Friday, September 16, 2011

Interview and The Vampire Way Giveaway with Derek Clendening

Can you tell readers a little bit about yourself and what inspired to write in this particular genre?

I write horror (Young Adult and adult level) because that’s what comes to me. I prefer to pull horror out of the ghetto and write stories with meaning and that might speak to someone. While that’s a tad optimistic and maybe a little vague, I maintain that dark things happen to all of us. Uncomfortable things. Uncovering what makes you uneasy or flat out scares you can actually be a lot of fun.

What is it about the paranormal, in particular vampires, that fascinates you so much?

I like the historic feel that ghosts create. People have personal ghosts that come alive when they consider their own past. Places have history too, and I feel like ghosts are really the residue of things (and people) past. Concerning vampires, my fascination may be rooted in the fact that I was so scared of them as a kid. I used to worry that I would find a vampire floating outside my window if I pulled the blinds up. I’m a bit embarrassed to say that I didn’t overcome that fear until I was 12!

Also, vampires still have a lot of potential. Only ghosts have a broader scope (in my opinion). You just don’t get as many opportunities to write something deep with zombies, werewolves and the like.

What inspired you to write this book?

I’d be lying if I said I had a eureka moment for this novel. I didn’t so I won’t haha. I just wanted to write a vampire novel (and my initial vision for the book really wasn’t so hot, let me tell you), and I wanted to write about a protagonist who was a lot like myself. Really, a version of me who embodied all of the things I would have liked to be.

Please tell us about your latest release.

In The Vampire Way, eighteen year old Rick Thompson is a horror-obsessed aspiring novelist who years to understand immortality. Damien Masonite, a teen vampire, must euthanize his ailing father and is given the responsibility of rebuilding his fallen family. Rick and Damien have a lot in common: they’ve both been forced to grow into adults sooner than they’re ready. Damien believes that Rick has the perfect blood to help him rebuild his family and he attacks Rick’s friends to get closer to Rick himself. Rick faces the challenge of a lifetime as he must come to grips with the loss of his friends while trying to save his own life.

Was one of your characters more challenging to write than another?

I would say Tracy Armstrong was the hardest to write, because I was dangerously close to making her a high school cliche. She is the pretty girlfriend of the star quarterback – can you imagine if I’d made her a cheerleader? Good Lord! Anyway, I wanted her to be strong and independent, but not so over-the-top spunky that she can’t be taken seriously. I think I got what I wanted from her. She turned out to have a respectful blend of strength and sensitivity.

What is your favorite scene from the book? Could you share a little bit of it, without spoilers of course?

The funeral home visitation scene, is one. I think it really delved deeply into human emotion and I’m really proud of that.

The first day of school scene is a big deal to me, too. I live across the street from the high school I went to – the same school that is depicted in the book, by the way—and I feel little chills on the first day of school, like I’m reliving history. Coincidentally, it’s the night before the first day of school as I answer these interview questions and I just might relive history again tomorrow!

Can you tell readers a little bit about the world building in the book/series? How does this world differ from our normal world?

I don’t write about different worlds. In fact, Fort Erie, Ontario is a real town and I really do live there. The book’s depiction of Fort Erie is almost spot on, with a few exceptions (there is no Patterson house nor are there the deep, dark woods that lead to it). But really, I want a reader to feel like they know the town and the people who live there. I want a reader to come to the town and almost literally be able to navigate it from having read the book. Street names and important locales are all in it and I think a reader will quickly feel at home.

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?

I wrote them in such a way that you can read them as stand alones. I did some subtle ‘recap’ at the beginning of Book 2 Blood Promise so the reader can be filled in on what has happened. Still, I think a reader will appreciate Book 2 more if they’ve read Book 1.

Do any of your characters have similar characteristics of yourself in them and what are they?

Oh, absolutely. In fact, I thought Rick Thompson really was me, or an ideal version of me. He always tries to do what’s right, even if he needs to decide what that is, and even if it’s unpopular. It gets him into trouble in the book. Fortunately I haven’t gotten in too much trouble for doing likewise.

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? How do you deal with it?

Not exactly, but I do have times where I’m more creatively fertile than others. That comes and goes without much I can do about it. I just press on and write every day because writers have to write. In terms of ideas,

When did you consider yourself a writer?

Good question. To some extent I always did. If you write words on paper—especially if you’re very disciplined about it—then you can call yourself a writer. Some schools of thought argue that those who write at the amateur level are simply typists, but that undermines the artistic aspect of writing. I guess I felt like more of a real writer when I gained more exposure, especially in the mass market. That made people take what I do more seriously, as opposed to thinking I’m just farting around on a laptop.

What are your guilty pleasures in life?

Chicken wings. Definitely chicken wings. The town I live in shares the US/Canadian border with Buffalo, New York, so that’s part of the culture here ha ha ha ha.

(Hmmm, chicken wings, I'm with you there. I love them too)

Other than writing, what are some of your interests, hobbies or passions in life?

I’m a big sports nut. I’m a season ticket holder for the Buffalo Bills, so if your team is mopping the floor with them, see if you can spot me in the stands ;)

I also enjoy cooking, reading and a nice night out.

What was the last amazing book you read?

House of Windows by John Langan was the last book to really knock my socks off. Before that, Everdead by Rio Youers really pleased me.

Where is your favorite place to read? Do you have a cozy corner or special reading spot?

Oddly enough, I love to read while watching football – between plays and commercial breaks. Pretty weird, eh? For me, it’s a pretty potent cocktail though. It helps me to relax completely and the rest of the world melts away.

What can readers expect next from you?

Blood Promise, the sequel to The Vampire Way will be out in November, as will my adult level zombie novel The Breeding. I will also have some long fiction pieces available in e-book format very soon.

Where can readers find you on the web?

Learn more about Derek and The Vampire Way during his virtual book tour

September 16 Guest Blog at VampChix

Sept 16 Guest blog at Fang-tastic Books

Sept 18 Interview

September 22 guest post and review

Sept 22 Interview
Manga Maniac Cafe –

Sept 23 Interview
Embrace the Shadows

Sept 24 Guest Blog
Mama Knows Books-

Sept 25 review, excerpt,

Sept 25 Interview

Sept 28 Interview and Review
The Wormhole

Sept 30 Interview

October 3 Review
Braintasia Books

Oct 4 Interview
The Ramblings of Amy –

Oct 4 Interview
Lissette E. Manning

October 5 Interview and Review

Oct 6 Review

October 7 Guest Post

The Vampire Way
By Derek Clendening
Genre: Paranormal YA

Book Description:

Eighteen year old Rick Thompson is a marked man. When Damien Masonite comes to his school, he knows something is up. And when his friends start falling to vampire attacks, he knows that he and his girlfriend Laura are next. The quest to understand immortality, true love and undying friendship compromise his safety even more. Can he keep his best friends, his true love and keep his mortal life?

Author bio:

Derek Clendening lives in Fort Erie, Ontario where he works at the public library. When not writing he enjoys reading and is a die hard football fan


Giveaway Time

Would you like to win a print copy of
The Vampire Way?

Leave a comment on this post

Open to US Shipping

Be sure to include your email address


LadyVampire2u said...

I enjoyed reading the interview. Learning about the author behind the book. And this sounds like a book I would enjoy reading. Thanks for the chance.

LadyVampire2u AT gmail DOT com

Scorpio1974 said...

Great interview and thanks so much for this generous giveaway opportunity too!!! =)

Valerie Long

Jen B. said...

To answer your question. Yes, I would like to win a copy of The Vampire Way! Thanks for the giveaway.

Blogger Name: Krystal Larson said...

I would love to read a copy! The interview was terrific, kept my attention :) Thank you! edysicecreamlover18@gmailDOTcom

Tore said...

Please enter me in contest. I would love to read this book. I love reading about vampires.

Patsy said...

I love series and I love vampires, so I have to find your first book. From what I just read about the second one, I know it will be a series I will enjoy.

lindalou said...

I love paranormal stories... Those with vamps are some of my favorites. AND my son loves chicken wings too... (I'm a veggie...) Congrats on your new release and thanks for the giveaway!

Mary said...

I would love to win a copy. I love all things vampire so this sounds like a great book to me.

Julie said...

I love that instead of trying to create a new world, you wrote what you knew! Your own town! That will make it feel more real when I read your book, which I definitely plan on doing! Thanks for an awesome giveaway:)

angie lilly said...

oooo this sounds GOOD!!! I like that its from a teen boy's perspective for a change too! Thanks for the chance to win!
14earth at gmail dot com