• A vampiric period

    26 December 2022

    A few days ago on Twitter, Frank Cottrell-Boyce asked: "Children's authors, what's the wildest question a child has asked you on an author visit? Mine: Have you ever... ever... Ate a Nettle?"


    I didn't have to think long before I came up with MY answer, which I got asked by a young woman at an event many years ago. "Do female vampires have periods???"


    I had to think quick on my feet on the day, but after careful (albeit swift) consideration, my answer was... no. I figured, with their ultra slow metabolisms -- vampires are a lot like their literary cousins, zombies, in many ways -- and the fact that they can't have children, that they'd have no need of this particular bodily function. I'll never forget the gawping eyes of the shocked boys in the audience!!!


    That reminds me of my first draft of Lord Loss. In the first chapter, Grubbs Grady plays a nasty trick on his sister, and leaves rat guts in one of her towels. But in my original opening chapter he drew vampire faces on her sanitary towels!!! (I thought it would provide an amusing little in-joke link to my previous series!) It didn't get past my agent, who said he loved the book when he read it, but THAT scene would have to go!!!! He was probably right, and the rat guts probably DO work better, but I'd be lying if I said a small part of me still didn't regret making the change, just to find out what the reaction from my male pre-teen and teen readers would have been...


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