With Halloween creeping up on us, who could resist a spooky read to get us in the mood for the ghoulish season. ‘Vlad The World’s Worst Vampire,’ is the first book in a brand new series from Anna Wilson illustrated by Kathryn Durst, What happens when you’re a vampire but well you’re not very scary at all and your even afraid of the dark. Well it makes being a vampire rather tricky and all Vlad wants to do his find some friends and he thinks he knows just the place to find them, Human school. But how will Vlad keep his true identity secret from his new friends whilst keeping his new friends secret from his family. A fun, engaging read for younger readers about trying to find your place in the world. To celebrate the release of this spooktacular new book I am kicking off the blog tour with a special guest post from Anna Wilson.
Inspiration behind Vlad the World’s Worst Vampire – Anna Wilson
The inspiration for Vlad’s character came while chatting to my editor about what fun it would be to create a scary vampire family whose son was a complete disappointment to them. I immediately had a picture in my head of a tiny, pale-faced, lonely and frightened little boy who was allergic to dust, hated spiders, was afraid of the dark and couldn’t stand the sight of blood. I didn’t have to look far to find the inspiration for that character as quite a lot of those fears were very real to me when I was a child!
The other thing Vlad and I have in common is that we love reading. I was an avid bookworm at his age (still am!) and would rather find a corner to bury myself in a book than do anything else. So I sympathise hugely with Vlad when his parents are nagging him over his Vampire History homework or despairing that he can’t change into a bat yet – and all he wants is to be left in peace so that he can read.
Once I had established the differences between Vlad and his parents, I found I had started to explore how it would feel to be a child in a family whose way of life is very different from those around them. Vlad’s family is a traditional old-fashioned vampire family – his parents are proud of this and want to keep Vlad from mixing with humans. To ensure that he doesn’t stray from their home on the hill they make him fearful of what would happen if ever he met a human being. They paint a picture of humans as dangerous beings who would harm a vampire if ever they met one.
Vlad, however, is of a different generation. He doesn’t care so much about the traditions his parents hold so dear and he desperately wants a friend his own age as there are no other vampire families in the neighbourhood. So he ignores his parents’ wishes and goes looking for friends on his own. That is when he meets Minxie – a funny, brave, clever girl who accepts him wholeheartedly for who he is and makes Vlad wonder if his parents know what they are doing, keeping themselves to themselves all the time.
I found myself wanting to write a story in which people who feel as Vlad does – isolated and “different” – can recognise themselves and perhaps realise that life doesn’t have to turn out badly for them as a result. Vlad’s parents are quite proud of being literally outside of human life – they hide away in their spooky manor house and never go into the human town below. Over the course of the Vlad series I hope to show that they too will learn a few lessons, however. I hope that as Vlad becomes more confident in his new-found freedom and his explorations of human life, that his parents will accept this and perhaps be surprised by how they are also accepted by the humans who are their neighbours.
I firmly believe that integration and acceptance make for a happier and richer life for everyone – whether you are a boy or a girl or a vampire or anything else in between. So if you feel a little lost like Vlad does at the beginning of his adventures, I hope that you will draw some strength from his growing confidence and become as happy as he does in his own (very pale!) skin.
Thanks to Anna for stopping by the blog with her special guest post, I really enjoy reading how authors are inspired to write their books.
Why not join in with the rest of the blog tour for more guest posts and reviews.
Thank you to Beth and Stripes for inviting me to take part in the blog tour and for my copy of this humorous tale.