Tonight Nights of Passion welcomes Author and Publisher Inanna Arthen.
Inanna, please, tell us a little about your background.
I’ve always been compulsively alternative. I was “New Age” when it was still called “Aquarian” and Goth before Goths were invented (I think that makes me a Crunchy Goth). I’ve studied, and taught, just about everything related to the paranormal or “occult” for most of my life, especially vampire lore. I’m a Pagan and I have a Masters of Divinity degree from Harvard. I almost went into acting as a career, and I spent ten years working in a battered women’s shelter. I’m also a geek–I design websites, write code, and build computers for fun.
Why did you decide to be both a publisher and an author? And why vampires?
I have two absolute passions in life–books and vampires. I was reading when I was four, and I always had a mania for books, and for everything connected with them. Writing, for me, is like breathing, and I’m a tireless story-teller. I’ve been obsessed with vampires since I was eleven, and I’ve made a very deep, lifelong study of vampire folklore and fiction. I’ve belonged to a fan and writers’ e-group, Vampyres List (http://www.the-institute.net/vampyres/), for years and that’s where I created my . In 2006, I got some funding, did serious research and realized that changes in the industry had made it possible for me to launch a small press without a lot of capital outlay. I could combine all of my passions into the business I was born to run. That’s how I came to start up By Light Unseen Media (http://bylightunseenmedia.com).
Tell us about your book. What inspired you to write it? How can our viewers purchase it?
Mortal Touch (http://inannaarthen.com/vone-mt.htm) is set in 2004. It started with one scene in my head: a psychic, who has to touch things to read them, discovers the truth about a vampire when she touches him, and he chooses to enlist her as a ally rather than kill her or disappear. The rest of the story spun out as I asked myself, “in the modern world, with modern-day people, what might some of the logical consequences of this situation be?” Mortal Touch wasn’t intended to be the first book in the series. That book was really The Longer the Fall (http://inannaarthen.com/vone-tltf.htm), which should be released this year. Mortal Touch was my 2005 National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo(http://www.nanowrimo.org/)) project. I’d written the first half of The Longer the Fall and gotten stuck, years earlier. I decided to sign up for NaNo to try and break through my blocks. However, according to NaNo rules, you have to start with a new story. I had the basic idea for Mortal Touch in my head and I ran with it. That’s how it ended up being the first novel I finished. As I went on, I realized what I needed to do to fix The Longer the Fall, and I also discovered that several stories I had outlined all fitted together. That’s how the Vampires of New England series was born.
Mortal Touch is available as hardcover, perfect paperback, Kindle edition, or PDF e-book. You can get the first three from Amazon.com, you can order the hardcover or paperback from any bookstore through our wholesalers, and you can download the PDF from Lulu.com. I also direct-sell paperback editions and I’ll autograph those on request. I’m developing the audio-book edition now.
Tell us about the other books that are coming out with your publishing house.
In July, I’ll be releasing Gideon Redoak (http://bylightunseenmedia.com/redoak.htm), by Canadian author Anne Fraser. Gideon is a gay man born in Puritan England. He inherits the title of Baron and then is killed and enslaved by a vampire. He escapes, and his story continues to present-day America. I’ll be publishing the sequel in 2010. I’m also publishing a YA novel, Cat the Vamp, by Canadian author Christina Martine this year. Christina has done a very interesting twist on the “vampire school” idea. Her main character, Cat, discovers that she and her family are vampires, and she is initiated into the vampire culture and learns that she has powers. But she ends up with much more than she can handle. This is definitely not Twilight.
I’m accepting queries for novels and serious non-fiction about vampires, so authors should read the Submission Guidelines (http://bylightunseenmedia.com/submission.htm).
What interests you most about vampires?
For me, it’s the idea of an invisible subculture of “others” existing within human society. Most people don’t realize it, but that’s the core of “living vampire” folklore like the Romanian strigoi vii. I was an “outcast” growing up, and I gravitated to various subcultures and alternative movements, like the Pagan movement. I saw that as a very strong component of traditional vampire folklore. So, when I created my own vampire fiction, that’s the angle I took on the theme.
I have something of a mania for correcting misinformation about vampire folklore. The truth is so much more interesting than the cliches!
Thank you, Inanna, for joining us for our Celebrate the Vampire Weekend. I also find vampires eternally fascinating.