For awhile, though, they were huge, to the point their game "Vampire: The Masquerade" has been an influence on vampire mythology ever since.
So one day in 1993 (I think), I was contacted by one of the company's founders, Stewart Wieck. They were putting together anthologies based on some of their games, and I was invited to write a story for them. He sent me a bunch of stuff about "Vampire: The Masquerade."
I thought it looked pretty neat. I thought some of the vampire clans described, and some of the names, were stupid, but most of it -- the hierarchies and rivalries and so on -- were great. I particularly liked that one clan was obsessed with art. I'd studied art history in college -- it wasn't my major, but I sometimes say I minored in art history, because I took far more art courses than anything else outside my major. (Princeton doesn't officially have minors.) I liked the notion of vampire art appreciation.
So I wrote "The Art of Dying," and Stewart included it in the anthology The Beast Within.
He apparently liked it enough to want more, so it has a sequel: "Eye of the Beholder." And I was clever enough (for once) to make sure that even though it was work-for-hire and I had no claim on royalties or future use, I did have the right to include both stories in single-author collections, so they're both in In the Blood, the collection of all my vampire stories.
That's it; here's your list of handy exits: