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5 questions with Chris Farnsworth — ‘The President’s Vampire’ May 12, 2011

Posted by Diana McCabe in Authors, News.
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Last year in his debut novel BLOOD OATH,  Chris Farnsworth introduced readers to Nathaniel Cade, a vampire who has sworn to protect the nation and its leader from evil. And for the past 140 years, Cade has been the government’s super secret weapon, safeguarding every U.S. president from nightmarish fiends, terrorists and odd things that go bump in the dark. Now, in THE PRESIDENT’S VAMPIRE, Cade is back. And it’s not spoiling things to say something very bad happens to Osama bin Laden in the very first chapter (does this guy know how to launch a book or what?), that Cade  has to battle some bizarre but very smart lizards as he tracks an ancient evil that he’s encountered before. And the conflict is enough to make Cade — the ultimate killing machine — think twice about his original blood oath.

Chris, on book tour right now for THE PRESIDENT’S VAMPIRE, kindly took the time to answer a few questions about the series. For folks in San Diego, you can hear him speak Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Mysterious Galaxy bookstore, which is celebrating its 18th birthday with a series of authors and book signings throughout the day. And yes — there is birthday cake! (For more info, go to MG’s website for event info.)

And now — a few questions and answers from Chris. (You can visit his cool website at www.chrisfarnsworth.com):

Q. Cade is a monster — but he’s on “our” side. How do you write him so the monster doesn’t become well — the evil monster? Isn’t it in his nature — somewhere — to turn to the dark side?
A. It’s a constant tightrope walk for Cade between good and evil. He has to keep the monstrous parts of himself on a leash, only letting them out when he’s hunting other monsters. It takes a lot of willpower. For me, the trick to writing Cade is that he doesn’t think of himself as a hero. He knows he’s a monster. It requires inhuman control on his part to restrain himself from giving in to his baser instincts, even with the oath backing him up. Fortunately, he’s not human.

Q. Where did you get the idea for Snakehead (lizard) transformations? (I didn’t know you were so gruesome!)
A. I am, unfortunately, a very twisted person. Inside my head is not always a fun place to be. But the Snakeheads were born of necessity: I wanted a monster who could threaten what it meant to be human by its very existence. Fortunately, H.P. Lovecraft had already provided the basic template in his classic “The Shadow Over Innsmouth.” He wrote about an amphibious race created by interbreeding between humans and monsters. I decided to insert Cade into the Lovecraft mythos, and have his enemies use the DNA of the Innsmouth families as a weapon.

Q. Cade & Zach: Talk about this interesting manboy relationship. Cade’s always having to bail out his butt. And isn’t Zach a bit overly trusting for a politico? Why does Cade put up with him?
A. Zach serves a lot of important purposes — for starters, he can walk around in direct sunlight. But he also provides a reminder to Cade of what it means to be human. When he needs a check on his vampiric side, Zach is there to show him what he lost when he gave into his bloodlust. As for trust — politics is all about trust. As cynical as people are about politics — both inside and outside the government — it all comes down, in the end, to people keeping their promises. This is why no scandal will topple a politician unless there’s that stink of hypocrisy about it. In politics, we still judge people on what they say they will do more than their actual performance. Zach is a product of that environment. It’s what makes him a good political operative. But unfortunately, he’s learning that the penalties for trusting the wrong person in this world are more than a lost election.

Q. Tania …. C’mon …. chicks want the girl and the romance in this thriller. Will we see more of her?
A. Tania is very much a part of THE PRESIDENT’S VAMPIRE and will be around Cade for some time to come. She views Cade as her property and she gets very territorial about anyone else trying to kill him. She’s also driven to try to find out why Cade has so much more willpower and self-control than any other members of her kind. She’s not sure if what he evokes in her is love or competition, but she’s determined to figure it out. Cade, for his part, finds that Tania evokes feelings he’s not supposed to have. It’s going to make it very difficult when one of them finally has to kill the other.

Q. What’s next? Are you already writing book No. 3? Can you update us on movie stuff etc?
A. Book Three is well under way. It will take place against the backdrop of the 2012 election as Cade has to protect the president from an unkillable serial killer. The movie continues to advance, slowly but surely. A new screenwriter is working on the script, and the producer remains committed to doing it as his next project. Just like everything else in Hollywood, it all happens gradually — and then very suddenly.



1. Diana McCabe - May 12, 2011

Once again — my newsroom duties as an editor preclude me from hanging out at Mysterious Galaxy this weekend. (I have to work once in a while on the weekend! But I missed Charlaine Harris this week, too! Wah!) However, anyone who goes and takes pics, send me a few of the authors, crowds and bday cake etc and I will post ’em!

Have fun! (And who is reading Chris’ The President’s Vampire? Fast and fun. I will post a book pick here shortly.)


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