Saturday, 8 November 2008

Former Orlando Communications Director Finds Muse

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Susan Blexrud

Former Orlando Communications Director Finds Muse
Susan Blexrud Pens Romance Novel with Orlando Setting

Asheville, NC…November 13, 2008…Susan Blexrud, former director of communications for the City of Orlando , has reinvented herself in Asheville , North Carolina . Her first book, Love Fang, the humorous tale of a sexy vampire with an infected fang who falls in love with his dentist, was released by DCL Publishing today.

“The mountains in Asheville are inspiring,” said Blexrud. “Add to that the support of a community of creative people, a top-notch library system, and terrific independent booksellers, and it’s a writer’s paradise.”

Raised and schooled in Orlando/Winter Park, Blexrud used her long-time home as the backdrop for her novel. Familiar scenes, such as Winter Park ’s Park Avenue, crop up frequently, and our inimitable vampire’s Victorian home was inspired by the Comstock residence on Bonita Drive in Winter Park .

“Having my vampire assist Central Florida police departments was especially fun, and I envisioned my dentist’s office on Morse Boulevard in Winter Park as the location where my vampire first meets his love interest, Dr. Lauren Marsh,” Blexrud said.

Love Fang is the first in a series of three novels. The second, Fang Shui, presents challenges as the Italian mob and an evil vampire threaten to thwart the good deeds of our Orlando “Vampire Vigilantes” (an Orlando Sentinel-provided moniker).

Love Fang is available online through DCL Publishing,

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10 Questions for Romance Writer Susan Blexrud
Regarding Love Fang

Question: Where did you come up with the idea of a vampire with an infected fang?

Answer: I was in the process of writing my time-travel novel, Delora’s Necklace, and I needed a break from all the research. I needed something that was quirky, sexy, funny, and dark. Why not a vampire with a toothache?

Question: Why did you choose Orlando as the backdrop for your novel?

Answer: One of the cardinal rules of writing fiction it to write what you don’t know about what you know. Having lived in Orlando most of my life, I was so familiar with the environs that I had no trouble plunking a vampire on the city streets.

Question: Will Orlando residents recognize their city?

Answer: Absolutely. My heroine’s dental office is actually modeled after my own dentist’s office in Winter Park , and John Wright’s home was inspired by the historic Comstock residence on Bonita Drive . Park Avenue and Central Park figure prominently, too.

Question: Unlike many other vampire tales, yours is funny. What do you find funny about a creature that sucks blood?

Answer: You might say I have a sick sense of humor, but truly, I find humor in just about everything. The Alpha males of romance novels are notoriously serious, and I’m out to change that.

Question: Why are vampires so in vogue?

Answer: For me, the notion of sexy vampires began with Anne Rice, but even Bela Lugosi’s creepy version had that mesmerizing element of appeal. What Anne Rice brought to the mix was the idea that vampires are not all bad. I find the moral dilemma fascinating. To make a dark, sexy creature noble…aye, there’s the rub.

Question: What’s next for your noble vampire and his lovely dentist?

Answer: In Fang Shui, the sequel to Love Fang, I focus on Lauren’s transformation to vampire and the interesting learning curve she goes through. Fang Shui signifies the balancing act of vampires functioning with humans.

Question: Vampire writers each seem to bring their own interpretation to the undead. Why so many differences?

Answer: When you’re dealing with characters that are purely fictional, like vampires, you have the luxury of choosing their attributes and foibles; within of course the basic context of what makes them undead. My vampires can morph to bat form, stop computers and appliances with their energy, levitate, vaporize, and travel short distances with incredible speed. They have no reflections in mirrors, and they are all inhumanly beautiful. They can function in the daytime as long as they’re not exposed to direct sunlight. So, on a cloudy day, with sunscreen and good sunglasses, they can be out and about. Unlike Stephanie Meyer’s and Charlaine Harris’s vampires, my vampires can make baby vampires.

Question: Do you think there’s an end to the vampire craze?

Answer: Everything’s cyclical, but with HBO’s TrueBlood series and the first Twilight movie debuting in November, it’s unlikely to die out (pardon the dead reference) any time soon.

Question: Will you ever tire of writing about the undead?

Answer: There will be three books in my fang series, and then we’ll see. I have an idea for an historical novel set in 1850s New Orleans , replete with intrigue and voodoo. Who knows, a vampire might crop up in the French Quarter. I have a book coming out next year, entitled Delora’s Necklace, which is a time travel set in the Mayan civilization. There will be a sequel, Miami Mayan, which I’m currently writing. So, lots in the works…lots to come.

Question: What’s your writing process?

Answer: I want my characters to leap off the page, so I put together extensive character studies before I begin to weave the tale. If my readers don’t fall in love with my characters, they won’t care what happens to them. You can have a great storyline and an intriguing plot, but without sympathetic characters, you won’t have a good read.

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