Can you tell readers a little bit about yourself and what inspired to write in this particular genre?
Well, I grew up in the southern United States and am a scientist by training. I was inspired to write this book during the time between my first professional job and before starting my second professional job. I decided to write this novel because I have always enjoyed the vampire genre and felt like there was room to start a new twist in the classic tale. My story makes every effort to protect the basic history of vampirism while introducing scientific explanations for the mysterious powers and limitations of the vampire.
What is it about the paranormal, in particular vampires, that fascinates you so much?
I think what fascinates me so much is that the legend and stories about vampire-like creatures permeate throughout so many cultures. There are so many similar stories that have independently developed in various countries and in some way the similarities seem way too coincidental. The line between the reality and fantasy of vampires is blurred and creates a great deal of suspense and intrigue without an author ever writing down a word. There is built in drama from the start, it’s been passed down in our culture over generations, it’s in our psyche, and that fascinates me.
What inspired you to write this book?
Well, as I said I have been fascinated with the vampire genre for a long time and when I was in between jobs I actually entertained the idea of becoming an author. While, I studied the opportunity more I realized it might be better to keep a day job than to become a full time author.
Please tell us about your latest release.
The novel is entitled the “Vampire Revelation: Demon Gene” and it is the first book in a series which I believe will end with three separate novels. The novel details the science behind the origins of vampirism in a suspense thriller style. There are a lot of twists and turns and several separate story lines that will keep the reader guessing.
Do you have a special formula for creating characters' names? Do you try to match a name with a certain meaning to attributes of the character or do you search for names popular in certain time periods or regions?
It really depends. Some names I pick just because I like them. Others I pick based on visualizing what the character looks like and thinking if I saw that person what would I think their name would be. So really it depends.
Was one of your characters more challenging to write than another?
Yes, Ethan Baxter was probably the hardest character for me to write even though there are some small similarities between him and myself. Trapped under the thumb of sinister people, how far will we bend? How much will our motives and ethics change with changing circumstances? Ethan meets some unusual obstacles and expounding on his reactions to these obstacles was a bit unnerving at times. I went from pitying to hating him and back again.
Is there a character that you enjoyed writing more than any of the others?
Yes, Harley Mason was probably my favorite character to develop. She is so beautiful, intelligent, and courageous even though she has dealt with so much loss. People deal with loss differently. Many shutdown and put up walls changing their interactions with others forever. I wanted Harley to personify how I think many of us would deal with loss.
Do you have a formula for developing characters? Like do you create a character sketch or list of attributes before you start writing or do you just let the character develop as you write?
I started out writing 5 or 6 facts about each main character before I started writing the book, but as the story unfolded and new characters entered the storyline I generally stopped this type of character sketching. As the story becomes alive I find that characters naturally appear in the storyline, they just make sense to include them given the situation.
What is your favorite scene from the book? Could you share a little bit of it, without spoilers of course?
My favorite scene of the story involves the vampire hunters, their interactions and their business dealings. After writing this chapter I really started to believe that I had something here worth keeping. These characters and their development made me excited to actually finish the story.
Did you find anything really interesting while researching this or another book?
Yes, that there truly could be a scientific explanation for the legendary attributes of vampires. This book tries to help the reader understand the science behind the vampire’s origins. I wanted the reader to understand the science behind vampirism and then think about what value would there for these traits in our society. To what lengths would people go to manipulate these powers for their own purposes?
With the book being part of a series, are there any character or story arcs, that readers jumping in somewhere other than the first book, need to be aware of? Can these books be read as stand alones?
Well the other books are not finished even though the scope of the book is known. I wanted to see if this book would find an audience before I finished the series.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? How do you deal with it?
I am a hobby writer, so I only write on vacations or weekends. So basically I have so little time to write between my real job and family time that I do not have time to have writer’s block. When I write it is planned time and precious to me.
Do you have any weird writing quirks or rituals?
I put on movies in the background while I write. Usually they are fantasy or science fiction movies. I think when I finished the last part of the book I watched the whole Harry Potter series back to back to back.
Do you write in different genres?
I have outlined a few stories in other genres, but have not written the stories yet.
When did you consider yourself a writer?
Finally, felt like a writer when I saw the book proof.
What are your guilty pleasures in life?
80’s hair band music, and mint chocolate chip ice cream
Other than writing, what are some of your interests, hobbies or passions in life?
Anything related to NFL football and scientific research
Where is your favorite place to read? Do you have a cozy corner or special reading spot?
Actually listen to books on CD in the car on my commute to work. Great way for me to get through some books.
What can readers expect next from you?
I expect it will be the next installment of “The Vampire Revelation” although I have a few short story ideas I would like to finish.
Where can readers find you on the web?
Working on a website, but right now anyone can find me on Goodreads.
Would you like to leave readers with a little teaser or excerpt from the book?
Would not know which part to choose, but what I can say is that you will enjoy the story. It will make you think and keep you wanting to read the next chapter.
The Vampire Revelation: Demon Gene
by Sam Stafford
Series: The Vampire Revelation
Paperback: 394 pages
What would you do to protect your family?
Ethan Baxter must decide whether to forfeit his life to save his loved ones or to die fighting those who wish to enslave him.
A corrupt corporation, whose scientists have unlocked the genetic code of the vampire, holds the key to Ethan's fate. Many in the organization, like molecular biologist Harley Mason, see vampire DNA as cure to many of the world's medical and social problems, but quickly she realizes the sinister motives behind discovering the secret origin of vampirism.
Harley's world soon collides with the world of the vampire and she must race against time and her employer in order to save her loved ones.