Welcome Erica, author of Interview with a Jewish Vampire, a humorous, urban fantasy/paranormal romance. It’s something a little different on the vampire front, compelling, fun, and maybe a bit twisted...a worthy read for vampire lovers:) Before we get started on our interview, here’s a bit about Erica:
Erica Manfred is a freelance journalist, humorous essayist, and author. Her most recent book is the novel, Interview with a Jewish Vampire. She’s also authored two non-fiction self-help books, including most recently He’s History You’re Not; Surviving Divorce After Forty. Her articles and essays have appeared in Cosmopolitan, The New York Times Magazine, Ms., New Age Journal, Village Voice, Woman’s Day, SELF, Ladies Home Journal, and many other publications. Erica lives in Woodstock, New York with her Chihuahua, Shadow, and her daughter, Freda. Brought up by Jewish parents who spoke Yiddish but avoided religion, she got her Jewish education at the Woodstock Jewish Congregation which welcomes Jews from all backgrounds, from atheist to Orthodox, to vampire. Her website is www.ericamanfred.com, or visit www.jewishvampire.com
Okay, Erica…on with the interview :)
Please tell us how the idea came to you for Interview with a Jewish Vampire.
I originally envisioned Interview with a Jewish Vampire as a humorous essay, a funny valentine to Anne Rice’s classic. I imagined the scenario of a Jewish girl meeting a Hasidic vampire on Jdate and interviewing him. He explains that he was a rabbi turned into a vampire by Dracula, an anti-semite, who thought it was a good joke to turn a Hasidic rabbi into a vampire because he’d be forced to drink blood which isn’t kosher. I mentioned the piece to a literary agent who repped a lot of paranormal novels at a journalist’s conference and she got very enthusiastic and told me to turn it into a novel.
What’s Rhoda’s job? What does she do for a living?
She’s a journalist.
Give us some insight into Rhoda. What’s a bit of her back story?
Rhoda is based on me when I was a younger single woman looking for love. She’s overweight, insecure and so desperate for love that she’s ready to fall for a vampire…..as long as he’s Jewish.
Tell us what Sheldon’s first name means to Rhoda?
She gives him the pseudonym “Sheldon” which was the name of her ex-husband “a bloodsucker if ever there was one.”
Who is Rhoda to Sheldon? Can you give us a bit about the first time they meet each other?
Rhoda meets Sheldon through Jdate. Where else would you meet a Jewish vampire? They meet at the Mitzvah Bar on Orchard St. in New York City. He wants her to interview him but she’s disappointed that he’s interested in her for her journalistic skills not her body. Of course he soon becomes more interested in her body than in being interviewed.
Can you tell us about the abilities of Sheldon? How do they help OR hinder?
Sheldon is a vampire but he’s kind of a wussy vampire. At the beginning of the book he can’t fly but he practices and finally learns. He also fights off muggers in Central Park with his super vampire powers although he’s surprised he has them.
Why this location? Anything in particular in real-life that made you select it?
The locations are New York City and Century Village and Miami, Florida, locations I was familiar with and that have a lot of Jews.
Can you share anything about the evil / magic / mystery / paranormal or fantasy beings in the story? What’s unique about them?
The vampires in my book feel guilty about killing and so go to meetings at a 12-step group called B.A. Bloodaholics Anonymous.
Which scene was your favorite to write? Can you share a little of it?
I loved writing the first scene. Here’s an excerpt:
I loved writing the first scene. Here’s an excerpt:
“So nu?” said the vampire thoughtfully as he sat down next to me at the Mitzvah bar on Orchard St. “You must be Rhoda?” He’d picked me out of a line-up of twenty-something’s. I didn’t know whether to be flattered or insulted.
We had met through JDate. I was a Jewish divorcee of forty-one who claimed to be thirty-five and might be considered zaftig if you defined that liberally. He had been dead for a long time but I didn’t know that right away. I just thought he was pale. An undead double for Jeff Goldblum, he was tall, slender, with a mischievous smile, flashing green eyes and long black hair. His incisors were kind of pointy when he smiled and his skin was pasty white, but that didn’t put me off. Everyone looked pretty sallow in the dead of winter in New York City. I immediately wondered if I could drag him off to my lair later that night.
Despite the fact that I had a pretty face, I didn’t get a lot of action on JDate because I had checked “a few extra pounds” in the body size box. “A few” was an understatement, which is why I always met dates at night in bars. I wore black and got there first so they would see me sitting down. My face was a lot slimmer than the rest of me. Jewish guys were the worst when it came to weight—and everything else. Only a Jewish supermodel who ran a law firm was good enough for the Jewish princes I met on JDate.
What are you working on now?
I’m working on a sequel to “Interview with a Jewish Vampire” entitled “True Kosher Blood.”
Where can we find you, Erica? List all of your links.
Erica is offering a PDF copy of Interview of a Jewish Vampire – to one lucky commenter. Leave Erica a comment or a question along with your email address to be entered. Drawing will take place on Wed. 7/18. Good Luck!!
Click Cover for more info and buy link
Interview with a Jewish Vampire
by Erica Manfred
The last thing zaftig middle-aged journalist, Rhoda Ginsburg, expected when she signed up for JDate was to fall in love with a vampire. But when she meets drop-dead gorgeous Sheldon, a Hasidic vampire, she falls hard. She rationalizes that he may not be alive, but at least he’s Jewish.
She learns that back in the nineteenth century Sheldon was a rabbi who was turned into a vampire by Count Dracula, an anti-Semite who got his kicks from turning Orthodox Jews into vampires because then they’d have to drink blood, which isn’t kosher.
Soon after she meets Sheldon, she discovers her beloved mother, Fanny, is terminally ill, so she comes up with the crackpot idea of getting Sheldon to turn Fanny and her friends, known as “the goils,” into vampires.
Once she becomes a vampire, Fanny tires of her boring life in Century Village, Florida, and, seeking thrills, she goes clubbing and disappears into the nightlife of South Beach in Miami. When Fanny and her goil posse “go rogue” and start preying on the young, Rhoda and Sheldon must track them down to keep them from killing again.
Interview with a Jewish Vampire turns vampire lore on its head, proving that not all vampires are young and beautiful and it IS possible to be undead and kosher.
Erica, thank you for being here today and sharing your newest release - Interview with a Jewish Vampire. Congratulations on its release and I wish you many more successes:)
Thank you everyone for stopping in and checking out Erica's newest release ~ show her some love and leave a comment or a question and be entered into her drawing :0)
Until Next Time…Warm Hearts & Hugs,
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