Monday, July 11, 2011

Hunting for Vampires

Are you intrigued by the title? : ) This is a slightly longer post than normal, but please stick with me: its fun and different!

So back in the days when my life wasn't quite so busy, I used to read a lot. Mostly fun fiction, and always before bed. Its something my parents have always done, so it was a tradition I followed from childhood until quite recently. Part of the allure of fiction was the ability to immerse myself in a different time and place, and the best part was that reading before bed always gave me REALLY interesting dreams!! I hadn't read a book in quite some time, until I was contacted by the fabulous Adrianne Ambrose: a former Clevelander who just so happened to have written a work of fiction, with Cleveland as the lead character. Obviously, I was intrigued. I immediately purchased the book, and started reading. And I was hooked! Fangs for Nothing is the story of teen vampire hunters, who stumble upon vampires in our VERY OWN CITY!! I'm not going to ruin the story for you, but lets just say if features awkward teens, beautiful people, touches of a cult, and of course vampires. Its a really easy read, and like Twilight, it moves pretty quickly, but unlike Twilight, it has a almost self deprecating sense of humor (a little like Clevelanders). 

Of course I had to learn more about Adrianne and her writing of this book, and she graciously agreed to a blogterview, which I will share with you below:

So why a book about vampires and vampire hunters?
I write video game dialogue and I was going to make a Choose Your Own Adventure game called Suck It! with a friend who is a programmer. He wanted to set it in San Francisco, NYC or New Orleans and that just felt really tired to me. I wanted to set it someplace unexpected like Cleveland. Well, he got lured away by a high paying gig, but I was still charmed by the idea of a vampire romantic comedy in Cleveland so I decided to write it as a novel.

Talk about your creative process: did you have an idea about the whole book before you wrote it or did it just come to you as you went along? Did you experience writers block, and if so, what got you through it?
Some of my friends who are writers insist that an entire book must be outlined in detail before they even write chapter 1. That’s good writing theory, but for me it doesn’t leave much room for the characters to take over and do their own thing. I set out knowing my three acts and the conclusion but then I like to see what the characters are going to do on their own once I know who they are. This does sometimes lead to rewriting so that the structure of the book is solid, but is a lot more fun for me to write.

If I get stuck, I go on a long walk and think about the story. That usually loosens things up. If I’m really stuck, I’ll go to hear an orchestra or go to a really long, really boring movie allowing my brain the opportunity to wander. I’m also lucky to have a creative husband. I didn’t really need to tap him for help on Fangs for Nothing, but he does have a lot of great ideas that I’ve used in other works.

As a Clevelander, I love all places you discuss in your book. But for the non- Clevelanders, why did you pick Cleveland as the setting for your book?
In addition to what I said in the first question - Cleveland is a great city with a bad reputation. I’m always surprised when people make snarky remarks about Cleveland. They obviously don’t realize it’s clean, it’s inexpensive, the people are nice, there’s tons to do, and you can actually park when you get there.

I know the city very well so I didn’t have to do a lot of research, I love the cool old history of Cleveland, plus I wanted to give my hometown some well-deserved love.

What do you miss most and least about Cleveland?
I miss everything about Cleveland. I visit for about six weeks total throughout the year and am always so happy to be home. I miss all the trees and grass and vegetation. You don’t realize how green Cleveland is until you live somewhere else. I miss the lack of hassle that is Cleveland. Whenever I’m home, I run around and do a ton of stuff because it’s just so easy and fun. I miss how you can go out for a cocktail or some really good food and not have to sell a kidney to pay the check. (I could go on but I’ve got to stop, this question is making me homesick.)

Okay, I guess I don’t miss everything about Cleveland because I don’t miss the winters. ;)

Are you going to write a sequel?
I have not decided about a sequel. I really like my characters so I’d be happy to make them run around Cleveland a bit more and get into trouble, but this is my first foray into ebooks so we’ll see how it goes. The short answer is – Probably yes.

What's your next book about?
I have another story coming out as an ebook within the next two weeks called Confessions of a Virgin Sacrifice. It’s a parody of the barbarian genre and came out with a small press several years ago. Oni Press has also contracted to put it out as a graphic novel and we’re on the hunt for an experienced illustrator with a hint of Frank Frazetta.

And finally, if your book were turned into a movie, who would be your choices for the main characters?Wow, this is a weirdly tough question. Back when I was first writing Confessions of a Virgin Sacrifice, (10 years ago…?) I knew who I thought would be good in each role, but I haven’t given it much thought to casting for Fangs for Nothing. But let’s see…

Sherbie – Hmmm – Someone like a slightly younger Joseph Gordon Levitt. Now who would that be…?

Xander – This is a tough one. Xander is tall, well built with black hair and electric blue eyes. Zack Efron’s got the dark hair and blue eyes, but not the stature. From back several years ago I’d say Michael St. Gerard, who has completely disappeared from Hollywood. To compensate for my lame answer I’ll share a little glimpse of Hollywood story – I was nominated for a WGA award for my work on a video game. (Lost to Star Wars) There weren’t any mega-big A list celebrities at the award ceremony, but there were plenty of A-/ B+ celebs. What’s funny is that everyone was much, much shorter than I expected. At least 2+ inches shorter than what is listed on their IMDB bios. I felt like there should be a disclaimer, celebrities may appear 2/3rds smaller than shown on TV.

Rini – Chloe Moretz maybe - ? – She’s way too pretty to be Rini, but doesn’t Hollywood always do that? Anyway, she’s saucy and she’s got a good voice so I think it could work. Abigail Breslin might also be good.

Lana – Can I say Emma Stone? I’m not sure she’s exactly Lana, but I think she’s fabulous and am glad she’s getting work.

Short Vincent – Romain Duris – French actor that was in Heartbreaker (there are subtitles, but well worth it – super funny)

Aerony – Okay, this one is easy – Aisha Tyler – Gorgeous and great voice. She does the voice of Lana Kane on Archer.

So in addition to graciously answering my questions, Adrianne has also agreed to host a fabulous little contest. She will be giving away not one, not two, but FIVE Fangs for Nothing ebooks!!! I'm not gonna lie, one of my favorite parts about reading the book was picking out how many CLE places I had visited!! And I'm proud to say I have been to quite a few!! The contest will run until Friday. You must have access to Kindle, either on your PC, iPhone, etc, or Kindle itself.

Here's how you enter:

1. Leave a comment about your favorite place in Cleveland (one entry). If the spot has a creepy past (which you must also share), you will get a bonus entry.

2. Follow me and Adrianne on twitter for another entry.

3. Tweet about the contest and link back to this post for another entry.

AND FINALLY (see, I told you it was a long post), if you want to hunt your very own vampires under the Detroit-Superior bridge, you should definitely consider attending the Ingenuity Fest Speakeasy Party, THIS Friday, July 15th. I attended last year, and it was such a ridiculously fun event that I naturally scooped up tickets for this year's event! So, hopefully, I will see you there!!

Good luck with the contest, and Happy Hunting!!!


Adrianne said...

Thank you so much for the lovely post! It's been really fun getting to know you over email and twitter. Now I'm completely homesick and will visit the fabulous CLE right after Comic Con. (Yes, I also write comics so I go every year.) Now I have to study your blog seriously to find out all the great shopping while I'm home.
Thanks again,

Cindi said...

So intrigued and so bummed it's only available by ebook. I'm boycotting ereading until someone makes a reader with all of the features I want. :-(

Sheera612 said...

I don't have a favorite place in Cleveland ... I'm from Cincinnati (& I've never been to Cleveland - I've been to Akron & Columbus though mostly passing through or for a very short while) :-/

Frances said...

I don't know Cleveland either so no favorite place. I am in Alaska. LOL. I did however look it up and I would love to visit Squires Castle located in Willoughby Hills in the Cleveland Metroparks.That place looks awesome!
I also became Twitter friends with you both, (@AlaskanBookCafe), Tweeted this page, and posted it on FB, (Cristina Hampton Gutierrez). Follow your blog too!

Cristina Gutierrez

Sheera612 said...

Oh I didn't FB this but that's cuz IDK how from my ohone ... but I did RT & follow (Sheera612) ... Just in case ... also I liked the who'd play which characters & the prologue & first chapter r pretty good (I'd've bought it by now but my $$ is tapped :-( )

Unknown said...

Sorry, I've never been to Cleveland.
I already follow Adrianne on Twitter. I followed @cleshopaholic. I tweeted the link. Thanks for the giveaway!

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