Recently, we got a chance to hang out with The Living and the Undead author Rob Stennett. We’ve gotten quite a few questions about this book. Amish Vampires? What kind of novel is this? We thought it best you hear it right from the man who created this incredible story.
1. Why did you write this book? How did the story come about?
I thought of combining the two-bestselling elements on the market and creating a Vampire Amish mashup. But when I started writing it I realized that someone who has been forbidden for his entire life from committing any sort of violence—and now he has to kill to survive—is the beginning of a great thriller.
Even if Eli’s nature wanted him to kill I think the way he was raised would not let him just start acting like a full-blown vampire. I guess that’s part of what makes this story so different. Most times a person is bit and then they start acting like a vampire the next day sticking their fangs in the necks of anyone who walks. But this lifestyle goes so fully against Eli’s worldview, I don’t know if he would ever willingly kill someone to survive even though that’s what vampires are “supposed” to do.
2. Why should people read TLAU? What do you hope we take away from it?
I’ll give three quick answers here:
1) The story. When I read something I want it to be a great story, to keep my interest, and to be surprised by the ways the characters twist and turn.
2) It’s episodic. You can read the full story in the time it takes you to watch a season of TV. This is so different for a novel series. Harry Potter lasted around 10 years; it took a few years in between each Twilight book; it took 36 years between the Shining and Dr. Sleep; but this story happens so quickly you can engage with it. You can read and episode, guess what is going to happen next, and a couple of weeks later another episode is released. It lets the reader experience fiction in the same way we experience other episodic story telling. And that’s exciting.
3) I think in life any of us can have certain desires that we know are disastrous, or at the very least they go against the way we were taught to behave, but those desires are still there. How do we wrestle with those things? What does that say about us? This is story that explores those questions.
He has to learn what it means to be a vampire. And here’s the thing: If you or I were turned into a vampire we would have some idea of what we’re supposed to do.
But he’s Amish. He didn’t grow up reading Ann Rice or watching Dracula. He has no idea what vampires do—let alone how to act like one. I think you’re going to be surprised by some of the ways he reacts to what he has become.
Thanks Rob! Now, is your curiosity piqued? Lucky for you, the book is available for only $3.99 at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iTunes. And check back in just a couple weeks for Episode 2 to be released. You’ll find out what happens to our favorite Amish va… Oops. Don’t want to give away too much!