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Naked Launch



5/2/2022


It’s been a long time since I’ve written a blog on this topic, but alas— I’m happy to announce the release of a new novel! Oh Great, Another Vampire Book launched last week on Amazon to a steady stream of congratulations on social media. Feels good. It’s been six years since having a book out. Why the gap? Because I’ve been raising three small kiddos. They’re still small, but in recent years writing has become more feasible.


Every book is special, but this one feels especially gratifying given the circumstances under which it was written. I began work on the novel in 2019, mainly at Starbucks on weekends. I would arise at 4:30am, appreciative of their early opening. I always start a book with a title, a general idea for my protagonist’s journey couched in an underlying theme, and a conclusion. With these in mind, I outline plot as much as I can; it’s never completely outlined. Often the story unfolds as I’m writing, as if the Muses arrive to sip coffee alongside me. Feeling “in the zone” of productivity is a beatific state I revere. It feels like entering a realm where extraneous thoughts melt away, and revelations are received.


Focus. That was the theme of 2019, and herein lies the naked truth: as I wrote, I was in the throes of stress-inducing life change. Without going into detail, I will say I now have gray hair sprouting above my forehead. I lighten that region blond so the grays blend in. Regarding stress, l firmly believe the capacity to transform negativity into positive action feels like alchemy of the highest order.


Adding to this significance is the fact the endeavor was my first try at comedy in novel form. I’ve written jokes and performed stand-up in Boston a few times, but this was a much different process. I thought of my beloved A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole— how his odd collection of New Orleans misfits interacted.


I love comedy and especially like misfits. My favorite show growing up was Welcome Back Kotter. Despite it being a sitcom, my young mind picked up on the humanity of economically challenged city kids in Brooklyn. The lovable Sweathogs in Gabe Kotter’s remedial high school class exist in my mind as a cypher for misfit alliance.


It was fun creating a group of weirdos for this book. There’s Michael, a self-loathing vampire from the ancient Carpathian Mountain range. He disliked Hammer Horror films for turning him into a stereotype with a Dracula accent. So he learned to affect a Southern accent after moving to the American South. Also, he’s racist and feels comfortable there. And then there’s Larry, an ancient Greek vampire who was best friends with the philosopher, Epicurus. Despite needing only blood for sustenance, he maintained an ardent eating disorder. Larry is a nervous eater, which is unfortunate since he’s always nervous.


Circling back to 2019, I’ll end with an observation. I grew adept enough at focus to write TWO novels that year— an uptick in output for me. The next installment in the Oh Great series will launch perhaps next year. It’s about Jesus. Spoiler alert for those unfamiliar with Christianity: he rises from the dead. But get this- in my story he doesn’t ascend. The Lord just goes back to work.


Diane Hunter is the author of Oh Great, Another Vampire Book. Visit her at dianehunterauthor.com


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