I’ve got all kinds of awesome for you today my wonderfully wicked readers! An interview with the fantastic Roger Ma and giveaway of his book The Vampire Combat Manual! But that’s not all! Not only are we giving away a signed copy of this kickass book (my review here), but the winner also gets 5 “Vampire Combat Club” stickers! Stickers that you can stick on things! Check out the interview and the giveaway details below!
Can you tell us a little about The Vampire Combat Manual?
The book is a guide to confronting a vampire in hand-to-hand combat. Similar to self-defense manuals unrelated to the undead, I cover various aspects of facing off with a hostile adversary: Vampire Misconceptions, Anatomy, Physical Conditioning, Weapons, Combat Techniques, and Team-Based Combat. Interspersed with the training sections are “Combat Reports”; which are interviews with both victims of vampire attack as well as the creatures themselves.
There is a lot of quality information in this book, what was the research process like for The Vampire Combat Manual?
Thanks, I tried to be very meticulous in my research. For each of the respective sections of the book, I sought out experts in the field as well as non-fiction texts on the subject matter, so that all the recommendations and backgrounds I provide are steeped in reality. For example, for the Anatomy section, I consulted with an emergency room physician as well as actual Anatomy texts used in medical school. For the sections on combat, I applied my own personal martial arts knowledge as well as sought out other experts in various styles of self-defense, so that the techniques I describe could make practical sense. It was very important to me that, although a work of fiction, the information be as authentic and accurate as possible, and could apply in a real-world situation.
What inspired you to write a combat manual to kill vampires?
I’ve always loved the vampire genre, but the type of vampire story I enjoy is admittedly not the type you see very often in today’s world. I wanted to apply my fondness for the combat arts, weaponry, and horror to this particular subject. After my first book, The Zombie Combat Manual, I also wondered if I could apply the overriding themes developed in that work to a different type of creature. I realized that defending yourself against a vampire would be even more hazardous than the living dead, because a vampire is a sentient creature. You have to not only be prepared, but also skilled and strategic against a bloodsucking ghoul.
What is one thing you would like people to take away from their experience of reading The Vampire Combat Manual?
Like any writer, first and foremost I want people to be entertained; although the book is a “manual”, I hope that the way I structured the book makes for a compelling read. Beyond that, I also hope that people become motivated by the guidance I provide – one of the things I enjoyed hearing most from The Zombie Combat Manual was people saying to me “I tried that fitness routine you outline in your book. It was pretty tough, but fun!” I hope this book does the same, whether it’s motivating someone to get into better shape, start training martial arts, or just eat better. As I get older, I realized that to keep myself motivated to stay fit, I needed to apply some creativity – so when I’m running, I’m running from zombies. When I’m lifting weights, I’m strengthening my body to fend off a vampire assault. It’s about making these activities fun.
Who’s your favorite fictitious vampire?
Just one? Boy, that’s tough. If I were to pick one, I would have to say Jerry Dandridge from the original Fright Night. I loved the depth that Chris Sarandon brought to that character, and that it felt like a believable vampire, rather than someone decked out in a cape or a frilly Elizabethan shirt.
What is your favorite vampire book and movie? I like my vampires scary, so one of my favorite vampire books is Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot. Recently one of my favorite vampire movies was Let The Right One In – I thought that was unique and smartly done.
If vampires were discovered to exist today, do you think our society would accept them or try to destroy them?
I think that, like many discoveries that occur in our society today, there would be populations on both sides – one that would want to embrace the creature and one that would want to obliterate them. But I think a larger group would also want to profit from them. That’s what seems to motivate many people nowadays – “How can we monetize this?” That’s why in the book, I allude to the fact that vampires do exist and, knowing how the human psyche works, they’ve been smart enough to stay in the shadows and manipulate seats of power in business, entertainment, and politics from the inside.
Tell our readers why they should check out your book – in 3 words: (bwahaha)
Defend Your Blood.
And finally, what other projects are you currently working on? Any goodies we should watch out for?
I have a fun contribution to a comic book project coming out next month in an anthology called Shattered: The Asian American Comics Anthology. If you want to see what happens when fighting Shaolin Monks meet up with the living dead, be sure to check my story in that book.
To enter into the giveaway all you have to do is send an email titled “Vampire Combat Manual” to firstname.lastname@example.org telling me why you want the book. On October 26, 2012 I will pick one winner for a signed copy of Vampire Combat Manual and the 5 stickers.
Added note: the winner has 48 hours to respond, if they don’t within that time then the book goes to someone else, so make sure to check your email!