Prism Book Alliance would like to thank John Amory for taking the time to talk with us today.
Title: Spearmint Warning
Author: John Amory
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre/Sub-Genre: Contemporary, Gay Fiction, Horror
Not much about Thad’s life is exciting. He works at a coffee shop in a college town and has little else to look forward to other than the changing of the seasons to his favorite of them all: autumn. But with the changing of the leaves, Thad’s life is turned upside down. He begins having strange dreams in which he sees a stranger who has been frequenting the cafe… a stranger who holds a lot of secrets that will put Thad’s life in danger.
The man’s name is Guy, and he is a vampire who is being stalked by his creator, an intimidating creature who always manages to snatch Guy’s happiness from him. And at the moment, that happiness has taken the form of Thad.
Let’s Talk about Vampires:
Hey everyone! My name is John Amory, and I want to bring Halloween to you a little early this year. So let’s talk about vampires. I know, I know… not exactly an original topic. We’ve all read a hundred iterations of vampire stories, right? So there has to be a reason they’re so prolific.
And it’s because they’re simultaneously frightening and sexy. Even the scariest of vampires, including Dracula, typically have a sexual element to them. While Stoker’s title character wasn’t exactly a sex symbol until about a century after he first appeared on paper, he was inherently sexual. You have the scene in Dracula’s castle where his female vampire minions seduce Jonathan Harker (and this could be the root of M/M vampire fantasies, as Dracula calls off the ladies and insists, “He’s mine!”), not to mention the inherent sexual deviancy in the act of feeding from an exposed neck or breast, of exchanging fluids and life force. So it’s no wonder that 20th century writers brought that sexuality to the forefront of vampire literature and made them desirable while still fearsome. There’s something curiously sensual about a creature who comes to life at night, performing eroticized acts of violence, which plays with how danger and fear can be a turn on. You can see examples of this in books (Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles), films (Bram Stoker’s Dracula), and on TV (The Vampire Diaries, Dark Shadows, True Blood). Even the Twilight series plays with this oxymoronic feeling that vampires ignite in us (though I’ll never understand the glittery thing).
All of these examples and more are reasons I wanted to write my own vampire story. I studied Dracula pretty extensively in grad school, and it gave me the genesis of an idea a few years ago. I loved the 19th century setting and the melodrama, so I borrowed that for my story. But I also wanted to create some of my own rules, because I think they’re too expected nowadays. Why read a vampire story that just follows all the accepted conventions? So I changed some things about who vampires are and how they are killed, some of which is my own invention and some of which is adopted and adapted from other sources; I also added some self-referential things, like my own love for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, to create my own vampire mythology.
Oh, and the other unique thing about my lead vampire, Guy? He’s blind. This adds a layer of vulnerability and sadness to the character, especially when his past is revealed, in addition to the danger and sensuality.
Anyway, what I’m trying to get at here is that vampires are so popular because they speak to us on some level. Perhaps they ignite feelings of lust in us, or fear, or curiosity, or empathy. They fight with their dark sides, like we all do, and the fun in reading about or watching them is to see if they give in to it or not. Are they demonic killers, or rapturous lovers? Or both? Get your copy of Spearmint Warning to see which my vampires are! 😉
Spearmint Warning is available now from Torquere Press individually and as part of the Eternally Dark anthology, with stories by BA Tortuga, TA Moore, and Jenna Jones. For a chance to win a free copy, comment below with one or a few of your favorite vampire books, films, or television shows. One winner will be chosen at random to receive an ebook copy of Spearmint Warning.
For a chance to win a free copy, comment below with one or a few of your favorite vampire books, films, or television shows. One winner will be chosen at random to receive an ebook copy of Spearmint Warning.
Contest ends at 11:59PM EDT on 26 October 2014. Must be 18 or older to enter, void where prohibited.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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