Drew Hayes was kind enough to answer a few questions from yours truly to talk about his latest supernatural comedy novel, THE UTTERLY UNINTERESTING AND UNADVENTUROUS TALES OF FRED, THE VAMPIRE ACCOUNTANT, which is available on Amazon.
What inspired you to write The Utterly Uninteresting and Unadventurous Tales of Fred, the Vampire Accountant?
I think the concept of Fred grew out of frustration with so many fantasy books I read following the same formula: person is normal and awkward and bad at life, person becomes supernatural, person resists change initially, person embraces change and becomes baddest mofo in history. I think people are more set in their ways than that, and changing one aspect of what you are doesn’t inherently alter who you are. Fred was my attempt to embrace that concept, showing a man who stayed who he was, normal and boring, despite being made into something inherently extraordinary.
You seem to focus on humorous, paranormal stories. Do you have any influences in that genre? What are some of your favorites within the genre?
I’d say for humor and the paranormal my favorites are Christopher Moore and Terry Pratchett. They both do a great job of mixing the fantastical with the mundane, which is what makes a great humor fantasy, in my opinion. Having touchstones in reality tend to make the characters more relatable, because we find them reacting to the sudden and fantastical much as we imagine we would.
Tell us a little about Fred. How does one become a vampire accountant? Is he like an accountant for vampires, like an accountant to the stars, but different?
Ha! That would have been a really cool premise, and now I’m a little sad I didn’t think of it. Nope, Fred is vampire accountant in the same way someone with dark hair is a brunette accountant. He’s a guy who has always been better with numbers than people, isn’t terribly good at being socially outgoing, and tends to feel shy in large groups. He’s a nice person, but an awkward introvert. Also he just happens to be a vampire.
Fred is a vampire accountant, which sounds utterly interesting, as well as adventurous. Would you agree?
Fred himself is not the adventurous sort, though he does often end up in adventurous situations. Really, his perfect night would be playing Scrabble with his few friends and drinking a nice red wine, maybe paired with a solid cheese plate. Sadly for Fred (but luckily for the readers) life doesn’t always go along with what he wants, and despite his utterly uninteresting nature he does find himself embroiled in more antics than any self-respecting accountant should have to deal with.
Do you have any future plans for Fred? Will he continue on in other books?
Not only will he, but I just finished up the second story in the sequel before answering these questions. As a rule, I usually don’t work on sequels until I see how the first book in a potential series sells, but with Fred I had to make an exception. I’m just too fond of him, and his menagerie of fellow oddballs, to leave it with a single volume. Fred is one of those characters that, even if no one else buys or likes him, I’ll probably still keep writing stories about for years to come.
Some people like serious and drab books, like Dickens. Why do you think people like to suffer through their reading, instead of read something fun, like Fred?
Ultimately it comes down to what you want out of your literature. Some people like serious literary contemplations on the state of society and the human condition. Personally, I like superheroes playing beer pong and vampire accountants, which why I write what I write and read what I read. Those people who like the high-minded stuff are probably smarter than me, though I might put down some decent money that my preferences leave me demonstrably happier than them.
Tell us, in haiku format, why someone should read The Utterly Uninteresting and Unadventurous Tales of Fred, the Vampire Accountant
Haiku? Yowza, I am nooooot good at poetry in any form. But, I’ll do my best!
Fred’s An Odd Undead
Bad Vampire, Great Accountant
Prefers Forms To Fangs