Sep 29, 2009

Diana Laurence - Interview and Contest


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:
* Leave a comment
* Ask Diana a question
* Link this interview to your own site or a social network site, and be sure to let me know the URL

If your email is not associated with your ID, please put the address in your response.

Contest ends October 1, 2009 at 11:59 PM Hawaii Time.

27 comments:

RKCharron said...

Hi :)
Thank you for the great interview & for sharing Diane.
Besides the Sookie novels have you read other vampire-related books?
:)
All the best,
RKCharron
xoxo
PS - Email's in my Blogger Profile.

etirv said...

Interviews with authors of vampire novels are so much fun! Great meeting Diane here!

Diane, who's your vampire hero on True Blood: Bill or Eric?

delilah0180(at)yahoo(dot)com

ParaJunkee said...

Good interview. This book sounds very interesting.

Diane, any other supernatural obsessions besides vamps?

parajunkee (@) gmail.com

Diana Laurence said...

First of all, a little name clarification: If your googling me (or looking on book covers) it's Diana...but I certainly also answer to Di or Diane, as you will see below as I answer to you PVN readers! LOL

RK: I've read all the Twilight books, and back in the 80s read most of Anne Rice's books too. I started Dracula recently but I confess it's hard to put down Sookie and pick up the Count!

Etirv: Bill is hard to resist and I love him...but Eric kinda blows my mind. Plus he's funny, and I'm a sucker for a funny vampire every time. Really, what can be better than the combination of nice and bad vampires in one show?

ParaJunkee: If the shapeshifter is Sam Merlotte, I'm a little obsessed! I also adore a ghost if he's Quentin Collins. LOL I've always enjoyed stories about mindreaders, if that counts. And I really like the genre in general; big fan of shows like "The Sixth Sense" (remember that?), "The X Files" and "Lost."

Will check back with y'all later! (I'm from Wisconsin, just been mentally hanging out in Louisiana lately.)

Mary Ann DeBorde said...

Mary D
zenrei57 (at) hotmail (dot) com

That was a terrific interview! Now I am 'dying' to read the book LOL :)

Diane, what type of background or research influences your plot settings? Do you have a favorite location?

Katiebabs a.k.a KB said...

I've been hearing great things about this book!

Diana, who is your all time favorite vampire in fiction?

tetewa said...

Enjoyed the interview, sounds like my kind of read! tWarner419@aol.com

elnice said...

this book sounds like so much fun. You have been interested in vampires for a long time.

If you did find yourself in a monogamous vampire relationship, who would it be with?

zenfoxflowerATyahooDOTcom

elnice said...

I posted a link on my contest sidebar at http://ellzreadz.blogspot.com/

elaing8 said...

what a great interview.The books sounds very interesting,I'd love to read it.
elaing8(at)netscape(dot)net

Daelith said...

Thank you for taking the time to do this interview. This books sounds like a fun read.

Since you're enjoying the Sookie books, you might want to check out Raven Hart's Savannah Vampire series.


cheleooc at yahoo dot com

Diana Laurence said...

Mary Ann:

Thanks, and good pun!!

I was born and raised in Milwaukee so you'll often find a Midwest feel in my stuff. I'm likewise a big fan of Chicago, so if I need taller buildings, I'll write about there! That said, the tallest building to be mentioned in "How to Catch and Keep a Vampire" is the Chrysler Building, hmmm...

KB: Glad to hear it, yay!

My favorite movie vampire is probably Frank Langella's Dracula (1979) although Kiefer in The Lost Boys was really hot too. My current favorite vampire in books is Silas in Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book. And speaking of Chicago and Silas, on October 30 my book will be sharing a celebration at Anderson's Bookshop with The Graveyard Book, what an honor!

Thanks, Tetewa--my vampire friends insist it is indeed your kind of read! LOL

Elnice: In the book you will meet my one true vampire love, Conner. I'll tell you about a lot of immortals I've dated, but this one is something special. I don't know what I'd do without him, but I better stop with that before I give away too much! :-)

Elaing8, thank you! And my vampire pals made SURE it was interesting, believe me. LOL

Daelith, thanks for the recommendation!

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Fun interview, ladies!

Patricia, no need to enter me. I'm dropping in to say thanks for the e-mail. I've got this up at Win a Book.

Diane, if we can help give you extra promo, drop us a line. This is what we're here for.

Wanda said...

I've heard so much about this book and would love to be entered in your draw. Thanks.
wandanamgreb(at)gmail(dot)com

Judi S said...

Hello Diana & Patricia! *waves*

Thanks for a great interview. I've been itching to get my hands on a copy of this, so I'm tossing my name into the hat to win and crossing my fingers. :)

I second the thought on how sexy a vampire (Eric) is who is bad but has a wicked sense of humor. I would love one of my own, sighs...

sidhevicious(at)shaw(dot)ca

Diana Laurence said...

Hi Wanda, pleased to meet you! Hi Judi! The Canadian contingency is here (which prompts me to mention, the book is now available at most Chapters/Indigo stores). Yes, Eric is the vampiric example of a guy being sexier by being funny. Both of my "bad" vampire friends (Gunnar and Mordred) are hilarious...and "bad" with humor on the side is like dark chocolate with raspberries, to my mind.

Patricia Altner said...

Hi Judi

So great to hear from you!

"Jumping up and down waving!"

Roxanne Rhoads said...

You don't have to enter me in the contest, I already have the book I just wanted to stop by and tell Diana that I am loving the book. I have it right now and am reading it. It's great.

Your publisher is sponsoring a giveaway at Fang-tastic Books this Friday, three copies. Maybe you can drop by and say hi to all the readers.

www.fang-tasticbooks.blogspot.com

~Rox

Valorie said...

I covet this book. :P

Who would win in a fight: Dracula or Lestat?

Valorie
morbidromantic@gmail.com

pixie13 said...

Love the interview & the book sounds like a must read!
So, Diana, do you own a copy of The Vampire Book, The Encyclopedia of The Undead?

gevin13{at}gmail{dot}com

Diana Laurence said...

Roxanne, I'm so happy you're enjoying the book so far, yay! BTW, "story strumpet" is a great term. Thanks for telling me about the giveaway, I will be over at your site on Friday for sure. I'd be happy to answer reader questions just like here, if you like!

Valerie, the vampires wouldn't have it any other way than "covet"...LOL. Dracula vs. Lestat, well...the other day my husband asked me about vampire fights and to be truthful, in my experience they try to avoid it. One vampire can destroy another, all right, but if the consequences led to all-out war, it would be an extremely messy business. So they typically have a live-and-let-be-undead philosophy. It's interesting.

Pixie13, I do not own that book although clearly it's a classic. My vampire friend Colin said to tell you, "She doesn't need a book when she has me, love." He is quite an authority. (But I don't think he'd bite if I got the book...at least no more than usual!)

ladystorm said...

I think this sounds like a very different kind of book and looks like it could be fun to read.

Stormi,
booklady2007[at]gmail[dot]com

Diana Laurence said...

Thanks, Ladystorm! I definitely wanted the book to be fun, and judging from the guffaws (and quiet, sinister chuckles) of my vampire friends when they reviewed the manuscript, it is. But at the same time, you will definitely learn something about life as well as undeath. You'll laugh...you'll cry...you'll fall in love...yada yada. At least I hope so!

Alexia561 said...

Very excited because I just received this book today and am already loving it!

Just wanted to stop by and say hello. Great interview! :)

donnas said...

Great interview. I cant wait to read this book, it sounds so interesting.

Any plans for a follow up?

Posted on the sidebar here: http://donnasbloghome.blogspot.com/

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Diana Laurence said...

Alexia, that's awesome! I'm so glad you're liking the book.

Donna, you are actually the first person to ask me that question! Indeed, there will be another book, and we're paying close attention to what readers enjoyed most about this one to determine what would be best to put in the "sequel." So stay tuned!

kingducky said...

Excellent contest.... please consider me into this..... germaine.perera@gmail.com