My friend David McAfee wrote an amazing novel, entitled, 33 A.D. I've read it and it is splendid, IMHO. :-D
According to David's blog, "33 A.D. is the story of a vampire in Biblical Jerusalem who is sent to assassinate Jesus of Nazareth." In David's tale, vampires used Pontius Pilate and Judas to further their cause. It is an intricately woven tale of suspense and horror. This novel deserves some attention.
David's UK publisher, Ghostwriter Publications, will release David's novel around June 2010. Since David's previous agent did not sell his U.S. rights, David decided to release the U.S. version himself, but he is still seeking representation and a U.S. publisher. ;-) And this novel deserves both.
I conducted an interview with David about his work. A contest will follow thereafter. :-D
Demon Hunter--1.) How did you come up with the concept for 33 A.D. And did you ever imagine it would offend anyone?
David McAfee: 33 A.D. was inspired by the book Violent Sands, by Sean Young. Violent Sands (Breakneck Books, 2006 – now an imprint of Variance Publishing) is the story of Barabbas, the murderer set free by Pilate instead of Jesus. Young’s book is incredible in its ability to take you back to that time and place, and while I read it, I started to think about what else might have been lurking in the shadows and I started to wonder what a vampire in Biblical Jerusalem would have thought of all the hoopla surrounding Jesus. Viola! The concept for 33 A.D. was born.
I did worry about people getting offended, and I still do. Some people already have, and they let me know about it, too. But the book isn’t meant to be offensive, it’s just a story. I tried pretty hard to get a lot of the details as close to the Bible as possible, which was a real challenge for me because I’m not especially religious. (I bought my first Bible while writing the book and used it for research) But there is only so much you can do when you insert a vampire into the New Testament, and there are people who will not be interested. Thankfully, I have several friends who are deeply Christian and they helped me out (Jeremy Robinson Aprilynne Pike, etc.) by reading it and making sure I didn’t screw up too badly. ;)
DH-- 2.) Why do you prefer to write in the horror genre?
DM--That’s a harder question than it seems, because I don’t necessarily prefer to write horror, I just write what I like and it is what it is. I like vampires, but I don’t care for the romantic’s view of them. I like vampires with bite (no pun intended), so I think that is what makes this a horror novel rather than an urban fantasy. That said, if you’ve read any of my short stories, well…those are definitely horror. Huh. I just blather on, don’t I?
DH--3.) How long have you been writing?
DM--I wrote a kids’ book when I was six, does that count? I even illustrated it. It was titled TIGGER MEETS LADY TIGGER. Obviously it violated all sorts of copyright laws, and my parents were far more aware of such things than I was. But I was proud. I’d written a book. At twelve, I started my first horror novel about a giant mutant cat that escaped from a geneticist’s lab and terrorized a small town. A few weeks into writing it I discovered girls, and that piece of fiction remains unfinished to this day. But I’ve only been trying to get published for about 5 years now.
DH--4.) What is your writing dream?
DM--I would love to quit my day job. I know that’s kinda lame, but that’s it. Really. It wouldn’t even take much because my day job doesn’t pay all that well.
DH--5.) Who are some of your writing influences?
DM--Hmmm…there are a lot of them. King, Crichton, R.A. Salvatore, Margaret Weis and Tracey Hickman, Terry Brooks, Terry Goodkind, P.N. Elrod, and several dozen others who helped warp my mind just enough to want to write the weird stuff that comes from my head.
DH--6.) What else are you working on?
DM--33 AD has been taking up a lot of my time, but there are a few things in the pipeline that are growing nicely. Another vampire book, BAIT, is most likely the next novel-length fiction I will write. I love that story, it’s about a guy who uses himself as bait to catch and kill vampires, and he has a very unique method of doing so, but that’s all I’m going to say for now. Keep your eyes and ears open.
DH--7.) Do you think you'll ever write in another genre? If so, what?
DM--Other than horror? Probably, but I’m one of those annoying people that always tends to think of worst case scenarios. I’ll see someone’s discarded grocery list in a parking lot and wonder if they were attacked before they could finish shopping, or I’ll see a dog riding in the back of some guy’s pickup and start thinking up reasons for the dog not to be in the cab. Usually I come up with things like the dog is vicious and would eat the driver, or it’s possessed and the driver is taking it to an exorcism. That’s just how my mind works. So most of the time when I get an idea for a story, it’s not pretty. That said, I do have one or two non-horror projects in the pipeline, including YA and MG projects.
DH--8.)Do you have to have silence while you write or do you prefer music?
DM--Silence. I used to write to the soundtrack from DRACULA, but I didn’t want it to become a crutch, you know what I mean? So now I close the door to my writing room and tune everything out.
David agreed to give away a signed copy of 33 A.D. to one lucky commenter. All you have to do is leave a comment. If you do not have a blog with your e-mail address listed, please list your e-mail address as follows: your e-mail (AT) wherever (DOT) com, so the spam bots won't send you junk mail. The contest is open to anyone. The contest will end on March 1, 2010 at 11:59 p.m. EST.