Monday, August 15, 2011


Today my guest is Author Laura Enright. Laura and I have known each other for a very long time, and have been good old-fashioned pen pals for over twenty years now. She's a funny, intelligent, creative lady who's just written her second book - and it's one I know many of you will find fascinating! How can it miss with a title like Vampires' Most Wanted: The Top 10 Book of Bloodthirsty Biters, Stake-wielding Slayers, and Other Undead? I asked Laura if she'd like to tell everyone a little more about her books, and she very graciously consented to give us a rare interview.... so let's get to it!

1. How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing since high school (I’m 47 now). Actually, I wrote a little novel when I was 12, but haven’t a clue where I put it. About a woman who finds a collie on the beach. Which is the plot I think every twelve year old girl writes about at some point. I started a few novels in high school (never finished them). I didn’t pursue it with the determination I should have after high school. Part of that was because of some problems with self esteem (and some issues in my life). But in the 90s, I had some shake ups in my life and sometimes that sort of gets you motivated. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I had a chance to see what I was made of and suddenly, I didn’t have as many doubts about the writing as I once did. I worked on a Deep Space Nine novel and a Star Trek Novel. They didn’t sell. Then I wrote some original novels that I’m still trying to find homes for. A humorous science fiction novel with a western twist and an Asian dragon novel.

2. How long have you been a published author?

My first book Chicago’s Most Wanted (Potomac Books) was published in 2005. I did some op ed pieces for a friend’s Pagan magazine in Chicago in the 90s. Really, Chicago’s was my first major work.

3. What titles do you have available? Vampires' Most Wanted: The Top 10 Book of Bloodthirsty Biters, Stake-wielding Slayers, and Other Undead Oddities is not your first book, so tell us a little bit about your previous title?

Chicago’s Most Wanted: The Top 10 Book of Murderous Mobsters, Midway Monsters, and Windy City Oddities. (Potomac like long titles :) ). That was a trip cause it was my first attempt at nonfiction (I’ve primarily been interested in fiction…science fiction, fantasy, paranormal) and I’d never done research to that extent. It was a bit like jumping into a lake and hoping you could swim. But I had the contact thanks to a friend and I had to take advantage of that (something like that is gold in publishing) so I did. It was funny…after I got the editor’s e-mail from my friend, I was trying desperately to think of a topic for a book. While I was at the library where I work, clearing books, I happened to look at the cart I was clearing (while the question of what to write about was on my mind) and I saw all these travel books on Chicago. It struck me like lightening. There was a wealth of stories in the city! I ran it past the editor and he liked it. It was great experience! One of those things were long after it’s over you look back and realize how fun it was (even though when you’re doing it, you’re freaking out cause you’re not sure if you can accomplish it—I can tell you, signing that contract was a little nerve wracking since I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to finish it). It was great to learn about the city that I’ve lived so close to all my life. It’s an amazing city and had a real impact on the nation and at times the world early on in its existence. Still is an amazing city. I was also able to do a lot of talks on the book at senior centers and libraries and it was fun cause inevitably at one of these places some older person would come up to me and say that they’re family lived right down the block from Al Capone, or their uncle used to work at Lincoln Park Zoo or something like that. It was like I was still learning. And the Most Wanted series, which is Potomac signature series, is great for something like that. Little digestible nuggets of information about the main topic.

4. What made you choose vampires as the subject of this book?

Full disclosure, it was purely mercenary. I have, at this point, written four novels in a vampire series that I’ve been calling the Khan Family Saga (though I might change that) and have written scenes for a spin off of characters found in the third novel. And even that series was from a bit of mercenary thinking. I wanted to get the attention of a particular agent and noted that they handled vampire books. So I figured that I’d try my hand at that. I had had this idea for the main character in the novel a few months back, so I worked on a story for it. Well, I ultimately fell in love with the novels and the characters. I wrote two in a year, which is amazing with my schedule (I also work as a circulation assistant at my local library and as an editorial assistant for Pioneer Press). I couldn’t stop telling these stories. A few years ago I was approached by Potomac to do a Most Wanted book on the environment, but the project fell through. The editor told me, however, that if I had any ideas she’d love to hear them. She was very impressed by Chicago’s. So I figured, well, why not a book on vampires. There’s a ton of stories out there. A ton of different takes on them. I’ve always been interested in them. Loved the Anne Rice stuff. It would be perfect for the style of a Most Wanted. Also, it was my hope that it might help me get my foot in the door with an agent with my novels. I’ve been so preoccupied with the release of Vampires’ Most Wanted that I haven’t had a chance to get back to sending out proposals on the novels. But I hope to soon. Vampires’ Most Wanted was a lot of work researching but a lot of fun. It covers books, tv, movies, music, legends, and a number of other things. And that was just the tip of the iceberg of what is out there. It’s an astonishingly versatile subject. Well, it’s been around forever and in all cultures, so I guess it would.

5. Do you have any new titles coming soon? Will you be venturing into the area of fiction anytime soon?

As I say, I hope to start getting some proposals out on my vampire novels soon. I’ve had some out a year ago that were rejected, but then I started working on Vampires’ Most Wanted and had to put the novel fishing aside. I really hope to find a home for this series of vampire novels set in Chicago. I’ve tried to put a unique spin on the concept and I think the touches of humour and family history really make a difference. There’s also romance and suspense. I’ve shown the first novel to a number of people (including patrons at the library) who weren’t even into the genre yet who ended up really liking it. One read all four novels extremely quickly. Even my sister really liked the novel and she read it simply as a favour to me (fantasy and the paranormal are far outside of her realm of interest). So, hopefully soon I’ll be able to say that my vampires will see the printed page.

6. What is your favourite genre and why?

I think my favourite genre would probably have to be fantasy or supernatural. I’ve always loved science fiction but I’m not that well versed in the science part to really utilize it well. With fantasy you can make up your own rules more. One thing I’ve never really been able to get into reading wise is mystery. Though I’d like to try a few more cause it’s possible I’ve never really read enough of them. After all, so many books no matter the genre have a level of mystery in them. I’m fairly open to anything as long as the story is good.

7. What, to you, is the most exciting part of the writing process?

I think when the ideas are flowing freely and you suddenly realize…hey, that’s what I can do! With my vampire novels I’ve found it easier to write in sort of patches. Part of that could be that very frequently I’m working at one place or another and do not have a lot of time to sit down and write a chapter or two. But as I’m driving in the car, or working at a rote task at the library, I’m envisioning these ideas that I’d like to see in the novel. So when I get the chance, I write down the idea. In fact, a few of the novels, I had a good portion of the middle done before the beginning. Then I’m then left trying to stitch these scenes together. Create logical reasons why this instance happened after the instance before. It’s neat when I’m trying to figure out the stitch that will hold the two parts together and it suddenly comes to me. Of course! That makes perfect sense. That’s why Aziz is so angry at Narain! Something like that. I think writing it that way also helps the suspense for a reader too. Little crumbs of information that encourage questions that are eventually answered down the line. I like playing like that. And there are times when you yourself aren’t sure where it’s going, but as you’re writing it starts taking form and you end up surprising yourself. Maybe you even had something else in mind, but as you were writing, this other direction made more sense so you went with that flow and your startled where it went. It’s fun also to write a scene that makes you laugh out loud. Which I guess may sound a bit arrogant, but if you think it’s good, you think it’s good. The family portion of my vampire series has allowed me to write a lot of scenes, especially between the brothers, that I think are really fun to read. I also have a scene in the fourth one that actually made me misty. Which is also fun. Cause you’re creating something that’s touching a chord (even if it’s only in you).

8. If you could co-author a book with anyone, who would you choose and why?

Why…Denyse Bridger, of course. :) (I didn't even have to pay her to say that, you know!) But since she’s so busy with her own stuff…I have to be honest, I’m not really sure. I have an idea for a book that’s set in ancient Egypt that I think I’d have to co-author with someone who knows anything about ancient Egypt. :) I’m currently reading Fall of Giants by Ken Follett who I think is amazing. I’ve been mesmerized by his Pillars of the Earth and At World’s End. Stunning. I should actually say that I’m listening to the books on CD cause that’s a bit more convenient to do and the reader is so amazing. It’s like listening to a radio play. I bet it would be incredible to co-author a book with Follett.

9. Where can readers find you on the web?

At this point, the best they can do is look me up on Facebook. I’m wrestling with WordPress to get a blog started. I’m finding WP a bit hard to work with and time is a bit tight of late, so it’s been a project to get it going. But hopefully soon and I’ll post something on Facebook if I ever get the blog going. Information on the book can also be found on Amazon and at Potomac’s site.

Potomac Publishing


Below is a portion of the introduction:

What is a vampire? It’s a more complex question than one might think. Now considered sexy, the vampire was at one time often regarded as vermin or a metaphor for the plague. Ghouls with nothing more on their minds than obtaining sustenance, they rose, sucked blood, then returned to the grave until hunger sent them forth again. They were a necrophiliac’s dream perhaps but little more than that.

My goal was to illustrate that the vampire is not just a count from Transylvania, a mindless ghoul, or a teen’s fantasy man. The notion of the vampire encompasses so many types and has infiltrated pop culture in a variety of ways that it can be hard to pin down. Even the real life vampire community incorporates a variety of styles and beliefs on a condition real vampires truly believe they possess.

Journeying back through time, however, it’s obvious that the answer to the question is subjective. The nature of the beast depended upon its time and place. The vampire’s role in society, for it always had a role to play, was inherent upon the culture in which it appeared. Depending on the culture, vampires were seen as mischievous spirits, relatives returning from the grave and searching for comfort, mindless creatures hungry for blood or other bodily secretions, sensual beings whose only drive was to sexually torture the living, or powerful deities that demanded blood to prove the believer’s faith.

All this and more can be found in the notion of the vampire, a legendary creature that has remained vibrant when the legends of other creatures have sputtered out.

To be fair, the vampire has had its “champions” throughout the centuries who have helped keep it alive. Superstitious peasants, the church, and Bram Stoker have fed society’s own need for fantasy and romance. These patrons have consistently given the notion of the vampire new life at just the right time to spur it on.

Yet, it is the vampire’s malleability that has best helped it survive. The vampire has the ability to become what we need when we need it. Throughout time, the vampire has been the sum of all our fears and the perfect scapegoat, yet it has retained an allure that has carried it across centuries and evolved, as we have, to fit our fantasies today. An ancient bogeyman, by turns, has become a romantic figure, super hero, or teen dream.

Thanks so much for the opportunity, Denyse.
You're very welcome, Laura, and thank YOU for being my guest today, and telling everyone about this book - which sounds mega-cool, and I need to get a copy!!


  1. I can't wait to read this!!! Seems like all us writers started at a young age! Great Interview!

  2. This sounds a fabulous book!
    With all the 'hype' about (fictional) vampires, it's really nice to see something more objective about their true nature.


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