Saturday, February 8, 2014

Guest post by Scott Burtness, author of WISCONSIN VAMP

Today's post is written by Scott Burtness, author of Wisconsin VampScott Burtness lives in the Midwest with his wonderful wife Liz and their boxer/pitt mix, Frank. Literary influences include Douglas Adams, James Morrow and John Myers Myers. Cinematic influences include Joss Whedon, Simon Pegg and pretty much everything Monty Python ever did.

I asked Scott to tell us a little about his vampire mythology and specifically ways in which his vampires are different or similar to the vampires in other books, and his post reflects the same humor and love of the Average Joe that's in his book. Buon appetito! ;)

Sympathy for the Devil by Scott Burtness

The seeds of my debut novel, Wisconsin Vamp, were planted back when I had hair. The bathroom light bulb went out, and I found myself trying to groom in the dark. Sympathy for the devil ensued. Becoming a vampire must really be a pain.
For what it’s worth, there are a lot of vampires one could emulate, from Angel to Zafrina. Villains like Dracula, David, Vlad, Lestat, Kurt Barlow, or Spike, depending on the episode. Unlikely heroes like Barnabas Collins, Bill Compton, or Spike, depending on the episode. Want to be a vampire for the kids? Count von Count. Want to be ugly? Nosferatu. Hot? Louis de Pointe du Lac or Eric Northman. And let’s not forget the ladies. Miriam Blaylock, Akasha, Janette DuCharme, Drussila, Selene, and Lily Munster, Countess of Shroudshire. There’s even a vampire role model for people who want to be sparkly. (Sorry. Twilight jokes are just too easy.)

Despite the plethora of vampires, though, it still feels like the average Joe, once bitten, really only has two choices: to be beautiful, classy, heroic, witty, rich and all kinds of kick-ass, or ugly, shady, treacherous, diabolical, murderous, and just plain rotten. Either way, that’s a lot to expect from a regular guy who suddenly can’t comb his hair.

With these thoughts in mind, I decided to write about Herb Knudsen. A truck stop diner cook and mediocre bowler, Herb was as bland as cheese curds without ketchup before he became a vampire. He doesn’t want to save the world or destroy it. He just wants to play pool, go bowling, and maybe, just maybe, get a date with Lois. But he can’t drink beer, the bodies are piling up, and his best friend Dallas is getting suspicious.

Here’s an excerpt from Wisconsin Vamp. It is available on (ebook or paperback).

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Wisconsin Vamp is the tale of Herb Knudsen, a lonely truck stop diner cook and mediocre bowler. Herb was as bland as cheese curds without ketchup… until he became a vampire.

Fumbling with his newfound abilities, Herb learns the hard way that being special isn’t easy. Sure, the local stripper wants him, and yes, he is a lot better at bowling… But he can't drink beer, the bodies are piling up, and his best friend Dallas is getting suspicious.

Booze, billiards, bake sales, blood, bowling, babes, bar fights and karaoke. Who’da thunk being undead would make life so exciting?

What Dallas had dubbed “The Big Letdown of 2003” was buzzing at the front of Herb’s brain as he dressed in his bowling best. After a long, steaming hot shower, he donned his best jeans, clean undershirt, and the new, 100-percent cotton bowling jerseys they had ordered special for this year’s finals. It was one of the few times Dallas’s optimism had really paid off. Toward the end of the season, when their odds of making the finals actually seemed better than their odds of winning the lotto, he’d decided to take a leap of faith and ordered new jerseys. 
The jerseys were top-of-the-line. Custom made by a specialty t-shirt shop in Oconomowoc, they were black with dark red trim on the lapels, red piping on the sleeves and matching, blood red buttons. Nice, sure, but it wasn’t the piping or buttons that made them magical. The trio had sent a photo with their order form. Further art direction was provided by Dallas over the phone, with Herb and Stanley offering helpful suggestions over his shoulder. The resulting airbrushed caricature of the trio on the back of the jersey was more than they could’ve ever hoped for. 
Dallas had opened the plastic bag containing the first jersey, drawing the smooth fabric out of the bag with the care and attention paleontologists reserve for the most precious of fossils. The three sighed in unison, stunned by the beauty of the airbrushed artistry on the black fabric. As the team captain, Dallas was in the center, with Herb to one side and Stanley to the other. Rather than typical caricatures accentuating flaws in comic fashion, the airbrush artist had latched onto their best features and brought them out in sophisticated detail. Dallas’s strong chin and sharp jaw looked stronger and sharper, his head tilted slightly forward over a broad chest. Herb’s stubble-clad cheeks looked rugged rather than frumpy, and his rebellious hair, captured perfectly by the artist, conveyed edgy and hip instead ofdisheveled hedgehog. Even Stanley looked tough. Their expressions were serious, focused, committed. Arced above them in pearly white, the words “King and the Pins” virtually glowed with divine radiance. Each of them held a bowling ball in front of their chest, each ball depicting a word from the phrase “You’re. Going. Down.” They were professional jerseys, powerful jerseys, winning jerseys. 
Herb slid his arms into the sleeves and buttoned the front. He rolled his shoulders, grunting in satisfaction and smiling a wicked smile when he felt the fabric slide and whisper awesome.

Links to buy Wisconsin Vamp:

1 comment:

  1. Download Wisconsin Vamp for FREE Thursday, 2/13 and Friday, 2/14!