Our second Vampire month contributor is Megan Cashman, a New Yorker and former journalist turned author. She is the author of The Dark Proposal.
1) What is the earliest memory you have of writing? What did you write about?
As a kid, I used to write about kids at school, and their everyday experiences. I was in first grade when I started doing all this, and I think I did it because even then I had fun creating characters.
2) When did you decide to become a professional writer? Why did you take this step?
I wanted to write a book even as a young kid. It took a long time to take that step because I had other aspirations. But when I was one of many unemployed people in the world, I decided it was a good time to finally write that book.
3) What would you consider to be your greatest strength as a writer? What about your greatest weakness? How do you overcome this weakness?
My strength is that I have good insight as to what makes people tick. I also think I write scenes that provide good visuals for my readers. My weakness is when I think I may be boring my readers, so I end up cutting parts out that may be necessary for them to understand something. I also tend to be very wordy, so I have to do a lot of editing. I try to overcome my weakness by crafting a paragraph or sentence in a way that doesn’t sound very wordy or boring to a reader. I have to keep my readers in mind when I consider cutting out words.
4) Tell us about the place where you live. Have you ever derived any inspiration from your home or from anywhere you have visited?
I was born and raised on Staten Island, NY. It hasn’t inspired my work yet, but The Dark Proposal takes place a great deal on Staten Island. I have some future ideas that are inspired by other places I’ve lived or visited.
5) Which book, if any, would you consider to be your greatest influence and inspiration?
That’s hard to tell because there have been so many. I do wish to write as well as Khaled Hosseini, because his two books The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns are written so beautifully. They also draw you in from the very first sentence, so I hope to do the same with my books
6) What drove you to write about Vampires?
They are so appealing! Their immortality, their seduction, their longevity, their power, their arrogance and their fears. There’s something about a creature that lurks in the shadows that makes it more appealing than other paranormal creatures, even though they have their merit too.
7) What do you think is the attraction for Vampire fiction? Why is it such a popular topic?
It depends because there are so many different kinds of vampire stories out there. For some, vampires are the most seductive creatures. For others, they are the most frightening. But others see vampire stories as an opportunity to tell other stories as well. The film, Byzantium, comes to mind.
8) In a fight between all the greatest Vampires of fiction, who do you think would come out on top?
Oh boy, that’s tough. Dracula is what really brought the creature into the mainstream. Anne Rice’s Interview With The Vampire humanized it, and influenced vampire stories today. It’s so tough to decide.
9) What about in some other contest such as sexiness or dress sense? Who would win that one?
I actually found Gary Oldman in Bram Stoker’s Dracula to be both sexy and well dressed. I think the accent helped. But hey, even Alexander Skarsgaard as Eric Northman is good competition for Oldman. Oh jeez, how can I forget Jonathan Rhys Myers as Dracula?
10) How well do you think one of your characters would fare against the winner(s) of the above?
I think Daniel Bertrand, the boyfriend to my main character, will be tough competition for all three. However, once his true nature is revealed, his sexiness plummets quickly.
11) Tell us the basic premise behind your latest novel.
The Dark Proposal is about a college graduate named Claire McCormick who thought she had the perfect boyfriend in Daniel Bertrand, until he reveals that he is a bloodthirsty vampire with the intent on making her one too. Frightened, she desperately tries to rid herself of him, only to painfully learn that he is too malicious to defeat. She struggles to come to terms with reality as she discovers how unstable the vampire world is in the modern age, and how some of them don’t realize how cruel Daniel is even to them. It is the first book in a trilogy, called The End of Eternity. I am working on the sequel right now, and plan to have it out later this year.
Megan Cashman is a former freelance journalist living in New York City. Always asking, “what if?” she turning toward fiction writing in order to explore our world, and many other worlds. Always analyzing and daydreaming, Megan looks forward to sharing her worlds with many others.