Review Fix chats with author ML Worthingham, who discusses his new book, “The Gloaming, Rise of the Stealth Vampire Elder,” which chronicles the perilous struggles of European vampires, fighting to survive amidst the harsh reality they’re faced with following the slaughtering of their ancestors in the eighteenth century.
About the Author:
ML Worthingham is a dark fantasy writer and author of his debut novel, The Gloaming. He grew up in Mill Valley, California where he started writing fiction as a teenager. When he isn’t writing or delivering innovative new technology, he can be found traveling the world, mountain biking, or just getting another cup of coffee. Worthingham currently resides in Silicon Valley.
The Gloaming, Rise of the Stealth Vampire Elder is available for purchase on Amazon and other major booksellers.
Review Fix: What inspired this book?
ML Worthingham: As far as inspiration, I would have to say Amsterdam first, and Europe in general. I think the second time I was visiting Amsterdam something about the feel of the city made me think of vampires. The architecture and the cobblestone streets. I had always been interested in the vampire myth but never fully satisfied with most of the other interpretations, so I created my own.
Review Fix: What authors did you read as a kid? How did they affect you?
Worthingham: As a kid, I read quite a bit, my family went to the library every two weeks. For fantasy, it was JRR Tolkien, and CS Lewis. Science fiction was Ray Bradbury, Philip K Dick, Issac Asimov, Arthur C Clarke. As I got older Hunter S. Thompson and John Steinbeck. Cannery Row is still one of my favorites. I think they all impacted me, but I went through a period in my life due to working in technology in which I had to read so much non-fiction that I neglected fiction. It was really George RR Martin’s Game of Thrones series, and the Kindle that got me back into fiction. If you move every few years you start to realize all your books weigh a lot. The Kindle solves that problem.
Review Fix: Why do vampires still matter?
Worthingham: I don’t think there will ever be a time when vampires don’t matter. It’s such a primal desire to live for eternity, or at least for a very long time that it will never go completely out of style. I do think they were overdone, and really pushed into the realm of pure pop with the twilight saga and others. It seems like zombies are the pop thing now, but personally they just bore me now.
Review Fix: How would you describe your writing style to someone who’s never read you?
Worthingham: I’m a storyteller, I write to entertain, both the reader and myself. I strive to paint characters that really come alive. Occasionally, I even make fun of those characters based on their actions. At the end of the day it’s just supposed to be entertainment, and escape.
Review Fix: What makes this book unique?
Worthingham: First off, it’s told from the perspective of the vampires, and is not what I would call horror. Although it has its share of violence. That’s not necessarily unique, but what I came up with after first starting to think about the book is what I call the physics of the vampires. How is it possible for them to exist? My vampires don’t live for eternity and don’t turn every person they bite into a vampire. It’s a genetic pre-disposition, a reaction to a virus. This gives them plausible limits, and more potential obstacles. My intention was never to make people afraid of vampires, I think we are beyond that. We have things like genetically modified organisms, and artificial intelligence to be afraid of now. Maybe it’s genetically modified organisms created by AI.
Review Fix: Who do you think will enjoy it the most?
Worthingham: Vampire fans should definitely check it out, but I also think it would appeal to a much wider sci-fi and fiction audience. It’s unique in its perspective, meshing modern day themes with the vampire myth.
Review Fix: Bottom line, why must someone read it?
Worthingham: It’s a unique spin on the vampire myth and good entertainment.
Review Fix: What’s next?
Worthingham: If you have read the book you probably know there is still a lot of unfinished business. The last word in the book, a demand essentially from Karolina to Valentin, is the first word in the title of the second book. Right now, I have notes and pages on two more books in “The Gloaming” series. I also have pages and notes for a few other novels unrelated to vampires one of which is about Silicon Valley. All fiction.
Review Fix: Anything else you’d like to add?
Worthingham: I think the vampire myth can be a personal preference, and some people are expecting a specific formula they prefer. You should just keep an open mind. The other thing is if you don’t like a character I probably don’t want you to. The book lives in the gray areas of both morality and character personality. Of course, that just potentially sets a character up for some sort of redemption in the next book, or not.