Xlibris Publishing introduces Drew Stockwell, author of Soultrapped.
Please briefly describe your book.
My novel Soultrapped is a non-traditional vampire story with characters inspired by my love of old horror movies out of the Universal and Hammer Studios. It concerns an old sorcerer/scientist named Malcolm Schreck who is searching through a combination of occult lore and chemistry a way to become immortal. He is determined to cheat death because he realizes that he will face an eternity in Hell for the path that he has chosen. Along the way he meets many unfortunate people cursed to cross his path.
Who is the author “behind” the book?
My name is Drew Stockwell. I am a RN by profession, and I live and work in Michigan. I have always had a creative interest in writing. Soultrapped is my first attempt to publish any of my work.
Do you have any particular literary influences that have helped you develop in your genre, subject and style?
Of course, Stephen King would likely be the foremost literary influence for Soultrapped. I learned to read on King. I think it went something like, Run, Spot, Run, The Hobbit, and Stephen King. I read everything up to “It”, then I leaned elsewhere for my reading habits. I’m a fan of Vonnegut, Larry McMurtry, and Truman Capote, but mainly I tend to read history fact and fiction, and I also try to read the classics from Dickens, Jack London, and anything Alexandre Dumas wrote. Truth be told, with my life and career, I don’t read or write nearly as much as I should or would like.
What inspired you to write your book, and how long did it take you to finish it?
I think what inspired me was the turn in popular culture toward the glamourizing of vampire fiction. At the time, we were getting Anne Rice, and now we’re getting the Twilight Series and things of that kind—Vampire Romance. I read some Rice, but I steer clear of the other. I wanted to take the vampire story and return it to it’s roots in the dirt and grime of the grave. I also wanted to be clear that vampires are not, nor should they be seen as glamorous. They should be seen as what they are, and that is the personification of evil and the rejection of God.
What is the one message you would like to convey to your readers?
I think if it has a central theme, Soultrapped is about the passage of time, and how we may change as a people with technological advancement, but our spiritual needs don’t ever change. Even my villain has a spiritual need for companionship. Though he would never admit it, nor will he allow himself to stray far from his own roots. Adaptability is not one of his strengths. I do believe Soultrapped speaks to deeper ideas, but I also just wanted to write a good, fun, and scary vampire story.
Are you working on a sequel to your book?
Currently I’m in the planning stages of a prequel to Soultrapped, where the central villain of the piece and his humble beginnings are explored. Malcolm Schreck in Soultrapped has discarded almost all traces of humanity within him when he is introduced. But take him back a few hundred years and you will see just a boy, whose paths aren’t completely set for him yet, and who isn’t sure which way he should go. I consider it something of a horror/tragedy. I have some good scenes in mind, but writing is a fluid process for me, so we’ll see where it takes him.
Are there any events, marketing ideas or promotions planned for your book?
As Soultrapped is just becoming available, I haven’t yet planned anything, even locally. I have just received my own copies of the paperback and hardcover editions. From here on is something of a mystery to me, and with my schedule and profession, I’ll have to see how flexible I can be to help sell the novel myself. I am appreciative for this opportunity to talk about it. I am proud of it as an accomplishment and I hope people enjoy it.
What was your favorite part of your publishing experience, overall and with Xlibris?
Well, the actual writing and the development of the story was my favorite part of publishing. As a self-publisher, I had to rely on my own instincts with help from Xlibris. I think Xlibris has been very helpful in this process. They’ve always had an ear to listen to my gripes, even when I found that the solution wasn’t exactly what I was looking for. It is difficult to balance your personal, professional, and writing life if you aren’t a professional writer by trade. And when you get to my age, you aren’t really in the habit of compromising. But I think when I look at the finished product, Soultrapped has come out almost as I would have hoped. And it looks great!
Finally, what advice would you give to aspiring authors?
What advice would you give me? I’m an aspiring author myself, ha ha! Seriously, my advice would be to take notes and develop character profiles and biographies of your main characters. Try to imagine what struggles they have had in their lives and how that has shaped who they are. If an idea or a piece of dialogue suddenly comes to you—WRITE IT DOWN! Forgetfulness is the author’s primary problem. This one’s, anyway. And good luck!
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