Author Megan Cashman’s new novel, The Dark Proposal, tells the story of recent college grad Claire McCormick and the stark choice she faces when she discovers her boyfriend is a vampire. Daniel offers Claire eternal life… as a bloodthirsty killer. And there’s a steep price to pay for saying no.
Megan has kindly agreed to discuss her novel and her writing with us today. Read on…
Megan Cashman: I think it started during the summer of 2010. I was watching True Blood and found myself daydreaming about a sexy vampire coming into my life. But then I realized that wouldn’t be amazing, because vampires kill people! So that was how The Dark Proposal began to take shape.
I also wondered what life would be like for vampires these days with modern technology and so much surveillance. Wouldn’t it be easier to track them down? Would vampires be in fear of not being able to hide themselves from detectives? I decided to explore those issues as well as bringing back the villainous vampire.
EJB: What inspired you to tell this story?
Megan Cashman: I know some may see my book as a metaphor for abusive relationships, but I honestly did not set out to write a book exploring that issue while using the vampire to illustrate it. Also, towards the end of the story, the main character, Claire McCormick, realizes her boyfriend-turned-vampire-tormentor, Daniel Bertrand, never really had feelings for her and had other motives in making her vampire.
Even so, while writing this, I did look back on times when I could’ve gotten entangled in an unhealthy relationship. I wondered what would’ve happened if I didn’t back out as soon as I could and how I would feel being terrified of the guy I was with. If readers do see my book as a metaphor, I’m OK with that.
EJB: Talk about your writing process.
Megan Cashman: Because I was unemployed while I wrote this book, I was able to write whenever I pleased. I usually went to Starbucks or Panera Bread to spend an hour or two – or more on a great day – typing away. I didn’t outline; I was a pantser during this process [note: The term “pantser” refers to someone who writes fiction without necessarily knowing where the story is headed] . I also wrote chronologically rather than a scene here, a scene there. I took notes on what I wanted to clarify, add or fix after the first draft was done. Also, I completely endorse Scrivener! All writers should have it, it’s awesome!
EJB: Any new vampire novel will inevitably draw comparisons to Twilight. What sets your story apart from other recent vampire-themed books?
Megan Cashman: The vampires in my book are not the empathetic kind at all. They’ve been around for centuries, or even millennia, so you wouldn’t see them having remorse over drinking from a human, or even having compassion for humans. The way I see it, if a vampire has spent ages living separately from humans and needs them for nourishment, they’d lose their empathy as time goes on. Daniel Bertrand is 700 years old, so his memory over being human is miniscule compared to his vampire existence.
I know this point of view may turn off vampire fans, who are probably used to reading about vampires wishing they weren’t such creatures and feeling cursed. But I also think what I’ve written is realistic and could be expected from a very old vampire.
EJB: What’s next for Megan Cashman?
Megan Cashman: I am writing the follow-up to The Dark Proposal right now. I’m excited about what I have in mind for it.
I also am looking to interview indie/self-published authors for my blog, preferably those who write for New Adult, which is a category that is gaining momentum in the publishing world. New Adult, or NA, is for books that have the characters between the ages of 18 – 26 years old and are adjusting to life in either college or the real world. I am open to other categories, except for YA, because that has enough attention on it.
6. Where can people get The Dark Proposal?
Megan Cashman: For now, it is on Kindle. But around mid-December, I’ll be putting it on Smashwords and Nook.