Interview and Giveaway: Alex Bledsoe, author of Blood Groove and more!

I recently asked the wonderful Alex Bledsoe to answer a few questions for me, and he graciously agreed! Alex is the author of the noir/fantasy series starring Eddie LaCrosse, the Memphis Vampires series, and the upcoming The Hum and the Shiver (Sept. 27.) Tor was also kind enough to offer a copy of The Girls with Games of Blood (Memphis Vampires #2) to one lucky winner, so be sure to check out the giveaway details at the bottom of the post!

Please welcome Alex to the blog!

Alex, you’ve been everything from a reporter to a door-to-door vacuum salesman! Have you always known you wanted to write?
Oh, yes. Definitely. My earliest writing memory is of turning a “Batman” comic book into a prose story on my dad’s old manual typewriter. I got in trouble for wasting the ink on the typewriter ribbon.

Your Eddie LaCrosse series is an intriguing blend of noir suspense and high fantasy. What inspired you to combine the two genres?
I love fantasy, and I love hard-boiled mystery. I nursed the first Eddie LaCrosse story for years trying to write it as a straight fantasy epic, but it just never worked. When I eventually started over and tried writing that same fantasy story in the style of the mysteries I loved, it came to life.

Your newest LaCrosse novel, Dark Jenny, just dropped. Do you have plans for more?
The next one will be out next spring. Titled Wake of the Bloody Angel, it puts Eddie in a whole new environment, and gives him a new sidekick. And as the title implies, he spends a lot of time at sea. And there are pirates.

Your Memphis Vampires series is very different from Eddie LaCrosse, and its main vamp, Zginski, isn’t a very sympathetic character. I always consider it pretty brave when a writer features a main character that unpalatable, but you make it work. Did you know right off that Zginski wasn’t gonna be the nicest guy?
Definitely. The literary vampires I admire–Dracula, Carmilla, Lestat—are most emphatically not nice. And I think readers accept a strong character, even if he’s not overtly sympathetic, as long as he’s understandable. After all, no one has a problem with Michael Corleone or Richard III. What makes Zginski interesting to me is poking holes in his armor, finding the things that get under his selfish skin and make him act for the benefit of someone besides himself.

But there’s also a conceptual level. At the core of my vampires is the idea that you, meaning the average person, draws their attention at your peril. Once they acknowledge your existence, you’re doomed. And you can’t have that sort of central idea, and then make your vampires all romantic and cuddly.

Will there be more Memphis Vamps? I adore the series and would love to see it continue!
I have one more novel, tentatively called Blood Will Rise Again, that resolves the overall story and themes from Blood Groove and The Girls with Games of Blood, but I have no idea when or if it will come out. As you can imagine, the market is glutted right now, and harsh, unromantic vampires like mine aren’t what most readers want. But I hope to get it out there someday. That’s the nice thing about vampires: they can always come back.

What are some of your biggest literary influences, and why?
The big one is Raymond Chandler. He created the private eye as we now know him, and beyond that, told stories that were both tough as nails and soft as…well, pulp. HP Lovecraft and the underrated Arthur Machen showed me how to be scary by implication. I was a huge fan of the late Robert B. Parker as well. Among the living: Andrew Vachss, Charles de Lint, Kelly McCullough, and Sarah Monette.

We all have authors we “pimp”. You know, the one’s that you’ll talk about ad nauseum, if only someone will give you the opening? Do you have one or two of those?
I’ll mention two.

1. Ekaterina Sedia, a fantasy author who writes in English but grew up in Russia and so has a completely different background of folklore and a totally unique voice. Start with The Alchemy of Stone.

2. Jarkko Sipila, a Finnish crime writer whose “Helsinki Homicide” series is just now being translated into English. They’re gritty police procedurals with a background unique to Finland. The first one is Against the Wall, which won the 2009 Best Finnish Crime Novel award.

What do you like to do for fun when you’re not writing?
But writing is what I do for fun. I’m just lucky enough to get paid for it.

Is there any news of upcoming projects or events that you’d like to share?
My new novel, The Hum and the Shiver, will be out this October. It’s set in the contemporary South, and it’s what I call a “gravel road fantasy,” as opposed to an urban one. I’ll have an original Eddie LaCrosse short story in The New Hero, Vol II, and a Sir Francis Colby short story (you might remember him from the opening chapter of Blood Groove) in Haunted: 11 Tales of Ghost Hunting

You can stalk Alex here: Website | Blog | Twitter
Read my review of Blood Groove

**GIVEAWAY DETAILS**
1. Giveaway is for one copy of The Girls With Games of Blood to one winner.
2. To enter, please leave a comment or question for Alex with your email address.
3. Giveaway is open to US/Canada addresses only.
4. Giveaway ENDS 8/19/11.

About the book:
Read my review of The Girls With Games of Blood
Listen to what I tell you, son, every word is true The sisters haunt the night, and might fight over you Nothing can steal your soul and stamp it in the mud Like being the new play-pretty for the girls with the games of blood . . .

The old song warns of the beautiful Bolade sisters, Patience and Prudence, whose undying rivalry was said to stretch even beyond the grave. But Count Rudolfo Vladimir Zginski has never heard the song. A suave Continental vampire, staked to death more than sixty years ago, he has risen to stalk the Southern nights of Memphis, Tennessee, circa 1975. Although new to the modern world, he has quickly developed a taste for its hot blood, willing women, and high-speed automobiles.

Yet the seventies are not without their perils, even for so cunning and ruthless a predator. Zginski’s insistent pursuit of a cherry 1973 Mach 1 Ford Mustang soon brings him into conflict with a legendary redneck sheriff with a short temper and a big baseball bat. His dangerous fascination with an enticing undead chanteuse and her equally seductive sister, threatens not only his own ageless existence, but that of the small group of modern-day vampires he has grudgingly taken under his wing. Zginski has already escaped limbo once, but can he free himself from the tangled web of the girls who play games of blood?

Alex Bledsoe, author of Blood Groove, returns to the world of the undead with a tale of fast cars and vengeance that never dies. . . .

26 Comments:

  1. Love the Memphis Vampires series! Anxious for more!

  2. Sounds interesting. My question is how do you feel your series differs from the rest of the genre? Oh would be interested in giving this is shot to see for myself:)

  3. The book sounds really interesting. can’t wait to read it.

  4. I can’t wait to read your books!

  5. I love Alex’s books a I have a nice stack of his and cannot wait for this new release. This was such a great post! Anticipation for it now!

    terilhack at yahoo dot com

  6. Blood Groove was a great book, I loved Dark Jenna also. this one sounds like it is also an epic fest. Can’t wait! Thanx for the giveaway and the post. Loved the interview.

  7. Alex, you are a new author to me but I hope to change that soon. I really like that “The Girls with Games of Blood” is set in the seventies! It should make for an interesting read.

  8. I’m glad you’re getting paid to write too 🙂 I love the two authors you chose to mention-I didn’t think anyone else knew too much about them. edysicecreamlover18@gmailDOTcom

  9. I’d love to read this as I don’t like sparkly vampires.

    Did you do any reserach for vampires?

  10. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that combined noir suspense and high fantasy, but I am very intrigued by the idea! I am really looking forward to reading this book, and anything else Alex writes 🙂

  11. Victoria Zumbrum

    Please enter me in contest. I would love to read your book and series. Sounds very good. Tore923@aol.com

  12. This looks awesome, thanks for the giveaway!

    jnmt3@hotmail.com

  13. Well this is certainly a new twist for me – thank you for sharing and for the wonderful giveaway opportunity.

    dz59001[at]gmail[dot]com

  14. Thanks to everyone for commenting! For the two of you who asked questions:

    Doc Redbat: I think my series is different for a couple of reasons, mainly locale and the nature of my vampires. First, it’s set in 1975 Memphis, a very specific time and place that, to my knowledge, hasn’t been used before. The nature of this allows me the leeway to comment on issues that are still relevant today, but with the hindsight of history to inform them. It’s also just a cool place. Secondly, my vampires are nihilistic and indiscriminately lethal. If you draw their eye, you may die. They can’t be reasoned with or, for the most part, defended against. Yet they were once human, and they still behave and think in recognizably human ways. I think it makes them more interesting to read about than (and no offense intended to those who like this sort of thing) the standard woeful romantic figure that you so often see. It certainly makes them more fun to write about.

    Wade2121: I did tons of research. I wanted to go back to the horror people felt at the idea of vampires, back when they thought they were real. In doing so, I discovered that the folkloric vampires were a far more varied and rich topic than what we’re used to (and this helped cement a central theme of “Blood Groove”: the idea that modern vampires only know about themselves from what they’ve seen in movies). Central texts were “The Vampire” and “The Vampire in Europe,” both by Montague Summers.

  15. Loved Dark Jenny and am glad to hear there’s another one coming – with pirates! Am looking forward to reading The Memphis Vampires Series…

  16. Intresting..
    Dark Jenny looks good I love the cover!!
    Kait
    Kait.Reader at gmail dot com

  17. Thanks so much!

    browneyedcutie95(at)gmail(dot)com

  18. Wow I am glad I read blogs..I find new authors to devour! Yippee for me.

    I am putting these on my list of books to pick up.
    Thanks for the post and the giveaway.
    musicalfrog at comcast dot net

  19. I haven’t had the chance to read any of Alex’s books yet, but I like the idea of an unsympathetic main character. Sorta like House but even more so and with vampires :). Thanks for the giveaway!

    mljfoland AT hotmail DOT com

  20. Pingback: Book Bits: Richelle Mead, Allison Pang, JR Ward, more and Contest Roundup | Vampire Book Club

  21. Raven In A Blue Room

    my question for Alex would be about his thoughts about vampires / vampire stories became so popular with Twilight and the vast of shallow literary outputs. How hard it is to compete

  22. I have never read anything by this Author but will have to add to my “to read list”, the books look really good! thanks for the chance to win!
    bluesun1218@dishmail.net

  23. Sounds very interesting, ill be adding this author to my list, thanks for the giveaway
    ang1549@gmail.com

  24. Thanks for the great post and give-away. I’m looking forward to learning more about these characters, especially Zginski – I can already tell I’m going to love him… 🙂

    mandy(at)fuse(dot)net

  25. haven’t read any of your books,but doesn’t mean i don’t intend to. i’m new to this kind of books.so i’m learning more everyday. please keep up the good reads. you are all appreicated.

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