Well guys, I am very happy to say that today on the blog I have a very special treat for you. You know that snarky vampire I love so much Joe Vampire? Well today I am happy to have the awesome creator and mad genius behind Joe on the blog today.....Steven Luna! And let me just tell you that Steven Luna is just as sarcastic and funny as the character he writes. I have had the fortune of getting to know him on Twitter and he is a pretty awesome guy!
And guess what? He subjected himself to my never ending bout of questioning, just. for. you! Want to know what I learned? Of course you do! So, without further ado, here is my interview with Steven Luna......
1) One of the things I love the most about Joe Vampire is his never ending bout of sarcasm. Is it difficult to come up with all his sarcastic banter or are you just naturally sarcastic?
Sarcasm is pretty natural for me, actually, though getting it to read properly in writing was a bit of a challenge to learn. And Joe’s version of it is pretty specific; he has a rhythm and a pattern that I have to fall into. After being away from him for a while, it takes a bit of wheel-spinning to get it going again. Once it happens? Good luck getting it to stop. I end up talking like him to everyone in real life. They hate it. I usually have a good time, though…someone should win in the deal.
*I have to say I would love to be in on one of those conversations.
2) Is it difficult writing with only one central character in mind?
I didn’t really notice until about two-thirds of the way through writing the first book that he was really mostly solitary throughout the majority of the story. And I knew from this that the other characters had to be distinctive when they appeared, because they get such little page time. In the second book, I knew he’d have to interact much more with the ancillary characters. It was a lot of fun giving him bigger scenes with his surrounding characters. But he still ends up being the sole main character; the whole story is on his shoulders. That can be challenging.
3) What was your original inspiration for writing your book as a blog? I love the idea by the way, in case I haven’t mentioned that! J
Thank you very much! Joe started as an actual blog, sort of a multi-media art project using the character to create a blog in which he talks about being a vampire. It was going to have an advice column and Q&A, and grow organically with links to his music and other stuff. I was working on all of the extra content when I realized the posts were actually telling a story. Then I figured to use the blog to publish the story for free…but I got to post 9 and realized how much I liked it. So I left up the first three posts as a sample and started writing it as a novel, but kept the blog format. Joe’s blog is like his confessional, and I don’t know that his story could be told in another way.
4) Do you have a writing sanctuary or a special place that you write that really helps get the inspirational juices flowing?
Usually the inspiration comes when I’m in the middle of some left-brain activity…so as soon as I get to work in the morning. Not real opportune, so I jot down notes, and at night I go home and hole up in a spare bedroom I use as a writing office. Keeps me out of everyone’s way, what with my talking to myself and making hand gestures as I figure out the right words to use. And yeah…that really does happen.
*Hehe, ever think of videotaping it? For educational purposes of course? J
5) Do you have any other stories in the works?
Joe Vampire: The New Paranormal is being worked on…I’m about a third of the way through the first draft. That will probably be his final act, though I’m figuring out ways to expand the Joe universe. Behind that is Starstruck, the “memoir” of a rock star who gets abducted by aliens on the night of his big comeback concert. I’ve got a couple other ideas I’m pulling together as well.
*I can’t say enough how excited I am to get my hands on Joe Vampire: The New Paranormal. But I am sad to see him go! Can’t wait to see what you cook up for this rockstar.
1) I love your take on the transition of becoming a vampire, graphic, but unique, where did this idea come from?
I really deconstructed what happens to a body when it dies. It didn’t seem so glamorous. And if you happen to still be alive afterward, well…you’d be able to talk about it all. And if you’re a smart-talkin’ dude who realizes how gross it all is? It all comes together in its own horrible little package.
2) If Joe Vampire were ever made into a movie, who would you want to play Joe?
At first I saw no one…probably because the story is told in first person, so I was only seeing through Joe’s eyes. Then a friend suggested Edward Norton, which I thought was a great fit for a while. Then I saw Joseph Gordon-Levitt in “50/50” and he became the template for Joe: kind of an everyday, non-descript nice guy going through something big and trying not to lose his identity through it all. Now he’s who I picture when I write it.
*Absolutely love this choice!
3) I love how your book was written like a blog, in fact there were so many T-M-freaking-I moments that I can’t help but wonder….are you really Joe Vampire and are just posing as Steven Luna?
Ha! After my closest friends read the book, they told me it sounded like any conversation I would have had with them. It’s more likely that Joe is a character I can affect, who has something of my outlook on life, though he’s much more cynical than I am. But he’s much closer to the real me than the rock star character I’m writing. That guy is like nobody I know in real life.
*Then it is true….you are Joe!!! Ha! I knew it J
4) Are any of your characters based on people you know?
Many are, yes. And many of the office details in the first book – especially the Halloweener post – are based on real events, too. In THE AFTERLIFE, the characters of Jesse James Freeman, Marni Mann and Katherine Sears are actual people, and those are their real names. I wanted to incorporate my friends as a way to honor them. I have more like that coming in Joe3 and Starstruck.
5) Of course, if you don’t already know, I love characters! And for every book I review I pick one moment that is my favorite. That one moment that epitomizes everything about the character and why I love them. What is your favorite character moment from Joe Vampire and why?
My favorite character moments are the interactions, where Joe gets to bounce his crazy views off of others. In Joe Vampire, my favorites would probably be where Joe and Hube have their argument at the deli, because everything just comes spilling out – all the build-up of how horrible being a vampire is underneath Joe’s trying to make the most of it. I also like his moment at the coffee shop with Chloe, where he tells her how he feels about her. That’s another release kind-of moment for him. And in The Afterlife, I think I like Joe’s confrontation with Lazer…he gets to be a slightly different character in that scene, more commanding and less nice-guyish. He needed a moment like that after what he’s been through.
Thank you Steven Luna for stopping by and putting up with all my questions! Can't wait to see what else is in store for Joe!
And make sure you check out this awesome author and his work!
About the Author
Steven Luna was relatively quiet when he was born, but that all changed once he learned to speak. Now? Good luck getting him to shut up. He's not known for giving straight answers, but no one listens much to him anyway, so it all evens out. He's hard at work on his next big novel...but really, aren't we all?
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"Devouring worlds, one book and recipe at a time."