The very awesome Steven Luna, Author of the Joe Vampire book series, co-purveyor of the Dumb White Husband blog, witty twitter person, and all around cool guy has decided to indulge me by answering my three silly questions.
Question 1: Did you have a favorite character to write/read when you’re rereading/reviewing Joe Vampire, other than Joe himself? I'm an author myself and when I reread my own book, I'm drawn to rereading certain characters. With your book, I was especially drawn to the Louise parts because she is Joe's fairy Vamp-mother and seems like a total hoot. I also loved Hube because he reminds me of my best friend, who can totally deliver the get-a-grip speech when needed. No choosing Bo! He's too easy.
Steven's Answer: Louise and Bo are awesome…they were a lot of fun to write. But I’d have to say Hube is without a doubt my favorite non-Joe character in the series. He’s the friend everyone should have: loyal to a fault, sensible and reassuring when things are at their most insane. More than this, though, I think I dig him because he provides Joe a connection to his own humanity - even when Joe resents him for it. He also provides me, as a writer, a vehicle through which to pose certain questions and aspects of Joe that Joe wouldn’t necessarily ask of himself…which is necessary, because 99% of the novel is Joe talking to the reader rather than the characters in the story. He can’t have the answers to all of his questions – or all of the questions, even – or he’d have nowhere to which he can progress. In that sense, Hube ends up representing some of the missing pieces of Joe, but in an entirely separate character. And really, because their interaction is so limited in the first book, I gave Hube a much more prominent position in THE AFTERLIFE so I could expand on their dynamic. Without spoiling too much, they switch spots, in a way; Joe matures a bit and becomes the more Hube-ish voice of reason, and Hube spins a little and becomes more self-centered and Joe-esque. And in THE NEW PARANORMAL, they both get an opportunity to grow as equal people within the greater Joe Vampire universe.
Question 2: Let's talk about charities for a second. As everyone who has been to this site knows, my favorite is George Mark House. Here's your opportunity to talk about organizations that make your heart go aflutter and your skin get all goosebumpy with the happies. If you'd like, take a second to talk about a charity or organization that you support or you'd like to mention and why its important to you.
Steven's Answer: My family and friends been greatly affected by cancer in the last several years, so cancer charities always draw my support. I have a good friend named Lanette Veres, a long-term brain cancer survivor, who now devotes her life to assisting those afflicted with brain tumors, and helping their families. The work she does through her charity Gray Matters Foundation is pretty incredible. She provides personal support and guidance for so many people who might not know the first thing about dealing with such a huge situation. She becomes their angel. It’s really amazing.
And as a sort-of sideline to that, I recently participated (by shaving my head- and my eyebrows…) in a fundraiser for an organization called St. Baldrick’s. They raise money for research into treatments and cures for childhood cancers. An awesome dude by the name of Gui Eberhard heads up the team that I was part of. He puts a ton of heart into making the experience uplifting and positive every year. His energy and enthusiasm for the cause made the choice a total “Hell yes!” for me this time. I’m figuring on doing it again next year.
[Ed. Note] The Gray Matters Foundation does sound pretty incredible and your friend Lanette sounds totally awesome! I'll probably throw a couple of bucks their way and grab up a t-shirt. Thanks for enlightning me about it Steven! Also, St. Baldrick's is totally worthwhile. My local Children's Hospital does a St. Baldricks fundraiser and it always seems like a fun and uplifting event.
Question 3: This is important! You will be graded! What is your favorite character in the movie The Goonies and why? What that character choice says a lot about you as a person and I WILL judge you accordingly. (For example, if Mouth is your favorite character, I'm not sure we can be friends.)
Steven's Answer: I'd say my favorite Goonie is Short Round, because he totally kicked the zonkers out of those crazy child-slave drivers in that creepy-ass mine, and helped Indy save Steven Spielberg's wife from Mola Ram. No, wait - that's not the right movie, is it?
[Ed. Note] Steven rather sheepishly admitted that he hasn't seen The Goonies in a very long time and didn't have a quote/unquote favorite, but he promises to remedy that oversight with a rewatch with his kids very shortly. "Hold on lady! We're going for a ride." is almost as good as "I'm wondering what is in that bag." in terms of awesome line reads by the ever awesome Jonathan Ke Quan so I shall let this answer stand.
About the Author
Steven Luna was relatively quiet when he was born; that all changed once he learned to speak. Now? Good luck getting him to shut up. He’s the author of JOE VAMPIRE and THE AFTERLIFE, the first two books in the JOE VAMPIRE THREELOGY. Book three, THE NEW PARANORMAL, is due in late summer 2013.