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Friday, June 24, 2011


Our Book Club Friday guest today is author Sarah E. Glenn who discusses the story behind the story of All This and Family, Too. To learn more about Sarah, visit her website, blog, and Facebook page and follow her on Twitter @saraheglenn.  

Sarah is offering a copy of All This and Family, Too to one lucky reader. Just post a comment this week to be entered into the drawing. Check back Sunday to see if you're the winner. -- AP

Cynthia Leach is a professor of astronomy. She’s also a new vampire whose sire has been destroyed by vampire hunters. Cynthia believes that she can keep her family safe by moving them across the country to a gated community in Irvine, California, but instead learns that the deeds of vampires can be restricted.

Astronomy isn’t a nighttime science any more, and the department chair demands that she teach day classes. She rescues a runaway who soon learns too much to be discarded. Her grandmother becomes the romantic rival of the president of the homeowners’ association, and now the president is determined to run Grandma out of town. Worst of all, the vampire hunters are persistent ones – who have followed Cynthia to her new home.

If you like vampires, stories with strong female characters, or just hate the pettiness of some gated communities, All This and Family, Too has something to offer you. Cynthia is an extraordinary character in an ordinary world, and she is ill-equipped to handle it.

Part of the inspiration for this book came when I saw the HOA covenant of my wife’s boss. He paid her to type it up for him, and I was surprised to discover that the deed restrictions went far beyond keeping your lawn mowed and turning down the music after 11 PM. Many lifestyle guidelines were included. The covenant controlled the types of outbuildings (sheds, barns, etc.) residents could own for esthetic concerns. Some hobbies were forbidden, because they could potentially lower the resale value of the house – and thus affect the value of their neighbors’ homes.

When I did more research, I found that many covenants are more demanding. Houses could only be repainted in certain, very specific, brands and colors? Landscaping plants could only come from pre-approved lists? If you didn’t follow the rules, you could be sued, or even foreclosed on by your own neighbors! In the hands of a power player or a petty person, these rules make fine tools to abuse.

From there, it was only a short step to a story: what if you were forced to move to a place like this, and the people in charge were abusing the rules for their own purposes? What if you had to stay there to keep your family safe? Worse: what if you couldn’t afford to move out, even if you learned it wasn’t as safe as you’d hoped?

Now imagine this happening to a vampire.

You just never know from where inspiration for a book will come. Thanks for stopping by today Sarah! Readers, don't forget to post a comment to enter the drawing to win a copy of Sarah's book. -- AP


Liz V. said...

Good luck w/ your book. Your blog suggests you're having fun launching it!

Melinda Leigh said...

Funny! These communities give me the creeps.

Sarah Glenn said...

I'm having a blast launching it, Liz.

Melinda: they may work for some people, but if you're a misfit...

Anonymous said...

I've been hooked on vampires since I was a kid and rushed home from school to watch Dark Shadows. Put your book on my must read list.

Kathy N.

Patricia said...

I read something the other day on someone's blog that if you just use the words "what if" you can come up with a ton of stories to tell. Your book sounds superbly unusual and I love the gated community theme. The rules and regulations in some of those places can be outrageous, like a bunch of Stepford people living some aberration of the American dream!


I want to thank Sarah E. Glenn for being our guest today. If you haven't posted a comment yet to enter the drawing for a copy of her book, don't forget to do so. And check back on Sunday to see who the lucky winner is.

Marian Allen said...

Sarah, your finding inspiration in a Home Owner's Association covenant is itself an inspiration! Thanks for sharing that.

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