Thursday, April 12, 2012

Author Interview: Brian Rowe, author of The Vampire Underground

Hey guys!

Today I had the privilege of interviewing author Brian Rowe about his recently released novel, The Vampire Underground. Here's a little info on the book:

16-year-old Brin Skar hates everything to do with the supernatural, so the obsessive film geek isn't happy when she discovers that her junior year Film class at Grisly High is devoted to the horror genre. She's even more disconcerted when she learns that six groups in the class will be writing and directing their very own horror movies.  
Brin and five classmates travel to Bodie Ghost Town in California to shoot their creepy film, but they soon find themselves fighting a real terrifying threat when a clan of mean, bloodthirsty vampires emerge from beneath the surface and start attacking the group. The teens, headed by Brin and the egotistical director Anaya Frost, have no help from the outside and become outnumbered by the vampires a hundred to one.  
But when Brin meets Paul, a helpful and smoldering vampire outcast who's had enough of his shameful life, she realizes he might be the only key to her survival. ~ Courtesy of Goodreads

Sounds pretty awesome, right? Well, let Brian tell you a little more about his characters and The Vampire Underground's own special (non-sparkly) brand of vamps!

In The Vampire Underground Brin is a film geek, but she hates horror movies. What is your least favorite horror movie of all time and why?

Unlike the main character of Vampire Underground – Brin – I love horror movies, always have and always will. My favorite horror movie of all time is John Carpenter's Halloween, so naturally my LEAST favorite horror movie of all time has to be Rob Zombie's 2007 remake of Halloween. While I adored Zombie's The Devil's Rejects, I hated his Halloween remake so much that for the last few years I try to forget such an atrocity exists. There's only one Halloween, and that's the Carpenter original!

There are a ton of books, movies and even TV shows about vampires. What made you decide to write a book about them?

I know it may not have been the most original idea in the world to write a novel about vampires. I know that vampire books have been a fad in the YA world these last few years, especially because of the Twilight books. But while the word, "Vampire," is in the title of this novel, I'm much more interested in the human characters than the vampire ones. The Vampire Underground is merely the first of seven books, in which my main characters, Brin and Ash, fight against various supernatural baddies, from vampires, to zombies, to demons, to werewolves, to aliens. This is JUST the beginning. For at least four years now I've had the idea of a group of teens who go to a spooky ghost town to make a movie and discover that creatures live underneath the ground. In the last year I came to the decision that the creatures should be vampires. And I really liked the idea of bringing back SCARY vampires. The vamps in this story are not sparkly and lovable; they are out for blood, and ONLY blood!

How are the vamps in The Vampire Underground different from other popular vampires in books and movies? Do they have any unique traits?

I introduce some of the unique traits of the vampires in The Vampire Underground in this first book, but other traits are going to be revealed about them in future books. In this first book we learn that a large clan of vampires hibernate in the mountains of Bodie, California during winter, and then live along the Pacific Coast during the warmer months of the year, when they come out of the darkness, and search for blood. One of their unique traits is that stakes can't kill them; the only way to put them down is to remove an essential part of their bodies (and it's not the feet!). Another strikingly unique trait about the vampires is revealed at the very end, which I won't reveal here. Mainly, as I said before, I wanted to bring back the terrifying elements of vampires, and put my human characters in real danger.

Which of the characters in The Vampire Underground do you most relate to?

There are elements of me in all of my main characters. I have a lot in common with Brin– her name is just one letter off from mine, obviously! -- and while Anaya has a hot temper, her desire to direct their movie is something I can definitely relate to. Dylan, a character that will be explored more in future books, is very much me, and Mr. Barker, the Film teacher, is someone I'll probably become about ten years from now. But the character I MOST relate to has to be Ash — the quiet film nerd. I love writing this character, and look forward to putting him into more adventures as this series of books progresses!

What are a few books or movies that influenced you while writing The Vampire Underground?

I'm watching movies and reading books all the time, and certainly many influenced me while I was writing The Vampire Underground. My dad showed me a terrific horror movie when I was younger — The Hills Have Eyes, written and directed by Wes Craven. Many elements from that film make their way into my story. I've always been fascinated by throwing a group of teenagers into an unusual setting where even more unusual things happen, and that's certainly what happens in Vampire Underground. My favorite vampire movie of all time is an oldie but certainly a goodie — Nosferatu, directed by F.W. Murnau. Not only is it one of the most effective horror movies ever made (and silent no less!), it features no doubt the scariest vampire ever put on celluloid. The vampires in Vampire Underground are not, with one exception, pretty; they are large, pale, mean creatures of the night, and I wanted them to have the physical traits of Nosferatu. Finally, I definitely wanted an element of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, my favorite TV show of all time, in The Vampire Underground. While the main character Brin doesn't appear to be a warrior in the novel's opening chapters, she really comes into her own during the book's second half. And while she may not be Buffy, she's got what it takes to annihilate all the monsters in her path!

The Vampire Underground is on sale for the Kindle now on Amazon! And check back this summer, when Brin, Ash, and others battle ZOMBIES in the second installment of my Grisly High series, The Zombie Playground!

Thanks so much for this interview! I hope you all enjoy my book!!

Thanks so much for talking to us today, Brian.

Follow Brian on Twitter here. And everyone go check out The Vampire Underground! How awesome does it sound?

Check out The Vampire Underground at these great websites!


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