Monday, June 27, 2011

Guest: Phoebe Matthews

VampChix welcomes Phoebe Matthews today!  Phoebe Matthews is the 2009 EPIC Award winner for Best Fantasy for the first book in the Mudflat series. This year her first vampire novel, VAMPIRE CAREER, was published and here's her explanation. She lives in the Pacific Northwest where the damp and foggy climate hides a lot of weirdness.

When I was VERY small, maybe eight years old, and completely under the domination of my ten year old sister, we spent a summer with our grandmother. My sister, who was a good prevaricator, learned in self-defense because we had a couple of older sisters, told my grandmother there was a nice children's movie at the theater four blocks from my grandmother's house. As it was warm midsummer in a small Minnesota town where no one worried about children being out after dark, plus my grandmother really did not like movies, she gave us the money and sent us off with instructions to come directly home afterwards. Four blocks. We'd be home in ten minutes, easy.
     The prevarication was about the movie. Like my grandmother, I trusted my sister. I presumed we were going to see a Disney movie.
     Huh uh. It was an old black and white film about a vampire, probably Dracula. As we watched wide-eyed, the coffin lid creaked open, the person opening it leaned over to peer at the ghastly white corpse and aaaaagh! A hand shot up and grabbed the man and then the corpse sat up and I spent the rest of the film squished down on the floor between the seats.
     That was my introduction to vampires, not glamourous at all. And I think it took at least a day and a night to walk the four blocks back to Grandmother's house, me shaking all the way and my sister saying, "Oh stop being a baby." There were also a few death threats in case I was considering tattling.
     If anyone had told me then that I would not only grow up to enjoy vampire stories, but would also write them, I would have run off to join a nunnery. Oh wait. I was only eight.
     My outlook changed with Dark Shadows. I was older and the vampires were interesting. And then along came Buffy and crew. Slippery slope. Thin edge of the wedge.
     For years I wrote romances   for Avon, Dell, Putnam, Silhouette and others. And then I switched to writing what I like best to read, urban fantasy.   My Mudflat series for BookStrand is about weak magic in Seattle. My new Sunspinner series is filled with demons, not the sexy hot kind, just the icky annoying deadly kind.
     Last year a trip to the Olympic peninsula included a visit to Forks and the glittery vampire gift shop. This inspired an idea for a short story about a girl who needs to either become a vampire or die. But after I finished the story, I thought of lots of other problems she might face, continued writing, and ended up with Vampire Career, a novel about a bizarre romance.
     Dark Quest Books, publishing branch of a game company, specializes in unusual SciFi/Fantasy. They bought Vampire Career along with my idea for three more books about the same heroine, and that was the start of the Turning Vampire series.
     Vampire Career is not your typical tale of a sexy vampire dominating a human lover. There are no hunk vamps in the story at all, although the one who turns her is tall, dark, and charming. And the vampire, bless her, is basically a nice girl left to muddle through her new situation because Tall Dark goes away and doesn't leave an instruction manual. And no, he is not the bizarre romance. The bizarre guy is lots cuter.
     The second novel in the series, Vampire Disaster, is scheduled to be released next November. Dark Quest issues their books in print and has recently started adding ebook editions. Vampire Career is available in either print or ebook.
     So I guess, these many years later, I will forgive my sister for that horrendous walk home through the dark and haunted streets. Actually, I don't think we walked. I think we ran all the way. Screaming.
     Are all older sisters like mine? Dearly loved but scary?
- Phoebe Matthews

FaceBook: http://www.facebook/Phoebe Matthews

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1 comment:

Walter Knight said...

The same thing happened to me, except the movie was Barbarella (1968). It was a slippery slope from there.

I only wish Jane Fonda made a vampire movie, too.