Exclusive Interview with Vampire Haiku’s Ryan Mecum
Ryan Mecum is the delightfully wicked poet responsible for mixing poetry and monsters in his books Zombie Haiku, Werewolf Haiku and Vampire Haiku! Ryan was awesome enough to let me interview him a second time (first time HERE) on his incredible book Vampire Haiku. Check it out:
Can you tell us about Vampire Haiku?
Sure, Vampire Haiku is written as a poetry journal kept by a man who gets bitten by a vampire. Gross poetry ensues! Our narrator lives through the entire history of America, causing trouble and drinking blood through the centuries, while keeping a haiku journal about his daily life.
I like haiku. I kept a haiku journal for a few years, writing a haiku a day about one image I found interesting. While writing my haiku journal, the thought of an awful monster keeping a haiku journal amused me, so I wrote one.
The design of the book is amazing, I absolutely love the photos and artwork mixed with the poetry, did you work with the designer on that?
I did work with the designer. Her name is Lisa Kuhn, who owns Curio Press. She’s the book packager and designer for all three of the Horror Haiku books. She’s amazing. She lets me sneak some of my own photography into the book, but the whole look, style, and design is her beast. Lisa isn’t that big of a horror and gore fan, so I always get a kick when I know she is working on making fake blood or photographing dead bugs. She can only work for a certain amount of time before she has to take a break from the gross, but when she puts on her gory graphic design glasses, she really nails it.
Some of the poems in Vampire Haiku are pretty sick and twisted (which kicks ass), what made you go that route instead of the sweet and cuddly vegetarian way many vampire authors are going these days?
Honestly, there’s a lot of Twilight backlash in some of those haiku. I have trouble with vampires being the good guys of horror fiction. My favorite vampires were written as both evil and likeable, which pop culture has been steering away from lately. My hope with Vampire Haiku was to create a soulless character who embodied all the classic evil vampire stereotypes, but still an enjoyable character to follow.
What is it that you love about vampires?
So much to love! The gothic style. The nighttime people. Transforming into a soulless version of themselves. Sunlight kills. The fangs. The drama and the brooding. Bats. The Smiths t-shirt wearing goth girl in my high school photo class who told me she was one.
What’s your favorite vampire book and vampire movie/show?
My favorite vampire book is Dracula. My favorite vampire show is Buffy. Ever since the season two finale of Buffy, I follow show creator Joss Whedon anywhere. If his name is on it, I’m owning it. I’ve been watching The Vampire Diaries, and I’m surprised by how much I’ve been loving it. I have happy memories of watching Nickelodeon repeats of The Addams Family as a kid.
Near Dark is easily the best vampire film I’ve ever seen. Hurt Locker’s Kathryn Bigelow directed it, and it is one of my all time favorite films. I also loved Let The Right One In and The Lost Boys.
Random question time! You jump into your car after a long day, what song do you play on your ride home?
If this happened today, I would choose The Curse, by Josh Ritter.
What’s your idea of a perfect weekend?
Having nothing scheduled for myself or my family.
Do you have any recurring dreams?
Calmly watching as a tornado heads toward me.
Do you collect anything?
Comics. R.E.M. bootlegs. Fairies in jars.
Do you have any pets?
2 kids that are like monkeys with less hair.
And finally, tell us in a haiku, why people should pick up Vampire Haiku?
If you’ve read this far,
you’d probably like my book
or you’re my mom (hi!).