The contest portion has closed. Thanks to everyone who participated!
Please welcome Diana Laurence, author of How to Catch and Keep a Vampire: A Step-By-Step Guide to Loving the Bad and the Beautiful. Read this helpful interview. It will be your chance to find out everything you ever wanted to know about those dicey, tricky relationships with vampires. At the end of the interview look for contest information.
PVN: Although your book is aimed at women would men also find it useful?
Diana: Definitely, and for a couple of reasons at least. First of all, there are plenty of men out there who like vampires (why else would Playboy have a vampire issue recently? LOL), and much of my advice applies likewise to them. And secondly, there are quite a few men who’d like to better understand the appeal of vampires to females, and I explain that too. (But to any guys hoping to use the book as a guide to pose as a vampire themselves, I highly discourage that. The real vampires don’t take well to posers, believe me.)
PVN: When did you first find yourself attracted to vampires?
Diana: When I was really young I read Carmilla, which is actually about a female vampire, and was fascinated. And then when I was 17 I saw the Dracula movie with Frank Langella in the title role and was absolutely hooked. He was mysterious, dangerous, scary and compelling. I’d always been drawn to hypnotists in movies (there were quite a few hypnotists in 50s and 60s movies, oddly), and Frank’s Dracula was like a more romantic, elegant form of hypnotist. And dead sexy too. Anyway, from that point on I was a die hard vampirophile: Anne Rice, “The Lost Boys,” “Buffy,” and all that.
PVN: In your opinion is it all right to date more than one vampire at a time?
Diana: Absolutely. As a society the undead are not especially into monogamy, Bill and Edward not withstanding. It’s not actually bad at all, for I find vampires have the amazing knack to be really into you even though they are likewise really into others at the same time. That’s a hard concept for mortals to get their mind around, so I discuss it at length in the book. Anyway, I think it’s especially beneficial to balance dates with “bad” (not evil) vampires and good ones. For example, I’ll go to a club with the dark and nasty Mordred one night, and then to a vampire ball with the sweet-spirited Aidan the next.
PVN: Who is your current vampire love interest? What is he like?
Diana: I spread the affection around with a whole crew of immortals, but I do have one special guy, as you learn in the book. His name is Conner, and he was born in Britain at the time of Chaucer. He tells the best stories of all my vampire friends, and being a writer, I love that. Conner is reminiscent of Bill Compton in that he’s the protective, guardian angel sort. (Towards me anyway—he can be vicious when he needs to be.) Doesn’t hurt either that he has long, dark, wavy hair and bottomless brown eyes and a face that makes you want to stare at him till your heart falls out.
PVN: Are you at all interested in becoming a vampire?
Diana: Of course anyone who hangs around with the undead is going to occasionally want to join them. Picturing yourself immortal, impervious to disease, able to stay up all night and never needing the benefit of makeup, you certainly are tempted. And as a person whose best 5K time was 30 minutes, I envy that vampiric high-speed-darting a lot. However, there are some serious cons to being a vampire, some of which are not what you might think. This is another issue I address, with an entire chapter, in the book.
PVN: Why did you decide to write this book?
Diana: It’s an interesting story. In fact, my editor at Sellers Publishing, Robin Haywood, had the idea to publish a vampire dating guide. She starting searching the Web for someone to author it and came upon an essay of mine about vampires that I wrote four years ago. She offered me the gig, and I immediately thought it was a fabulous idea. With my background—associating with vampires and writing about them—I was totally thrilled to do the book. I think if I had hesitated for a minute, Mordred would have insisted otherwise anyway, and by “insisted” I mean employing his hypnotic swirly-eyes and compelling me. Wait a sec…is there any chance he might have done that? No, no, I’m sure it was my idea, I was thinking quite clearly when I signed the contract. :-)
PVN: Are there any vampire novels that come close to describing real vampires?
Diana: I just started reading Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse books, having become a huge fan of “True Blood” on HBO. I think she does a terrific job in so many ways, as do Alan Ball and the writers of the TV show. Eric Northman reminds me of my friend Gunnar, and is illustrative of what I term “bad” vampires: immortals who employ a nasty persona mostly because we enjoy it so much. Gunnar is demanding and pushy and often downright scary, but I’ll catch him smiling at my reaction because he knows that I like it when he scares me. Isn’t that just like a vampire? Anyway, although I hadn’t seen “True Blood” yet when I wrote the book, Charlaine and I definitely run with similar vampire crowds.
PVN: What are some of your other writing projects?
Diana: I have ten other titles in print, mostly imaginative and spicy romance. Also in 2009 I released a short story collection called Soulful Sex: Erotic Tales of Fantasy and Romance Volumes I & II, and a psychological thriller on psychic vampirism called Looking on Darkness. My most popular book is my 2007 vampire romance novel Bloodchained; I will be releasing the sequel Bloodchained 2: The Secret of Secrets in late November 2009. Almost all my works seem to have a vampire or vampiric character appear in them somewhere. I could blame the influence of my undead friends on that: they are a persuasive bunch.
PVN: Where can readers find you?
Diana: My Web site is www.dianalaurence.com and is chock full of info, including a “vampire” page that will direct readers to relevant works (including my free vampire short story “Playacting”). My blog is called “Erotica with Soul” and is at www.eroticawithsoul.blogspot.com. I post about the romantic and erotic in pop culture and psychology, and needless to say, vampire topics arise a lot. The official site for my Bloodchained series. And I especially encourage your readers to visit www.howtocatchandkeepavampire.com, where they can interact with me and my vampire pals. Facebook users can become a fan of the book at, and stay apprised of events, contests, site updates, and so on. And lastly, to see my video interview, please visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOmNRiQ_gtY. My immortal friends think it’s rather hilarious.
Thank you so much for the opportunity to visit with your readers, Patricia! I’m always thrilled to meet more vampirophiles and spread the vampire love.
And thank you, Diana, for sharing your unique perspective on love and vampires!
Now for the contest. One lucky commenter will win a signed copy of How to Catch and Keep a Vampire: A Step-By-Step Guide to Loving the Bad and the Beautiful
To be eligible do one or more of the following:
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* Ask Diana a question
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Contest ends October 1, 2009 at 11:59 PM Hawaii Time.