If you thought eighth grade was tough, try it with fangs and a fear of garlic.
Such is the tagline for EIGHTH GRADE BITES, the first book in The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod by Heather Brewer, which comes out this August. This book will appeal to young readers who wish to sink their teeth into a vampire book which moves quickly and is easy to read. I recently spoke to Heather about the fangy series.
Poor Vlad. Not only is he part vampire, but the girl he likes doesn't like him back! Which is more traumatizing?
Between dealing with a thirst for blood and trying to figure out why someone would crush on your best friend instead of you . . . give me fangs any day.
Technically, the book is marked for ages 9-12, but I think older readers could definitely appreciate Vlad. I like the way Butch Hartman (creator of Nickelodeon's The Fairly Odd Parents) put it: "If you're in eighth grade, or a vampire, or an eighth grade vampire, Eighth Grade Bites is a definite must-read!"
That's a cute compliment. How many books will be in the series?
If I have my way, there will be at least five books. We'll get to see Vlad all the way through high school . . . which is where his troubles really begin.
Have you always loved vampire stories?
Absolutely! In fact, I can trace my love of vampires back to kindergarten, the first time I saw a Count Chocula cereal box. It's a tie, actually—between this and the first time I saw the Count on Sesame Street. I was also a big fan of Bunnicula at the time.
There's just something about them - the books, the movies, the TV shows. Even when they're bad, they're really good.
What are your favorite cinematic or televised vampiric tales?
I love Buffy the Vampire Slayer (of course), and Dark Shadows was pretty good too. As far as movies go: Underworld, Lost Boys, Fright Night, Interview with a Vampire (loved the movie and the book), Nosferatu (for some reason, it cracks me up) . . . I could go on and on.
I loved the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
You have excellent taste. I still have a big crush on Spike.
I wasn't a fan of Spike in the later seasons, but I liked the Spike of Season Two. I recommend that you check out the book Spike and Dru: Pretty Maids All in a Row by Christopher Golden. What vampire books do you dig?
My most recent faves are Stephenie Meyer's Twilight and New Moon. Christopher Moore has a set of books out, Bloodsucking Fiends and You Suck: a love story, that are pretty good (though I much prefer BF). I'm dying to sink my teeth into Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith. Honestly, I could ramble on about all the vampire themed books I've read and loved until your ears bled.
So could I! Ooh, more Golden books for you to check out: I also recommend Christopher Golden's Shadow Saga, four original dark fantasy novels about vampires, dark magic, and the power belief. Start with the book Of Saints and Shadows.
How did I miss this?? I'll definitely check them out.
It should be noted that these novels are for adults, and the first three are especially and definitely not for kids! Moving on: If you were a vampire, what would you miss the most about your human habits?
Hmmm . . . that takes some thought. See, I was going to say I'd miss the ability to go outside without sun block, but I'm a redhead, so either way, I'm bursting into flames.
Let's see . . . super-human strength, mind control, the ability to morph into things? I'm not seeing the downside to becoming a bloodsucker.
Unless I could no longer imbibe chocolate, I'm all for it.
Step out of the fanged world for a moment and tell readers what ten books - classics, contemporary releases, science fiction, whatever you like - are your favorites.
Well, apart from my favorite fanged classics (Dracula, Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles, Twilight, etc), here are a few of my faves: Stephen King's On Writing, The Princess Bride by William Goldman, Hell's Belles by Jackie Kessler, The Harrowing by Alexandra Sokoloff, The Bitch Posse by Martha O'Connor, J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series, The Stand by Stephen King, Shakespeare's Hamlet, Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde, and the Maximum Ride books by James Patterson . . . just to name a few.