You add the vampires

imagesLots of free, good-hearted advice comes your way as a writer, as in: “I have a great story. Let me tell it to you and you write it.” Or “You’re writing about X. Be sure to put in Y.” My husband Maurizio and our friend Daniel have often, often suggested that I slip some vampires in my novel. Surely sales would increase. Who cares, really, about historical fiction? And they may be right, but I guess I’m just not the vampire type. Which doesn’t mean the suggestions stop rolling. As I start my third novel, here come the vampire ideas again.

Which leads to my challenge. They should write about vampires. Maurizio is a medical physicist specializing in positron emission tomography (PET) imaging. He writes many thrilling articles on this topic for professional journals with devoted readership. He could (and should) slip in: “Male, 46 years, vampire, presenting with multiple tumors” or “Female, 31, not a vampire, history of seizures.” Daniel’s work in issues of environmental and economic sustainability of biofuels production and impact of international trade on food security presents a small challenge in vampire application. But not insurmountable. How will future trade agreements on blood tariffs impact vampire food supply? Can blood byproducts aid in biofuel production? We don’t know, do we? Could vampires grow beans in their spare time? Stay tuned. I’m thinking of an appropriate gift for the first vampire inclusion and meanwhile I’m working away on my own story.

Pamela Schoenewaldt, historical novels of immigration and the search for self in new worlds: WHEN WE WERE STRANGERS, SWIMMING IN THE MOON, and UNDER THE SAME BLUE SKY (all HarperCollins).

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“Absorbing and layered with rich historical details, in Under the Same Blue Sky, Schoenewaldt weaves a tender and at times, heartbreaking story about German-Americans during World War I. With remarkable compassion, the author skillfully portrays conflicted loyalties, the search for belonging, the cruelty of war, and the resilience of the human spirit.”—Ann Weisgarber, author of The Promise and The Personal History of Rachel Dupree

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