A companion blog to my memoir, "Sting of the Heat Bug"
Douglas R. Werner looks and talks and acts like a normal guy. Then he shows you his series of Vampire Wives Tales novels he has penned. Not your stereotypical stake-through-the-heart-to-kill-him vampire – that’s one of the wives’ tales – but a vampire that seems to be a pillar of society running what appears to be a profitable and legitimate business. Welcome to my blog, Doug!
Thank you, Jack. It’s a pleasure to be with you today.
I’ll get right to it: Why vampires? What’s the attraction? And have you been influenced by Bram Stoker, Stephen King, Anne Rice – or even Stephenie Meyer, of Twilight fame?
The first vampire attraction had to be the 40’s and 50’s B-movies; Dracula and the like with Bella Lugosi and the Hammer films. Later on Bram Stoker, Stephen King and Anne Rice were the attractions. I never was a Twilight fan, but I did watch True Blood on HBO.
Tell us what these books are about.
The series is about the life and times of Tommy Ryan. Ten-year-old Tommy sees his father murdered and develops Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder. Years later he begins to drive for a vampire. He meets Rebecca and with their vampire boss, they are set on a path of adventure, danger and love in the world of big business, vampire style.
Tommy has different problems to solve in each book. In The Driver he must deal with his PTSD. In France he must deal with an enemy vampire trying to take over the Corporation he works for. In India he must deal with a Churail, an Indian Ghost Vampire that wants Tommy for her own, regardless of the fact that he is already married to Rebecca.
Throughout the series, Roger Crane is an important part, as he is the boss vampire and with Tommy and Rebecca’s help, battles the enemy vampires.
Do you write full time, or do you have a day job?
I am employed by Triumph Engine Control Systems in West Harford as a Software Quality Assurance Supervisor. I’m retiring in August. Then I will write full time.
How many books do you envision completing in the Vampire Wives Tales series? Or have you written the last one?
I haven’t thought about another Vampire Wives Tales story yet. I don’t think we’ve seen the last of the series.
What non-vampire books, if any, do you want to write?
I am currently writing a science fiction novel called Fire Beast, which is about a female volcanologist who sees her father enveloped by the Fire Beast and goes about trying to find out what it is. She hooks up with a Chicago fireman who has seen the beast in a fire he was fighting and the two of them try to solve the problem.
That one sounds Kingian – personification of evil. Your back-cover blurb on Wives Tales says you try to “discover or invent new ways of looking at horror themes that will challenge the reader’s expectations of what a horror story is.” What do you mean by that, and why are you doing it?
As you can see, by Vampire Wives Tales, my vampires aren’t the typical vampire that you run across every day. They hang around in the sunlight, aren’t subject to being killed by a stake through the heart, and they can cross running water. Wives tales if you will.
The answer to why am I doing this is to explore what-if scenarios, and to ask the reader to come along for the ride. It’s fun for me and I hope the readers enjoy it.
What is the writing process like for you? Do you have a schedule? Work from an outline? Work with an editor?
Most of the time I’ll use a few sentences to block out a scene or more and then I take those short paragraphs and write out the first draft using a fountain pen in a stream-of-consciousness style. Sometimes I’ll just continue from where the last scene ends if I’m on a roll. My schedule is pretty broken up because of work and other things in my life, but I try to give it three or four hours on Saturday and Sunday. I work with an editor, when I’m satisfied with my last draft. Dave Lopardo is great at keeping me on track.
What do you like best about writing? What’s the worst part?
The best part of writing is when I’m in a flow zone and I can keep going. The worst part is when I get stuck. I get stuck occasionally because of my writing style. That is, I don’t have a completed outline to work from. I’ve been stuck for a week or two and finally the problem gets solved.
What kinds of books do you like to read?
I like the horror, supernatural, science fiction genres for the most part. I also read non-fiction books for my research. I’ve read a few books about volcanoes for my current book.
How do you market your books?
For the most part is self-marketing. I hand out my promotion cards to people I have conversations with. People are always interested in meeting an author, I have found. I also offer my books for sale at work. I sell my books at the Whiting Mills in Winsted twice a year as a guest artist in their guest artist program and I participate in the Main Street Market Place in Torrington during the summer.
How can readers find your books?
My books are available for the Kindle and soft cover at amazon.com, at Barnes and Noble on line for Nook and soft cover, iTunes for e-books, lulu.com for hard cover and e-books.
Thanks for chatting with me, Doug. Good luck with your writing and with all you do!
Thank you for having me. It has been a pleasure.