Vampire kisses – interview with Ellen Schreiber
Vampire horror romance: Interview with the author of the Vampire Kisses series of novels about a wannabe vampire goth schoolgirl who gets more with her love life than she bargained for…
Could you give a brief overview of the Vampire Kisses series for those who haven’t read them?
Raven, a vampire-obsessed girl, falls in love with a romantic and hot vampire. ‘Vampire Kisses’ is about their relationship and the struggles of dating a vampire and her obsession with wanting to become one.
Do you have a favourite Vampire Kisses character?
I love all of them for various reasons. But, with Raven, I get to do things I’d never do myself – like hang out in cemeteries and sneak into haunted looking houses. And she is so fearless. I love that quality in her.
What made you use an ‘alternative’ girl as the heroine in Vampire Kisses?
I wanted to write about a strong and fearless girl. I saw two goth girls swinging on swings in the middle of the summer and I thought it was such an amazing image. I combined the character I wanted to write about with that image. I wanted her to know who she was and it didn’t matter what others said about her. Ultimately, I wanted to write about a girl that I thought would be interesting to read about – a strong and rebellious and humorous girl.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I love to crochet (amigurumi), shop and have lunch with my best friend. The average day? They vary, but I write and usually go out for lunch or a walk around a store to get my mind and body circulating.
When did you first discover that you had a talent for writing?
When I was in second grade. We had creative writing, where we had to come up with a story and draw a picture to go along with it. I was always picked to read mine to the class. But at the time I wanted to become an actress, so I didn’t use my writing until much later.
Where do you see yourself in ten years time? Will you be JK-Rowling-rich and living in luxury?
I’d still like to be writing! I think those things are a state of mind. I used to live in an apartment and wait tables, so to me this is luxury. I am so happy to write full time!
How has your environment/upbringing coloured your development as a writer?
I had a great childhood, but I went to a huge high school. I didn’t like the structure and I was always daydreaming. I was so shy and just felt swallowed up with going to school with so many students. I had some wonderful friends who made school a blast. Nevertheless, there were so many cliques – and I didn’t really belong to any. I think all of that comes out in my fiction.
How did you feel when Vampire Kisses made it onto the NY Times Bestsellers List?
It was so surreal! I thought I was going to faint! When I got off the phone with my editor, I screamed.
Are there any plans for a Vampire Kisses movie?
Not at the moment…
You are currently working with REM to create a Manga spin-off series, Vampire Kisses: Blood Relatives…
I loved seeing my characters come alive in REM’s drawings! I have all the covers and her artwork framed in my office. It is so wonderful to see Raven and Alexander staring back at me. And in the mangas, I love to see the characters run around the cemetery or doing the things I write about. It is really the best of both worlds.
The vampires in your stories – Alexander, Luna, Jagger – seem very drawn to the Goth aesthetic and culture. Why?
Well, Alexander is goth and that’s one of the reasons Raven is attracted to him. Luna is competition for her – so she’s goth with a fairy look to her. And Jagger – he’s just Jagger.
Raven is often mocked for her appearance, which is something many alternative girls have to deal with on a day-to-day basis. Do you have any advice on coping with other people’s negative attitudes?
Yes. Just be yourself. It’s okay to look and be different. We are all individuals. When I was in theatre, I wore black for years. I always got looks because I wasn’t wearing more colorful clothing. I just felt best wearing black.
What message would you like to pass on to the young women (and possibly men) who read your books?
That it is okay to be yourself. We all feel like outsiders from time to time – and that’s okay. That’s what makes us unique.
The cover designs of your books are beautiful. How much input did you have on this?
I am so grateful that my editors involve me in the process, so I get to give my opinion. My editors are wonderful and we’re always on the same page. No pun intended 🙂 And HC has wonderful covers, so that makes it so much easier.
Who is your favourite author?
My brother, Mark Schreiber, because he combines humour and sophistication.
Do you have any fun Halloween experiences you can tell us?
I just remember going door to door in my neighbourhood with my brothers or my best friend. It took hours but was the funnest day ever! There was always one house with an old man who gave out balloons that hadn’t even been blown up yet. It was so strange and creepy and we were always so scared to go to his house.
Do you get much feedback from your readers?
Yes. Every day. They are awesome! A lot identify with Raven on many levels. Some are the only goth at their school, or want to be goth. Some know someone like Raven or they want a vampire boyfriend. They are all very interesting and I enjoy reading them all.
You’ve been an actress and a stand-up comedian. Which did you find harder, and which did you enjoy the most?
Stand-up was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but when it went well it was such a rush. I love writing. I can do it whenever I want to and get to be all the characters, instead of just one.
Do you have any plans to return to the stage?
I feel like when I have a book signing or school/library talk that is my chance to perform. At this point, I like writing so much and my schedule is full, so I can’t imagine taking time away from that.
What are your plans for the future – more Vampire Kisses books, or will you be moving on to another series (or even a different career path)?
I’ll still be writing. I do have a new project in the works – which I’ll reveal soon. And yes, I just finished LOVE BITES (Vampire Kisses 7) and am beginning Vampire Kisses 8. I do hope to write more, as I have more stories to tell…