Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Alex Bledsoe Interview

Title: Blood Groove
Author: Alex Bledsoe
Illustrator: N/A
Pages: 304
Genre: Fiction
Dewey Decimal: F Ble
ISBN: 978-0765321961
Cost: $24.95

I had the opportunity to ask author Alex Bledsoe a few questions about his life, his craft, and sex with vampires. Alex's debut novel, The Sword-Edged Blonde, was met with much acclaim when it arrived in 2007. He crossed genre boundaries by mixing a fantasy world dwelling sword swinger with a detective trying to solve a mystery. His next novel, Blood Groove, is due out next month and crosses the 1970s with vampires. Sounds scarier than snakes on a plane!

Do you visit your local library? If so, how often and what section do you enjoy most?

I hit the library at least once a week. Because I have kids we're fond of the children's area, and I've been reading simplified versions of classics like "Twenty-Thousand Leagues Under the Sea" and "Oliver Twist" to my oldest. I also spend a lot of time in whatever section applies to my current writing. For instance, I'm researching home decor in the Seventies at the moment as I work on the sequel to "Blood Groove." I also take full advantage of interlibrary loan services, pulling in obscure titles from all over. I've never brought them a request they couldn't fill.

How does being a parent impact your daily writing? Do you have a schedule you stick to?

If I didn't stick to a schedule, I'd never get anything done! My oldest son is in preschool, so I write whenever his brother, the baby, naps. It's much harder than it was before they came along, because 5-7 a.m. used to be my prime work time; now I'm up changing diapers and making breakfasts. But like anything, you adapt to meet the change. It forces me to work more intensely than in the past, so I get the most use from my time. But that's not a bad thing.

Do you have any opinions on e-books in today's publishing market and tough economy? Do you think printed books will be replaced by e-books or will printed books just become a thing for collectors?

All media is becoming electronic, so it seems inevitable. Personally I don't enjoy reading fiction from a screen, but then, I haven't grown up with it. How it will ultimately affect content is also hard to say, although if it follows the trend in music, it will create homogenity [sp] rather than diversity, which I consider a negative thing.

Tell us a true story that's so funny we'll shoot soda out our nose.

In college, I was discussing the concept of retinal scans with a fraternity brother. I explained how they could be used for identification purposes, and my friend adamant that it could never happen. I insisted it could, because no two are alike, just like fingerprints. His reaction was way out of proportion; again he insisted it would never work, and that I was an idiot for suggesting it. I pointed out that it was already a part of popular culture, and that Captain Kirk got one in "Wrath of Khan." At that point he realized that he had misheard me: instead of "retinal scan," he thought I said "rectal scan."

You appear to be a fan of classic cinema. Do you have a favorite actor or film? Is there any actor or film that has influenced your writing?

I most admire the films of Howard Hawks. In fact, I hope ultimately to emulate him: jumping genres like crazy but still possessing a clear, original style. My three favorite films (in constantly rotating order) are Hawks' "Red River," Romero's original "Dawn of the Dead" and Branagh's "Henry V." And I'm a huge fan of independent films from the Sixties and Seventies, because to make an indie film back then took *real* desire. The equipment was hard to come by, the distribution was tough, and you had to really want to do it. "Indie" now means navel-gazing and slacker ennui; it used to mean "Gone in Sixty Seconds" and "A Woman Under the Influence."

Your first novel is set in the fantasy genre while your next novel is clearly about vampires. Was there a reason for the jump between subject matter?

I love vampires, and wanted to write something that spoke to the things I loved about them. As you can imagine, "Blood Groove" is a little different from the current gooey-yummy romantic vampires. The power in the vampire archetype isn't really reflected in "Twilight" or "Buffy," despite their popularity, and I wanted to get back to that primal, Old World dread they inspire. It hinges on the idea that American vampires, bereft of the centuries of folklore found in Europe, learn about their vampire nature from movies and TV. That means they get a lot of things wrong, which is revealed when an Old World Dracula-style vampire arises in their midst.

If a "normal" human has sex with a vampire, is that considered necrophilia? Or do the undead not count as being dead?

Hm. I don't think it counts as necrophilia as long as both partners are capable of movement. But I'm not a lawyer.

You can follow Alex on his website, blog, Myspace, and Twitter.


Tia Nevitt said...

Great interview! I loved, loved, LOVED The Sword-Edged Blonde. Since his vampires are the bad guys, that makes them more palatable to me. Will I take the plunge? Not sure yet . . .

TK42ONE said...

Tia - Yes, I like the evil vampire, it's like "what's old is new again." Never did understand how vampires could be good.