased that the wrap up of Skylur’s motivations worked out well for you and others.

      • Michael Orton says :

        I believe you have scope here for many more episodes as the new order asserts itself.

        Livia needs to keep New York stable, defend the Domain and generally stop folk from bothering the boss with trivia. Of course those with problems never regard themselves as trivial…

        We also know that various members of House Farrel need to visit New York on business. You could weave these threads in many ways.

        I wonder how the local church will cope with a priest who doesn’t age. The church has always been good at keeping records. I wonder how Julius planned to move to a new identity and would he regard himself as a clerk in holy orders under such circumstances? Of course he might not have been ordained at all. In which case how did he fool the bishop?

        • Mark Henwick says :

          You’ve alighted on a problem which was the result of insufficient planning. When I wrote the first scene, I hadn’t thought anything beyond the drama of the setting. I hadn’t asked myself: how on earth does Julius get into the Roman Catholic clergy and get himself posted to St. Jude’s in Brooklyn, which is where he lives with his House? (And has lived for a couple of hundred years).

          The two obvious plotting solutions would be (1) have the Athanate established inside the RC community to organise it centrally, or (2) have Julius and/or Livia ‘persuade’ the Bishop & others as a one-off.

          It’s going to have to be (2) – Julius managed to take a break from being leader of the Long Island Athanate to become ordained and get himself posted back to St. Jude’s as part of his efforts to disguise Athanate in the local community. He would never have intended this as a long term job, and would have had some plan to make himself visually age and retire at a point. I can’t do (1) without the Long Island Athanate being part of some larger Athanate community, and they are not that – they are isolated from all other Athanate at the start of the story. (And the Bite Back threads are complex enough without a Roman Catholic contingent).

          To Julius, being a priest was a disguise, but he has invested a great deal of himself in the role. He will think of himself as Father Julius for some time, although, as per Skylur’s orders, he must now retire. (I am unsure how priests retire! Must do some more research).

          Interaction between Bite Back and Long ISland Athanate: Jen is a frequent visitor to New York, and I always planned to have Amber drop in as well. There’s opportunity for them to meet.

          Plenty of scenes for another novella with Livia and Julius, Hinton & Keensleigh. I also want to explore how Elodie *feels* as a human, in her new life.

          I start that thread about Elodie with an epilogue to ‘Change of Regime’ (the name of the novella), so there’s a bonus scene in the novella when it comes out (it’s with Lauren for editing now).

          • Michael Orton says :

            We don’t know much about how the Athanate create their cover identities, but spending the time necessary to become an ordained minister in a Christian church takes a few years during which one is subject to considerable assessment.

            We know the occasional bad apples get through this process, but maintaining a lie under that level of observation for that long is rather hard work.

            You also need to think about how the various “Spiritual Gifts” manifest in your world. In ours the Gift of Discernment is rare, but those who have it are often called upon to assess candidates for ordination. Did Julius have to face such a test? It is possible he used the same techniques he might when facing an Adept Truth Sensor.

            I wonder if Julius created the “Father Julius” persona without actually attending a seminary or being formally ordained. It might have been less effort, and would have been quicker.

            As for retiring, priests generally just take less and less strenuous roles. It is quite possible for a “retired” Archbishop to be found working as an assistant curate in an ordinary parish. Such a parish counts itself most fortunate!

            I’m not an expert in the way the RC faith deal with this, but you might look into the way RC priests can be absolved from their vows in order to marry. I suspect there is a problem there in that Julius could only display adequate love to qualify for this towards Livia. We have seen he does. However she really doesn’t want to get involved with that level of attention.

            I suspect the Athanate have to simulate the deaths of their cover identities from time to time simply to keep things plausible. If he had thought about it at all then Julius probably planned to wrap up the “Father Julius” persona in such a way.

          • Mark Henwick says :

            One small aspect of Julius’ relationship raised in your comment is handled in the epilogue which will be in the novella.

            Julius would have intended to visually age and ‘die’ to close his ‘Father Julius’ persona.

            As a relatively mature Athanate, he would be well able to hide his true nature from humans during the process of ordination. Adept Truth Sensors are a different level.

  4. Amanda says :

    Can’t wait for the novella in it’s entirety to read it from start to finish – in one sitting, of course!

    • Mark Henwick says :

      Thanks Amanda. Will go off to editor shortly.

      Cover? Picture of NY? Something like that.

      • Amanda says :

        LOL! I’ll leave that to the pro’s! However, saying that, your opening chapter with Julius left me with a mental picture of old-world church in a modern Brooklyn, NY…….

  5. Mark Henwick says :

    The novella, with a bonus scene as an epilogue, is with Lauren for editing now.

    The epilogue is there to wrap up Elodie’s story a little neater. What’s her status?
    Does she fully heal? What about Nathan? etc. etc.

    Time to think about next weekend’s scene!!! What am I going to write about? No solid ideas yet! 🙂

    I may do a stand-alone scene – Kaothos becomes Tullah’s spirit guide…

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