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Sunday, June 19, 2011
First of all, congratulations! Demon Vampire has a release date. Was it difficult to find a publisher?
Yes. I have summated Everest to get where I am today. It took 182 queries to land a publisher. No one wanted to publish a 240,795 word novel. I have to hand it to Erudite Small Press for having the vision to see what my book could do in the marketplace.
What was the inspiration for Demon Vampire?
There are many answers to that question. The simplest is that I missed the era of Anne Rice's vampire. I missed the display of power in something that looked human and was clearly not. More than that, I wished to write of the control all vampires have. To see the same hand that caresses a neck eventually topple a building with little effort. There was a lack of control that is displayed in vampire novels today. I yearned to show the subtle touch the vampire I knew in my mind could give.
Zack Giver, the main character in your novel, comes across as extremely relatable to the average teenager. Was that deliberate, and are there autobiographical elements in his life story?
Yes, yes, and yes. There are many traits of Zack Giver that mirror me in youth. Knowing that he comes off as relatable is actually flattering in a sense. As far as intentions, I had more planning with the rest of the cast than I ever did with Zack.
On your blog you state that you've been writing for seventeen years. What was the first thing you wrote and how do you think your writing style has evolved over the years?
The first thing I ever wrote was a short story in 5th grade about robots. It was a revenge story and I never took the time to finish it before I turned it in. The teacher thought it was so creative that she gave me a C+ on a half finished paper. After that, I took up poetry, which I spent several years doing. I believe that my style has evolved greatly because of my ability with the written word. Needless to say, I have grown as a writer since 5th grade.
Much like Anne Rice's vampire novels, one of Demon Vampire's virtues is that it is an exceptionally poetic novel. What made you want to switch from prose to the novel format?
I used to spend two to four weeks on the "perfect" poem. I marveled at my own tower of Babel, gazing upon the way in which my words flowed onto the page and off of my lips. There was a beauty in it, a satisfaction that I enjoyed. With a few of my poems, I wanted to tell a story. I found that I had two options. Either construct the Iliad itself, or break format.
Favorite poem or poet?
William Blake's "The Tiger" "Tiger, tiger, burning bright, in the forests of the night." I loved the style and intrigue that poem was able to instill in my thoughts. It changed my way of thinking. I even wrote a poem mimicking its prose.
Moving onto vampires. You state on your blog that "It is my vision that those who remember the era of Anne Rice will see my epic as the answer to the mundane vampire that has propagated in the ebb of recent social tide." How do your vampires differ from the popular "Twilight" variety that saturates the media right now?
My vampires do not sparkle. They are not stone-cold, soulless, never-dreaming puppets that doubt their self-control. Other vampires may posture and threaten. My vampires simply kill people when they want them dead. There is no reason to hesitate in my world. The twilight strain is unsure of their level of restraint. My vampires may have heightened senses as well, but there is an echelon of control that is harnessed simply to take a step into the night. My vampires wield a strength that is able to ruin cities, not trailer parks. It takes precision to merely open a door instead of rip it out of the wall. The tween-vampire of late is a shell to the dream of vampires I grew up with. My vampire is daunted with real issues that plague their existence. They are faced with moral choices that fringe on the tipping point of losing their souls. To put is plainly, my vampires are alive and have human souls.
You describe your vampires as "powerful, elegant, sophisticated type... that have seeded desires and emotional ties to the world around them." Do you feel that strong emotional ties to the world help or hinder a vampire?
It depends on the vampire. Demetrius Del Marin is a musician that plays musical goblets of blood to fans of his gothic concert. He wears a smile, dresses in a suit, and shakes hands. He is also a contract killer that justifies slaughtering human beings to donate to certain orphanages around the country. His kills are perfunctory. He shows no emotion and only lives to assist the lives of children in unfortunate scenarios. He is detached from people. It lends well to his profession, but wreaks havoc in his personal life. Another Vampire named Orhn Damascus is wrought with revenge for the loss of his lover. He is emotionally shackled to his desire to end the life of the one who took everything from him. Whether it is good or bad to have a tie to your world is not for me to decide, it is to be answered in the heart of the reader.
As a writer of vampire fiction, how do you explain the massive popularity of the "Twilight" series?
Romance sells, romantic angst more so. The series is exceptionally well written, English teachers tend to do these kinds of things. Throw in the dangerous allure of a vampire, and it's a recipe for success sold to the masses by the pound. I do not hate the twilight series exactly, I understand that it was not written for me. Just as Demon Vampire is not intended for children under sixteen. Twilight has teen chastity, I have sex, violence, and profanity. - Coupled with my poetic style, I aim to spread Demon Vampire throughout the planet.
What research did you do while writing Demon Vampire? How did you develop the mythology of the Vampeal?
When I read vampire novels growing up, I never noticed a half vampire. Japan dabbled in it with a few concepts, but never anything that crossed the sea. Everyone has heard of the human protagonist that is afraid of the vampires that have come into their life. No one has read of the character that is actually not human and half in the vampire world and half in the human. Vampeals may not be exactly new, but my conception of Redgold is. I was able to construct a ritual in which a bastard (unwed child-spawn of a vampire) vampeal could become a full vampire through consuming the crystallized blood of a fallen vampire. I would have to say that the most extraneous research that I had to do was looking up a map of 13th century Mongolia and the 15th century Ottoman Empire.
One of the most noticeable things about your websites is your constant and dedicated interaction with fans and critics. Do you enjoy being accessible to your readers? Have the interactions with your readers affected the progress of Demon Vampire?
The progress, no. I wrote Demon Vampire in three weeks short of a year. I began the website several months later. I have a great respect for my fans and especially my critics. I once had a heckler that said I'd never get the book published. I corrected him on a few key points and asked him to specify his concerns with added detail. He unfortunately never replied. Regardless, his comments and others have revealed the weaknesses that I had overlooked in my planning. I thank them and continue to ask everyone to tell me what they think of Demon Vampire. That said, I exuberantly enjoy the words of a fan telling me they loved the book. That is exactly why I've added so many review features to the site. I want everyone to know what other people think of the book, as well as my responses.
Demon Vampire has been described by you as an "epic" novel. Have you had to cut a large portion for publication?
Thankfully, no. The way the margins were cut, and the selection of font, it was able to be wrapped up into less than 500 pages. The only thing that had to be changed was the beginning. The first draft I came up with didn't hold the attention that the current one does. I'd say that is about the only real change to the book. Granted, it was a radical concept to write this new opening. No names, no easy connection to the rest of the characters in the book. It was a truly unique way to establish a continued ending to the book. When people re-read it, they'll have to analyze it to understand what the dream honestly means.
Who is your favorite fictional or mythical vampire? Why?
The character Virgil, in Dante's Inferno. The character experiences the throws and extents of the human condition. I'd like to say that the name means nothing to me, but it obviously does.
"I strongly advise you to refer this site to one of your friends, sit quietly in the corner of your darkest room, and rock back and forth in a chair softly repeating to yourself: "There's no such thing as vampires, there's no such thing as vampires." Do you believe vampires exist?
There are many things I know exist. Things that I have seen with my own eyes, felt with my own hands. There are also many things I have never seen or touched. Of those things I am told some exist and some do not. I can honestly say that if you told me that there was a creature on the other side of the planet that could kill me in an instant and drink my blood, I wouldn't want to piss that thing off. Meaning, I accept that there are things I do not know in this world. It is not my place to deliberate the existence of something I have never seen. I only know that I have yet to meet, in person, the archetype of the supposed "fictional" vampire. Are vampires real? To me, it depends on your definition of a vampire.
At the heart of Demon Vampire is moral conflict. If you had to choose power, grace, and immortality at the cost of your soul, would you?
I must say that if I was in Zack's position, that would be a hard choice. I am not a religious person, I consider myself spiritual in nature. The best way to answer that would be in what I wrote about a character named Moira in the book. She decides to die rather than let herself be absorbed by the demon vampire. With that character, I give my reply.
Finally, what's got you Fanged?
My future. In about six month's time, I have amassed more than 5,000 followers between all of the different websites I am linked into. Word of Demon Vampire is spreading. It is infecting people with a buzz that is catching on. People want to see a poetic vampire novel again. With Demon Vampire, I have given them all something new to read.
Hungry for more? Read more "Demon Vampire" at DemonVampire.Com or visit the author at GetFanged.Com
Virgil Allen Moore
(All interviews are the exclusive property of GetFanged.Com, and may not be reproduced or shared without permission.)
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And remember, you can read the first chapter of Demon Vampire here. Demon Vampire comes out 10/30/2011.
Virgil Allen Moore