What happens when you mix an insecure, novice vampire, balmy Florida nights, a hunky ex-surfer with a penchant for Bob Marley, and a purple-haired, stuck-in-the-80s instigator? You get Sara Dobie Bauer’s novel, Bite Somebody, which has been lauded as the “Pretty in Pink of vampire stories.” Seriously, you need this novel in your life. It’s poignant, hilarious, sexy, and freaky.
I caught up with Sara to talk vampires, rum punch, and writing.
First of all, this is your first published novel. Congratulations! How does it feel? And how are you celebrating?
It feels exciting and terrifying in equal measure. I don’t think it’s quite hit me that my book is a Real Thing. It’s kind of like waking from a dream, disoriented and tangled in my sheets. It’s also a lot of work. When releasing your first book, there’s very little time for bon-bon consumption—but plenty of time for beer, trust me. Speaking of celebrating, I will mark the occasion with a rum punch (or two) since that’s what my characters drink in the beach world of Bite Somebody.
Give me your elevator pitch for Bite Somebody. What’s it about, and why should we add it to our bookshelves?
Celia Merkin is a chubby, insecure newbie vamp in love with the smell of her neighbor. What she needs to do—according to her moody vampire friend Imogene—is just bite somebody. But Celia wants her first bite to be special, and she has yet to meet Mr. Right Bite. Then, Ian moves in next door. Could he be the first bite she’s been waiting for to complete her vampire transformation?
Add Bite Somebody to your bookshelves because not only is it hilarious (think dark comedy), but also it’s sexy and adventurous and, although it’s a vampire book, it sort of pokes fun at the whole genre.
Tell me something funny/freaky/interesting about the process of writing this book that no one else knows.
I wrote the first page at 6 AM while lying in bed in Phoenix, covered in dogs. Call it an epiphany.
Did your characters behave themselves while you were writing Bite Somebody? Or did they go rogue and make decisions you didn’t see coming?
A little of both. I knew where the characters needed to go eventually—they just took some roundabout ways to get there. My characters always do that, but they’re supposed to. If you’ve created a character of depth, he or she will practically become a real person, and real people are unpredictable, yes?
When you think of the setting of your novel, what do you see, smell, taste, hear, and feel?
I think Gulf Coast beach. I see a moonlit ocean. I smell salt water and fruit-juicy rum punches. I hear laughter and waves. I feel happy, because I’d like to live in this place.
There’s a lot of vampire lit out there and thus, a lot of vampire archetypes. Do you have a favorite flavor of vampire?
Vampires with a sick sense of humor. I don’t like moody, pouty vampires. I don’t like angst. I adore characters like Lestat, who’ll giggle while he kills you, or Spike from Buffy with his sly, British sense of humor. I guess my flavor of vampire fits my flavor of friend, too. If you don’t make me laugh, you probably won’t be spending too many happy hours with me. Life’s too short to be taken seriously.
Okay, how the heck did you get your dentist to make you vampire teeth in celebration of Bite Somebody? I mean, seriously, how did that conversation even begin?
Ha. Well, she had a picture of Bela Lugosi in her office, and I was amused but, like, “Why?” She explained she made vampire teeth for one of her clients once, to which I replied, “Hmmm?” She knew about my novel and immediately offered to make some for me as a gift for my launch party. Now, I wear them randomly around the house and at bars. Some guys get freaked out; other guys want to buy me a drink. I should probably steer clear of the guys who want to buy me a drink.
If you had to describe Bite Somebody in five words, what would they be?
Insecure immortal learns to love.
(And not just other people.)
Who would play the main characters in a film adaptation of Bite Somebody?
Well, the leads would be Felicia Day and Benedict Cumberbatch, but I actually have a blog post with the entire list HERE.
Fast forward. The film is wildly successful and nominated for an Oscar! What would you wear to the award ceremony?
A skin-tight gothic-inspired Dior gown or maybe even something completely insane by Hirooka Naota. Black patent leather Louboutin stilettos, my lucky skull ring, and my hot husband on my arm in a black Spencer Hart suit.
Bite Somebody has received great reviews from first readers. Any comments that have surprised, delighted, or affected you in a big way?
Well, one of my favorite writers, Christopher Buehlman called it “the Pretty in Pink of vampire stories.” Another reviewer said, imagine “going for midnight swims with Benedict Cumberbatch while listening to David Bowie.” Does it get any better?
Anything else you’d like to add?
Sara Dobie Bauer is a writer, model, and mental health advocate with a creative writing degree from Ohio University. She spends most days at home in her pajamas as a book nerd and sex-pert for SheKnows.com. Her short story, “Don’t Ball the Boss,” was nominated for the Pushcart Prize, inspired by her shameless crush on Benedict Cumberbatch. She lives with her hottie husband and two precious pups in Northeast Ohio, although she’d really like to live in a Tim Burton film. She is also the author of Wolf Among Sheep, Life Without Harry, and Forever Dead. Read more at SaraDobieBauer.com or find her on Twitter @SaraDobie.