Under normal circumstances writing an editorial interview with an author is not that difficult. The writer determines what style of questions will elicit the sort of answers that the audience are looking for and will best highlight the personality of the author, the questions are presented to the author who provides the answers, along with any amount of additional information they might care to divulge. The writer does a little style-setting, a little ‘tweaking’ of the layout and, after putting it together with graphics, ‘hey presto‘ you have something that you hope your audience will want to read.
What if the normal questions can’t be asked and answered? What if the usual sort of answers are a closely guarded secret? What if the publication is being eagerly awaited by a thousand or more people and the only thing they have to wet their apetite is a brief teaser ~ such as:
“the Bloodline series (coming to print in 2013), is the definitive history of the Vampir, or as they are known today, Vampires.”
To join us this evening in an “interview before the fact” it gives us great pleasure to welcome to RVL
“Conceived by co-authors Rod Garcia and Shaun McGinnis as Historical Fiction, the Bloodline series (coming to print in 2013), is the definitive history of the Vampir, or as they are known today, Vampires.
Coming Soon in both traditional print, and e-book: Bloodline: Birth of the Vampir“
RVL: Good evening Shaun and welcome to Real Vampire Life, we are delighted to be able to share a little time with you.
Shaun: Thank you for allowing me to spend time with you and your readers. This is my first interview ever and I’m thrilled that RVL has given me this opportunity.
RVL: The first question would have to be, what drew you to create a work in this genre? Is it something you have been involved in before?
Shaun: What drew me to this particular genre was simply a novel idea that blossomed into a terrific story. I have many story concepts in many genre’s, but ‘The Bloodline’ series grabbed hold of me and wouldn’t let go. Since its inception I’ve believed that it had the greatest potential to not only get noticed, but also published, and fortunately for me I was right.
RVL:…and how long have you been writing?
Shaun: I’ve been writing most of my life. In high school and college my teachers and professors encouraged me to become an English major, but at that time my heart was set on being a graphic artist. After graduating from V.C.U. with my B.F.A. in Interior Design I moved to Arizona, was hired by an architect, and spent fifteen years designing houses. I always promised myself that I would take up writing again once I retired, but after becoming a casualty of the bad economy, I took a leap of faith and began putting pen to paper.
RVL: Will the ‘Bloodline’ series be your first published work?
Shaun: Not only will Birth of the Vampir be my first published work, but it’s my first attempt at writing a novel. It originally started off as a screenplay.
RVL: The teaser that you have at the Bloodline Facebook page tells us that it is a work of, “historical fiction”. Generally that either means historical characters and settings with fictional events, or historical events and settings with fictional characters, which way does Bloodline: Birth of the Vampir lean?
Shaun: It encompasses all of the above. In Birth of the Vampir you will find a historical group set in a fictional background, but as the series continues past book one, you will find historical characters and settings intertwining with their fictional counterparts, blurring what is real and what is imaginary.
RVL: The term Vampir is generally considered to be a German term that was, in turn, derived from the early 18th century Serbian вампир or, vampir . As far as the historical content in Bloodline: Birth of the Vampir is concerned is it set in a more western European style or more in the eastern European tradition?
Shaun: I decided to use the term ‘Vampir’ because I felt that it would be a more recognizable description for the modern reader than Strigoi, Upyr, or Lampir for example. It also lends for an easier transition from Vampir to Vampire as the stories move into more modern eras. As for east vs. west, ‘The Bloodline; Birth of the Vampir’ is geared more to the eastern European traditions in that it is an origin story which not only gives a fictional history of how Vampire’s came to be, but why they can’t venture into sunlight, go into a church, or are unable to see their own reflections, etc.
RVL: As for the historical aspect of the work, how long did the research take to get to a working, or writing stage with the publication?
Shaun: It took me approximately six months of research before I actually started developing the story. From there it was another year of character development, story development, and writing.
RVL: Have you had opportunity, during the course of the research and writing, to read any of the contemporary non-fiction works dealing with vampires and vampirism?
Shaun: Honestly, no. I’ve been so busy with not only finishing Birth of the Vampir, but with the research for the continuing stories. However, I’m open to any works on the subject that you or your readers could suggest.
RVL: …and, did you chance to come into contact with any of the modern real living vampire community while you were writing Bloodline: Birth of the Vampir?
Shaun: Only through social media.
RVL: The Birth of the Vampir is the first in the Bloodline series, how many volumes will be in the saga?
Shaun: Birth of the Vampir is the first in what will be a six book series for ‘The Bloodline’, which begins in the early 13th. century and continues into modern times.
RVL: When the first volume is published and released are you planning a “launch”? A book-party? Perhaps a “signing”?
Shaun: There have been discussions with a few businesses here in the Phoenix metro area about hosting book signings. I’m originally from Virginia and my sister, who has many connections in the D.C. area, is looking into the possibility of book signings on the east coast. With that said, nothing is set in concrete at the moment. Once there is a release date then I will be able to give a more affirmative answer.
RVL: Can we ask, do you already have material together for the next, or remaining volumes?
Shaun: I do have quite a bit of information for the continuing stories. As a matter of fact, I’ve completed half of the script for the next volume, although I’ve decided to put the screenplays on hold and concentrate solely on novels.
RVL: With the widespread popularity of modern vampires in cinema and literature, what made you decide to ‘turn back the clock’ as it were?
Shaun: In order to develop a Vampire origin story it was necessary to go back in time and show not only their beginnings, but their journey and impact on world history. (or at least how I see it in my own mind) I also believe that there are more than enough modern stories and thought it would be fun to take Vampire’s in a different direction.
RVL: …and in general what are your thoughts on the modern vampire image and the community of self identified modern real living vampires?
Shaun: Since I’ve only recently been introduced to the modern Vampire community I don’t know how to answer this question, except that everyone in the Vampire communities that I’ve come in contact with have been absolutely great. Everyone is kind, energetic, positive, and very helpful, and I am a firm believer in being who you are no matter what others think.
RVL: We would like to thank you for giving us your time today, it has been a distinct pleasure to be able to find out a little about you and about the Bloodline series. We wish you the best of luck with everything.
Shaun: Thank you again for allowing me to share ‘The Bloodline’ series with all of you and I hope you like it.
Writing vampire novels has, ever since the seminal work by Bram Stoker, been in danger of becoming somewhat formulaic… indeed, in some ways, it has become so but when the historical aspects of the traditions are married with the key concepts then the reader finds themselves becoming fascinated not merely by the characters but by the history that gave birth to the vampire.
It is a history rich in folklore, superstition and mystery that; whether we care to admit it or not, makes everyone who calls themself ‘vampire’ today a part of the legacy of the original. The interweaving of historical fact with fictional characters enriches that legacy and should be a source of pride amongst those of us who identify as vampire today. Thanks to authors such as Shaun we can enjoy that link and that honour.
Copyright RVL and Shaun McGinnis 2013
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