Q: I liked that EVERDEAD is a return to the "old school" vampire, like in Bram Stoker's Dracula. It's all about the seducing and the feeding. How did the character of Luca come about?
I wanted an "old school" feel, and Luca is inspired by the suave, seductive vampires from the books and movies I loved growing up - and still love now. Like Christopher Lee as Dracula. Hell, even Béla Lugosi with those eyes ... those penetrating eyes. However, because of the location I used, it was important that Luca have a young, rock and roll edge, so there are elements of David (Kiefer Sutherland's character in The Lost Boys) in there, too. But without the mullet.
Q: You also came up with a unique mythology I haven't seen in other vampire books or movies, in regard to "The originals"--what was the inspiration for them?
EVERDEAD presents a sense of vulnerability. Not only with characters like Toby and Cass, but with Luca, too. I think that part of the reason vampires fascinate us, and continue to be used in books and movies, is because they are both human and inhuman. Maybe we can see ourselves in them. So Luca walks this line. His vulnerability is highlighted by the fact that he is also a victim ... always looking over his shoulder for the ones who are hunting him.
The Originals are the first vampires: a breed of creature as ancient as the world, partly inspired by some of the terrors that occupy the Cthulhu Mythos. I actually pulled the idea from the sub-plot of a novel I wrote many years ago, about a drug addict who sees these terrible, gargoyle-like creatures every time he mainlines. They get closer all the time, and obviously represent the addict's death. They are more colorful - more monstrous - in EVERDEAD (I cranked them to eleven - why not?), but represent the same thing.
Q: Why did you decide to locate the story on the island of Ibiza?
I went to Ibiza in the '90s - to San Antonio, where EVERDEAD is set. I tried to be as accurate as possible with the book, to pull the reader into the excitement of the island, but it's extremely difficult to do it justice. The place is just wild. There are no rules or restraints. For four or five months of every year, it becomes the party capital of the world, a haven for young Europeans with reckless agendas.
Really, it's the ideal location for a vampire, because everything comes to life at night. Everybody looks tanned and beautiful, and all inhibitions are thrown to the wind. So I figured, if I'm a vampire, where would I rather be? Clinging to the mountains in Eastern Europe, or partying at Manumission with ten thousand beautiful people?
Q: The main characters are a group of college buddies and a girl one of them meets. Which character would you say is your favorite?
You have to love Toby, right? He's like your kid brother. And Cass is just wonderful. Strong, intelligent, and beautiful. But I'd say my favorite character is probably Johnny Atwood. He's Toby's friend, a laid-back kid who has succumbed to the lure of marijuana. One review I read - while they enjoyed the book - suggested that Johnny is less than convincing. I can dig that, but he's my comic relief. And what I really like about Johnny is his inherent strength. I don't want to throw any spoilers out there, but Johnny remembers his values when he has to. I don't think EVERDEAD would be nearly as good without him.
Q: If you were casting the movie version, which actors would you cast in the parts?
I love to cast books that I'm reading, but I never cast my own stories - not while I'm writing them, at least. All my characters seem to have my face, which is kind of weird when you think about it. It's like a Peter Sellers movie.
But now that the book is finished and out there ... I'd like to see some great, undiscovered talent in the various roles, because I think they'd be more convincing. However, if I have to choose from the Box Office Alumni, I'd probably go with someone like Josh Hartnett for Luca. He's not quite right - it would be great to get an Italian actor - but he's close. For Toby ... someone like Paul Dano might be good, or Michael Cera. Cass could be played by Megan Fox or Nikki Reed, assuming they can do an English accent. It seems like I put a lot of thought into this, I know, when in reality I just looked up a bunch of actors on IMDB. But if they ever make the movie, and this was the cast, I'd be pretty happy. I think.
Q: The book ended in such a way that I wanted to continue reading the story...is there going to be a sequel?
A lot of people have asked me about a possible sequel. It was never my intention to write one, but I have to admit that my mind has been running in sequel-mode just lately. I'm not sure we'd see the same characters in book #2, but I'm confident we'd find out more about The Originals. So I don't know ... maybe. Who knows? We'll see.
Q: How much did you have to pay Peter Straub for that quote on the cover? (Just kidding!)
I was blown away when Mr. Straub told me that he would read EVERDEAD. However, he stressed that he didn't have much time, that he rarely gives blurbs, and that he doesn't like vampire stories. So it wasn't looking good. I thought the odds were about the same as facing Mariano Rivera and knocking the ball out of the park. So when he e-mailed me three weeks later with the blurb ... yeah, I was floating on air. Peter Straub is one of my literary heroes, so to have his name on the front of my book means the world to me.
Q: Where can people buy EVERDEAD?
I would recommend ordering it through your local bookstore. Support the little guys. But if you prefer ordering online, Amazon and Barnes & Noble can help you out. You can also get it through Horror Mall, which is a great place to shop if you love the genre. And, of course, direct from the publisher: Graveside Books.