Saturday, May 14, 2011

So I Wrote a Vampire Novel

Fact #1: When I was a tiny girl, I saw Dracula on the Late, Late Show, and it kind of marked me. For years, until I discovered boys and lost my fear of the undead, I slept with a crucifix and garlic.

Fact #2: I'm the author of six southern books, and not a single one has a ghost, imp, or vampire. I even have a normal food blog, though it has an abnormal name.

Fact #3: I started writing Acquainted With the Night in the winter of 2008,right after I finished a book tour.I ate cheese cake for a while, took pictures of food, and decided I didn't want to write another novel. That lasted one day.

Fact #4: I had one of my As-God-Is-My-Witness, I-Will-Too-Write dreams (in addition to vampires, I am a fan of Gone With the Wind) and I woke up thinking about fangs and crucifixes. Why not write something different? So what if it's not published. Besides, that's a crappy reason to write. So I wrote about vampires. Tra-la-la!

Fact #4 1/2: I pulled from my science background to create a different strain of vampirism and to explore the physiology behind it. My fact checkers were "in house"--my husband, a physician, and my younger son, a biochemist. One of the main characters is a biochemist. I showed it to my agent, some writing friends, and my mother. My agent believed in the ms from the beginning. Friends were divided. My mother freaked. "Oh god," she said. "Go back to writing unplotted Southern fiction."

Fact #5: (I could tell more but I won't.) The book sold in fall 2009 to Berkley. It was scheduled for publication in late winter 2011, but it was rescheduled to accommodate the publication of my new Southern mystery; then AWTN was postponed again. That's the way it goes in publishing. Meanwhile, my agent, sold the second vampire novel to Berkley, and I wrote another southern fried mystery.

Fact #6:  I decided I loved tying my heroines to the train tracks. I rediscovered the joy of writing and plunged into workshops and writing classes.

Fact #7: (Still with me?) AWTN will be published this November as a Berkley Premier, which is a bit larger than a mass market paperback, and it will have artwork on the inner pages--step backs or step downs. I don't know the lingo, but it's totally cool. And better than cheesecake.