Deadly Ever After

The Writing Adventures of The Undead Duo–Julie Hutchings and Kristen Strassel

So I Wrote a Book….About Vampires

Telling people you have written a novel is sort of like telling people you have done some terrible thing.  Or at least, that is how we felt when we started mentioning this to people, that we were embarking on a life journey and all.  For two people who are fantastic at hiding their innermost feelings under guise of humor and ability to do it all, we both felt very exposed when telling people something we are so serious about.  Then, once you have told everyone who you know is going to be super critical that you have done this thing, and said critical people ask what kind of book it is, we then feel a weird sense of alienation when we say “vampires.”

I usually start this when someone asks me what I have been up to.  I say, “I wrote a book.  First of three, actually.”  And when they inevitably say, “oh, wow, what’s it about?” I will say, “vampires.  Is there anything else to read or write about?”  Kristen tends to lump it in with the plot.  “I created a vampire rock band in Las Vegas.”

I told my mom like I was telling her I went food shopping.  “I wrote a book.  It’s a big one.  Took me years.”  The response was something to the affect of “that’s nice honey.  What are the kids doing?”

I told the teachers at the preschool I work at the other night at our end of school year celebration.  (Kristen gave it to me as an assignment.)  That was easy….my son’s teacher said that she has yet another book to write, and I told her “guess what? I just did that.”  Come to find out, by the way, pretty much everyone on earth reads vampire books, whether or not they work with small children.  Kristen told a good friend starting with, “I need to tell you about something…”  Her response was, “I thought you were going to tell me you were a crossdresser or something.  I totally want to read your book!”   We can’t wait to have her read it, since she is actually good friends with a lot Kristen’s rock star (and groupie) inspirations.

Kristen even has a hard time even writing this blog, because she can’t take putting out something so personal. It’s even stranger for Kristen since she makes her living as an artist.  Even though makeup can be more technical, it’s still a very subjective career and she roll with the punches of feedback and constructive criticism. We both decided that writing a book seems like something people you don’t know do.  It is not something that you hear every day.  And most of the people we have told had absolutely no idea we were doing it, and yet, we see them on a regular basis.  (I do realize that when people ask what I’m doing lately, I should tell them sooner.  Such as, “well, I started to work on a novel,” rather than “Remember when I had that baby?  Right around then, I started to work on a novel.”  Decreases shock value.)

Generally, Kristen and I end all of our writing sessions telling ourselves and each other that there is no reason why we shouldn’t be shouting this from the rooftops.  You are into what you are into.  Be proud of it.  We are leaders, not followers, most would agree.  And we are never the types to commit to something that doesn’t have purpose, or that isn’t worth our time.  We both want to be people that are not afraid to throw ourselves into our imaginations, and be non-conformists.  Be yourself, even if it doesn’t pay well.  We forge roads, we don’t just walk on them.  And with that said, next time  I tell someone that I have written a novel, it will be without biting my fingernails or twirling my hair.  Kristen will do it without rolling her eyes.  Major accomplishments should be treated as major.

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One thought on “So I Wrote a Book….About Vampires

  1. Good for you both. I don’t tell people I’m writing anything because I don’t need their negativity pulling me down.

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