This month sees the publication of The Endangered by S L Eaves. In support of her novel the author is participating in a blog tour and has agreed to be our Twelfth Night Interview for this month. But first let’s take a look at what her book is about.
S&D Industries is a prominent pharmaceutical company based in New York. It has, for many years, appeared to exist only for the benefit of humanity, and this year's chief product seems no different. The company's CEO, whom we know only as Striden, announces the imminent delivery of a powerful flu vaccine. The true purposes of S&D are anything but philanthropic, however. The newly-engineered drug does not protect against flu. It turns people into werewolves.
The only group which stands a chance of resisting this change is a population of vampires. The foremost of them, who go by the name of The Endangered, are determined to turn back the mass werewolf infestation. Among them are an ambitious rebel named Catch, and Lori, Catch's newly-turned protégé. Catch has brought this treacherous world to Lori's doorstep and both their worlds are turned upside-down in the process. Secrets are exposed, alliances are formed. Blood is spilled as the vampires must do everything in their power to preserve both their own kind and that of their food supply.
The Interview with S L Eaves:
1. Your first book, The Endangered, was just released; what will you tell us about it?
It’s a story about a small clan of vampires who are trying to take on rapidly spreading, dangerous packs of werewolves and discover that they are planning to infect the masses through dispersing a virus masked as a vaccine to the human population.
The readers are pulled into this world through the eyes of the main character, a newly turned vampire who does not know anything about what’s going on and is resistant to get involved. We see her struggle with conflicted feelings towards her maker and the other vampires, but ultimately as she realizes what they are fighting for and decides to take up their cause. Blood, violence, and chaos ensues.
2. What made you decide to write a Vampire vs. Werewolf novel?
I started writing it when I was taking a Slavic course on ‘Vlad the Impaler’ and the origins of vampire mythology in college. I enjoyed Buffy the Vampire Slayer as a teenager, but otherwise was not really into the genre until started reading about the history of Eastern Europe (I happened to be taking a horror film course at the time which didn’t hurt). Then, seeing how pop culture has treated these horror icons in recent years - with the romanticizing and “de-fanging” - I set out to write a story that would find a happy medium between the current trend of modernized, likeable paranormal creatures and their horror roots. I wanted to stay true to the mythology but still make it relatable to a present-day audience.
3. Which is your favorite; Vampires or Werewolves?
4. Was this book at all influenced by the Underworld movie series or the Twilight novels?
Underworld somewhat. I had a good portion of the manuscript written before I saw the Underworld movies (which were very cool) and actually changed some of the plot because of the similarities in the storyline about vampires hunting werewolves.
My novel is more heavily influenced by Fight Club, though. It takes the concept of cult like terrorist groups forming around the globe to create mayhem and applies it to werewolf packs plotting a bioterrorism attack, dealing in weapons, and infecting humans.
I have not read the Twilight books. I did see parts of a couple of the films, but, well let’s just say I am not their target audience.
5. What themes do you explore in this book?
The book challenges conventional notions of good and evil. Many of the characters have good intentions but they do unsavory things to achieve a “greater good.” The story tests a lot of the character’s moral integrity and forces the characters to show their true colors, wrestle with inner demon; those types of themes. Many of the characters are trying to figure out who they are, what motivates them and who they can trust.
Other themes deal with aspects of violence, death, grief, revenge; lots of acts of violence are carried out by characters who don’t consider themselves bad or violent and are haunted by their actions… or are coming to realize they are not the hero they make themselves out to be to justify their actions and in turn have to deal with being the “bad guy” in the story and a transformation results from this (very film noir anti-hero).
There is a family theme too. The main clan of vampires, having bonded together over decades of war, does operate like a family unit. So family bonds are formed and themes of love, faith, and sacrifice are interlaced in the plot.
6. What are you most passionate about?
This is a tough one… writing? Haha. At the risk of sounding even more cliché I’d say “happiness” in the broad sense – finding what makes you happy, making others happy, having the courage pursue the things that make life worth living.
7. You earned a degree in Film from the University of Pittsburgh; if The Endangered were to be made into a film, how involved would you want to be in the adaptation process?
I’d be as involved as the studio would let me. I’d want to help find the right people for the project – people that share my vision – and then trust them to carry it out. Having worked on a number of film sets, I’d be able to lend input, but only if I truly felt I could help; ultimately I’d trust professionals. I wouldn’t want to be that writer on set criticizing decisions and slowing production. You have the respect the shift in medium from book to film. And I’d write the screenplay version if asked.
8. Which authors do you feel have had the most influence on you and on this book?
Some of my biggest influences are (in no particular order): Agatha Christie, Raymond Chandler, Lawrence Block, Ken Follett, Tom Clancy, Bret Easton Ellis, Charlie Huston, Chuck Palahniuk, Stieg Larsson, Stephen King, Anne Rice, Charles Bukowski … and a number of detective fiction writers both past a present.
9. What is your favorite book and why?
Hard to pick a favorite... The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is one of the best books I’ve read in recent years, so I’ll go with that. Or the whole trilogy if I’m allowed :-)
10. What other projects are on your radar for the near future?
I’m working on a sequel to The Endangered right now. Look for it to be out sometime in 2015. And I have another manuscript I’d like to revisit and complete within the next year. It’s pulp/crime fiction project, not fantasy – I’d like to try my hand at different genres or genre-blending, rather.
11. What do you want your legacy to be?
Someone who can tell a story you want to read; a storyteller who has the ability to draw you in and make you care what happens next, and inspires you to tell your own.
12. Where can readers find you on the internet?
S.L. Eaves Bio:
Presently, Stephanie L. Eaves is a graduate student at Drexel University, pursuing her MBA. She received her undergraduate degree in Film from University of Pittsburgh. Originally from West Chester, PA., she lived in Pittsburgh and Minneapolis before returning to the Philadelphia area, where she currently resides. Stephanie's professional background is in marketing, primarily in the media and publishing industries. She sort of fell into marketing when she got tired of per diems on film sets and wanted a steady gig. She enjoys being in an environment that promotes creativity.
Stephanie loves to write. She's taken a number of writing courses with a focus on crime fiction and earned a certificate in Professional Writing while attending Pitt. She's also really into fitness, especially running and biking in her free time. While she readily confesses to being a bit of a film and television junkie, music has always been a huge influence in nearly every aspect of her life, and she believes there’s nothing like a good live band.
When home, she's never without a book in arm’s reach.