Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Interview with dark fiction author Stavros
Today we're getting to know a bit about dark fiction author Stavros.
We'll start with a short bio.
Notorious Poet. Fool. Born in Washington, DC. Stavros was a writer and editor for The Independent Underground Magazine. Besides screaming verse in coffeehouses, his poetic works have been published in several online and print publications, including Central Avenue, The Sword That Cuts Through Stone, Poets Against The War, Conceptions Southwest, The Mynd, Imagine: Creative Arts Journal, and Bartleby, where he won a specialty award for his poem, Blackbird.
In 1999, he won an Official Selection into the Writer’s on the Edge Festival for his play, The Redline. In 2001, he created the Poetry Television Project for public cable access in Albuquerque, NM. All eight volumes of PTV’s groundbreaking show were broadcast to over 100,000 viewers on a network of regional PAC channels throughout the Southwest and Baltimore. He helped launch Unpublished Magazine, sponsored the monthly poetry series, The Word Café, and produced a political compilation, Poetic Democracy. In 2007, he released the award-winning documentary film, Committing Poetry in Times of War.
He is a photographer and graphic designer, a musician, and Assistant Editor and Art Director of the new horror and gaming magazine, BioGamer Girl. His first novel, Blood Junky, was released in the fall of last year and is receiving exceptional praise. Blood Junky is the first tale in the epic One Blood series, which offer fresh and original ideas to the beloved vampire genre. The second book of the saga, Däm’Um: Song of the Vam Pŷr’s Love in Vein, is set to release in 2011.
Stavros, welcome to Reviews and Interviews. It's great to have you visit. Please tell us about your current release.
Blood Junky is a character-driven psychological thriller that pushes the edge of the vampire genre to new depths of horror. Linnet Pevensey is 236 years old, and she’s feeling every inch of it. Besieged by a wall of painful memories, longing for simpler times, she’s secluded herself off from the world. Z is unpredictable. A century-old vampire whose blood parasite has begun its last cycle, she is enthralled in every possible way to avoid the here and now. And fate is moving them both toward clandestine events of their own making.
Ryan Silva is a good looking, soulful songbird who's never had a problem getting any girl he’s ever wanted until he met Z. But getting the alluring punk’s attention is proving more difficult than he’d ever imagined. Seduced by desires to have Z feed from him, Ryan’s lines of reality blur, locking him on a downward spiral that threatens to destroy not just his soul, but his very life if he does not stop stalking the vampires.
Dominique De’Paul, the freed blood slave of the ancient race, is unsure if she’ll be able to stop the tides of war and its inevitable genocide. Her Children of Evensong are in peril! The clock is running out! An emissary from the African warrior tribe has been dispatched to discern Mother Night’s threat to the human race, and it looks as if her darling Linnet will be sacrificed to the man’s passions in order to save her precious brood.
Weaving through the consciousness of time, between past and present, this uniquely intense journey of obsession & love travels the globe from modern day Los Angeles to the bygone eras of London, Tangiers, Africa, and the exotic lands of São Paulo, Brazil. Flawlessly incorporating historically accurate places, people, and events with meticulous detail and lyrical fiction, Stavros has crafted an intricate web of vivid memoir and struggling ideologies, giving this most beloved genre an original, invigorating spin while creating new pathos and myths from which any future story can be told.
The One Blood series was conceived as a single epic tale that spans the entire chronicle. Each book is designed to reveal a deeper richly layered vision as mysteries build, characters evolve, and plots thicken. Blood Junky is self-contained and can be read independently; though, be careful! Because, once you’ve started reading you’ll be hooked too…just another Junky, looking for a fix!
What inspired you to write this book?
God, Being a father, and a need to accomplish something tangible and possibly financially secure in my life.
Actually, the first story came to me when I was in Washington State with my then girlfriend, Tara, who was visiting her estranged father. I was awoken about 5am by a dream of this young pale-looking man hovering above my face. He didn’t say anything or do anything, but it was intense and I awoke with a flurry of ideas. I jotted down some initial notes and from there I kept asking simple questions, like who was he? Why did he look the way he did? What did he want? Where did he come from? When did he come from?
I received answers to all of these questions, but with each new answer came more questions. This was in 1995, and 15 years later, after an exhaustive amount of research and development I had the makings of several novel series and film franchises. So…after writing a screenplay for a completely different story that did not involve the character who inspired it all, I wrote Blood Junky as a prequel for that script. I enjoyed writing Blood Junky so much that I immediately adapted the screenplay, which was called Bite Me Really Hard at the time, and through that process of fiction writing and script editing it became to be known as Love in Vein.
Cornelius, the character that visited me in my dreams back in 1995, is going to finally show up in the fourth book of the Däm’Um: Song of the Vam Pŷr series. But before I can introduce him I have to lay the groundwork!
What exciting dark project are you working on next?
Being edited for print - Däm’Um: Song of the Vam Pŷr’s Love in Vein (Love in Vein for short) (Blood Junky’s sequel)
Apex Publishing, at their request, asked for a full manuscript of my unique zombie story called, Dead Girl: A Romantic Zombie Tale of Revenge. So I gave myself a deadline with which to get it to them.
I’ve also just finished a psychological thriller screenplay for an as of yet unnamed-production-company. It’s quite a disturbing piece, and at times, was very difficult for me to write. Some characters, though brilliant, are just uncomfortable to inhabit. Tyler Deacon, in the screenplay of Savor, is such a character. I’m glad he’s mine. I am thankful to the All Mighty for giving me the where-withal to flesh him out, but frankly he’s a sick puppy that I’d rather not meet.
Writing Z, from the One Blood series, on the other hand, is a hoot. I move over and let her drive. Though to be honest, she’s the more dangerous of the two. I guess I am bias as to which social and psychological ills I play with. Or it could simply be the fact, as my roommate pointed out, vampires aren’t real, but you could run into someone like Tyler anywhere.
I am also working on the preliminary notes for a zombie screenplay for a friend of mine. He simply had the most amazing and fresh idea that I had to make a pitch so as to write it. I was working on another zombie screenplay at the time, but when he told me his idea, I set my other story aside and decided to collaborate.
In March, I’ll start work again on issue 2 of the BioGamer Girl Magazine. It’s a ‘zine dedicated to Girlz, Horror Culture, and Gaming. I’ll have a few articles in it. But mostly I’ll continue to do the graphic design, layout, a lot of editing, and some photography.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Young. About 7th or 8th grade. I’ve always written stories and poems. Though, I grew up to call myself a poet. Throughout my twenties and thirties I was really into the whole coffeehouse scene and made a name for myself in Albuquerque, NM by producing The Poetry Television Project, and then finally the award-winning documentary feature, Committing Poetry in Times of War. Through PTV, I produced 8 volumes of the groundbreaking show for public access television. But I stopped calling myself a poet once I realized the stigmata would never wash away.
Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
Yes, full time. Though, I still need to support myself with outside employment. So, I have a gig at a deli. I slice meat. I mop.
My day – wake up early – write (eating while I am doing it) – go to work at the deli(eat there to save money) – come home – write – sleep. Repeat.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I have two actually. One – I require tea. If there is no tea, there are no words. Period. Two – I write best in the mornings, and have to start fresh. If I miss this window nothing comes out. I can, at times, write later in the day only if I’ve written in the mornings and spend some time editing what I have written.
Writing is the only artform for me that is so stringent. Though, writing poems on the other hand are quite different. It’s a first come, first serve kind-O’-thang, where I either do it when the inspiration is comes, and it must be quite to go where the poet-gods direct me, or its gone and will never come back.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Here's a link to BioGamer Girl magazine site and this is also BioGamer Girl. My estore. Publishing company.
Thank you for talking with us today, Stavros. All the best with your various creative projects. You're definitely keeping yourself busy. Oh, and, Happy Birthday!