We have all read vampire novels. After the first few paranormal super books- they seemed to take over the shelves at Barnes and Noble. They were everywhere, yall, Well- I can say- I have never heard of a paranormal novel like BITE SOMEBODY. I have yet to read it- but it is on my list and I am very much looking forward to it! I adore the idea of an awkward vamp as the MC in a romantic comedy. One that likes the 80s? Even better. Bonus points for a beachy setting.
All that to say- it has taken me forever to get this post up- but I am sure that once your read it, that you will want to run out and buy BITE SOMEBODY by Sarah Dobie Bauer.
How to Write a Novel in 41 Days
By Sara Dobie Bauer
How do you write a novel in 41 days? Real answer: I have no idea. But here’s my best guess. See, I wrote a short story years ago called “I Like Your Neck.” It was about an awkward newbie vampire named Celia who falls in love with the smell of her neighbor. I sent the story off to a magazine, and the editor wrote me back. She said the short story was great, but it should really be a novel.
At the time, I was disgruntled, because I’d just given up on a novel, and I really didn’t want to dedicate another six months on several thousand words that would surely suck my energy and soul. I gave it some thought but didn’t take the comment seriously until I mentioned the suggestion to one of my first readers, Dan, who said, “Of course it should be a novel.”
I started writing Bite Somebody, and I finished the first draft in 41 days. Nobody was as shocked as me. I’d never written a full-length novel so quickly before, which made me wonder: why was this one so easy? In honor of Bite Somebody’s release from World Weaver Press, I offer these ideas on how to write something you love—and write it fast.
1. Love your setting.
I want to live on a beach, but I don’t. I live in Ohio. That said, every April, I meet my Aunt Susie on Longboat Key on the Gulf Coast of Florida. There, we lay on the beach, swim, and drink rum punches. In order to spend more time in Florida, I set Bite Somebody on the fictional locale Admiral Key and therefore got to spend 41 days living on the beach with Celia. Because of her beach habitation, I woke every morning wanting to go back to work—in a way, go back on vacation.
2. Know your song.
Bob Marley’s “Everything’s Gonna Be All Right” is the theme song to Bite Somebody. This might give you some idea as to the tone of my vampire novel. No one’s sultry. There are very few deep thoughts. Plus, Bob Marley is beachy, and in a book involving the beach, a hot ex-surfer, and lots of Mary Jane, no song fit better. Every morning, before I opened Word, I listened to Bob. If I ever felt my attention waning, I listened to Bob. Bob’s music was my anthem, and he kept me focused.
3. Love your lead.
Celia is a recovering fat kid, turned by a male vampire in a drunken stupor due to her red hair. She is obsessed with 80s movies and works at an all-night gas station called “Happy Gas.” She has no self-confidence, and her favorite film is Pretty Woman. Celia falls in love with the scent of her new neighbor, Ian Hasselback, and as she fights for fang control, she’s shocked by his attentions. The Hot Guy has never liked her before, so why now? I wrote Bite Somebody from Celia’s perspective, so I got to think like her for 72,000 words. She says things no one should, and she’s painfully awkward. She’s basically me off medication. How freeing to write all the things I keep to myself! Talk about catharsis.
4. Love your romantic interest.
Ian Hasselback: ex-champion surfer, pothead, computer nerd, and really nice guy. He’s an accurate portrayal of my husband if he’d been hit in the head a lot as a kid. I’m not saying Ian’s dumb; he’s just chill. He’s funny, too, and he finds Celia to be fascinating. Let’s be honest: I have a huge crush on Ian. I think this is key to writing romance. If you don’t love your romantic interest, why should your lead character? Although I loved being inside Celia’s head, I loved being in bed with Ian more.
5. Laugh a lot.
This conclusion is directed to people writing comedy. I don’t want you to laugh a lot if you’re writing, like, Gone with the Wind, Part Deux. The writers of Sex and the City used to sit together in one room and type. They would read each other lines, and if they couldn’t make each other choke on coffee, the scene wasn’t worth it. That’s how it went with Bite Somebody. If I wasn’t making myself giggle, I cut the scene and started over. I’ve never written a book this funny before, and it kept me coming back, no matter my mood, because if I felt down, I’d feel up by the time I had a couple paragraphs under my belt.
6. Know the ending.
I knew the last line before I started page one of Bite Somebody. This sounds dubious, I know, but it’s true. I therefore knew exactly where I had to go, and I looked forward to it with every passing page. Each page led to that final line, and I was excited to reach the end. I always think about Michael Douglas in Wonderboys—how he couldn’t finish his manuscript because he “couldn’t stop.” Know your beginning, middle, and end. That way, you can eventually stop but enjoy the ride to the end of the line.
Bite Somebody is now a real thing, available for you to buy and scrutinize at will. The first draft took 41 days. Getting it published took a lot longer. Still, that first draft was pretty impressive, and you can create your own literary funhouse if you stay focused and follow some simple rules.
About Bite Somebody
“Do you want to be perfect?”
That’s what Danny asked Celia the night he turned her into a vampire. Three months have passed since, and immortality didn’t transform her into the glamorous, sexy vamp she was expecting but left her awkward, lonely, and working at a Florida gas station. On top of that, she’s a giant screw-up of an immortal, because the only blood she consumes is from illegally obtained hospital blood bags.
What she needs to do—according to her moody vampire friend Imogene—is just … bite somebody. But Celia wants her first bite to be special, and she has yet to meet Mr. Right Bite. Then, Ian moves in next door. His scent creeps through her kitchen wall and makes her nose tingle, but insecure Celia can’t bring herself to meet the guy face-to-face.
When she finally gets a look at Ian’s cyclist physique, curly black hair, and sun-kissed skin, other parts of Celia tingle, as well. Could he be the first bite she’s been waiting for to complete her vampire transformation? His kisses certainly have a way of making her fangs throb.
Just when Celia starts to believe Ian may be the fairy tale ending she always wanted, her jerk of a creator returns to town, which spells nothing but trouble for everyone involved.
Where to buy Bite Somebody:
About Sara Dobie Bauer:
Sara Dobie Bauer is a writer, model, and mental health advocate with a creative writing degree from Ohio University. She spends most days at home in her pajamas as a book nerd and sex-pert for SheKnows.com. Her short story, “Don’t Ball the Boss,” was nominated for the 2015 Pushcart Prize, inspired by her shameless crush on Benedict Cumberbatch. She lives with her hottie husband and two precious pups in Northeast Ohio, although she would really like to live in a Tim Burton film.