Five-Star Review from TV/Film Producer Joel Eisenberg

“Vampire Syndrome” just received a five-star review from Hollywood TV/Film producer Joel Eisenberg. 😀


After Reading “Jack Wendell’s Vampire Syndrome,” I Felt As Though I Had Never Read a Vampire Novel Before.
By Joel Eisenberg, Author of The Chronicles of Ara on October 17, 2015

Really, how many variations of the vampire theme can there possibly be? Surely, this genre is well-worn; what can possibly be done to rejuvenate it?

Welcome, “Jack Wendell’s Vampire Syndrome.” I promise, you have never read a vampire book like this one.

Let’s begin this way: Jack Wendell, a Special Olympics champion with Down Syndrome, is turned into a vampire (hence the Vampire Syndrome in the title). That enough? Then how’s this: Jack strives for acceptance within his new community and is immediately ordered to be killed. Read Daven’s synopsis on this site. It’s all there. He’s not joking about “space alien Pure vampires” either.

Somehow, Daven Anderson makes it all work. The story is metaphoric for sure, but man is this work compelling. There’s a good deal of tongue in cheek here but not once did I feel the author or his story pandered. This is a compelling work.

Jack Wendell is a character unique to modern fiction. Characters with Down Syndrome have been used frequently in media, see the television shows “Life Goes On” or “American Horror Story.” Autistic protagonists too have been used widely in literature over the past 25 years, but in lit circles fully drawn characters with Down Syndrome have been rare.

Here though is something different and I hope I express this as I mean to: Jack is ‘cool.’ Do I feel sorry for him as he runs from his death sentence? Of course. Am I curious about his budding friendship with Lilith, who will attempt to save him? Yes. But more than this, I lose track of any disabilities on the part of the main character, and root for him as I would for anyone. And then it comes back to me that I’m reading a tale about a boy – a vampire – with Down Syndrome and I’m compelled to credit the author all the more.

This is a special novel and certain to be a special series. Daven is clearly a unique author. He is also a special educator and knows this world well. Jack is a real person to me, in an extraordinary circumstance.

The conflicts inherent therein make for the best of fiction. This is one of my very favorite novels that I’ve read all year.

Kudos Mr. Anderson. A remarkable, fun work.

Joel Amazon Review - Screengrab

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Why Authors Should Pay Attention To Gravity

Well, okay, you should always pay attention to gravity (as in the earth’s natural force), but there is another, graver “Gravity” story you need to know.

Kristin Nelson Pub Rants Article: “Why Authors Should Pay Attention To Gravity”

Quick Summary: Bestselling author Tess Gerritsen brought the suit making a claim that the movie was based on her book that New Line Productions had optioned in 1999. Warner Bros. acquired New Line studios and what is in question is whether Warner Bros, after the acquisition, is required to honor the New Line option agreement.

One thing Nelson didn’t touch on is the possible ramifications for those who are (specifically) pursuing “indie” film adaptations of their novels. For example, it might be quite possible your “vampire novel” is more akin to the artistic spirit of successful recent indie vampire films such as Let The Right One In/Let Me In, Byzantium, Only Lovers Left Alive and A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night than middling ‘major’ projects such as Vampire Academy and Dracula: Untold.

If a major studio buys out your indie film producer(s), a situation like Tess Gerritsen’s could easily happen. Authors pursuing indie projects will have to trust their “gut feelings” that the producers are committed to crafting the films that Hollywood won’t or can’t do. 😈

Boom Boom Vampire Hunter

The final version of Vampire Syndrome contains a passing reference to Damien’s favorite in-universe anime, Boom Boom Karyuudo Kyuketsuki (Boom Boom Vampire Hunter).

From Chapter 13, scene three, Lilith’s point of view:

“I would say ‘fuck you,’ Damien,” I snap,” but Stella probably is jumping your bones right now.”
“Wrong-o, honey. We’re curled up in bed, watching a DVD of Boom Boom Vampire Hunter.”
Gee, what a perfect show to watch after lovemaking.
“The anime series?” Zetania asks.
“Akane Kitsuni bought all the DVD sets for him in Tokyo,” I reply.
“Yeah, I don’t like the American version, where they cut out some of the language and gore,” Damien’s voice says.

Damien is an obsessive fan of the “Boom Boom Vampire Hunter” anime series. The fearless heroes, 13-year-old Nabeshima and his psychic black cat Otaku, travel all over Japan battling adult Kyuketsuki in the cities, and hunting the reclusive child-like Kappa in the rural areas.

Nabeshima uses fully automatic machine guns, grenade and rocket launchers, and plastic explosives in his Vampire hunting quests. It is never explained how a 13-year-old boy acquires all of these weapons, and the series shows he is never suspected by the authorities of any of the carnage, simply because he is “innocent-looking”. His cat Otaku can read the thoughts of humans and Vampires, and communicates to Nabeshima telepathically in a schoolgirl voice.

The ‘over-the-top’ Anime violence has a natural appeal for Damien, but what makes human Vampires love this series is that the Kyuketsuki and Kappa are shown as pale white, no body hair, slightly forward brows and all of their teeth pointed to sharp edges. To human Vampires, this fictional, over-the-top Anime series ironically has the most accurate depictions of ‘Pure’ Vampires since the famous 1922 film classic ‘Nosferatu’. 😉

Here’s another unreleased excerpt from the original version of Vampire Syndrome, ©2010

Damien:

The pale white Kyuketsuki on the Boom Boom Vampire Hunter DVD box flashes my mind back to 1922. I was in Lilly’s office. Fred Henderson, our chief mechanic, had just returned from his vacation in Europe. He handed Lilly a souvenir. A film can. Inside was a print of “Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens “. Fred’s copy would become one of the ‘surviving prints’ we used to restore this film decades later. If only the Normals knew about that.

That night, Fred screened the film for us in the Presidential Mansion’s theater. I was in the front row, Lilly and Beatrice at my sides. When Count Orlok first appeared, the whole room went into shock. Beatrice screamed and ducked to the floor. Instinctively, Lilly and I drew our pistols and aimed at his image on the screen.

Fred ceased cranking the projector and turned on the overhead lights. We, the entire audience, turned to face him.
“Sure looks like a Pure, doesn’t he?” Fred chuckled, reaching down to grab his beer stein.
“How do they know what Pures look like?” I yelled at Fred as I tucked my pistol back in my chest holster. I couldn’t believe what my eyes just told me. “You did say it was Normals who made this moving picture, correct?”
Fred nodded while sipping his beer.
He rested his stein beside the projector and strolled to the overhead light switches.
“Legends only start when someone lives to tell the tale,” Fred said as he dimmed the lights.