This week I am featuring Jamie Wasserman's amazing book Blood and Sunlight!
I asked Jamie if he would be willing to answer a few questions for me and he gracefully accepted. And not only did he accept but he offered to give a signed copy to one lucky winner/follower of my blog as well!!
Below are his answers to my questions:
Me: "How long have you been writing for?"
Jamie: "I've been writing for a little over 20 years but, aside from a few short stories here and there, fiction is fairly new to me-- I primarily wrote poetry. Blood and Sunlight was my first attempt at a book and I think you can see some of the poetic influences there."
Me: "Were you always interested in the paranormal, or in vampires in particular?"
Jamie: "I was just cleaning out the basement about a month ago when I found an old box of toys. Mixed in with the Star Wars and GI Joe action figures were Dracula, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, Phantom of the Opera and Frankenstein. So I guess I've been a horror/monster junkie ever since I was a kid. I blame countless hours spent watching Scooby Doo and sneaking into horror movies.
But of all the movie monsters, vampires were definitely my favorite. I think that was because you couldn't always tell they were a monster. They looked just like you or I. Now that I'm a father, I realize that's a pretty warped thing for a kid to realize—that you don’t have to have scales or claws or red eyes to be a monster."
Me: "How long did it take you to write Blood and Sunlight and where did your inspiration come from?"
Jamie: "13 months though I had the idea for the book about five years previous. The original concept was a screenplay about vampires who were steeped more in science—they were nothing more than humans afflicted with a disease, reduced to drug addicts (their choice of drug being the only real differentiating factor). What I realized I had done, essentially, was to preserve all of the loathsome qualities of the vampire (his viciousness, his need, his clouded, violent judgment) and discard all of his mystique (immortality, sexuality, charisma, power), which is probably why the idea never got off the ground. I decided to pick up the idea again in 2009. One of the main characters tries to bring some of this scientific observation and justification into his understanding of the vampire but no matter how much he justifies or rationalizes the creatures’ existence, there are something very mystical elements that science simply can’t explain away."
Me: "As a child what books interested you most?"
Jamie: "Daniel Pinkwater was a favorite of mine- Fat Man from Space, the Hoboken Chicken Emergency, and later Alan Mendelsohn, the Boy from Mars and The Snarkout Boys series. His stuff was so edgy and different than anything being written at the time, and you can certainly see his influence on children and MA literature today with titles like Captain Underpants and Diary of a Wimpy Kid. I was also into the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series, Tolkein's books, and Narnia."
Me: "How often do you read now?"
Jamie: "Continuously. When I'm not writing, you can bet I've got a book (or an ebook) in my hands. I just went through a heavy rotation of Stephen King books and now I'm reading HP Lovecraft. As a writer, I don't think you ever stop learning the craft and there's really no better way to learn than by reading. It's probably especially important if you're writing in a genre to see what your contemporaries are doing. Poppy Z. Brite, Charlaine Harris, Neil Gaiman, Caitlin Kiernan, and Terry Pratchett are particular favorites of mine."
Me: "And lastly, what else do you have in the works?"
Jamie: "I'm currently shopping around a Young Adult book titled 'Holding Back the Day'. Another vampire title, of course. I've also been posting free weekly installments of a novella on Amazon's Kindle forums called 'Bud the Crud and the Vampire-Werewolf Wars'. I'm hoping to get someone to illustrate it once the story is finished. And then I'll be finishing off a sequel to Blood and Sunlight (tentatively called Blood and Moonlight). It picks up the events of the first book ten years later with Kirsten (the young girl who frames the original book) as the focus."
Thank you so much Jamie for answering all of my questions and for agreeing to give-away a signed copy of your book Blood and Sunlight!! I really enjoyed reading it. I love how different and fresh it is. It is hard sometimes reading all the vampires books out there because after awhile they sometimes blend in together. It was refreshing reading something new and fun.
If you are interested in winning a copy of Jamie's book make sure you check out the giveaway page at the top to see how you can enter to win and don't forget to check out Jamie's other series as well, Night of the Guppy.