How long have you been writing?
Well, I started at a pretty young age, as most people do. At first, it was more scribbling than writing, but it got better with practice. Wait … you meant writing … I knew that, of course! I’ve only been writing for the last decade or so—and even that was inconsistent, with long breaks in between. I really got serious about it over the last eighteen months.
What inspired you to write Væmpires: Revolution?
The idea came to me sometime in the early 2000’s—right around the time that the Blade and Underworld movies were in full swing. Although they were entertaining in their own right, I remember feeling as if they were yet another variation of the same old vampires stories. When I began thinking about what might make vampire stories interesting and fresh, the concept of having vampires evolve bubbled to the surface.
When you first started writing Væmpires: Revolution, did you plan for it to be a series?
Yes, from the beginning I realized the concept was too big for one story. As a reader, I’m also a sucker for a series … so I figured, why not?
What can you tell us about the sequel?
Well, it’ll take place after book one. Haha! But seriously, the sequel picks up right where Væmpires: Revolution left off—with that massive cliffhanger that shocked so many fans. I’m working on it now, hoping for a release sometime in the fall. Because so many people are eagerly waiting for more, I may release the first portion of it prematurely, as a short story or novella. Below is a short snippet (a short, unedited snippet), so everyone knows that the blood-and-guts action of Væmpires: Revolution continues in book 2:
Crimson blood spurted as the body and head fell in opposite directions. Hot, væmpire blood that smelled like rancid meat hit the sidewalk in uneven splatters that reminded Linq of a drunken frat boy urinating in a back alley. Then two things happened at once: he sensed a væmpire—yet another new arrival—Which of your characters do you relate to most and why?
closing in, while Ray yelled, “Watch out!” Before he could react, Linq was grabbed from behind. Strong arms encircled him; hot, sweaty væmpire arms that felt like steel pincers. Linq’s own arms were pinned to his sides as his adversary squeezed him like a vise. The pressure was tremendous and Linq panicked, throwing his head back in an attempt to crush the væmpire’s nose. He knew it was a mistake as he did it, but his reaction was quicker than his thoughts. The væmpire dodged the blow, and then did the unthinkable: his head flashed forward and he sunk his fangs into Linq’s exposed neck. Every cell in Linq’s body erupted in unmitigated pain. Nothing in his education, nothing in his imagination—in his nightmares, perhaps, but not his imagination—nothing in his experience or training had prepared him for such pain. His eyes rolled back in his head and his jaw snapped shut, his fangs slicing deep into his tongue. He didn’t even notice.
Then the væmpire drank.
That’s a tough question. I like to believe I relate to all of them equally, since a character is like a child, and a parent should never play favorites. I relate to Ray because his sense of humor is similar to mine. I also relate to Linq’s logical side, Daniel’s willingness to take the lead, and Cassandra’s ability to handle adversity. Of course, I can also relate to Vielyn’s inability to forgive.
What is a secret about you that nobody else knows?
Well, to conduct research for Væmpires, I spent six months living as a probationary vampire in a commune in upstate New York. Okay, that’s not really true, so how about this:
I’m actually the ghostwriter of several best-selling series’—for legal reasons, I can’t divulge their names, but I can say that one series features a sullen high school girl who becomes a vampire and another is an erotic trilogy featuring a college grad and a businessman. That’s not really true, either.
And now you know my secret. I’m a pathological liar. Not to worry, though, I’m nowhere near as good as the professionals; you know … criminals, politicians, business people, religious leaders, and parents, to name a few.
If your real life as a teenager was a Young Adult book, what would you, the main character, be like?
I’d secretly be a hundred-plus year old vampire who still attends high school and sneaks into bedrooms to watch girls sleep. Haha! The main character would be an interesting mess of contradictions. He’d be smart but do foolish things. He’d be talented but never apply himself. He’d come from a troubled home but still have an innate sense of right and wrong.
What book have you read too many times to count?
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. It’s easily the purest fiction I’ve ever read, although I have to admit I still don’t understand what genre it fits in and the end continues baffling me …
But, seriously … The Hardy Boys: The Tower Treasure. The first book by Franklin W Dixon. For years, I read it each Thanksgiving Day. Although I don’t do that anymore, I still read it every few years.
What is the best piece of writing advice you ever received?
The best writing advice I ever received was from my editor, Neal Hock: “trust in your abilities.”
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
Just how addicting the act of creation can be. We’ve all heard stories of the scientist who can’t be pulled away from the lab or the painter (or musician, etc.) who never wants to leave the studio … but you can’t really appreciate it if you haven’t experienced it. For me, Væmpires is something that never turned off once I turned it on. It’s addicting— exhilarating and exhausting at the same time—and I have to actively work not to spend every waking moment obsessing about it.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I have many hobbies: I read, I listen to music (my iTunes library has 150,000 songs), I watch movies, I go to rock concerts, I attend Broadway shows.
I love your idea on how the vampire species originated. How did you come up with that?
I honestly don’t remember. I wish I had a great story to share about how the idea came to me … but I don’t. Give me some time and I’m sure I’ll come up with something, though.
Thank you so much for dropping by today! It has been a pleasure picking your brain!
I’d like to thank all of you for stopping in and offer a very special “thank you” to Gabby for inviting me to What’s Beyond Forks? I hope you enjoyed the interview. I’d love to hear what you think of it and/or answer any additional questions you may have. Post comments or questions below and I’ll be sure to respond. Feel free to stop by my website and reach out. I’d love to hear from you if you check out Vaempires.
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