My friend David McAfee wrote an amazing novel, entitled, 33 A.D. I’ve read it and it is splendid, IMHO. 😀

According to David’s blog, “33 A.D. is the story of a vampire in Biblical Jerusalem who is sent to assassinate Jesus of Nazareth.” In David’s tale, vampires used Pontius Pilate and Judas to further their cause. It is an intricately woven tale of suspense and horror. This novel deserves some attention.

David’s UK publisher, Ghostwriter Publications, will release David’s novel around June 2010. Since David’s previous agent did not sell his U.S. rights, David decided to release the U.S. version himself, but he is still seeking representation and a U.S. publisher. 😉 And this novel deserves both.

I conducted an interview with David about his work. A contest will follow thereafter. 😀

Demon Hunter–1.) How did you come up with the concept for 33 A.D. And did you ever imagine it would offend anyone?
David McAfee: 33 A.D. was inspired by the book Violent Sands, by Sean Young. Violent Sands (Breakneck Books, 2006 – now an imprint of Variance Publishing) is the story of Barabbas, the murderer set free by Pilate instead of Jesus. Young’s book is incredible in its ability to take you back to that time and place, and while I read it, I started to think about what else might have been lurking in the shadows and I started to wonder what a vampire in Biblical Jerusalem would have thought of all the hoopla surrounding Jesus. Viola! The concept for 33 A.D. was born.

I did worry about people getting offended, and I still do. Some people already have, and they let me know about it, too. But the book isn’t meant to be offensive, it’s just a story. I tried pretty hard to get a lot of the details as close to the Bible as possible, which was a real challenge for me because I’m not especially religious. (I bought my first Bible while writing the book and used it for research) But there is only so much you can do when you insert a vampire into the New Testament, and there are people who will not be interested. Thankfully, I have several friends who are deeply Christian and they helped me out (Jeremy Robinson Aprilynne Pike, etc.) by reading it and making sure I didn’t screw up too badly. 😉

DH– 2.) Why do you prefer to write in the horror genre?
DM–That’s a harder question than it seems, because I don’t necessarily prefer to write horror, I just write what I like and it is what it is. I like vampires, but I don’t care for the romantic’s view of them. I like vampires with bite (no pun intended), so I think that is what makes this a horror novel rather than an urban fantasy. That said, if you’ve read any of my short stories, well…those are definitely horror. Huh. I just blather on, don’t I?

DH–3.) How long have you been writing?
DM–I wrote a kids’ book when I was six, does that count? I even illustrated it. It was titled TIGGER MEETS LADY TIGGER. Obviously it violated all sorts of copyright laws, and my parents were far more aware of such things than I was. But I was proud. I’d written a book. At twelve, I started my first horror novel about a giant mutant cat that escaped from a geneticist’s lab and terrorized a small town. A few weeks into writing it I discovered girls, and that piece of fiction remains unfinished to this day. But I’ve only been trying to get published for about 5 years now.

DH–4.) What is your writing dream?
DM–I would love to quit my day job. I know that’s kinda lame, but that’s it. Really. It wouldn’t even take much because my day job doesn’t pay all that well.

DH–5.) Who are some of your writing influences?
DM–Hmmm…there are a lot of them. King, Crichton, R.A. Salvatore, Margaret Weis and Tracey Hickman, Terry Brooks, Terry Goodkind, P.N. Elrod, and several dozen others who helped warp my mind just enough to want to write the weird stuff that comes from my head.

DH–6.) What else are you working on?
DM–33 AD has been taking up a lot of my time, but there are a few things in the pipeline that are growing nicely. Another vampire book, BAIT, is most likely the next novel-length fiction I will write. I love that story, it’s about a guy who uses himself as bait to catch and kill vampires, and he has a very unique method of doing so, but that’s all I’m going to say for now. Keep your eyes and ears open.

DH–7.) Do you think you’ll ever write in another genre? If so, what?
DM–Other than horror? Probably, but I’m one of those annoying people that always tends to think of worst case scenarios. I’ll see someone’s discarded grocery list in a parking lot and wonder if they were attacked before they could finish shopping, or I’ll see a dog riding in the back of some guy’s pickup and start thinking up reasons for the dog not to be in the cab. Usually I come up with things like the dog is vicious and would eat the driver, or it’s possessed and the driver is taking it to an exorcism. That’s just how my mind works. So most of the time when I get an idea for a story, it’s not pretty. That said, I do have one or two non-horror projects in the pipeline, including YA and MG projects.
DH–8.)Do you have to have silence while you write or do you prefer music?
DM–Silence. I used to write to the soundtrack from DRACULA, but I didn’t want it to become a crutch, you know what I mean? So now I close the door to my writing room and tune everything out.

David agreed to give away a signed copy of 33 A.D. to one lucky commenter. All you have to do is leave a comment. If you do not have a blog with your e-mail address listed, please list your e-mail address as follows: your e-mail (AT) wherever (DOT) com, so the spam bots won’t send you junk mail. The contest is open to anyone. The contest will end on March 1, 2010 at 11:59 p.m. EST.

29 Comments

  1. Congrats on the UK book deal Dave and good luck finding representation here! And great interview Tyhitia! You ask wonderful questions. I always find horror roots and where they started interesting because although we are all different the stories always strike a similar cord. Take care!Hinny

  2. I'm sort of hoping you'll resubmit \”Tigger vs. Lady Tigger\”. This book sounds terrific! I'm not offended at all. Please don't put Tigger in a tutu, though. That would really offend me.

  3. That novel sounds great. Sadly, sometimes the people who hate your work are far louder than those who love it. Hopefully the emails he gets are heavy on the positive side over the negative.

  4. Definitly sounds like it's down my alley. The collection of vampire stories I'm working on now have some religious connotations as well. That probably limits the audience but those who like the horror genre will likely appreciate it. Email is kainja(AT)hotmail(DOT)com

  5. Tyhitia, EXCELLENT interview with David…he's always been well spoken but you asked all the right questions and that isn't as easily done as people think!I've been telling everyone I know about Dave's book…the premise alone had me on a mission to talk people into buying it! There is a local meeting group here in Texarkana that discusses everything from religions & politics to relationships, crazy ex's and even midgets. We are pretty diverse; including agnostics, atheists, pagans, and more. I will be offering up this book as a topic for the night at our 1st meeting after its release date. I have already shared the premise and have the group sitting on the edge!Anyway, I am rambling (something I do pretty often)…Thanx for the interview with DM~he's an awesome guy!I look forward to reading more of your blog and can't wait for 33ad!imzadi(at)yahoo(dot)com

  6. Thank You, Hinny. 🙂 On both counts.Robin – I'll see if I can find that old manuscript. Basically, \”lady Tigger\” saves Tigger from climbing another tree (we all remember that disaster, right?) and they got married and lived happily ever after. Hey, I was 6. :)Thanks, Axis. :)Caspar608 – That's a relief. Glad ya don't wanna eat it. ;)Good Luck, Chris!Christina – So far, the number of people who judge the book (and me) without reading it has been pretty small. I think most people are open minded enough to at least give the book a look before they start talking bad about it. Most. Not all.Charles – Rock on, man. I love stories like that (it's why I wrote 33 A.D.)Myne – DH does ask good questions, doesn't she? ;)Anonymous – \”anonymous\”? Who ya tryin' to kid, Deb? :)Mariska – I have to say, my favorite scene in the book is probably the one where the assassin (Theron) visists Jesus in his cell the night before the Crucifixion. I don't know if everyone will like it as much as I do, but to me that scene IS the book. I dunno why.Wow. Look at me taking up all this room on DH's blog. Sorry DH! Still love ya!

  7. That is about the coolest premise I've read in ages!Definitely add my name in the drawing, Demon Hunter, and if I don't win, you need to tell me where to go to order a copy. Totally awesome concept.

  8. Yes, congratulations to David on his success. And I hope he continues to work in the dark fiction genre and bring us more of the same quality work. Great interview!

  9. I would love to win an autographed copy of this. I'm proud to call David my friend, even though we've never met in person. I tried winning a copy through his site, but, he didn't choose me 😦 So, maybe I'll get lucky, here. Great interview, by the way!

  10. Great interview. And the cover art still makes me shudder, David. 🙂 But in the good way. thegirlinthesoapdish(at)live(dot)com.

  11. I've sitting here amazed that he actually wrote his first book at the age of six. Then, his first novel at the age of twelve.Impressive.The plot to this particular novel featured sounds very interesting. I hardly read this genre but I am interested on purchasing this book, just off the interview along. I will make a note of it.I love writers, period.

  12. Thank you for the kind wishes, everyone. Much appreciated. With any luck, you'll all still feel that way after you read the book. 😉 One can hope, anyway.Don – just wanted to say that, in all fairness, the novel I started at age 12 was never finished. (I was distracted by things like breasts and legs and other adolescent fantasies.) Also wanted to say I checked out your blog and it's amazing!

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