Blood and Dust, and its follow-up, The Big Smoke, forming the ‘Vampires in the Sunburnt Country’ duology, were released in paperback and digital formats in 2015 by small Melbourne-based publisher Clan Destine Press.
The story is Mad Max meets Anne Rice: a character-driven, high-octane vampire story set in the Queensland outback, in which Kevin Matheson, a mechanic, is caught between two warring vampire gangs. In The Big Smoke, Kevin must negotiate the power struggles within the vampire society of Queensland’s capital, Brisbane, to finally end the battles that tore his life apart.
Blood and Dust was originally released in 2012 by Xoum as an e-book. It was short-listed in the Australian Shadows and the Aurealis Awards for best horror novel.
Blood and Dust blurb
And then the vampires arrive, leaving his life like road kill in their wake.
Caught between vicious nomadic bikers and their brutal foes from the coast, Kevin fights to save not only those he holds dearest, but his own soul.
But how far will he go to save the people he loves?
Sean the Bookonaut posted the first review of Blood and Dust in 2012. He says:
Bringing a European myth into an Australian setting, especially a rural one and having it stick is, I think, a considerable hurdle. It’s quiet easy for me to imagine vampires in the cities of Melbourne and Sydney for example but not so much in the “Sunshine State”. But Jason has done it and done it well
And Mark Webb, a fellow presenter with Sean at Galactic Chat, had this to say:
The pace is thriller-like, with escalating conflict all the way through. I tore through the book in a couple of sittings