This week's Speculative Fiction Writer is Vampires Don't Sparkle author, Amy Fecteau. She came out of her writing cave to answer a few of my probing questions, and what fascinating answers she gave.
Hi Amy. Thank you for visiting my small part of the Universe. We'll walk down to the sea and throw a few pebbles, before heading to a local pub for a pint of brew. Make yourself comfortable on a bar stool. Here goes:
Q: Are you a day or night person?
Definitely a night person forced into day person behaviour by cruel fate. Cruel fate being the fact that my electric company gets very tetchy when I don’t pay them.
Q: The Lost Boys or Interview with the Vampire?
Interview with the Vampire. Quite possibly the only Tom Cruise movie I’ve ever enjoyed. Plus, 18th century New Orleans trumps 80’s hair any day of the week.
Q: When faced by a horde of zombies, which weapon would you reach for - a baseball bat or samurai sword?
I’m partial to the baseball bat. Samurai swords are cool, but I just know my first swing will get snagged in Zombie Bob’s spine, and while I’m trying to work the blade free, his pal Zombie Sue will start gnawing on my calf. Baseball bats are idiot-proof. Just keep whacking until you’re the only one standing.
Q: I see you live in Maine. It seems many writers are born in or live in there. Is this just a coincidence or are special powers at work?
Well, Maine is fairly isolated. It’s a little like the lonely writer’s garret of the U.S., tucked away in the attic all by itself. There’s a lot of space to spread out. People tend to be independent. Plus, if you’re not outdoorsy, there’s not much to do, especially during the dear-god-why-does-the-sun-have-to-set-at-3-in-the-afternoon winter. So, I think it’s the perfect place for breeding storytellers, really.
Or, it might be the LSD in the water. It’s a toss-up.
Q: You've just published your first book. Can you tell us a little about it?
Sure! It starts with Matheus, the main character, being turned into a vampire against his will. The book follows him as he deals with his new controlling maker, his new confusing feelings for said controlling maker, and in general his new, confusing (un)life. There’s hunters with cross-bows, buried secrets, a genocidal arsonist, family drama, and just buckets and buckets of sarcasm. I’m a fan of witty banter and dark humor, and Matheus’ view on the world really reflects that. He’s the snarky best friend, plopped down into the starring role.
Q: Would you like to share an extract?
Absolutely! This scene takes place during Matheus’ first hunting trip with Quin.
“Oh, god,” Matheus moaned. Dizziness set in as he followed Quin into the club. Multi-colored lights flashed over the dance floor, but did little to drive back the dimness. Despite the dark, Matheus saw easily. So many people, warm and pulsing. He sensed the rush of blood through their bodies,the taste of salt and copper in the back of his throat.
“Concentrate,” Quin said, one hand still gripping Matheus’ arm. “Don’t lose control.”
“There are so many of them,” Matheus whispered, grateful for Quin’s grip holding him back. A part of his mind sat separate, horrified by the overwhelming hunger.
“Yes, they do breed like rats.” Quin pushed him toward a table in the corner. “Sit.”
“I need a drink,” said Matheus.
“Don’t we all,” said Quin. “No more alcohol. You’d just throw it up.”
“Are you telling me I am going to have to spend eternity as a teetotaler? Just stake me now.”
Quin laughed, low and rumbling. He leaned forward, resting his elbows on the table. He looked around the club with a lazy expression. He could have been any young man, looking for a partner for the night.
“You’ll get used to it,” he said.
“You keep saying that.”
“It keeps being true.”
Matheus traced circles on the table. He wished Quin would get on with it. Amazingly, Quin had found a way to make crowds even more horrible than they had been when Matheus was alive.
“Search the room,” Quin said. “Who would you pick?”
“What do you mean?”
“You have to learn how to pick your prey.”
“Don’t say it like that,” Matheus said. Quin’s casual attitude did not help.
Quin ignored him. He kept one hand on Matheus’ arm as he scanned the room.
The music had a heavy bass beat overlaid with moaning female vocals. A dance floor took up the majority of the club, although Matheus was confused as to what part of writhing around like a porn star constituted dancing.
“Come on, now,” Quin said. “Pick.”
“I don’t know,” said Matheus. “That girl at the bar.”
She was the kind of girl they made reality TV shows about. Short skirt, barely-there top, high-end extensions, and strappy heels. She glittered with sweat and youth. The real-life stand-in for the women Matheus thought about late at night, groping the dark for release before giving up in favor of sleep.
“Her? Try thinking with your brain and not your cock,” Quin said.
“What’s wrong with her?”asked Matheus.
“You’re looking for a meal, not a date. Don’t confuse the two.”
“I thought that was part of the package.”
“Tell me, did you usually make out with your hamburgers before you ate them? The answer better be no, or you are on your own.”
“But the whole Dracula—”
“It’s a story,” said Quin. “Forget what you saw in the movies. We don’t turn into bats, we don’t sparkle, and we don’t have sex with our prey.”
“Fine.” Matheus folded his arms, drumming his fingers on his biceps. Why bother dying if he couldn’t even use his newfound status to pick up slutty club girls?
Q: Real Vampires Don't Sparkle has a stunning cover. Who designed it, and how much of an input did you have?
The amazingly talented Alexandria Thompson designed the cover. She can be found at gothicfate.com. I had the vague idea of having Matheus and his scars on the cover, but Alexandria is really the one who took my incoherent mumblings and made something fantastic.
Q: When will volume two of Real Vampires Don't Sparkle be published?
Soon! I’m proofing volume two right now before sending it off to my publisher. (well, not right now. Right now, I’m typing answers to these questions. But now-ish).
Q: What is your favourite writing quote?
“You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” -- Ray Bradbury.
Amy Fecteau grew up in the wilds of suburbia, along with a younger sister and brother. As a child, Amy wanted to be a doctor-farmer-princess, but unfortunately the market for doctor-farmer-princesses just isn’t what it used to be. Also, Amy was born in the United States, severely limiting her chances to become royalty.
Amy wrote her first story at age twelve, the stirring tale of friendship and witch burning. She was cruelly robbed of first place in the district writing contest, although it’s not like she’s still bitter about that or anything.
Amy lives in southern Maine. She collects keychains, owns a cat (named CAT) and creates eclectic art in her spare time. Currently, she is studying computer science. She blames her love of sarcasm and snark on her large, strange, wonderful family.
Thank you, Amy. LSD in the water. I knew there was a logical answer for all the writers in Maine! I loved the excerpt and the book's title. Real vampires don't sparkle. At least in my humble opinion. I shall be adding it to my TBR list.
That's it for this week. If you're taking part in the A to Z Blogging Challenge, don't forget to check out Untethered Realms on a daily basis.