Life as a Teenage Vampire
by Amanda Meuwissen
GENRE: YA Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy
Emery Mavus just wants to survive his senior year of high school. Becoming a vampire complicates things. So does a bizarre mentor, a group of vampire hunters, and an unexpected, new attraction for his openly gay best friend, Connor. An occasional uncontrollable hunger for blood might be the least of his worries.
The memory of Emery’s warm hug that morning sent a shiver through him. “You think you have it bad never being cast in leading roles? Where’s the gay romance box office hit I’ve been waiting for all my life? And if you say Brokeback Mountain to me, I will punch you in the boob.”
Aurora responded by punching him in the boob, which—ouch—really hurt. She was freakishly strong for someone so tiny. “Anyway, that isn’t even what we were talking about. I said I hate how half the time female roles are only written in to be romantic interests. No substance. No purpose. Just a tight ass and a pretty face to dress up the movie poster and give the guy some arm candy. Where’s the action film with the girl as the kickass sidekick or partner—or hey, as the hero herself—without needing to make it about sex? Why does there have to be romance in everything? Girls are just shoved into the supporting role, Asian girls even more so.”
Connor stole one of the fries from her plate while he tapped his feet on the seat he should have been sitting in. They were seniors; if they wanted to sit on the tables, they were allowed. Unless a teacher walked by. “It’s kind of funny, right?”
“I’d give anything to be typecast as the love interest. Frankly, I’d trade spots with any girl in this school to have some of those stereotypes instead of my own.”
Aurora cocked her head at him, another fry suspended between them, having come dangerously close to getting ketchup in the long braid over her shoulder as she gestured. “You want to be an object?”
“I want to be an option.”
I asked the author to share chapters or sections that might have been cut from the final draft. 🙂
I am an adult fiction writer. My focus has always been on adult topics in sci-fi and fantasy, with story/character driven plots, and often graphic depictions of both violence and sex.
Life as a Teenage Vampire, on the other hand, is Young Adult, so I had to rethink my usual content when tackling this project. I wanted it to be the type of book that I could have picked up at my high school library when I was younger—i.e. sex can exist, but not graphically depicted.
This tale of vampires and high school life does deal with several themes that can be seen as adult. Death, sexuality, falling in love. But it also focuses on things that young teenagers face, like acceptance of self and moral decisions of right and wrong in a world that, frankly, isn’t black or white and never will be.
I think coming of age stories have to strike that balance between adult and young adult, because that’s the cusp the characters are on—that exact transition.
That said, I still found myself writing out scenes that are a little more explicitly racy. I never want to squelch my creativity or what comes to mind, and sometimes, while we might need to kill our darlings, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t write a scene to begin with. Everything informs on the characters and develops subtext that can be important for the scenes we do keep.
Suffice it to say, I can’t share the scene I cut here because of the nature of the content, but I can explain what it entailed.
After the main characters have their first intimate encounter, which is in the book but not gone into great detail, there is some time that passes where we can assume they do more as they are getting to know each other in this new way, especially being amorous teenagers.
The cut scene was a chance for them to express their desires in an open way that often only exists between friends—the characters being friends who are now being intimate gives them a rare opportunity to be honest from the start of their relationship in a way that is often missing for many adult couples.
While I think it’s an intriguing scene because of that—and rather sexy—I deemed it too far on the adult spectrum for a young adult audience.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Amanda has a Bachelor of Arts in a personally designed major from St. Olaf College in Creative Writing, and has been posting content online for many years, including maintaining the blog for the digital marketing company Outsell. She spent a summer writing screenplay script coverages for a company in L.A., and is an avid consumer of fiction through film, prose, and video games. Amanda lives in Minneapolis, MN, with her husband, John, and their cats, Helga and Sasha (no connection to the incubus of the same name).
Author web links:
Amanda Meuwissen will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.