Angela Lovell is an award-winning playwright, director, screenwriter, essayist and performing monkey. She’s written for MTV, several independent film studios and publications such as BUST Magazine, The New York Press and High Times. You can hear her as Mark Twain’s daughter on the new album Mark Twain: Words & Music (featuring Clint Eastwood, Garrison Keillor and Jimmy Buffett.) Blood Drunk is Angela’s first full-length novel. She lives in New York City with her handsome husband and their two opinionated dogs. See her best side at: AngelaLovell dot com
With summer waning quickly before the start of his senior year, a family emergency forces Blue Knightly to leave his small Midwest town and travel to New York City to locate his rebellious sister. From the morgue to Central Park to the underbelly of New York, he quickly discovers the big city is the least of his concerns as he reluctantly takes sides within a warring faction of vampires to unravel the mystery of his sister’s disappearance. In their underground world of abandoned subway tunnels, Blue finds himself falling for a femme fatale vampire whose vibe is seldom clear. Not knowing who to trust, Blue finds himself battling not only the undead, but his own heart, as the family crisis escalates and every decision could be his last.
Several years ago I waited all alone on the train platform for the A train to come sweep me up and deliver me to my unbelievably craptastic apartment in upper-upper Manhattan (just south of the Bronx.) I stood there reconsidering the dramatic way I’d just dumped my current boyfriend – the manager of a popular downtown bar. He lived in the East Village which was a five dollar cab ride from the bar I’d just left after shaking him down for the cash he owed me. When I walked out the door it felt as though someone should cue a Destiny’s Child song about empowered ladies. But a few minutes later as I stood freezing on that subway platform, I felt a pang of regret. My sadness wasn’t at the loss of the very attractive supplier of free drinks, but rather his warm nearby bed. I stood there staring down the dark subway tunnel expecting the bright lights of a train when suddenly I thought, “What if vampires flew out instead?!”
They could. If vampires were real they’d be just as eclectic and enigmatic as any New Yorker I’d ever met, so what better place for them? And what better time to feed than 4am when it’s just a bunch of idiotic girls who can’t afford cabs all the way home because they were recently fired from their coatcheck job at a swing dancing club? I stood there with my feet frozen to the platform, telling myself what a stupid, stupid girl I was to put myself in such a dangerous position. But part of me was thrilled by the idea. Vampires! Living under New York City!
I thought about this idea a lot and saw it as a screenplay in those days and not yet a book. For years I would imagine vampires occupying the subways of New York, sometimes even venturing above to find safety in the shade provided by the city’s skyscrapers. The idea took shape, and as my vampires were fleshed out (pun!) I began to see New York through different eyes, realizing this city would be the ultimate vampire playground.
Though over eight million people are occupying this island, New York City is a small town. New Yorkers are constantly pissing each other off, and while toying with this story I realized the vampires would be just as susceptible to the confines of such a small place. That’s why there had to be two rival gangs. And it didn’t hurt that the subway runs along the east side and west side as far as their underground habitats were concerned.
I’m a sucker for suspense, so I tried to only leak out a little bit of where they come from, what started the riff, who murders for food and who murders for more sadistic reasons. This book is told through the eyes of Blue – a small-town teenager who finds himself enchanted by the city and by a certain female vampire named Kat. Blue is a good vessel for readers unfamiliar with New York City because he’s so excited about all of it and trying to take it in. I wanted to make Kat a walking version of New York – tough, glamorous, fast, and dangerous. There’s a soft side to both Kat and New York, and not many people could let their guard down to fall in love with either. (I’d say only about half of the people living here genuinely love it.) Kat’s certainly a tough sell, but she’s probably my favorite character.
As I started developing the plot and these characters, I realized they had way too much going on to be explored in just a screenplay. There’s a lot of ground to cover in the long life of a vampire. Plenty of fantastic writers have tackled the origins of vampires, and in this series I intend to explore that, with a little more attention on where they’re going. To the right people, a pack of vampires could be quite useful. And in this first book of the series, I reveal that humans can serve a purpose (other than food) to vampires. A real challenge when writing the beginning is to make it interesting without too much exposition. I took extra care to set up the story while delivering on the fun stuff.
I love all things paranormal, but more importantly, I love New York. I try to write about this city as though it’s one of my lead characters. If you like vampires even a wee bit, I hope you’ll give Blood Drunk a shot. It’s got quite a few surprises and a lil’ somethin' special for anyone who enjoys a good, creepy love story.
I've read Blood Drunk, Faded Blue and enjoyed it quite a lot. Here's my review.
Angela has offered one print copy of Blood Drunk, Faded Blue. To be eligible just leave a comment for Angela along with a valid email addy so I can contact you when you win.
Giveaway open to all those with a US mailing address.
Using Random dot Org winner will be chosen 11-16-11.