Patricia's Vampire Notes welcomes Susan Hubbard Professor of English at the University of Central Florida and author of the critically acclaimed Ethical Vampire Series. In July The Season of Risks, book three, was published by Simon and Schuster. In the following interview Susan tells us about this extraordinary series and the vampires in it. [See contest details at end of post]
[CORRECTED INFORMATION - BOOK 3 IS THE SEASON OF RISKS - NOT THE SOCIETY OF S (Book 1) AS ORIGINALLY POSTED. MY APOLOGIES!
This contest had ended
PVN: You have created a quite unusual vampire world, please tell PVN readers about it.
In my world, some vampires are the good guys. Others are decidedly not. Rather than depend upon blood and gore and sex, my books incorporate references to philosophy, politics, and literature—but they are still scary and entertaining, I'm told, and some readers have developed strong love or hate relationships with the characters. My vampires can choose whether to drink blood or rely on supplements; they have the ability to turn invisible, hear others' thoughts, and see language and numbers in color. They all wear sunscreen, of course. They thrive on raw oysters, mineral water, and a mysterious aperitif called Picardo.
PVN: Tell us about Ariella.
My main character is, her father tells her in The Society of S, "thirteen going on thirty." Home-schooled by her father, Ari knows a great deal about math, science, and the arts, but very little of the "real world," and even less about her family. Does her father really have lupus? And what does he really do in the basement?
Ari's journey to discover who she is, and what happened to her mother, shapes the plot of the first book. In the second, The Year of Disappearances, she moves on to college in Georgia at the age of fourteen, tries to solve a murder, and meets a politician running for the U.S. presidency. The new book, The Season of Risks, follows her complicated romance with that politician and her family's move to Ireland. Identity theft, age modification, and the dangers of social networking are important plot elements.
PVN: Can you give us a preview of what will happen next in the series?
Mayhem. The next book opens in Ireland with a wedding and ends in Florida with a funeral.
PVN: This series has scientific and paranormal elements. How would you categorize it?
The term "speculative fiction" describes the books best, I think. My characters are complicated, three-dimensional figures confronting realistic problems—but they have special needs and powers, and they coexist with vampires, ghosts, and zombies.
PVN: Why is the series named Ethical Vampire?
In my world, vampires fall into three general categories—Sanguinists, Colonists, and Nebulists. Only the Sanguinists are consistently mindful of ethics. They're concerned with how decisions made today might affect the long-term future for vampires and mortals alike.
PVN: What are some of the books that influenced you as a young reader?
I loved a book called Loretta Mason Potts by Mary Chase. It's about an odd girl—an outsider in her own family—who finds an entry into a secret world where she is treated like a princess. Also loved The Secret Garden and The Poor Little Rich Girl. And I devoured the Judy Bolton mystery series; she was a girl reporter/detective, but SO much more interesting than Nancy Drew (too much of a goody-goody for me).
PVN: What is your writing environment like?
It varies. I travel with a laptop computer, which means I write in a range of places. My favorite place to write is my study in Cape Canaveral, which overlooks the Banana River. No phone, and one small TV that I rarely switch on.
PVN: How does teaching influence your writing (or does it?)
My students give me ideas and feedback all the time, and I try to do the same for them. It's great to be able to discuss complicated questions with them. Writing workshops allow us to talk about almost anything as we review manuscripts. I'm rarely bored.
PVN: What are your passions outside of teaching and writing?
Reading, of course. I love to travel, and I like to walk for miles. I collect oddities: visual oxymorons, if you will. Cats collect my husband and me; we take in strays. A portion of the new book's proceeds will go to Alley Cat Allies, a charity that has the long-term interests of feral cats at heart. We support a range of other nonprofit organizations, including Defenders of Wildlife and Save the Manatees.
One more passion: I detest, and cannot tolerate, bullying of all forms.
PVN: How can readers contact you?
More information about the books is available at www.susanhubbard.com and www.seasonofrisks.com
Readers may reach me on Facebook or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you so much, Susan!
Read a review of The Season of Risks
Susan is offering a signed copy of The Season of Risks to one lucky reader.
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Contest is open WORLWIDE!
Contest ends July 27, 2010
CORRECTED INFORMATION - BOOK 3 IS THE SEASON OF RISKS - NOT THE SOCIETY OF S (Book 1) AS ORIGINALLY POSTED. MY APOLOGIES!!
THIS CONTEST HAS ENDED