What inspired Revamp?
Firstly, my love of vampires. Short of becoming one, writing about them was the closest I could get to them. Secondly, I started on Revamp after the 9/11 attacks, so the United States, and the world, was experiencing a big upheaval, and change was on the horizon. I started thinking about a change of a very different kind and the idea that people can love a country so much while others can hate it to the same degree.
Which character was the hardest to write?
The most challenging character to write was Mabon. I like my killers evil but sympathetic. I want my readers to experience that tiny twist in the gut from the guilt and confusion they’re feeling over pitying someone who does such bad things. In my opinion, people aren’t born bad, life makes them that way. Although, David Seltzer might disagree. At any rate, as an upstanding citizen, writing the bad guys is always the most difficult task for me but also the most fun.
Did you have to do any traveling while doing research for Revamp?
I wrote Revamp over seven years and moved house and state and country a number of times in those years, and to me, life is research. As a writer, I am constantly filing incidents away in my brain, to be retrieved later on demand. So, in a way, travel was involved in my research for this book. I did live in Los Angeles, the main setting of Revamp, for a couple of years.
Have you ever considered writing in any other genres?
I love horror. Revamp is New Adult horror, as is my second book, due out some time next year. My third book, which I’ll start writing in November, will be more on the New Adult action/suspense side. But always expect bloodshed. And chainsaws. Okay, maybe not chainsaws.
Are you writing any new material?
I’m mostly doing promotion right now for Revamp and blog work, but my hands are itching. It’s about time to start on my third book.
What’s your favorite horror movie?
Great question, but almost impossible to answer because I have too many. I love Aliens and Jaws but those are probably considered more science fiction. I love the original Halloween and Nightmare on Elm Street. Return of the Living Dead is a fun ride, and the remake of Dawn of the Dead. The Descent, Zombieland, and Drag Me to Hell are some favorite newer ones. But as an avid horror-movie-watcher, I accept that even the really bad ones can be thoroughly enjoyable.
What’s your favorite paranormal creature?
I like yetis (somewhere a yeti is cheering).
If you could have any super power, what would it be?
Definitely not reading people’s minds. That would suck, in my opinion. The most obvious one would be flying. I would love to be able to fly. But I recently watched a movie about a guy who took a pill to be incredibly smart and productive. To know all the answers—that would be pretty cool.
News reporters scrambled. This was the biggest story to come along in weeks.
They called it a blackout.
The last one was in New York City in 2003, but this one was different, special, because the grids in six major cities across the country had been fried, kaput, see-you-next-Sunday. Everyone with some jurisdiction blamed each other, and when there was no one left to blame, terrorism rode in on its gallant steed.
It was the media’s fault. They were so busy stuffing fanatical Muslims with a penchant for Allah and decapitations down the American citizen’s throat, that they never saw it coming. I guess I shouldn’t be too hard on them.
They were partially right.
It was terror after all, but a whole new kind. And when the lights came back on, things had changed.
The dark had brought us visitors.
An Excerpt from Revamp
“Over there,” Charlie said, in an urgent whisper. We all looked at Charlie. He had his gun pointing toward the right side of the room. “It moved. I’m sure of it. The one that looks like…like the lead singer of the Ramones. He moved his hand.”
“Which one’s that?”Topps asked, waving his gun in the general direction.
“The guy with the long hair…I swear, I swear he moved.”
“We believe you,” Topps said, and we did because there was no reason not to and every reason to.
We were all pointing our guns and flashlights now. Our beams met on the seemingly lifeless body of a tall, thin man with pruned flesh and three missing fingers. He was shirtless, in tight black jeans. His eyes were closed.
The room was still.
If he moved, we’d know it.
“What’s that sound? Do you hear it?” Seven asked.
We did. It was a wet noise—very quiet but coming from all around. Only holding your breath could you hear it. We eyed the bodies and aimed our guns.
“They’re dead. We checked them,” Seven said.
Leech was standing a couple feet away from Cooper and I. He leaned over one of the bodies, an older woman with a wide forehead and frizzy hair. He straightened up suddenly.
“It’s their teeth, folks. They’re coming out.”
Quick movement somewhere.
A horrible screech.
A shot was fired, and other shots rang out in succession.
My hearing dropped out, but I still had my sight, and I saw the hermits, toothy and mad, rising up off the ground in shifting beams of light. The ones that had no limbs made do, shuffling, hopping, jerking, lunging toward dinner.
Someone screamed. It might have been me.
A hermit appeared in front of me. Its whole body was vibrating. I shot.
I fired again and hit the hermit’s chest, catapulting the vampire into the wave of violence behind it. A hand wrapped around my arm, urging me forward. Cooper. He was yelling something.
We surged ahead, torn mangled bodies we had just inspected coming for us from all directions.
The little boy with the severed arm rushed at me, ducking and dodging. I emptied my gun, not able to get a mark.
I threw the gun.
It hit his head but did nothing to slow him. I pulled the stake from out of my back sheath and whacked him across the face twice. He rammed into me, making me drop my stake. I got a hold of his tiny ears and veered his gnashing teeth away from my stomach. I pressed my hands firmly against both sides of his head and yanked to the right. I felt a pop and let go.
The child hermit backed away from me, his head now lolling to the side. I retrieved my stake and heaved it into his chest.
Far away, shots fired. My arm flared with pain. I looked down at a small circle on my bicep seeping blood. I’d been shot.
An arm, more bone than the other stuff, slid around my neck. The hand at the end of that arm forced my head to the side, stretching my jugular. Breath that promised no tomorrow slid across my cheek.
About Beck Sherman
Beck Sherman was born and raised in Massachusetts, studied undergrad at Syracuse University, has a master’s degree in photojournalism from the University of Westminster, London, and when not writing, enjoys exploring abandoned insane asylums and photo-documenting the things that go bump in the night, when they’re kind enough to pose.
Find Beck Sherman
Win one of 2 print copies of Revamp (US winners only) or one of 15 ecopies (open to international winners) through the Rafflecopter widget at this link. The giveaway runs until August 30, 2012.