Feb 8, 2010
Susan Blexrud - Interview and Contest
Please welcome Susan Blexrud author of the humorous vampire romance series Love Fang. Now all the short stories of the series can be found in print from DLC. She has kindly offered signed copies to two winners. See more information at the end of the interview.
PVN: What are the characteristics of your vampires?
SB: My vamps do not fall into the “we’re so bad, baby” category of vampire romances. They’d never call their significant others “baby,” and they don’t suffer from teenage angst. They’re grownups.
I took my vampire cues from Bram Stoker's original story because I wanted my hero to be in a time warp. When he is first introduced, he still sleeps in a coffin. To avoid the temptation of love, he's kept himself alienated from modern society—for 500 years. It's only when he meets Dr. Lauren Marsh that he decides to adapt to the 21st Century. Also, once he stops sleeping in a coffin, his pesky respiratory allergies begin to clear up.
PVN: Have you introduced any other paranormal characters in your stories or have plans to do so?
SB: I've begun writing a fifth story in my fang series about a bat fungus that is killing bat colonies in the Northeast (this is really happening), and I'll be introducing werewolves in that story. They won't be the good guys.
SB: Unlike many vampire tomes, my stories don’t read like my vamps are on crack. Yes, Love Fang truly is a sweet romance, except (as you aptly noted) for the torrid sex scenes. My vamps are definitely alpha males, and they're also very emotionally human. I’d never attempt to pigeonhole my readers, but if I had to describe a typical Susan Blexrud reader, I’d say that she’s someone who loves a sexy romance with endearing characters. I’ve had numerous readers tell me they didn’t like vampires until they read mine.
PVN: Are there any current or past TV series featuring vampires that you have enjoyed?
SB: Well, I'm a True Blood devotee, though I like the books much more than the TV series. I'm a huge Eric Northman fan, and Alexander Skarsgard is a perfect Eric. He makes it worth watching. Wish there was more of Charlaine Harris’s wonderful comic voice in the TV show, and less emphasis on blood. Not that I don’t like a good bloody tale. I’m hooked on Dexter, for Pete’s sake. But the blood in the True Blood series is just too thick, stringy and gooey.
PVN: What do you most like about the writing life?
SB: Even though my life work has largely been in the public eye (I was director of communications for the City of Orlando and functioned as the mayor's spokesperson), I'm a solitary worker at heart. So, spending hours at the computer by my lonesome is gratifying for me. I also love working with my critique group, the Pink Fire Writers. We're four gals who write in very different genres, and we're good friends as well as being brutal (sometimes) critics. The real icing on the cake is when I hear from fans. There’s not much money to be made in this business (at least I haven’t experienced that, so far), so the gratification is in a job well done. Good reviews are always nice, too, and I love doing guest blogs on sites like PVN.
PVN: Where and when do you write? Describe the ambience.
SB: I usually write first thing in the morning, with a cup of high-octane java at my side. I should send you a video of my desk so you could see all the muses that surround me. I have empty bottles of Kahlua (in the shape of a Mayan statue) and Vampire Vineyards' Cabernet Sauvignon on the shelf above my desk. My daughter was worried that I was drinking on the job, but I assured her that the bottles were empty, and though I’d savored the wine, the Kahlua spent its life in my Chocolate Kahlua Pound Cake. (If you'd like the recipe, please let me know.) I have a photo that I took in the London Zoo of a toucan, a family photo of my son's high school graduation, about 20 "how to" books on writing that range from a good thesaurus to The Book of Useless Information. I also have a crucifix with St. Francis's prayer inscribed on it, a portrait of The Blue Dog that I picked up the last time I was in New Orleans (pre-Katrina), an old globe (don't let anyone tell you no one uses globes anymore), and a few writing awards to remind me on the days when nothing flows that I AM capable of stringing a group of words together...logically.
PVN: What books or authors most influenced you?
SB: I love Barbara Kingsolver. She manages to impart moral lessons without being preachy, and her dialogue is spot on. I admire the humor of Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Jennifer Cruisie. I like Sophie Kinsella’s single titles (The Undomesticated Goddess and Remember Me). I’m a total sucker for Stephanie Meyer's Twilight series. I drool over Charlaine Harris's Southern vampire books. I marvel at The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova.
PVN: What works are in the future?
SB: In addition to the fifth story in my vampire series that I mentioned earlier, tentatively titled Black Fang, I’m going to finish the sequel to my Mayan time travel, Delora’s Necklace, and I’m working on a young adult book about a mouse detective entitled Minerva Greensleeves, House Mouse.
PVN: When reading for pleasure what do you like to read?
SB: For a fun, light read, I enjoy Barbara Bretton’s knitting/magic books. I’m in a book club, so much of my reading focuses on the monthly book I read for the club. These books run the gamut from non-fiction (memoirs like The Glass Castle) to literary fiction like Ahab’s Wife. About the lightest thing we’ve got going this year is Dan Brown’s latest, The Lost Symbol. Since I write paranormal, I’ve always got a book or two going in my genre. I just finished Gail Carriger’s Soulless, which was great fun. Currently, I’m devouring The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, which is so good it makes my teeth itch, by Katherine Howe.
PVN: How can readers find you on the Internet?
SB: I'm on Facebook, and I just joined Twitter, but the best source is probably my website, www.susanblexrud.com.
Two lucky readers will each win a copy of Susan's new book Love Fang.
US residents only
To be eligible do one or more of the following:
* Leave a comment - 1 point
* Ask Susan a question - 1 point
* Link this interview to your own site or a social network site, and be sure to let me know the URL - 1 point for each site
If your email is not associated with your ID, please put the address in your response.
Contest ends Feb. 22 at 11:59 PM PST