Laurie’s Thought Interview with Stavros on Dead Girl, featuring the dead girl herself, Jamie Lund. Jamie is denoted with a “JL”. Stavros is just “S”.
What is the hardest part of writing your books?
S: The hardest part of writing was believing that I could actually tell a complete story, that I was meant to be the story’s author. Once I accepted the fact that the story came to me, or was birthed within me for a reason, and I conquered that fear of disbelief, I was able to move forward and become the writer that I am. Now, the hardest part of writing is typing fast enough to keep up with my imagination.
How do you describe your writing style?
S: Poetic and adaptive.
JL: What the heck does that mean?
S: Well, I tend to see the poetry of life when composing-
JL: That’s what you call it? “Poetry?”
S: Well….yeah, Jamie, being able to look at the intricate nature of one’s life and apply the right prose to-
JL: I’m dead. So, there’s not much life to get all mushy about.
S: On the contrary, that provides an amazing perspective to see the underlying poetic-
JL: Whatever! [Jamie tosses Stavros a ‘Talk-to-the-hand’ gesture]
If you were to write a series of novels, what would it be about?
S: I have a vampire series called the One Blood Series and the first two books are already out – Blood Junky & Love in Vein. I spent 15 years researching and developing a way to make vampires real and plausible in our world with our laws of physics and history. It’s biological in design, instead of something magical or demonic or viral. I wanted to make them real, and so far people seem to dig what I’m doing. So, I’m working on the third book in the series now. And I’m developing an alternate steam-punk paranormal reality detective kind of thing that I hope to start writing after Blood in Vein is released.
This is a question for Jamie. What was the scariest moment of your life?
JL: Having someone I trust choke the life out of me. But I’ve just started to remember that. So the most recent scare was when I went through rigor mortis and realized that I was actually dead. I mean, lying there fully awake, unable to more a single muscle as my body hardens like cement. [shivers] I wish I could forget that.
[She turns to Stavros] Can’t you make me forget that?
What is the most important attributes for remaining sane as a writer?
S: To not take yourself so serious and trust your writing process – get to know it and relax.
JL: Really? I would have thought it would have been to stop writing about dead things and talking to yourself.
S: I don’t talk to myself. I read the dialogue aloud.
JL: In a room, all alone, by yourself? Face it, dude, you’re talking to yourself.
So, Jamie, as a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
JL: Not dead. That was his idea. [Jabs thumb towards the writer] I figured I’d, you know, get a nice job, settle down with a man who loves me, who I adore, and we’d get married and have a couple kids. Just a simple life.
S: Really? I would have thought you would have said gold digger or trophy wife.
JL: [Gasps!] That is so unfair, Stavros. You’re being such a dick.
If you could exchange lives with any of your characters for a day which character would you choose and why?
JL: [Throws up hands] Don’t look at me.
S: I wasn’t.
JL: Good, ‘cause I wouldn’t want you to. Bad enough you killed me off before the book starts. I’m not giving up what precious little life I have left.
S: Don’t you mean afterlife?
JL: Shut up! [Sighs] Just answer the question.
S: Well, if it were for only a day, I guess I’d choose Z.
JL: Figures. A vampire.
S: She enjoys her afterlife. Is full of vim and vinegar, and has a great sense of humor.
JL: She’s crazy.
S: [Nods head in agreement] Yeah, a little bit. But she knows how to have a good time.
JL: [Scoffs] She’s a murdering bastard.
Tell us about the absolute BEST fan letter you have received.
S: I met author C. Dulaney at Horror Realms a few years back and she bought a copy of Dead Girl: A Romantic Zombie Tale of Revenge and a few months later she sends me this amazing email telling me how much she liked the book. It was so cool that I wrote back and asked her if I could use it as a quote. She said yes, and I put it on the back cover. Here’s a bit of it:
“WOW! Holy shit…Thank you for this. Thank you for bringing forth a story that more than restores my faith in a type that has gnawed at my entrails for over a decade. It was different, it was refreshing, it was a damn awesome break from the “same old, same old” crap this genre is filled with. It’s so hard to find an original zombie tale any more. And even harder to find someone who can make an old story their own in some personal way. But this? Definitely not the same old crap.”
C. Dulaney? She writes about zombies too, doesn’t she?
S: Yeah. She pens the Roads Less Traveled series. It’s more of your traditional apocalyptic zombie thing. It’s very cool.
So speaking of Zombies, Jamie, what is your favorite meal?
JL: Shut up! Not even. I don’t eat anything anymore, Laurie. My digestive system doesn’t work.
Okay. If you could apologize to someone in your past, who would it be?
JL: Billy. Billy Kimmel. We used to date. I’ve known him since high school and we used to live together before I….well….you know….died. He was great, actually. And he really loved me. But I was too self-absorbed at the time to realize what an amazing guy he was.
Use no more than two sentences. Why should we read your book?
S: It’s a paranormal murder mystery where the victim must discover her killer before she decays. Along the way she learns a lot about herself and why she’s being followed by a murder of crows.
Is there one passage in your book that you feel gets to the heart of your book and would encourage people to read it? If so, can you share it?
S: I go to a lot of horror conventions and comic book events, and I always encourage people to read the first paragraph. That seems to do it; draw them in, and they usually buy the book. So here it is:
Jamie didn’t hear the splash when her body hit the water. She didn’t feel the cold grip of swirling liquid engulf her or lift her back up to the surface minutes later. She never noticed a murder of crows perched on the railings of the dilapidated concrete bridge. Or the way moonlight reflected off their coal black wings, shimmered in the rippling river and her wet hair. Jamie didn’t see, feel, or hear much of anything anymore. Because at twenty-two… Jamie Lund was dead.
Thank you for having us in your “Thoughts”, Laurie!
Dead Girl: A Romantic Zombie Tale of Revenge
Written by Stavros
Illustrated by Charles Hearn
Publisher: Crazy Duck Press (CDP)
Date of Publication: August 2011
Number of pages: 266
Cover Artist and Illustrator: Charles Hearn
Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/KThnGvCrijU
Notorious Poet. Fool. Born in Washington DC. Stavros was a writer and editor for The Independent Underground Magazine. Raised in Southern Maryland, he fled the Chesapeake Bay to the wilds of the New Mexican desert. He is a single father of two, whose poetic works have been published in several online and print publications, including Central Avenue, The Sword That Cuts Through Stone, Poets Against The War, Conceptions Southwest, The Mynd, Imagine: Creative Arts Journal, and Bartleby, where he won a specialty award for his poem, Blackbird.
In 1999, he won an Official Selection into the Writer’s on the Edge Festival for his play, The Redline. In 2001, he created the Poetry Television Project for public cable access in Albuquerque, NM. All eight volumes of Ptv’s ground-breaking show were broadcast to over 100,000 viewers on a network of regional PAC channels throughout the Southwest and Baltimore. He helped to launch Unpublished Magazine, sponsored the monthly poetry series, The Word Café, in the Duke city, and produced a political compilation, Poetic Democracy. In 2007, he released the award-winning documentary film, Committing Poetry in Times of War.
In 2010, he launched the production management company, Organic Ghetto, and released its first imprint, Crazy Duck Press, with his first novel, Blood Junky. Blood Junky received exceptional praise and review, even being called "one of the best vampire novels ever written," by Living Dead Media. The following year he helped to launch BioGamer Girl, undertook a bigger East coast tour where he began selling his original photographic art, and released two new novels through Crazy Duck Press. Dead Girl: A Romantic Zombie Tale of Revenge features a stunning full-color cover and twelve black and white illustrations from tattoo artist, Charles Hearn. Blood Junky’s sequel, Love in Vein, cemented the One Blood series with its continuation of the story, garnering such review as to claim that the book and the series is "comparable with, and at times surpasses, the 'Vampire Chronicles' by Anne Rice."
In 2012, Stavros joined forces with the Vampire Professor, Bertena Varney, M.A.M.Ed, to co-create the nonfiction annual anthology, Vampire News, and officially became a Fangsmith with the creation of Organic Ghetto's second imprint, Kaos Kustom Fangs. He rounded out the year by writing and editing screenplays for the One Blood Transmedia Project, recording Dead Girl as an audio book, and undertaking his biggest national marketing campaign, The Book & Fang Tour.
In 2013, he and the Vampire Professor released the second volume of Vampire News: The (not so) End Times Edition and is currently working on writing and growing his imprints. Stavros is also a musician who has scored commercials, film shorts, documentaries, and television programs.
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