Former New Times staff writer-turned-fiction writer Christopher Farnsworth has just released the third book in his President's Vampire series, Red, White and Blood.
The series centers on Nathaniel Cade, a vampire sworn to protect the president and the nation from the unforeseeable forces that go bump in the night. (Because where better to depict blood sucking fiends than in government?)
Farnsworth will be kicking off his book tour this weekend and stopping by the Poised Pen in Scottsdale on Sunday, April 29th, for a free book signing, reading, and maybe even a chance to hear your outlandish conspiracy theories.
Before kicking off his book tour, Farnsworth spoke with Jackalope Ranch about his love of history, the paranormal, and his future plans for the President's Vampire series.
Where did the books' protagonist, Nathaniel Cade, come from?
"It was actually a real story out of American history. There was a guy that was tried and convicted of being a vampire - killing two crew members on his ship in 1867 and drinking their blood.
For some reason the president at the time, Andrew Johnson pardoned him and there was no real explanation why, and I just kept thinking, 'what would a president need with a vampire?' Then it just sort of snowballed from there and I just kept thinking, 'well what wouldn't he use a vampire for?'
It sort of gave me a chance to play with the idea of, instead of a war on terror, a war on horror - if all of the things in the horror stories are real and they're worse than we expected."
Did you stumble across this story because you're a history buff or because you're interested in vampires?
"A little of both. I've always been interested in the paranormal, bizarre stories, weird pop culture, horror movies and things like that but I was also a history major in college and this gives me a chance to play around with both of those."
So I imagine writing about paranormal activity is a chance to form grand hypotheses on the unanswered questions in American history...
"Definitely. Conspiracy theories are like our nation's folk tales. They're the grand unifying explanations for everything. There's a lot of weird stuff in U.S. history. There have been conspiracy theories since before the nation was formed."
It sounds like with all these bizarre cases in history, the book series is full of potential.
"Yeah I sure hope so. I'd like to keep it going and I've sort of got it planned out for 10 [books]."