Patrick Vaughn Bibliography
The Cure For The Curse - Reviewed by LoveVampires
LoveVampires Author Interview with Patrick Vaughn:
Patrick Vaughn on Patrick Vaughn
I love to write stories. I wrote before I got published, and I’ll continue to write even if I'm never printed again. It's been like this ever since my first short story assignment in 7th grade (for which I of course wrote a vampire tale). My life has gone many directions over the years, but my stories have been there with me all along. My fondest wish is that some reader, somewhere, will look up from my page, stare into space for a moment, and arrive at some insight into their own lives, their own predicaments, their own hearts. One reader would be enough. Otherwise I hope they say, upon closing the back cover, "Wow, that was a lot of fun."
Patrick Vaughn on The Cure For The Curse
What I like the most about the story is that my two protagonists are polar opposites in almost every respect... and yet they still have common ground, and a wondrous connection leading them to incredible self-discovery. I also love the theme that it doesn't matter how you're born, where you're from or what curse your family is fighting: your actions are all that really matter. And it's a fun read, if I say so myself.
What was your initial inspiration for writing The Cure For The Curse?
I had a dream that closed with a vision of the painting described in the book ("Homecoming") and I woke with that fuzzy early-morning confusion, unable to tell if I'd been looking at the painting or if I'd been inside it. That somehow led to the idea of dreamers who only experience the dreams of others, and putting someone like that in a world with the Orphans and seeing what happened. Then I let the story unfold from there.
Did you know from the beginning that The Cure For The Curse was going to be a YA novel?
Almost. I knew I wanted to write a story that the 15-year-old me would've liked, with the supernatural just beneath the surface and vampires that weren't necessarily evil and weren't all about seduction. I wasn't sure if that would make it a Young Adult novel. But as I progressed I found that I was treating the story like a chance to tell my 15-year-old self what I'd learned as an adult about that time of my life. So that made it pretty obvious who my audience should be.
Why do you think that people have such an enduring interest in vampires?
Because the metaphors are so plentiful! It could be said that vampires literally feed on suffering - you're only bleeding when you're hurt - and the fangs-in-the-neck embrace is the most intimate way I can come up with for a victim to be extinguished. And who hasn't been hurt by someone close to them, wondered how that person could possibly betray you so profoundly? How could that person sleep at night? It's a versatile metaphor, but the unifying theme is that vampires look human, more human than any other monster out there; and in our real lives, nothing under the sun can hurt us more profoundly than humans.
Thousands of would-be authors never see their work in print. How did it happen for you?
Slowly. I'd written a pretty good novel - far better than anything I'd ever written before - so I looked into getting it published. I got dozens of rejections from literary agencies and publishers, and was about to give up when an agent recommended that I have my work professionally edited. So I did, and I learned more about writing in that experience than every creative writing class I'd ever taken put together. I still got dozens more rejection letters, but when I finally did find a small publisher that was interested, I had a good product to start from. Even then I got lucky... but I think if you have a good, well-executed story, and you keep trying, you'll eventually find someone who wants to publish it.
Any advice for aspiring authors?
It can be difficult, but you must accept and learn from the criticism of others. It's really the only way to get better at this. Too often writers will say "screw that guy, this is my story, and I'll do what I want!", which is all well and good if you never want to see your work published - or worse, never want to create a story that can connect with a reader on some level. Because if you don't connect with the reader, you may as well just write a journal. Also, don't expect to make a living solely on your creative efforts. Only the best of the top of the cream of the best can do that. Get a day job that allows you the time on nights & weekends - or should I say early morning and Mondays? - to chase your dream. There's no shame in that.
As a reader, what recently published book(s) have you enjoyed and why?
They're not terribly recent, but I can't enough of Tim Powers's work (The Anubis Gates, Last Call, Declare). He writes contemporary fantasy, and his stories are amazing. They have below-the-radar supernatural features with their own complex logic and overwhelmed, regular-joe characters who are just doing the best they can to survive. He's thorough, astonishing and thrilling. I also like Christopher Moore. Any vampire fan should read "Bloodsucking Fiends: a Love Story."
Who is your favorite fictional vampire?
That's tough! I like the beleaguered protagonist in M.T. Anderson's "Thirsty", and Mina from Bram Stoker's is an old favorite (Winona Rider never looked better!), but right this second I'm going to go with Christa from "Blade: the Series." Good vampire television is very hard to come by, and I've really enjoyed what I've seen so far. Her character has beauty, guts, and is constantly wrestling with who she is and what she's become. I hope it stays on the air.
What's next for you?
I've got some appearances at bookstores and high schools on the horizon, but mostly I'll keep writing. I'm currently editing the sequel to The Cure For The Curse and have two more installments in the series already in the works. It's just a matter of time before they're all books on the shelf. Hopefully I can get lucky again and find an interested publisher. In the meantime I'm having fun with my website, offering more content in my particular universe to anybody that would like to enjoy it. Even if that just turns out to be my circle of friends. I'd love to hear from fellow readers and/or writers. My email box is always open.
4th October 2006