About Len Handeland
Len Handeland is a dynamic writer who specializes in fiction, specifically vampire, paranormal, and crime drama novels. Len has always enjoyed writing and is drawn to being creative—as far back as he can remember. Back in middle school, when he and his classmates were assigned a book report, and the others groaned, Len cheered—not only being given an exciting novel to read but also composing the essay assignment. Everything had to be perfect, the spelling, grammar, and accuracy regarding the subject matter. Later on—in his late teens, Len attended FIT in Manhattan studying fashion illustration; years later, he decided to pursue a career in the hair industry using his artistic training and creativity to excel in hair. He decided to pursue writing after reading many of Anne Rice’s work (having read all of her Vampire chronicle books) and after having attended many creative writing classes and attending the San Francisco International writers’ conference—decided it was time for him to write a Vampire story of his own; in his words, given Len’s affinity for vampires. A different story—where love and companionship is the only thing that matters. With his first book, “The Darkest Gift,” Handeland hopes to achieve this, and with 5-star reviews both from readers and professional book reviewers, it’s off to a beautiful start.
Len is currently working on his second novel, “Requiem for Miriam” a murder, crime drama set in Manhattan, Westchester County, New Orleans, and Mexico in the 1980s. He hopes to have his second novel released at the start of the new year (late January, beginning of February 2022)
When Len isn’t writing, he enjoys reading and vegetarian cooking. Some of his other hobbies include hiking, biking, and billiards. He enjoys the performing arts and has trained in Martial Arts for over 25 years. Len lives in Palm Springs with his husband, Byron, and their two tuxedo cats, Felix & Felicia (brother and sister)
The Darkest Gift
August 1, 2021 The revised edition
I wrote “The Darkest Gift” as I felt no other author had written an enthralling vampire romance novel since Anne Rice, which was a breakthrough in featuring two vampires of the same gender as a couple. Being a life-long fan of vampires starting when I was a small child and into my adult years, I wanted to write a compelling and enthralling book where the characters are complicated (both humans and vampires) and that the same-sex couples are far less ambiguous about their sexual orientation than in vampire books of the last century. Where the emphasis is on love, whether human and vampire or two vampires (of the same gender), it was vital for me to avoid anything graphically sexual, but instead, the focus is on the sensual aspect of two men together. Also noteworthy was addressing stereotypes regarding vampires and some of the gay men in my book. That all vampires are evil and unfeeling creatures, that all gay men are effeminate, couldn’t be further from the truth. I utilized the classic tale of good versus evil (in this case, vampire against vampire) and how one of the human characters, Jack, despite his struggles with sexual orientation, finally learns to accept and embrace who he truly is. The message I’m trying to deliver is: do what is right and be true to yourself. In my novel, that applies not only to humans but vampires alike.
The locations in my book are places I have an affinity for, having spent time in each over the years. They are rich in history and culture, and each has an exquisite beauty of its own. The settings include Paris, Haiti, and New Orleans, which all share a French connection.
I feel my work stands out from other “Gay vampire books” that may be too graphic sexually and reduced to being dismissed by most by being just that. At the same time, writing about the same-sex couple, whether that be two vampires or a human and a vampire, I wanted the focus on each character, feeling as if they had met their soulmate and were meant to be together forever.
My first book was indeed a labor of love, taking 5 ½ years to write, and professionally edited. The EBook version (Kindle) has done well; over two thousand downloads in two months! I hope the paperback and the EBook continue to do well!
The EBook version of my book has appeared on the following websites:
Edgar Allan Poe
“Yes, I now feel that it was then on that evening of sweet dreams, that the very first dawn of human love Burst upon the icy night of my spirit. Since that. I have never seen nor heard your name without a shiver half of delight, half of anxiety"
Edgar Allan Poe