Interview with the Vampire (Writer)
Marissa Frobes | Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Elizabeth “Flynn” Meaney graduated from Notre Dame in 2009 with a Marketing degree. Currently, she lives in New York and is a poetry student in the Hunter College MFA Creative Writing program. “Bloodthirsty,” her first major novel, was published on Oct. 5.
Meaney will be at the Hammes Bookstore Friday for a book reading and signing. She spoke with The Observer about her time at Notre Dame, her writing process and her unique perspective on vampire pop culture.
What do you miss about Notre Dame?
Well, not too seriously I miss unlimited fro-yo in the cafeteria, especially the Irish Mint flavor. I miss fall on campus, going back to school, buying stuff for the dorm, getting the new year set up and seeing everyone again after the summer.
Did you become a writer intentionally? What were you planning to do with your Marketing degree upon graduation?
I was always writing and publishing things. I liked publishing online and in magazines in high school. I was publishing stuff throughout college — I published a novella in college that helped me pay for my time studying abroad. [Meaney studied in Dublin while at Notre Dame.]
Describe your writing process for “Bloodthirsty.” What inspired you to write the book?
I was talking to one of my friends and she was reading a lot of young-adult vampire novels at the time. She was reading collectibles — every “Twilight” and fake-“Twilight” and non-“Twilight” vampire book. We were talking about how we didn’t have to worry about being tan anymore, because pale was “in” because of vampires. I thought how that might benefit a really nerdy pale kid, and then I came up with the story.
How quickly did you write the book?
I wrote it in about a month, right before I started grad school — between September-October-ish, 2009.
How did you get “Bloodthirsty” published?
I sent it to agents that I found on a writer’s resource website. One agent got back to me really quickly; it ended up being a one-day thing. He read it in the morning, and I signed in the afternoon.
Who is your intended audience?
High-school and up.
How do you think you could convince someone opposed to the vampire pop culture phenomenon to read your book?
It’s hard because some people hear “vampire” and are immediately turned off because of the current obsession with vampires. But “Bloodthirsty” is completely set in our world, with people like us everyday as characters. It is more about relationships between people, and exploring the psychology of the term “vampire.” I don’t create a supernatural world and stick vampires like Rob Pattinson in it, and that’s what makes it appealing to more readers.
Favorite pop culture vampire?
Eric from “True Blood.”
Can you tell me about any upcoming projects?
I’m working on my second book in the contract with Little Brown [due out Fall 2011]. I don’t have a topic yet, but I think it will be set in the Midwest.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers or artists at Notre Dame?
If you’re already writing, start submitting your work to online resources and magazines, even if you’re not confident that it is 100 percent perfect. You can work your way up to more established magazines, etc. then, and you’ll be getting feedback along the way, which is always helpful. Use online resources — you need to find an agent. They can teach you how to write query letters, which are really important because agents receive hundreds a day, and you need to make yours stand out. And don’t be turned off by rejection — I was rejected tons of times.