If you are a fan of the show ‘Moonlight’ then you are going to LOVE this! Not only are we giving away three copies of Angel of Vengeance, the book that inspired the show, but we also have an exclusive interview with the author of the book, Trevor Munson, who was also the co-creator, writer and producer of ‘Moonlight!’ Woo! Check out the fantastic interview and enter in for your chance to win Angel of Vengeance (details below).
Can you tell us about your book Angel of Vengeance?
“Angel of Vengeance” is a dark, fast-paced, noir crime novel about a hard-boiled LA-based private-eye who also just so happens to be a vampire. Turned back in the 1940’s, Mick Angel is a product of his own by-gone era who now finds himself out of step with present day. Unable to view himself as anything but a monster because he has to have human blood to survive, Mick has developed a code–No women, no children, no innocents– in order to live with what he’s become, so to speak.
Why is the book coming out now, after Moonlight has ended?
After working in Hollywood for awhile, I decided to take some time away to try my hand at writing novels. Having gone down a promising, but ultimately dead-end road with a previous unpublished crime novel, I decided the best route to publication for “Angel of Vengeance” was to return to my Hollywood roots by adapting the finished manuscript into a feature screenplay, and work backwards to publishing the novel. The result was that I ended up getting paired with Ron Koslow (Beauty and the Beast) to create a pilot based on my book for the 2006 development season.
The idea was always to get the novel published, but as anyone who’s done it will tell you, creating, writing, and producing a new network television show is a demanding job with long hours. Once the show began there wasn’t a lot of time to devote to shopping the novel. It really wasn’t until it ended that I started to get serious again about finding a publisher, so the process turned out to be a much longer one than I expected.
How similar is Angel of Vengeance to Moonlight?
In many ways, the show and the book are very different creatures. (no pun intended) The book is a much darker and grittier in tone and world, but many of the themes of addiction, transcendence, and redemption that motivate both versions of Mick are the much the same. Both are loners who hate what they are and want nothing more than to reconnect with their lost humanity, and both miss the intense emotions from when they were alive.
The main difference in my mind, is that Mick St. John has Beth in his life. Because he saved her from, and chose her over Coraline, his femme fatale first true love, Beth serves as a sort of lifeline to Mick’s lost humanity. As a result, she’s the only one he’s ever met who allows him to feel similar to how he did when he was alive, and despite it’s inherent difficulties, this relationship gives him hope for the future. In contrast, Mick Angel at least in this first book, has no Beth, and is far more cynical and despondent about his situation.
How does Angel of Vengeance differ from other novels about vampires?
“Angel of Vengeance” is different from other vampire material in that at its heart, it’s half vampire horror novel, and half noir detective novel. Two great tastes that taste great together. The novel moves back and forth between Mick’s present and his past so that the front story is a modern noir detective tale that revolves around Mick taking a case to find a missing girl, while the backstory is more of a horror tale which reveals who Mick was, and how he became what he is. The end result is a sort of blood-sucking Philip Marlowe who was turned in the forties and who now finds himself unwilling or unable to get in step with the modern world in which he now lives.
Where did you get the idea for Angel of Vengeance?
I came up with the idea for “Angel of Vengeance” and the character Mick Angel sometime in 2005. At that point, I had already had a long love affair with vampires, but I’d never written anything in the genre. To me it was only worth doing if I had a new and fresh way in to the vampire mythos. The idea for a hard-boiled, noir vampire story came to me after rereading “Dracula” and following it up with a Raymond Chandler novel ,and right away it seemed like it held a lot of potential to be that story.
The novel that came about is a much darker tale than that depicted in “Moonlight”, the show that eventually evolved from it, but many of the themes that motivate Mick, and the way he views the world remain much the same.
Given the current vampire craze, people feel especially attracted to vampires, why do you think that is?
I think the idea of breaking death’s hold, and living on indefinitely as a beautiful and powerful being is understandably alluring to many of us. How cool would it be to have the time and resources to learn, do, see, and experience everything our world has to offer?
Personally, however, I see vampires as beautiful tragic creatures, who make a Faustian bargain to give up their humanity in order to become immortal. It is this trade-off that interests me most. It seemed fertile ground for discussing what it means to be human by exploring the the cost of immortality and how a person might feel about what he has lost in the process.
Who’s your favorite fictitious vampire (other than your own)?
As a fan of the genre, I think there are a lot of cool, memorable vampires that date back to Dracula, the granddaddy of them all. More recently, however, one of my favorites is Joe Pitt, the main character in Charlie Huston’s ‘Already Dead’ series. One of the worst days of my life was walking into a bookstore after having recently finished my manuscript for “Angel of Vengeance”, and seeing those books on display. Knowing how hard it was already going to be to get my novel published, I picked it up with a sinking feeling in my stomach, and started reading it right there in the store. Despite really hoping the book would suck, I found myself loving the cool new spin Huston put on the genre. I’ve since read all of them, including his crime series, and highly recommend them.
What is your favorite vampire book/movie/show?
Right now, the top of my vampire reading list is Seth Grahame-Smith’s “Abe Lincoln Vampire Hunter”. I didn’t know what to expect when I started in on that one and ended up really enjoying it. The reader learns a lot about our 16th president’s real life, while simultaneously getting to enjoy the highly imaginative secret history the author creates for him.
My favorite vampire movie is “The Lost Boys”. I instantly loved it, and saw it three times in the theater the summer it came out. Equal parts scary, fun, and funny, it was the one that initially sparked my interest in vampires. I watched it again recently and it still holds up. Second runner up: “Interview with a vampire”, or “Blade”.
My favorite vampire show at the moment is “True Blood”. I know a lot of the writers and actors on that show, and it seems like they’re having a blast exploring Charlaine Harris’s unique southern gothic world on HBO.
Tell our readers why they should check out your book – in 3 words: (bwahaha)
Mick kicks ass.
And finally, what other projects are you currently working on? Any goodies we should watch out for?
I’m currently developing a new pilot for Sony television along with my co-creator and friend Scott Satenspiel. At present we don’t have a title, but the show is best described as a paranormal “Criminal Minds”. If everything works out, I’d also like to get started on a sequel to “Angel of Vengeance” sometime in the next year which I’ve tentatively titled “Guardian Angel”.
To enter into the giveaway all you have to do is send an email titled “Angel of Vengeance ” to firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me why you want the book. On February 9, 2011 I will pick three winners for a copy of Angel of Vengeance (US and Canadian residents only).
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 on the 9th!