Vampire Books Author Interviews: Steve Perlow

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Q. When did you decide to become a writer?

I’ve always loved vampire stories, and for a while, I’ve had my own idea for what a world full of vampires would be like. I imagined a dark world, where vampires and humans coexisted in an unreliable peace.  Then I considered how it might have all started between vampires and humans. Finally, I had the idea for Alone, which takes place in that world, and with that, I had a novel I wanted to write.

Q. How long have you been writing?

Soon after I came up with the story for Alone, I decided to give writing a serious try. Before jumping into writing the novel, I wanted to get something shorter out for others to read, to see how the world of vampires I had imagined would be received. I wrote what became Chapter 1 of Alone, and put it out on a few sites as a short story. I was very excited when the feedback I received was positive, so I got to work on the novel.

Q. What types of books are you reading?

I’m not actually reading a whole lot at the moment because I’ve been working on Alone, and am now working on the sequel. Most of my reading recently has been research for those books.

Q. What was your favorite part of writing your book? The hardest part?

I decided to self-publish, and my favorite part was writing with the knowledge that I’d get my story released—it wasn’t something I merely hoped would happen if a traditional publisher liked my work. I didn’t know how long my process would take, and I understood it would be a lot of work, but I knew what would happen at the end: I’d get my book out for others to read.

The hardest part was deciding to start writing the novel. I was confident that once I started, I would finish the book and publish it, and I also knew that meant a ton of work to get done. So it took a little while to push myself to get started. Of course, I’m very glad I did.

Q. Tell us what it's about.

Here’s the short description:

Twenty-two-year-old Erin Rose wakes up one morning with no memory of her past. She’s in a strange apartment with only one clue: a vampire bite scar on her neck.

Determined to unravel the mystery of her true identity, she contacts the Spectavi vampires, who drink synthetic blood. When they can’t help her, she turns to the Sanguans, who feed on humans. Her investigation leads her deep into a centuries-old vampire war.

Erin must decide how far she’s willing to go to learn the truth about her origins.

And here’s a little more detail about the story, and how I came up with the world of vampires Erin lives in:

I find vampires fascinating. They can be immortal, have incredible, superhuman gifts and are often very beautiful. They can be warriors, romantics, scholars or whatever they want to be. Many also undergo significant internal struggles over the course of their long lives. My story includes complicated vampires like that.

I wondered what the world would be like if such vampires existed, and had not stayed hidden after they came into being. In that case, just as many people seek to subjugate others, it seemed logical that some vampires would have sought to lord over humans. Unfortunately for humans, they would have had a hard time resisting powerful vampires. However, just as not all humans seek to rule others, some vampires would likely have sided with people.

In my world, those two factions of vampires have been at war over the fate of humanity since the Dark Ages. For the most part, humans have been able to chart their own destiny, free of vampire rule. Still, the war rages on, and plenty of vampires are out to kill people each night. It’s a dark world, but that seemed to me to be the reality of a world full of vampires.

Within that harsh setting, I wanted to write something intense and emotional, which led me to focus on a very basic human idea—one’s knowledge of themselves. My protagonist, twenty-two-year-old Erin Rose, has had that knowledge taken from her, along with her entire memory. A bite scar on her neck leads her to believe a vampire was responsible.

There is a strong psychological element to the story. My vampires deal with their emotions and motivations, and Erin’s introspection is spelled out, so the reader is right along with her as she investigates the mystery of her past. The story includes bars, clubs, romance, sword fights, shootouts, history and more. But above all, it’s Erin’s journey in a dark, fantastical world.

Q. What are you working on now?

I’m extremely excited to be working on the sequel to Alone. I love how Alone turned out, and I know the sequel can be even better.

Q. What is your favorite part of being an author?

My favorite part of being an author, is the fact that my writing isn’t constrained by the limits of a video production budget, what I can draw (which isn’t much), or what I can represent on a website. Instead, I can write anything I can imagine, as long as it fits into a good story.

Q. What do you do in your free time?

I do web development and I watch a lot of sports and movies.

Q. If you could give a piece of advice to your readers on anything, what would it be?

Read Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles, and if you have any interest in science fiction, read Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game.

Q.  If you could give advice to new writers, what would it be?

Aside from writing a great story, I would advise anyone who is serious about writing and self publishing to hire a professional editor and proofreader.

It’s very likely that an editor will be able to help with a work in ways that friends and family can’t (or won’t, if they are afraid of being overly critical), and I’ve read numerous book reviews that cite poor grammar and typos as reasons for bad, or at least worse, reviews. It’s difficult to publish a book that’s 100% free of typos, but a professionally proofread book should be close, and that should be good enough that a reviewer focuses on the story, and not the punctuation, when reviewing a book.

Click Here To Grab Alone On Amazon For Only $.99 >>

Interview Questions From Fans:

Fan Questions: if you could be any fictional character who would you pick and why?

Anne Rice’s Lestat. Who wouldn’t want to be an immortal, powerful vampire? He’s a fighter, he does what he wants, and has had incredible adventures over the centuries.

At the same time, Lestat struggles to understand his place in the world, but he doesn’t do it out of weakness—he simply craves answers. Along with all of his dark gifts, his complexity makes Lestat so fascinating to me.

From Carrie Humphrey: When sitting down to write a novel, whether it be a vampire one or something different, what's the first step you take? Outline? Blurb out ideas? Just write and see where it takes you?

First, I blurb out big ideas, then when I’m happy with those, I outline to get started. I know I won’t think of everything, and am always sure that I’ll have to change things later, perhaps drastically, but I like to know where I’m heading before I start writing.

Fan Questions: How much Vampire reading had you done before you began as an author? Do you think the vampires that you got to know in literature aided you as developed both your plots and characters in your own writing?

I’ve read a few different vampire series, but there’s a lot more out there that I haven’t read. I have watched plenty of vampire movies.

My vampires can be seen as a hybrid of vampires from many authors’ worlds. There are just so many great ideas out there, and I was a fan of vampire stories long before I was a writer, so it was impossible not to be influenced by some of those ideas.

When coming up with my plot, and the world my vampires live in, I really tried to come up with something fresh. Still, it was impossible to forget other vampire worlds completely.

So, yes, both my characters and my plot have been influenced by the vampires I’ve been exposed to, but in both cases, I believe I’ve come up with something original.

Fan Questions: With all the “Vampire legends” and whatnot already out there(i.e wooden stake, burn in the sun, immortal) how do you keep your characters original?

Most of the vampire legends that are out there are extremely interesting to me, and there are a ton to work with, so I didn’t set out to redefine those. Instead, I tried to create an original world for my vampires. The issues and circumstances unique to their world make them original.

I also remember that every vampire was a person once, so they have their own stories and formative years as humans. Because those human lives were unique, there’s no reason their vampire lives wouldn’t be too.

Fan Questions: Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Write the story you want to write, work on it until it’s great, and get it out for the world to read.

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