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Kill All the Vampire Writers

Kill All the Vampire Writers ebookKILL ALL THE VAMPIRE WRITERS

Had a gutful of cheesy vampire novels and movies? So has Jefferson Stark, the only real vampire alive. Well, sort of alive. He doesn’t suck blood or burn up in the sunlight. Real vampires, according to local author Robyn Dennison, have no connection to the horny teens in the Twilight series or the batty Bram Stoker types. New England vampires live forever by drinking hot cups of human heart tea. (Continued below)

 

 

Editor Dennis Robinson interviews Robyn Dennison, author of KILL ALL THE VAMPIRE WRITERS. Wait a minute, aren’t those guys the same person?

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SeacoastNH.com: Robyn, your main character, Jefferson Stark, decides to kill off every author who writes about vampires. How many are there?

Dennison: There are 1,675 living authors of vampire fiction, give or take.

SeacoastNH.com: How do you know that?

Dennison: I made it up. This is fiction, but as you can tell, killing them all is a big job for one vampire, even if he is immortal.

SeacoastNH.com: And he hates being immortal?

Dennison: He loathes it. Jefferson Stark hates being alive almost as much as he hates vampire writers. He’s been around since 1798 with nothing much to do, so he’s read a lot of good books. Obliterating the entire vampire genre, he figures, is a good way to improve the quality of American literature which is going downhill. If he doesn’t do it, who will?

SeacoastNH.com: And how does he plan to pull off this massacre?

Vampire_Cover_SmallDennison: That’s pretty much the crux of the story. Jefferson is a disgusting guy on the surface. He looks like road kill and smells like a dirty diaper, so he’s not exactly a Hollywood heartthrob. He has no super powers, so he has to get creative. The trick from the author’s point of view is to make him sympathetic, maybe even attractive to the reader. He’s really a pussycat once you get to know him.

SeacoastNH.com: And he’s a New Hampshire vampire?

Dennison: Born and bred. Jefferson Stark is based on the New England “vampire” in folklore. I first bumped into the concept after interviewing Michael E. Bell, the author of Food for the Dead. There are historical cases, back in the 1700s, when rural people took desperate measures to stop the spread of consumption, or tuberculosis, as we call it today. Whole families were being killed off by the disease. Local superstition held that the first member of the family to die might actually be drawing other family members into the grave. There are documented examples were people exhumed a loved one, removed the bloody heart, and burned it – maybe even mixed the burned ashes in water and drank the mixture. They didn’t call their relatives “vampires,” of course. But the principal of undead creatures drawing others into the grave is similar to vampirism. Since the stereotypical vampire is totally fictional, it made sense to me that a “real vampire” should be the avenger. My vampire wants to kill off the entire genre.

SeacoastNH.com: You’re not making this stuff up about exhuming bodies?

Dennison: Cross my heart and hope to die.

SeacoastNH.com: And it happened in New Hampshire?

Dennison: Apparently it happened across New England.

SeacoastNH.com: So what drove you to write this tale? Are you also disgusted with vampire writing?

Dennison: I’m disgusted by a lot of things, aren’t you? This is only the first in a series of “genre avengers” books. Most writers barely scrape by. Many get forced into genres that are often dumb and restrictive and too often violent and depressing. I’m pretty sick of the whole murder-sex-crime-monster-paranormal-slasher garbage that gets cranked out these days. My characters plan to clean up the mess. If you can’t beat ‘em -- kill ‘em.

SeacoastNH.com: So why choose the e-book format?

Dennison: That’s easy – no agent, no editor, no publisher, no distributor. There’s a revolution going on. One vampire writer made $1.5 million selling her books at 99 cents per download. My little book sells for $1.99.

SeacoastNH.com: Where can we get it?

Dennison: It’s available on Kindle now and it will be moving to more digital platforms soon – Nook, Apple, Google.

SeacoastNH.com: No paper copies?

Dennison: Nope. No trees were murdered to create this book.

SeacoastNH.com: So I need a Kindle to buy it?

Dennison: Not any more. An e-reader isn’t even necessary. Anyone with an Amazon account can click and start reading it in “the Cloud” in about 30 seconds on their computer. Or you can download Kindle software to your PC or mobile device. If every SeacoastNH.com reader downloaded this book today, I’d be off and running.

SeacoastNH.com: How does it work, income-wise?

Dennison: The Internet is flooded with e-books, a great many of them are total crap. I used to teach creative writing and journalism, so I thought I’d take a shot. The problem for the “indie” writer is getting exposure and building a buzz. Lots of writers are uncomfortable with marketing, but I used to run a marketing company,

SeacoastNH.com: What is the profit margin?

Dennison: Amazon gives me 70 cents out of every $2 download. That rate doubles for books priced at $2.99 and up. I kept the price toward the low end since it is a novella of about 35,000 words, a quick fun read for the price of a cup of coffee.

SeacoastNH.com: So you are a full-time writer?

Dennison: I’ve been writing nonfiction professionally for 35 years.

SeacoastNH.com: The name Robyn Dennison sounds vaguely familiar.

Dennison: I was going to use the pen name Mercy Rancor, but I liked the name so much I used it in KILL ALL THE VAMPIRE WRITERS. She’s now Jefferson Stark’s first victim. He likes her so much, he keeps her in the freezer and she becomes a sort of posthumous main character.

SeacoastNH.com: That’s sick.

Dennison: It’s a sick genre. Edgar Allan Poe also makes an appearance. He and Jefferson Stark both lose their wives to illness at an early age.

SeacoastNH.com: What genre is this book?

Dennison: I think of it as an historical-horror-romantic-satire with a little mystery thrown in. It’s also a memoir, I guess, since Jefferson Stark tells the story from his point of view.

SeacoastNH.com: One last question: If you’re writing Kill All the Vampire Writers, aren’t you also a vampire writer?

Dennison: Now you’re scaring me. I guess I must be on Jefferson Stark’s list too.

SeacoastNH.com: Can you tell us who dies next in the genre-avengers series?

Dennison: No, but I can tell you that the second novella has a whole new hero and is in progress even now.

© 2012 SeacoastNH.com

 

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