Elena Hearty has written one of the best books I've read this year. Donor is a fresh and welcomed take on vampires. She has also become one of my favorite people to talk to. Look for her to be on my show, Diabolical Radio, right after Christmas.
KR: When did you decide to write a book? And why?
EH: When I was a kid, I suffered from crippling bouts of insomnia. I'd be stuck lying awake for hours every night with nothing to do. To pass the time, I'd make up stories. And I always told myself I'd write them all down some day. I told myself that for over twenty years. Eventually, I started feeling guilty for not following through. One day in February 2010, I forced myself to open the computer and start typing. I'd never felt so stupid, though, so after a few sentences I slammed the laptop shut and decided to forget about the whole thing. But the next evening, I was back at it. I was addicted. Before I knew it, I'd written a novel, and it was the most fun I've ever had in my life.
KR: Are vampires something you've always enjoyed, or was this new territory for you?
EH: My parents never monitored my book or movie intake, so I wound up reading 'Interview with the Vampire' when I was in third grade. Now, at that age, most of the novel went right over my head, but it still left a profound impression on me. Anne Rice has been a great disappointment ever since (I'm not a fan), but with this book she took what amounted to a decent guy and forced him to compromise his morality. And she did this in such a natural way that I became fascinated by the idea. That - to me - is the essence of horror. It isn't about being frightened, but about what being frightened does to people. It's about the choices we make out of fear.
KR: Your book, Donor, explores vampires in a fresh light that I enjoy, was this intentional? Were you tired of the sparkling vampires, and the anger that most horror fans have toward them?
EH: Do I consider my characters a backlash to the Twilight phenomenon? Not really. Twilight is a paranormal romance, and that genre is as far from horror - in my opinion - as cookbooks; you just can't compare the two. Vampires also come in so many varieties that I don't think there is a 'correct' way to write them. That's actually part of what makes them so much fun. With that said, I'm not a fan of sparkling vampires, or sparkling people in general, and that's why they don't wind up in my novels. Assholes, on the other hand, now those are the kinds of characters I can relate to.
KR: And last but not least, Why are you so awesome?
EH: Game, mothafucka.
KR: Whoops. I meant to say - Name three vampire movies or books or a combination of both that have always stood out to you.
EH: 1. Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire. 2. I have a holy trinity of vamp movies from the 80's: Lost Boys, Near Dark, Fright Night. 3. Dracula (my favorite movie interpretation is the Hammer Horror with Peter Cushing). This is another story that captured my imagination as a child, and it's actually the one that inspired my book. Jonathan Harker trapped in Dracula's castle. Wow. What a great concept. I never understood why more vampire stories didn't explore that idea.
Donor is available in all eBook formats. You may purchase it here!
The Trade Paperback will be released this spring.