The Vampire’s Boy by Theda Black


Title: The Vampire’s Boy
Author: Theda Black
Publisher: TKB Books
Pages: 189
Characters: Jared, Levi and Jordan
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Paranormal
Kisses: 4




Blurb:

Jared is your typical confused youth of today. All about the sex, drugs and rock n’ roll, his whole world is flipped upside down one night while walking home. A close encounter of the supernatural kind makes his views of everything spiral about him as he tries to grasp reality and get his life straight, along with his best friend Jordan, who isn’t ready to grow up just yet. Jared loves Jordan, but wishes it was enough.

Jordan is living in the moment. He loves his vices and loves hanging out with his best friend Jared. He still wants to do his drugs and have fun, confused at why Jared has been acting off and odd and pushing him away. He doesn’t know the secret his friend is hiding.

Levi, a creature of the night, turned by a rogue vampire, has become obsessed. Obsessed with his first “feast” that lived through the attack. Levi, though not evil, is a tragic villain from what has happened to his young, human life. But he can’t get Jared from his head. He is always on his mind. And his taste, always on his tongue.

Can Jordan get to Jared before it’s too late? Will he find out his secret and save his friend, his love, from the monster that wants every bit of Jared? And will Jared be able to break away from the creature of the night before he loses, not only Jordan, but his life as well?

Review:

The best thing about this story is, in an interesting way, Theda managed to make a coming of age story mix well with that supernatural suspense. She also doesn’t stray from the use of drugs and alcohol, which many teens get wrapped in with. The love the two boys have for each other is very real and very intense, being best friends first and then realizing that there is something more. It’s very sweet, but also very sad. Jared just wants to protect Jordan from Levi, even willing to put up his own life for him. I do enjoy the obsession Levi has for Jared. And how Jared doesn’t like it, but does all at the same time. Even with his love for Jordan there. Levi is a favorite of mine because, although he is the “bad guy”, he is also a tragic story all in himself. Not having the choice to be changed and having to deal with everything on his own. Showing that there are reasons for even the villains to be just that. Theda also makes the sex scenes very steamy and very visual, giving the book even more intensity.

I highly suggest this read. Especially for those all for the supernatural and even ones that haven’t gotten into the genre before.

Reviewed By: Seth

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>Theda Black Interview

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Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions, Theda. We are very excited and can’t wait to learn more about you. Can you tell us a little bit about your background?
I’m from Tennessee—moved up north to Philly after high school, sold ice cream for fun one summer, then stayed on across the river in New Jersey awhile before coming back home. I love the mountains. They’re my home, although the beach is right up there in terms of where I love to be, too. My parents and my brother and I used to make annual trips to Panama City Beach when I was very young—we’d go camping in a huge green tent. I remember heat and bugs and jarflies and moss hanging from the trees. The water of the inlet where we stayed was like crystal. Mostly when I’m writing I set my stories in or around the mountains (so far).

What was your first book and how long did it take to get it published?
After Anna – I sent it to eXtasy books somewhat casually, thinking I didn’t have much of a shot. I remember Tina, the owner, reading what I had sent and asking me “where’s the sex?” They’re an erotica publisher and so they’ve got to have explicit scenes, and yet here I am sending them a couple of chapters with no sex/sexual tension in it at all. I remember thinking, well, it’s not time for the guys to have sex yet, so I hope she doesn’t ask me to put it in there prematurely. She didn’t. She asked for the rest of the story, read it, told me it was good and she published it. I love Tina. She’s practical and blunt, honest and supportive of her authors.

How many books have you written thus far?
Three that are published. After Anna, the follow-up Touch Like Breathing, and the new story involving different characters, Beneath the Neon Moon. They’re all novellas, actually. I only have one unpublished work that’s close to what I’d call a novel and I’ve had it for years, so who knows if it’ll get done. It’s an early effort and it calls for a lot of re-writes, but there’s potential in it, so I’m pretty sure I’ll get it finished. It’s from my alter-ego anyway, Klaudia Bara. A vampire story. Aside from that, as Theda, I have two rough drafts finished and another work in progress.

When did you start writing gay romance? What about this genre interested you the most?
I don’t know how to categorize what I write, but gay romance is close, I guess. There are some presuppositions when you label a story as romance and I don’t think my work always fits, but I will say my focus is always primarily the relationship in the story. I’m interested in writing about men who fall hard for each other, to the point that the strength of their feelings is bewildering for them and feels somewhat out of control. I also like to put them through hell. Nothing comes easy for my characters except maybe their feelings for each other. I have fun exploring that all-consuming passion coupled with a trial or ten for them to get through.

Do you write full time?
No way no how. I’d love to do so, though.

Looking back was there something in particular that helped you to decide to become a writer? Did you choose it or did the profession choose you?
I like creative things and I go through phases, but writing seems to be the thing that took. I actually started writing when I was little and then got away from it for years, turning instead to art, photography, then gardening… then I wrote a thing or two for fun on the internet and it was just so much fun and fulfilling. Now when I don’t have a writing project in mind I feel aimless and unhappy.

On a typical writing day, how would you spend your time?
Writing, revising, sometimes screwing around on the internet depending on how focused I am that day. I’ve resolved more than a few problems while taking a walk. I’ll email bits to a close friend of mine, too – she encourages me a lot.

When it comes to plotting, do you write freely or plan everything in advance?
Mostly start out with a plan – a launching point. If I’m lucky it flows freely and I get to go with it. Most often I start writing and then find myself stuck in a corner, or have some logistics problem and have to figure my way out. I’m just not thoughtful and organized enough to have a tidy, lovely master plan all nice and neat. I wish I was. You know what it’s really mostly about for me? Setting up a scenario and then asking ‘what if’ questions about it.

What kind of research do you do before and during a new book?
Depends entirely upon the story. One of the rough drafts I mentioned involves a vampire and two young men. I researched how a doctor might treat a patient for blood loss and didn’t end up needing the information because treatment didn’t end up in the story at all. At one point I’d planned part of the story to take place in a psychiatric hospital, so I did some research for that. I ended up not needing that info, either, because I ditched that whole scenario. I researched snake ladies and what kind of foods come on a stick (yes, I really did) for a scene at a state fair. Another story, EROMENOS, caused me to end up buying a pan pipes CD and a perfume called PAN. That’s not really research, is it?

How much of yourself and the people you know manifest into your characters?
My youth manifests itself in the stories, I’ve noticed. Back when I was invincible.I go back and revisit some of the fearless times. One of the stories I’ve been working on is pretty close to a coming of age situation (if you were to come of age with a vampire stalking you).

How do you approach development of your characters? Where do you draw the line?
I sketch them out in my head in the beginning, their traits and their past. It varies. They always develop more during the course of the story. I’m not quite sure what the question about drawing the line means, but there aren’t a lot of hard and fast rules for much of anything in my brain. Makes me chafe.

How long does it take for you to complete a book you would allow someone to read?
I send it along to the one friend I mentioned before as it unfolds, very rough, in chunks of paragraphs. I’ll also send a really rough draft to my illustrator friend, Sonja, if she wants to see it at that point. Aside from those two, almost no one sees the story until it’s polished. Editing is an incredible, insane process for me, involving a lot of expectations, self-exasperation and a blue million words axed and rearranged. I make myself crazy.

If you weren’t sitting there right this very moment answering our book of questions, what else would you be doing?
Right now I’d be reading.

Do you write straight through, or do you revise as you go along?
Revise revise. Revise. And revise.

Writers often go on about writer’s block. Do you ever suffer from it, and what measures do you take to get past it?
I have had a very serious problem with writer’s block, but writer’s block encompasses more than an inability to write. For me it is as much about being tired and procrastinating and being interrupted over and over until I can’t stay inspired. It’s about duty within the family versus claiming time for myself. It’s self-defeatist and it’s about being my own worst enemy. It’s picking everything I do apart until I am paralyzed with it. The inability to produce anything defeated me until I allowed myself to throw words out that felt clumsy and fragmented and ugly and useless and kept doing it until they started feeling like they had life in them again. It was very hard. I’m not over it but I know more of how to deal with it.

When someone reads one of your books for the first time, what do you hope they gain, feel, or experience?
I just want to tell a story. I hope they get involved with it and that it moves them. I hope they care about the characters and the things they go through. I hope it means something to them, somehow – I want to strike some commonality of feeling.

Does the title of a book you’re writing come to you as you’re writing it, or does it come before you even begin the first sentence?
Rarely before. Sometimes it comes easily as I’m writing it and sometimes it’s like trying on a million damn pair of jeans. My friend basically named Beneath the Neon Moon. She’s my idea girl.

How would you describe your sense of humor? Who and what makes you laugh?
Stupid, stupid things. Vulgar, shouted things, improbable, outrageous, ridiculous, rude, in-your-face things.

What is the most frequently asked Theda question?
What’s for dinner?

What are you working on now?
I’m taking a break and thinking about a sequel for Beneath the Neon Moon. Next I’ll be editing The Vampire’s Boy for publication.

What was the best piece of advice you’ve received with respect to the art of writing? How did you implement it into your work?
I remember this and think it’s really important, but I don’t think it came from any one source: keep your characters IN CHARACTER and let the story follow.

When it comes to promotion, what lengths have you gone to in order to increase reader-awareness of your work?
I don’t go to lengths I’m too uncomfortable with because it makes me, er, uncomfortable. I’m not a salesman in an age when an author needs to be just that.

Writing is obviously not just how you make your living, but your life-style as well. What do you do to keep the creative “spark” alive – both in your work and out of it?
I have to read and think about new things and ideas that delight and inspire me or I’m dull as dishwater. I read some pretty weird things, let me tell you.

What pros and cons surround the e-publishing industry, and how do you envision the future of e-publishing?
To me, the pro involves genre writers finding the small niches and filling them in as their interests lead them. More freedom, basically, for the writer. Con: there’s a lot of clutter and confusion and chaos while e-publishing sorts itself out. The future’s going to be a big, crowded, noisy market with the success stories reserved for the sellers who understand what their customers want and deliver on convenience and ease of use.

What kind of books do you like to read?
GLBT, classic horror, psychological horror, fiction so bad it makes me happy and my teeth hurt, erotica in general, vampires (scary, not sexy, unless they’re scary AND sexy), weres, stories whose authors completely suck me into whatever world they’ve built or scenario they’ve proposed, coming of age works, and angsty, rough, break your heart and put it back together stories.

What is your favorite TV show?
Supernatural. I am also really fond of Justified, Dark Blue (TNT) and oh-my-God over the top SPARTACUS. Batiatus FTW! I love him.

Without getting up, can you tell us what’s under your bed? (yep, another sneaky question.)
Things with black faces and dead red eyes. Ha, I’m kidding. I AM. Maybe I am.

If you weren’t a writer what would you be?
A rich mofo. I’m sure.

Lemons or Limes?
In anime, lemon means sexually explicit, yes? As opposed to lime? If you *actually* mean fruit, well, I love a limeade – lots of ice, a lemon-lime soda and sliced lime—hits the spot in the summer.

When it comes to the covers of your books, what do you like or dislike about them?
I love the Beneath the Neon Moon cover. It has texture and drama, sort of a grunge thing going on, and there’s a really pretty fellow on there. And chains.

Aside from writing, what else do you enjoy doing?
Reading, hiking, being with my kids when they aren’t arguing, being with my husband when neither of us is being a bitch. Girl’s Night Out, cheap wine and cable TV. Maybe some Dante’s Cove.

Any special projects coming out soon we should watch for?
The Vampire’s Boy comes out next, so if you like vampires and best friends growing up and finding themselves in love with each other, you might enjoy it.

New writers are always trying to glean advice from those with more experience. What suggestions do you have for new writers?
I don’t feel qualified, truthfully, but maybe for a very new writer, I can offer this: write a hundred words, then edit it with clarity and brevity in mind. Cut out at least twenty to thirty words. Then go back and cut out your own ego, dramatic flourishes and needless verbosity and hope like hell what’s left is worth reading. If it isn’t, try try again. That sounds harsh when I meant it to sound practical. If the new writers out there are anything like I was, they’re ready to argue it, too.

Can you please tell us where we can find you and your books on the Internet?
Easiest thing is go to my website: http://blackbara.net

Hot Pink or Yellow and why?
No. Just no. Okay, yellow for sunshine and black-eyed Susans. But I wanted black.

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Beneath The Neon Moon

by Theda Black
Sonja Triebel (Illustrator)
TKB Books
Length: 82 Pages
Characters: Zach and Mal
POV: Third person
Setting: College
Genre: Gay, Paranormal/Horror, Romance, Wolves
Book Cover Rating: 5
5 KISSES
Buy Here

Blurb:

Zach’s lived a rough life, but it taught him how to take care of himself. Until now, anyway. He’s alone, he’s lost his job and the rent’s coming due. He thinks he knows what bad luck is. He doesn’t. Mal’s the golden boy who had it all in high school. Then he threw it away. Now he’s back on track, working his way through college and looking toward the future – until he attracts the attention of the wrong group of people. They’ve never met. Then one summer night everything changes. Suddenly they’re in desperate trouble, trapped and bound together in darkness. And in less than forty-eight hours, one of them is going wolf.

Review:

Zach lost his drunken father in his early years at the young age of seventeen, and although he was never verbally or mentally abused by the man, he was very much neglected while his pop went on his endless drunken binges which were frequent leaving Zach to fend for himself. Zach raised himself and the details will show you his life was skid row, just making it to even live. The story does touch on Zach’s growing up with the thoughts back to the time in early years between him and his dad. The good, the bad and how he supported himself to pay the rent in order to have a roof over his head. That part was appalling.

Mal goes to college, he’s only maybe a year or two younger than Zach, but is paying his own way. Out one night with his friends he’s attached and bitten by a wolf, of course. The two men wake up in a basement together, shackled together with Zach knowing from the hands of his captors that he’s going to be Mal’s first meal the sacrificial lamb led to the slaughter when he turns and Mal only finding this out on the day he’s going to turn which is harsh. During those three days and short time they have together they conform a deep seated bond between them.

I don’t usually go into the specifics of a story like I’ve just done here, but I found the story somewhat disturbing. Zach is chosen to be Mal’s meal also known as the initiation into the pack because he’s alone in life and nobody is going to miss him or even look for him. He’s alone, period. To me Zach has had a hard enough life in short years without having this happen to him. Mal assures Zach that he won’t hurt him, but really will he? Zach is unsure as he awaits his pending doom.

Now this is where I’m going to be really cunning and refrain from saying anything further than you’ll have to read the story yourself to find out how it’s all going to end. :snickering:

In many aspects this story is saddening, touching and exceptionally well written. A mix of emotions that will throttle your mind will assail you. From each moment it’s unpredictable what will happen next. In this short story that is only 82 pages and I would have liked to have read more about both Mal and Zach’s backgrounds, getting to know or read more of it about them I could still connect with them both in that short of pages time. Both characters have character. First book I read of Theda’s and it won’t be the last. I definitely would like more and the author of this book drew me into the book which speaks for itself. Nicely done.

Reviewer: Sidney