Talking VWars with Jonathan Maberry

I am very fortunate to present you with a end of the year gift! A Q&A with the creator of the VWars world,Jonathan Maberry!

The Netflix show was #1 in so many countries, I don’t think anyone missed it!!!

Check out the incredible work of Jonathan Maberry, available on Amazon and lots of bookstores!

QUESTION:  Do you think that the name of the new race, Bloods sounds more threatening than vampires?

JONATHAN MABERRY: The name comes from street slang in the VWars books and comics. Bloods is shorthand for blood-drinkers, and in the books non-vampires are known as Beats, which represents the classic view that humans are alive, and hence have a heartbeat. It’s a bit inaccurate because none of the vampires in the VWars universe are actually undead. But street slang isn’t known for being entirely accurate…merely cool.


QUESTION:  In VWars the book there are more races of vampires, based on the ethnic background, will there be more than 2 in the future of the show? 

JONATHAN MABERRY: If we get picked up for a second season we will definitely see more vampire species emerging. We didn’t want to crowd it too much in the first season, since we had to spend a good deal of time establishing the world of VWars, but for anyone who saw the last episode, it’s clear the plague is spreading.


QUESTION:  Being a Blood was transcending each blood’s personal race and background and becomes a them against us type deal…Is that a possibility? 

JONATHAN MABERRY: Sure, especially since there isn’t such a thing as ‘pure’ blood, especially in North America, where the story begins. They call America the ‘melting pot’. And looking at the results of companies like 23andMe or Ancestry.com show that all around the world people have blended DNA. Even in my own family, when two of my sisters and I had our ancestry checked there were subtle differences. Genetics is a bit of a roulette wheel.


QUESTION:  The VWars bloods can’t turn humans, does that make the gap between them and humans bigger?

JONATHAN MABERRY: Because the vampirism in VWars isn’t a supernatural curse but something medical, it requires the right co-factor for infection to spread. As we’re discovering, however, a lot of people have that co-factor. In the books it was between 5 and 10 percent; but it’s proving to be quite a lot higher in the show. And that opens the door to new problems. Since not all (or even most) of the vampires in VWars are predatory or murderous, the rest will want to fit into society as best they can. However there will be issues of immigration, healthcare, legal rights, neighborhood zoning, and so on. Some humans and Bloods will want to be separate but equal; others will want to merge. There will be conflicts on all levels.


QUESTION:  The evolution of the two main character is fascinating, I honestly started rooting for Michael Fayne. Would you be with the humans or the bloods? 

JONATHAN MABERRY: Fayne is a sympathetic character. He is not evil. His DNA has changed, which means his biology and chemistry has changed. Mood, emotions, and impulses are greatly driven by the chemicals produced by our brains. When he began to hunt shortly after his transformation he was acting in strict accordance with this new nature. Even before he realized it, Fayne was no longer human, and no longer driven by the same bio-chemical triggers. Only later, when he realized that it wasn’t just him, and that there were consequences to his actions, he forced himself to stop feeding—and therefore stop killing humans. This was critical, because it shows that a strong will can rise above enough our basest and most compelling natures. It makes Fayne heroic from a certain viewpoint. Also, actor Adrian Holmes really sells the human, inhumanity, and conflict of his charac


QUESTION:  Fear is in our DNA .. I don’t think that there’s a deeper fear than of a predator that feeds on the human life essence, would a real cohabitation of two human type species be possible?

JONATHAN MABERRY: There’s no fundamental difference between two different vampire species cohabitating than, say, a vegan in a relationship with someone who loves a good steak. Or someone with different political views, religious views, or even cultural identity. The vampire species’ in VWars don’t eradicate the basic personalities, likes, or dislikes of that person; though there are changes, and that will be explore if we go to second season.


QUESTION:  Ill will make a parallel to True Blood.. The synthetic blood would have worked but would there not be vampires that would prefer to live the predatory life?

JONATHAN MABERRY: Yes, there would be vampires who choose to opt out of the blood substitute and live more according to their nature. This creates a lot of dramatic potential in the show, because any hunting/killing would result in more fear, hatred, and pushback on the part of the humans. They would likely want all vampires stopped, controlled, or exterminated just out of fear of being hunted by them. It’s not an unreasonable fear, either, but it will likely lead to a dangerous overreaction. 


QUESTION:  How does it feel to have your book turned into a TV show? 

JONATHAN MABERRY: It’s deeply surreal. When I first created this premise and began the book project back in 2011, I had no idea it would ever become a TV show. It was shopped for years but without success, so I figured that it would be the same outcome that happens to most writers: we get a whiff of Hollywood but no bite. And then about two years ago I got a call saying that it had sold to Netflix. That absolutely stunned me. Netflix is the perfect home for it. They are risk-takers and they have a serious eye toward both content and quality.

When I went to the first table-read –where the actors, director, producers, and some other crew gather for the reading of the first couple of scripts—it was crazy. Here were all of these actors from shows I’ve watched and enjoyed (Smallville, Vampire Diaries, The Expanse, Battlestar Galactica, Orphan Black, The 100, Arrow, and others) embodying characters I created and reading lines of dialogue from my books and comics. There is nothing in a writers’ career that prepares him for that.

It was even crazier when I was on the set to watch the first few days shooting. Watching the actors becomethe characters. So wild.

And, of course, the day it premiered, seeing the final polished cuts of each episode was amazing. And seeing my name in the credits (twice!) was beyond anything I could have imagined!


QUESTION:  For the future (let’s hope there will be many more seasons) do you have a actor that you would love to cast, and would he/she be a Blood or human? 

JONATHAN MABERRY: That’s tough. I’d love to see my friend, Ray Porter, in V-Wars. He’s the narrator of my Joe Ledger novels, but is also an actor with a lot of chops. He’s been in Monk, Sons of Anarchy, Justified, Argo, Almost Famous, Modern Family, CSI, and so many other shows. He’s one of those actors who has enormous range, and tends to submerge so deeply into a character you almost can’t recognize him. 

Rhiannon Frater and the vampires

1.When did you become fascinated by vampires?
One of my first memories is of a nightmare I had as a little girl. I wasn’t that old at all. Maybe three. I dreamed of a castle on a mountain with a huge blue moon behind it. I saw a woman running away from the castle with long flowing red hair. A man chased her down and swept her up in his arms and carried her back to the castle even though she fought him and screamed. The man wore a long cape. It was very scary and I woke up very frightened for the woman.

Years later, I wrote The Tale of the Vampire Bride. It felt like a story I was destined to write about Glynis trying to escape Dracula.

Where did that dream come from? I’m not certain. My parents didn’t watch scary movies. I lived on the campus of a seminary school at the time. I had pretty much zero exposure to the outside world. The more fanciful part of me wants to believe that I somehow inherited my grandfather’s love of horror (I was raised in Texas. He was in Ohio. I rarely saw him.) But I probably saw the cover of a Dracula novel in a second hand bookstore when my mom was buying books to read and my imagination took it from there.
2.Why did you choose to write about classic dark vampires?
Honestly, they feel like the only real vampires to me. There are completely terrifying imho because they can seduce you with their beauty or compel you with their powers. I was very scared as a kid that Dracula would summon me out of my bedroom to feast on me and I wouldn’t have the willpower to stop him. I had read a children’s book that retold Bela Lugosi’s Dracula in black and white photos, so by the age of seven, I knew who Dracula was. As a precaution I always tucked my covers securely around my neck. I don’t know why I thought this would prevent him from biting me, but that’s kid logic for you.

So, traditional vampires were my first exposure to the mythos and they’re my favorite. I know the current take on them is to make them gory, ugly, and more like zombies, but they don’t scare me on the same level as a vampire who can compel me right out of the safety of my home and into their arms to be drained of my life. The loss of willpower is very frightening to me. Also, the concept that something beautiful can be very, very dangerous is unsettling. Society usually teaches us that to be beautiful is a virtue, but vampires are clearly not virtuous.
3.What’s your favorite vampire story?
Sheridan LeFanu’s Carmilla immediately comes to mind. It’s such a beautiful and haunting story. When I first read it, I was struck by how much it influenced the literary and film vampires that followed. Bram Stoker’s Dracula definitely draws from Carmilla .  Dracula is my second favorite vampire novel.
4.Favorite vampire TV show, and did you watch V-Wars (opinions on it)?
I’m going to define a vampire tv show as being one structured around a vampire. So I’ll remove Buffy the Vampire Slayer from the equation right away, because I LOVE that show. So…just looking at all the shows that heavily centered around a vampire, I would have to say Forever Knight. An oldie, but a goodie.  Moonlight was another favorite. I was so annoyed it only got one season.
I definitely watched V-Wars. I had a migraine the day it came out, so I had to wait a few days before I could watch it. I binged it in one day while lounging on the couch in a darkened living room. Jonathan Maberry is a friend (and mentor to some degree), so I definitely wanted to support him. I enjoyed it a lot. The premise was clever and a lot of fun. What really sold me on the story was the friendship between Michael and Luther. The way the vampire virus tested their brotherly bond was incredibly emotional. I want there to be a second season with all my heart and soul. I need to find out what happens next.
5. If you could talk to any author dead or alive who would you choose?
This is so, so hard. On one hand, Jane Austen comes to mind. She was so revolutionary for her time and her influence still has impact today. Agatha Christie would also probably be very, very interesting to talk to. Again, she’s another woman that had a massive impact on the literary world. But I will have to say Octavia Butler would be my final choice. Her imagination was so mind-blowingly incredible. The stories she wrote are beautiful and yet very unsettling. She made me cry more than once. She pretty much created her success out of sheer force of will, because let us be honest, she was a black woman in a white male dominated field when she started her career in the 1970’s.  The odds were not in her favor, but she’s an icon today.
6.Would you like to be turned into a vampire?
Well, it depends on what kind of vampire. If it’s a gross, gory, ugly one, hard pass.
7. If you could pick one of your vampire books to live in, which one would you pick? 
One of the modern day ones. I need my internet! I need my air conditioning!
8. What are your vampire must read books for your fans?
Other than my own…Sheridan LeFanu’s Carmilla and Bram Stoker’s Dracula. I don’t actually read a lot of vampire (or zombie) novels. A lot of people are convinced I’m huge Ann Rice fan, but I only really liked the first two novels in her series. That being said, I never reread either one. She writes lovely prose, but her vampires never really appealed to me. They didn’t resonate with me, which is probably a big reason why my vampire novels center around women.

I am reading the Vampire Academy novels by Rachel Meade right now for research purposes (my agent assigned several series for me to read). I think she’s been pretty creative with the mythos and making it her own. I wasn’t too into the first book, but the series really ramps up and has some downright unsettling moments.  I’ve enjoyed this series a lot more than Twilight because the risks seem much higher right away. There is a lot at stake (haha) from the beginning.

I’ll be honest. I think writing vampires is not an easy task. It has to be a balancing act between the monstrous and the romantic. For a long time, romance dominated vampires and the inevitable backlash was a more gruesome take on them. I like finding that middle ground. I love the films Near Dark and The Lost Boys because they found that balance.

I’ll be honest. All the vampires I write about scare me. No matter how pretty, charming, or seductive they might be, I know that in the end my worth as a human to them rests in my veins and arteries.

I remember someone teasing me that I would love to meet Glynis from The Tale of the Vampire Bride. 

“No, no,” I said. “I think I’d pass on that.”

The truth is no matter how much I love her as a character, having her tiny little self in my world would be terrifying.

Because then Dracula would be real, too.

Find the work of Rhiannon Frater on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/kindle-dbs/author/ref=dbs_P_W_auth?_encoding=UTF8&author=Rhiannon%20Frater&searchAlias=digital-text&asin=B0027DLFL6

Rats episode 1 (Flash fiction by Reading Zombie Queen)

Rats 27 dec
She was looking so beautiful on the rooftop warming up . The sunny days got very rare, heat was hard to find. Since the two leggers dried up and disappeared we don’t get the red flames or the hot surfaces anymore.
The upper floor was most of the time grey like the fur on good old Misty. She was the oldest, born long before the cold came, and some believe that her fur coat changes with the color of the above.
Now I was here, hidden, looking at her. The round red ring made her fur shinny. She was beautiful, round, her tail was long and whip like.
She was licking her paw with slow lazy movements. One of her front teeth was chipped, but it makes her even more desirable. She’s beautiful brown. Like the sweet stuff that is hard and crunchy that I scavenge now and then.  “Mmmm, brown stuff”
I should introduce myself, I am Zig and I am a rat . I am hidden here on the roof of the building lusting after this hot female that spreads her pheromones around. There will be more males around soon. I already had to kill two on my way up.
I am actually white, but I color my coat with sooth to blend in better.  I am one of those, I used to be a lab rat. After the two leggers disappeared I escaped the lab. And now I want to sink myself into this soft new generation female.
My red eyes sparkle, I can feel it. I fed on the two juicy idiots that crossed me on the way up here. I mean, the pheromones that she’s sending out made them stupid.
I got closer. Her fur was standing up and she sent even more pheromones around. I mounted her. She squequed. The pleasure took me to a place of horror, or metal stuck into my soft flesh and my fur being shaved on places on my body.
I wanted to let her be. Her belly thick and pregnant with my Youngs already. I bit her, hard. Her spine cracked.. Her body went soft as I went soft inside her. The beauty of her brown soft coat was sticky with blood. My hunger was aroused in another way now. I licked off the blood, first just to clean her, then I bit again, just a taste of soft sweet flesh. Before I had the slightes idea what I do I was sucking marrow from her juicy bones. I am so full. Sated in all ways I lay there, enjoying the heat on my blood splattered fur before it went away again..

Mark Tufo a interview

Mark Tufo is one of the nicest authors out there. I am a fan of his work for years and it’s always nice to pick his brainzzz for some extra Intel..

1 Zombie Fallout is about to be turned into a TV series, what would you like to tell us about that?

Mark Tufo : “It’s a process a wait and see type of process. Honestly I don’t think about it all that much. Sure it would be cool as hell if it happened but until it has, it hasn’t. ” 2. You mix zombies and vampires in a glorious way, what made you decide to add other supernatural beings to the mix?

Mark Tufo : ” It was a suggestion by my brother about the girl standing out in the field, I hadn’t planned on there being vampires at all especially since Zombie Fallout was supposed to be a one and done. ”

3.If a zombie would bite you and you knew that you have only 24 hours left would you let the infection spread and see how it feels to be undead?

Mark Tufo : “This is a difficult question. It’s hard-wired into our very being to stay alive but the thought of turning into a zombie is something I don’t think I could stomach. I mean eating people? We’re filthy and it’s pretty well established that I’m a germ-a-phobe. ” 4. If you could talk to any author dead or alive who would you choose and why? Mark Tufo : ” I really think I’d like to talk to Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens), he was a brilliant man who had his finger on the pulse of the nation at the time, which surprisingly was much like it is today. Would love to get his insight. ” 5.Who would you say influenced your writing style the most? MarkTufo :” Stephen King, hands down. First foray into horror, loved it from the get go and still do now, He’s the largest influence but there were plenty of others. ” 6.Mike Talbot is present as a main character in allot of your books(parallel universes) , do you plan writing a series with a female main character? Mark Tufo :”I’ve written Callis Rose, the Dystance series and the Book of Riley all had strong female leads. Sure Riley was a dog, but female. :)”. 7. What genre would you like to write in next? Mark Tufo :” Fantasy, definitely want to write my fantasy book. Started, just need to carve out some time to complete it. ” 8. I am a huge Tim fan, I know that the fans are not agreeing on him, was it difficult for you to write that perfectly psycho character? Mark Tufo:” I feel like it should have been more difficult to write Tim, that I was so easily able to slide into that persona is umm eye opening! Tim is what happens when a publishing house gives you free reign. Yeah I’m blaming them.”

9. If you could step into a TV show / movie and live there for 24 hours what would you pick? Mark Tufo :” Honestly I think I’d love to play Survivor, although if I was only there for 24 hours that means I got voted out first and that sucks”. 10. What’s your writing routine? Mark Tufo ” I start the morning doing correspondence and then when I’m sufficiently caffeinated, I write. That usually goes from 9:30 to around 4, then back to correspondence, or read-throughs, or the dreaded editing process. “. 11. Would you like to offer a advice for indie authors that are at the beginning of the journey and loose hope because of low sales or bad reviews? Mark Tufo ” There’s a lot of first time authors that believe this is a get rich quick scheme, I can attest to the fact that this is not true! My first book sold 3 copies in the first 9 months. If you want to be successful in this field you have to keep going. Improve your craft, hire professionals. Get a cover artist and an editor. It’s not a completely universal truth but more books equals more sales. ” 12.Are you superstitious? Mark Tufo ” I’m a Red Sox fan of course I’m superstitious. “

And because Mark is superstitious I didn’t asked my 13th question… Find all of Mark Tufo’s books on Amazon and all good bookstores! Become a member of the fan club!