Interview: Chele Cooke (Teeth)
Please welcome Chele Cooke, author of the vampire book Teeth! I’m asking Chele some very important questions, including what super power she would prefer to have. To find out more about Teeth, visit Goodreads or Amazon, and make sure to visit the other blogs participating in the blog tour.
Chele: Hi there! Firstly, thank you so much for having me.
I’m a 29 year old author living in London, UK. I actually mostly grew up in the countryside so I am very much a person at home in wellington boots and finding things to do on my own. I guess that was how I got into reading. When your friends don’t live just down the road, you need to stay entertained.
I was living in San Francisco when I started writing. I was in the US for two and a half years and home sickness got to me. Reading and writing became an escape though I now love San Francisco more than anything. By the time I came back to England writing was a big part of me and for the first time I was set on what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to be an author, a dream that came to fruition with the publication of my first book in 2013. Now I’m three down and many more to go.
These days I’m a bit of a geek hermit. I say that in the best possible way as I love it. When I’m not writing I’m most likely reading, watching television shows (drama and action, not reality,) or watching movies. I occasionally go to the theatre and concerts. In general, anything with a good story will most likely resonate with me.
I also really like making things. Drawing (though I’m awful at it,) cross stitching, and knitting. I like pretty things.
Could you describe Teeth in one sentence?
Ah… umm… *half an hour later*
A fast fun story that isn’t afraid to take a bite out of the darker sides of vampires.
Teeth features Thomas, a medical intern that turns into a vampire. We’ve had a whole whirlwind of vampire fiction in the wake of the success of Twilight, how do you keep the concept of a vampire character fresh?
I think having vampires as the point of view characters certainly helped in giving Teeth a different perspective. A lot of the books in the vampire genre have the point of view character as a human who gets caught up in that world, giving you the outsider looking in view. By having a trio of vampire characters, all at different stages in their un-life, you get a very different insight.
There is a lot of lore on vampires out there, and every author will pick and choose which stuff they want to follow. Are they allowed out in the daylight, do they have to stay away from crosses, all those sorts of things. By choosing which lore you’re going to use and which you’re not, you’re already coming up with something original before you even start writing the plot.
I chose a lot of my lore and turned it around for an even bigger impact on that, and I explained things that maybe haven’t been looked at as closely. Why a stake through the heart works to kill a vampire, for example, was a big part in shaping my methods of death. Even though you only see a relatively small slice of vampire life in this first book, I’ve surrounded myself with an entire working world of information I can pluck from and use to make sure the story is consistent.
What book has shaped you most as a writer and why?
There are a lot of books that I think have influenced me over the years, but I’m going to have to go with the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling simply for the fact it was the first series that really got me into writing.
The books came out during my teen years (I think I was 21 when book 7 came out) and whilst I’d always read a lot, these books opened up my imagination in a way I’d not found since I was a child reading Roald Dahl. They made me want to read more and they made me want to explore deeper into this world JK Rowling had created. I started writing fanfiction and roleplaying online, and before long I was writing my own stuff as well.
Apparently I write an awesome Dumbledore. I’ll leave it to you to decide on what that means about my personality.
Physical books, ebooks, or audiobooks?
I’m actually a fan of all three. I didn’t get into audiobooks until recently, and mostly I’ve been listening to Song of Ice and Fire by G.R.R. Martin. My dad works nights so he will constantly be listening to audiobooks. I do the same in that I’ll generally be doing jobs whilst listening to audiobooks. I can’t just sit and listen whilst not doing something else.
Like most bibliophiles I have a love of print books. This is no different as an author. There is something incredibly thrilling about holding that first print book in your hands.
However, as a regular reader, having an eReader is incredibly helpful. Travelling is certainly easier. There would be a time I’d have to leave space in my luggage for at least three books. Now I can have them all.
I think, when it comes down to it, I’d say I have the biggest emotional connection to print books, but I love the fact we have all three.
If you could have one super power for a day, what would your power be?
One of my favourite questions! I decided against the usual super powers because I have feeling, if I had one of those, I’d probably run the risk of turning into a supervillain instead of a superhero.
I’d like my super power to be able to organise my brain by computer files and transfer them. Not only would it mean I could have fully formed books just by thinking about them, leaving space and time to work on new ideas, but if I can figure out my password protected subconscious, I could get all my dreams back.
Actually, if I could have that power once every year, that would be amazing. I could just do a yearly download, back up the system as it were.
Thank you for answering my questions!
They were some great questions to answer! Thank you again for having me. Now I need to go write a story about someone with a computer brain.