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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Interview with a Vampire Author

I think a million times this week I've been jumping up and down telling people this is the BEST. JOB. EVER.  Um, ok, so I don't actually get paid to do this...It's totally done out of love and passion...But I have to admit no job I've ever had has had the kind of perks this one does...Speaking of which...

I'm so excited to share my interview with author Lauren Hammond.  Lauren's first book, The Aloria Chronicles was published in 2007, and her second book, Love Sucks will be released 7/26/2010.

Love Sucks is the life-after-death story of Cara Jones, and how not all vampires lose their humanity when they stop being human.  It's got romance and action, and is the most fun vampire read I've had in a long time! If you missed my review, you can check it out here.

And you can read my interview right now!

nymfaux: Congratulations on your release of Love Sucks!  You must be so excited!  What are you doing to celebrate???
Lauren Hammond: I am extremely excited. My mom will probably have a little get-together where I can spend some time with my amazing family and friends.

nymfaux: You have a such a rich story and many great characters…Cara, Andrew, Jared, Lorelei, Natalie, Audrey, Elizabeth…
—What made you decide to make Love Sucks a novella, as oppose to a full-length novel?
Lauren Hammond: Well, Love Sucks is actually based on a screenplay I wrote back in 2008, called Love Bites. When I started writing, I didn't know what the outcome would be. I only knew that I had to tell this story, I had to write it all down and see what I came up with. And voila, a novella was born. I didn't really think about it being a novel or novella until it was finished. So I guess it just came out to be a novella.

nymfaux: Have you always been interested in vampires and the supernatural
Lauren Hammond: Yeah. I started reading books about vampires and the supernatural when I was young. But I think most kids like the supernatural stuff. They like the possibility of the unknown.

nymfaux: It was very interesting to find that most vampires don’t know their makers, and it makes me question how isolated Cara and her community really are.—Is that something you plan to explore more in future stories?
Lauren Hammond: No, not really. Cara is character that doesn't like to think about the past. So I say on ward and upward to the future for her. I was however, thinking of writing a prequel. Which would show you what was going on at that time and how she came to be but, I haven't made up my mind yet.

nymfaux: I saw a lot of aspects to your vampires that felt fresh—like the vampires burying themselves to shield themselves from the sunlight—What kind of research do put into your stories?  Do you research a lot ahead of time; or is it ongoing as needed?  Or both?
Lauren Hammond: I did do some research but, all-in-all basically, those fresh concepts came straight from my vivid imagination. :)

nymfaux: Dracula and Jack the Ripper both came around the late 1800s—Is there anything in particular that drew you to place Cara in the 1700s?
Lauren Hammond: I love that era. There is so much mystery, so much nostalgia. And I think it's important for readers to see how the characters themselves came to be. In the seventeen hundreds, there was no modern technology. And the world was also less populated. If I started the book in the present, I don't think Cara's character would have had quite as many obstacles to overcome. And then you wouldn't see how she would evolve as a person.

nymfaux: Cara becomes inspired to learn how to cook human meals; I can identify with her, as I’m not a big fan of vegetables, but I still would love to cook an amazing meal. —What do you think draws Cara’s interest in something she, herself, can never fully enjoy, as oppose to something like gardening or knitting?
Lauren Hammond: Cara awakens to a whole new world compared to what she's used to. It's almost like she's been born all over again. She's the type of person that likes to tackle new things and at the same time, she's living in a predominantly human society. She has human friends and to see them enjoy something she's created makes her feel like she's actually enjoying the meal herself. It's also like they say, curiosity killed the cat. She's curious about everything.

nymfaux: As a reader, Love Sucks seemed to move at such a quick pace—did that translate to the pace of your writing?
Lauren Hammond: I don't think so. I didn't really write it at a rapid pace. Like I said before this was a screenplay first. So when I decided to write it as a novella, I basically had the whole story already in front of me. All I had to do was fill in the blanks. It does take some time for one to formulate the story. A screenplay and novella are two completely different things.

nymfaux: This is your second novel; you’ve also done poems, and write screenplays—Do you have a favorite medium to write in?  How would you compare the different styles and techniques?
Lauren Hammond: I don't really have a favorite. I enjoy all aspects of the writing industry. Someday, I'd even like to tackle writing a song. As far as style goes, poems are very short so they are by far the easiest. Screenplays are like novels but, minus all the details. In a screenplay, it's basically dialouge and actions. You also have to follow a specific format. Where as in novels, or novellas, you can include everything, dialouge, actions, the certain color of the leaves on the trees, whether they have dew on them, and so on and so forth.

nymfaux: Has your writing gotten easier for you since you started?
Lauren Hammond: Oh it has definitely gotten easier. When I started out, I was running blind. I made mistakes on a few screenplays and with my first novel. But that's how you grow as a writer. You take those mistakes and you learn from them.

nymfaux: Is there anything you’ve learned since becoming a published author that you wished you’d known when you started writing?
Lauren Hammond: Tough skin is your best asset. This industry isn't all daisy's and laughter. Not every person you come across is going to like your work. You can't take it personally. You just have to chalk it up as, well you may not like it, but there is somebody out there who does, so just move on. I can't tell you how many rejection letters I have gotten in the past. I can admit that in the beginning, I would bawl my eyes out. After a while though, I thought about calling the people personally and being like, "Hey, can you put me on your permanent mailing list? Yeah, no, I'd like to receive these rejection letters all the time." You can't anything slow you down. For every six million people that doubt you, there is one out there who doesn't.

nymfaux: Is there anything else you’d like to share with us, anything you’re working on now, or upcoming projects we can look out for?
Lauren Hammond: I have a few projects in the works right now. I'm currently writing the sequel for Love Sucks, which is called A Sucker For Love. I also have another novel coming out soon called The Truth About Delilah, and another one I'm working on called Queen Of The Dead. I'm also working on a bio pic screenplay with a co writer.

I really want to thank Lauren for her time and congratulate her on her success!!!!  —Best of luck!  I know Lauren has a lot more to come!!!!

For more information on Lauren and Love Sucks, you can stop by her blogfollow her on twitter @NovelistLauren, and check out her facebook fan page.  Love Sucks will be available for purchase 7/26/2010, for information on acquiring a copy of Love Sucks for your very own you can head over to Punkin Books.

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