Yesterday, the offerings on Amazon got a little cooler, because sexy, creepy author Sara Dobie Bauer’s short story “Forever Dead” became available for purchase. And you should go buy it now. Because the story follows star-crossed lovers—one, a centuries-old vampire and advocate for his race, and the other, a human and renowned vampire hunter who likes a little pain along with his pleasure—who are as gritty, dirty, and complicated as the city of crime they live in. I mean, who doesn’t want to read about that?
I recently sat down with Sara to pick her brain regarding this project and the interview itself was just as fun as reading “Forever Dead.”
What inspired you to write “Forever Dead?” How did it come about?
In order to get to sleep at night, I make up stories in my head. I had this one image that kept coming back: What if a vampire attacked a human, and instead of being afraid, the human got turned on and the blood-sucking turned into an amazing shag? My lead boys, Dario and Zach, grew from this image.
My stories are always based on character. Fiction starts with an image (hot vampire sex, in this case), and characters develop around the image. I wanted to investigate what happens when a vamp falls in love with a human. At its basest, what happens when you fall in love with someone you know is going to die long before you do?
Let’s face it. There’s a lot of vampire lit out there and some would argue it’s an oversaturated market. Why should readers be excited about “Forever Dead?”
Well, let’s face it: I write for myself. I write stories that either exorcise my personal demons (of which there are many) or stories that turn me on. Vampires turn me on. Hot men turn me on. Mix the two, and “Forever Dead” is a story that turns me on. It’ll turn you on, too.
Oh, and a lot of vamp fiction is sappy. My leads, Dario and Zach, are anything but. These are two bad-asses who just happen to be star-crossed and in love with each other. Imagine Interview with a Vampire … on cocaine with guns and big knives.
What’s your favorite line from the story?
“Then, he closed his eyes and came. It was like watching the sunrise over the apocalypse. Doomed.”
If you could describe each of your main characters in one word, what would that word be?
How about two?
Dario: accidentally romantic
Zach: purposefully cold
This isn’t the first time you’ve written guy-on-guy action. “Don’t Ball the Boss” was published by Stoneslide Corrective in 2014 and received the most clicks on the site for the year. Quite the feat! Why do you like to write sexy man romps, and why do you think people like to read them?
There’s that joke about why men like watching women make out. It’s like a math equation. One hot girl is good. Two hot girls is better. Two hot girls TOGETHER is best. I feel the same about two hot men.
On a more serious note, I think men are fascinating (obviously, as I married one). Men like to seem so strong, so tough, especially men like Zach: a big dude who fights and never, ever cuddles. What happens when a tough guy falls in love? What happens when a tough guy is vulnerable?
In regards to why people like to read guy-on-guy? It does go back to the hotness factor mentioned above, but for me, love and sex isn’t about penis or vagina. Love is about the person, especially in the case of “Don’t Ball the Boss” and “Forever Dead.” Two people meet, form a connection, and despite social mores, fall in lust/love. Our society is so damn hell bent on labels of straight, asexual, QLGBT … we’re just people, people.
A story is good if the characters are developed and relatable. No matter the gender or sexuality, as long as the reader can relate to what the characters are going through, they’re going to enjoy the story. And hey, if the sex scenes are scalding, that doesn’t hurt either.
Who did your cover art? And how was that collaboration?
Turner G. Davis. I saw his work and was like, “I will build a temple in your honor if you’ll design my cover.” Turner read “Forever Dead,” we discussed what I considered the most important scene in the story, and he ran with it.
When Turner emailed me the final image, I was blown away by how well he understood Dario and Zach and their desperate situation. He used so many details (for instance, Dario identifying with the moon and Zach with the sun).
On the cover, they reach for each other but don’t quite touch, keeping that tough-guy distance Zach so embraces. I couldn’t have found a more perfect artist—someone who understood the story … and really, understood me.
Where can we read more of your work?
All my publishing credits are on my blog at http://saradobie.wordpress.com. I completed a satirical vampire rom-com novel this past summer called Bite Somebody: A Bloodsucker’s Diary. The first two chapters are available for reading on Wattpad, and I’m currently shopping for an agent. I’m also a constant presence at SheKnows.com, where I write about everything from books to bisexuality to my “boyfriend” Benedict Cumberbatch. (Don’t even get me started on that British masterpiece.) Also, follow me on Twitter!