Living at home is driving seventeen-year-old Astrid Sonnschein nuts. She's desperate to leave her parents behind, and why not, with stepfather George a foul-tempered old vampire, and Mom - well, the less we say about Mom the better.'
Published: September 5th, 2015
TEENAGE GIRL FLEES THE UNDEAD !!!
Living at home is driving seventeen-year-old Astrid Sonnschein nuts. She's desperate to leave her parents behind, and why not, with stepfather George a foul-tempered old vampire, and Mom - well, the less we say about Mom the better.
And our heroine has another compelling reason for getting out of Dodge. If she stays home much longer she's in grave danger of being transformed forever, and the last thing she wants is to become the newest Nosferatu.
So it's off to Rosenberg High and relative safety. Except it's far from safe when her relatives are holier than holy Aunt Jean, beer-swilling couch potato Uncle James and devious, cat-loving cousin Emma. And that's just evenings and weekends. Astrid Sonnschein's schooldays teem with teeth-sinkable challenges, the man of her dreams refuses to play by the rules, and the plethora of pitchfork-bearing peasants are beginning to mutter.
Peasants-schmeasants! It's when the full moon rises that Astrid's real troubles begin ...
‘Fifty Percent Vampire’ is quite dark in places. Why do you think people are attracted to dark stories?
It has always been so, ever since the first stories were told around campfires. Life is full of ups and downs, and dare I say it, mostly downs these days. Readers empathize with fictional characters like Astrid who have nasty problems to solve. Everyone needs someone to root for, someone they hope will overcome their challenges and live happily ever after. But fiction, like life, doesn’t always turn out that way.
Is Astrid Sonnschein based on anyone you know?
Heh, heh. Maybe. I know a lot of half-vampires.
Your novel ‘Fifty Percent Vampire’ isn’t just about vampires, and it isn’t just a love story either.
Far from it! It’s a Bildungsroman in which I make use of the vampire genre to explore several important themes. Family, otherness, the meaning of life, friendship, coming of age, mental health, to mention a few.
Sure. Did you notice the several voices inside Astrid’s head? One of the big questions in the novel is, is Astrid quite with it? Is she telling us the truth? Are the other characters telling us the truth? In this way I’m exploring the art of fiction itself.
So the story can be read on several levels?
Yes. You can read the novel as a pure paranormal romance but I’m hoping readers will find this a valuable book to go back to time and again and find new meaning with each reading. There are a lot of clues to be found in the story and many references to follow up. It’s like a literary jigsaw puzzle.
And it’s funny.
All the best stories contain the spice of comedy. Let’s start with Chaucer’s ‘Canterbury Tales’, stop off for a while at Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’ and end up with Andy Weir’s ‘The Martian’. The basic story of ‘The Martian’ is a stranded guy trying to get home to Earth from several million miles away and having to survive on a diet of potatoes at every meal. Most people would die of despair, but not Mark Watney. His sense of humor sees him through.
About the author
D.K. Janotta was born and raised in England and Wales but now calls a chalet on a mountainside overlooking beautiful Lake Geneva in Switzerland home. He has worked in Belgium, The Netherlands, Norway, France, South Korea, and several states of the USA. He subverts the vampire genre to ask questions about and reflect on the meaning of human life.