So, as we move into the third week of March, we get to our third Vampire month victim. This week we have Victoria L. Szulc, author of The First Ten Bites. After her interview today, she will tell us all about her hints and tips for how to live forever…
- What is the earliest memory you have of writing? What did you write about?
I remember telling a lot of stories, when I was about five or six years old, about a girl (who later became a princess) and her animals to my best neighborhood friends. I had a pretty wild imagination. I starting cartooning them, all over my school folders, scraps of paper, and whatever else I could find.
- When did you decide to become a professional writer? Why did you take this step?
In my twenties, I started writing professionally as part of advertising, marketing, and creative jobs. I was already an artist and writing became another tool in my arsenal of creativity. By the time I reached forty, I realized I had a lot of stories to share that weren’t covered in my visual art.
- What would you consider to be your greatest strength as a writer? What about your greatest weakness? How do you overcome this weakness?
The greatest strength, without a doubt is imagination. I have some crazy storylines and plot twists that I just rejoice over. I love hearing readers’ reactions to them. Weakness? I swear I have ADD creativity. Sometimes I’m working on a project and the wrong muse comes calling, like the need to draw, or other stories in the planning stages. I almost hate when I’ve got a storyline ready for a character and realize that it belongs in a totally different story.
- Tell us about the place where you live. Have you ever derived any inspiration from your home or from anywhere you have visited?
I’m from St. Louis, Missouri, USA which is almost dead center of the U.S. I write a lot of Steampunk as well, and during the Victorian/American Guilded Age, St. Louis was the third largest city in the country. Fortunately, unlike a lot of American cities, many of those historic homes, parks, and areas remain here. I’m definitely inspired by the architecture and my hometown history.
- Which book, if any, would you consider to be your greatest influence and inspiration?
I’d have to say, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis. I started reading the series when I about ten years old. I was captivated by these children and their adventures. Oh and Turkish Delight. I always wondered what the heck it was and wanted to try it.
- What drove you to write about Vampires?
I was working for a Halloween/costume shop part-time to make extra money. Steampunk was just beginning to take hold as a genre and I used to chat with one of my coworkers about characters I was developing. I thought about bringing in a vampire. An undead who, despite living a long time, was struggling with human realities. “What do you do when you have forever on your hands?” William, the vampire, eventually became his own series of short stories.
- What do you think is the attraction for Vampire fiction? Why is it such a popular topic?
I think the idea of living forever, having great strength, and power is very appealing. Sometimes in a negative light. So much so that people that “suck away” anything from you, emotionally, physically, are called “vampires” in modern slang.
On a positive side, it’s very erotic. The idea of being with a lover for eternity. There’s a ton of psychological sexual nuances. Being “punctured”, feeding off someone, the ability to change forms to please and attract someone else. That’s a lot of fodder for fantasy and stories!
- In a fight between all the greatest Vampires of fiction, who do you think would come out on top?
Good question and hard to answer. I know that Blade is more of a comic than literary character, but he is bad ass. Then again, you have Dracula, the oldest and the one who started it all.
- What about in some other contest such as sexiness or dress sense? Who would win that one?
I’m going to separate male and female if that’s okay? Lestat (Ann Rice) has just been incredible. Fragile but classically handsome. I think it’s his human qualities that make him sexy. And again, not from literature, but Selene from the Underworld series is incredibly beautiful and deadly. Strong and smart is very sexy to me.
- How well do you think one of your characters would fare against the winner(s) of the above?
I have vampire who is a trained assassin in the undead world, Anna. She knows vampire history and is fully educated on living in the modern world. She has a reputation, but is brilliant at disguising herself. She could be a housewife, a CEO, or a club kid. I think she could be the last man (woman) standing.
- Tell us the basic premise behind your latest novel.
“I Died Here”, v.11 from my “Vampire’s Little Black Book” short series is about William, my main character, and how he finally handles an old enemy, Stephen. But in this conflict, he is both in love with a human woman, Caroline, and Anna, a vampire assassin he’d sired long ago. Everyone is caught in the crossfire, as Stephen is bent on revenge in any form he can get against Will. Will is torn between his new love and Anna, who has since moved on to a human lover of her own. There’s underlying themes of death, resurrection, and how we handle or don’t come to terms with life events. The first ten shorts of this series were about Will’s naughty and turbulent past and how he’s tried to change. These were compiled into “The First Ten Bites”. Without giving too much away, the next ten stories continue to explore that past but focus on Will’s rediscovered anger after losing so much. I haven’t set the release date, but it should be before the end of March. It’s been fun to write about Will again. It’s been almost three years since I’ve had a chance to put out new vampire material.
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Amazon author page: www.amazon.com/author/victorial.szulc
Etsy Store: http://www.etsy.com/shop/TheHauteHen