I recently had the joy of interviewing Stavros, a poet, award winning filmmaker and author of the new and highly praised vampire novel Blood Junky. The first in the One Blood series, Blood Junky was created from over 15 years worth of research and development into ancient tomes and folklore from across the globe. Check out the interview and let us know what you think.
Can you tell us about your book Blood Junky?
Blood Junky is a hard-hitting character driven psychological thriller that some of my readers have called “original and fascinating.” The back cover of the book just repeats on a loop, saying, “An intense journey of obsession and love that will leave you breathless,” but its so much more than that.
Linnet Pevensey, the main character, is 235 years old, and she’s feeling every inch of it. Besieged by a wall of painful memories, longing for simpler times, she’s secluded herself from the world as she prepares for a ritualistic trip to New Mexico. Her flatmate, Z, is unpredictable. A century-old vampire whose blood parasite has begun its last cycle, she is enthralled in every possible way to avoid the here and now. And fate is moving them both toward clandestine events of their own making.
Ryan Silva is a good looking, soulful songbird that has never had a problem getting any girl he’s ever wanted until he met Z. But getting the alluring punk’s attention is proving more difficult than he’d ever imagined. Seduced by desires to have Z feed from him, Ryan’s lines of reality blur, locking him on a downward spiral that threatens to destroy, not just his soul, but his very life if he does not stop stalking the vampires.
Dominique De’Paul, the freed blood slave of the ancient race, is unsure if she’ll be able to stop the tides of war and its inevitable genocide. Her Children of Evensong are in peril! The clock is running out! An emissary from the African warrior tribe has been dispatched to discern Mother Night’s threat to the human race, and it looks as if her darling Linnet will be sacrificed to the man’s passions in order to save her precious brood.
The story weaves through the past and present, spanning hundreds of years, and Ryan’s obsession with Z is mirrored through Lin’s obsession with the Vam Pŷr, Dominique De’ Paul. The story also travels the globe from modern day Los Angeles to the bygone eras of London, Tangiers, Africa, and the exotic lands of São Paulo, Brazil; flawlessly incorporating historically accurate places, people, and events with meticulous detail and lyrical fiction.
How does Blood Junky differ from other novels about vampires?
Though every book attempts to craft a plausible world from which to tell its tale, I actually spent 15 years researching and developing my condition of vampirism to make it as real and as plausible as possible in our world with our laws of physics and history. My vampires are not mythical or metaphysical or magical as in most cases. They are biological in design. I think this is one of the main reasons why my readers have taken to it so passionately.
When I was writing it I also paid a lot of attention on how it was written. I wanted people to not only be moved by the story and the characters, but by the prose and its rhythm and flow. I wanted to give people a complete experience that they would remember. And I think to some degree I have done that.
I was at HorrorFind, in Gettyburg, PA, a few weeks ago and I saw this group of people walk over to the book, so I wandered over to, you know, do my thing, make my pitch, and I saw this woman caressing the book against her face and telling the people that she was with how much she loved the novel. I was floored. I’d never seen anything like it, nor did I ever imagine something like that ever happening. But I keep meeting people at these shows who tell me how much they love the book and how they’ve read it two or three times. And I’m literally flabbergasted.
It freaks me out a little, which is cool and all, but it tells me that I’m doing something right. So, whatever that “something” is…that’s what makes Blood Junky different.
What inspired you to write about vampires?
This whole thing with the One Blood series, of which Blood Junky is merely the first book, came to me in a dream back in ’95. I was studying Impressionist painting and was a musician in a band and the farthest thing in my universe was vampires. I mean, they were cool and all, but my writing aspirations were knitted up in song lyrics, poetry, and family dramas. The dream took me by surprise and gave me the spark that began a fifteen year long journey of discovery. I kinda feel like I was given these stories to tell more so than I’m attempting to tell them.
I’ve always been a big fan of horror. I love Bela Lugosi and grew up watching Christopher Lee in all those wonderful Hammer Films. I read Dracula when I was studying the little group that Lord Byron and Shelley were a part of. And I enjoyed Rice’s Vampire Chronicles and the early works of vampire erotica, like Poppy Z Brite. But I never had any inclination to travel down that path as a writer. If anything, I wanted to tell some werewolf stories because I could get into the primal savagery.
But life is what happens when you are making plans. That dream knocked me on my rear.
What is one thing you would like people to take away from their experience of reading Blood Junky?
A desire to keep reading the story. Isn’t that what any author really wants? I mean, if I’m going to be honest here, I have to come clean. I’ve got an ever widening epic growing through my shoulders. My fingers are a forest of words; my mind an ocean of fire – and I want to keep writing. I want to keep telling stories that are better than the ones that I’ve told. So yeah…I want Junkies.
Given the current vampire craze, people feel especially attracted to vampires, why do you think that is?
Ultimately, I think it was time. The vampire has had a hold on us since the dawn of time. There have been more film and TV representations of Dracula than there have been of Jesus Christ. It’s true. You can look it up. Combine that interest and desire for vampires with a country suffering an economic crisis while engaged in a foreign war than you’ve pretty much given people a desire to escape into fantasy. Vampires are sexy and powerful and can have whatever they want, whenever they want it. While we are continually made to struggle and toil. The vampire is our social Id running rampant.
Who’s your favorite fictitious vampire (other than your own)?
Lestat. He is so complex and misunderstood. Sexy and malevolent. He was in a rock band and appears to have the luck of the Irish. I mean…he woke the passions of a Goddess. Ya gotta admire that!
What is your favorite vampire book, movie and/or show?
I guess in a way I love the classics: Bram Stoker/Anne Rice – Bela in black & white. Christopher Lee with the cheesy red-dye blood. I used to watch Dark Shadows as a kid and was a huge fan of Barnebus Collins – original that is, not the failed remake.
Tell our readers why they should check out your book – in 3 words: (bwahaha)
Awesome. Original. Fun. ; ]
And finally, what other projects are you currently working on? Any goodies we should watch out for?
Well, yes. I just released my second book, Dead Girl: A Romantic Zombie Tale of Revenge, and Blood Junky’s sequel, Love in Vein, is set for release at the end of the month. I’m working on a vampire video short featuring my character Z with actresses Melanie Robel and Carol Anne Watts, as well as, some vampire photo shoots. I do have two vamp film scripts that I’m shopping around, so light a black candle for them!
I also have more horror conventions lined up with fang-maker, RJ – The Fang Guy, and I have a blog called Bite Me Really Hard, where people can learn more about my books and photography, film scripts, and generally hang out and download cool stuff.