There’s nothing better than when a fabulous author is also a lovely person and friend. I’ve been hooked on Sara Dobie Bauer’s writing since I first read Bite Somebody, and her darker work is just as enticing. Today, I picked her brain about her latest release, Escaping Exile.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Andrew is a vampire from New Orleans, exiled to a tropical island in the 1800s as punishment for his human bloodlust. During a storm, a ship crashes off shore. After rescuing a sailor from the cannibals native to the land, Andrew becomes fascinated with his brilliant, beautiful new companion, Edmund.
Edmund is a British naturalist who has sailed the world seeking new species. Intrigued by creatures that might kill him, immortal Andrew is this scientist’s dream-but so is making his way back home. Edmund will fight to survive, even while wrapped in the arms of a monster.
As light touches and laughter turn to something much more passionate, the cannibals creep ever closer to Edmund. Can the ancient vampire keep his human alive long enough to escape exile and explore their newfound love, or will Andrew’s bloodlust seal his own doom?
Writing fiction set in a historical time period always requires research. What’s the coolest thing you learned while researching for Escaping Exile, whether or not that detail made it into the text?
This is going to sound so geeky, but… the clothes. Escaping Exile takes place in the years between 1820 and 1830. It was a time when fashion for men was changing, so some men still wore breeches while others wore trousers (basically Capri pants versus pants that went all the way to the floor). Although there aren’t many clothes in the first book of The Escape Trilogy (that may or may not be a sex joke), clothes become a thing later when Edmund wears more modern attire and Andrew, as an ancient vampire, is more old school. Edmund even goes so far as to avoid cravats! It was quite scandalous for a man to show so much neck … especially when he hangs out with vampires all the time.
It sounds like Edmund had a fascinating life even before his shipwreck. Do you have any plans to revisit his past?
Oh, yeah, we revisit his past. I really can’t say much about it because SPOILERS, but we do poke around his London days later in the series. A lot of his character’s darker side is eventually revealed, and most of it is due to his strict British high society upbringing.
I love authors who keep vampires fresh by adding their own spin. Did you have any particular inspiration for Andrew and his ilk in this series?
I’m always annoyed in vampire movies when vampires just kill a bunch of people with no repercussions. Like, aren’t there corpses to get rid of? Don’t people get suspicious? In Escaping Exile, Andrew started killing too many people in New Orleans, which is why he’s sent away, exiled to a tropical island as punishment. As the series continues, killing humans is definitely a no-no — but what if there’s an accident? What if someone is super hungry? What will the punishment be?
If you were shipwrecked on a tropical island, which of your characters (from any of your works) would you want with you?
Edmund, of course, my shipwrecked sailor in Escaping Exile. He’s brilliant, funny, and sexy as hell. Unlike Andrew, Edmund is actually bisexual, so that’s a win for me. He knows how to hunt and set traps, and he’s full of interesting anecdotes. Plus, I based his look on a buffed-up Timothee Chalamet, and I wouldn’t mind kissing that face all day — and night — long.
Any hints about what’s next for our guys in The Escape Trilogy, book 2??
New Orleans!!! Gorgeous bad boys in fancy suits drinking absinthe. Brothels and orgies. A trans-Atlantic ocean voyage. Love is love is love … and Andrew and Edmund have lots of it.
And finally, leave us with a short excerpt from Escaping Exile that shows why readers should check it out!
With the smell of him farther away, I realize something’s wrong. Did a bird’s morning cry wake me, or…
I tackle Edmund to the bed and cover his mouth.
“Don’t make a sound,” I whisper.
It was indeed a whistle that woke me, and I didn’t smell the invaders earlier because all I smelled was Edmund. I smell them now, though, the cannibals. They are blood and filth and murder—and they are close, closer than they’ve ever been to my house before. I never should have let Edmund go to the beach. I never should have let him fish. The breeze probably carried the scent of his blood for miles in every direction, right to these monsters that hope to swallow his screams and devour his flesh.
Pressed together as we are, I feel his heart pumping blood at a panicked pace, especially when we hear the natives speaking in their foreign tongue. They speak and whistle to each other, but they must be at least twenty feet away. Perhaps they fear coming any closer to the home of the dead thing that walks among them? God, I hope so. Starved of human blood, I’m weak—too weak even to defend my Edmund.
His heart continues to thump against me as I remove my hand from his mouth and wait. His chest rises and falls, but his breaths are silent.
I smell them moving away more than I hear them. Once the breeze is again perfumed by only ocean and Edmund, I exhale and lean back, but Edmund, eyes wide, shoves me away and tumbles onto the floor in his hurry to escape me. The vehemence is surprising considering he woke up minutes earlier with a man in his bed and didn’t bat an eye.
But the look in his eyes.
“You have no heart beat,” he says. “How is that…” He stands and picks up the knife by the fire, cleaned of fish guts. “You don’t eat. You have no heartbeat. You’re of no interest to cannibals. Wh—what are you?”
I hold my hands out in front of me. “I’m not your enemy.”
He chuckles and searches for words. “Damn it, what are you, Andrew?”
“Something very old.”
“Christ, crocodiles are old!” He holds the small knife out in front of him. “Tell me.”
I sit on the edge of my bed. “My people called me upiór. In your modern English, I suppose the word would be vampire.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sara Dobie Bauer is a bestselling author, model, and mental health / LGBTQ advocate with a creative writing degree from Ohio University. Twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize, she lives with her hottie husband and two precious pups in Northeast Ohio, although she’d really like to live in a Tim Burton film. She is author of the paranormal rom-com Bite Somebody series, among other sexy things. Learn more at http://SaraDobieBauer.com.