Thursday, May 10, 2007

Never Ceese by Sue Dent

Song Stuck on the Brain: Praying for Sunny Days by Hyper Static Union.

About the Book:

A vampire . . .

A werewolf . . .

Can two who were wronged make it right?

By their faith.

A determined young werewolf, acting on her long-held wish to free herself of her curse, teams up with a skeptical vampire who can no longer admit that having his curse removed is something he wants.

Will Cassie Felts be able to help them, as her grandmother implored her to do, or will they suffer at the hands of a radical and evil stem cell researcher?

Read and Excerpt from Never Ceese.

My Take:

I think I've mentioned before that I'm a HUGE scaredy cat when it comes to Vampires, Werewolves, mummys and other creepies usually don't bother me, but Vampires are nightmare fodder. I did okay with Van Helsing and Underworld 1. Not too creepy. Underworld 2, however had me watching with my eyes closed through at least half of the film. *shudder* The lead vampire guy with wings was WAY too creepy. That one gave me nightmares. So did Blade Trinity, which I only watched because Dominic Purcell was in it. (Now there is a sexy Dracula!) Anyway, the point is, that when the book Never Ceese by Sue Dent came up as our ACFW book club choice - I wasn't interested.

A book about Vampires and Werewolves? I don't think so. My imagination is way too active. Werewolves I can handle, but NOT vampires.

Then all the online discussion for the book started trickling through my inbox. Everyone loved the book so much, and they were leaving intriguing little clues and comments to pique the interest of those who hadn't read Never Ceese yet. I don't know about anyone else, but it worked for me. They made it sound so interesting, I finally gave in and bought the book. I figured I'd just read it early in the evening before it got dark.

Not necessary. Once I started reading, I couldn't put it down. Richard the Vampire and Ceese the Werewolf are compelling people! There was so much intrigue and humor and action going on, I couldn't wait to find out what happened next. I devoured the book much like Ceese did her food.

And I didn't get creeped out once.

Not that there weren't some really intense scenes. Sue didn't exactly write a fluffy, happy little vampire story. Richard and Ceese struggle with their curse constantly, determined not to curse another despite the overwhelming desire to do so. What I found amazing, was that despite the dark nature of the story and the struggle to find a cure for their curse, hope was never far out of reach. I laughed out loud at several scenes and found myself holding my breath at others. Never Ceese is one of the best reads I've had in a while. Now I'm anxiously awaiting Forever Richard because I have GOT TO KNOW what is going on with Penny and Zane... among other things.

Interview with Sue Dent:

1. Everyone that knows me, knows that I'm a scaredy cat when it comes to Vampires. Yet your story is probably one of the best I've read in a while (in any genre). What drew you to a story about Werewolves and Vampires?

Well, I had two MS's I had been working on but both required research I thought a published author might have better luck finding. So I decided to start from scratch on the MS I wanted to actually put out there and I wanted to write a story I wouldn't have to depend on a lot of research for. I thought fantasy would be good and I do so love good vampire fantasy. But it's hard to find a good one so I decided I'd try to put one together. My daughter and I both watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer until it just got so dark and icky neither one of us could tolerate it. Who says vampires have to be dark and icky anyway. Or werewolves for that matter.

2. In Never Ceese, you don't tiptoe around the issue when it comes to those that are cursed and what they are capable of. Some of the scenes were pretty intense, and yet the book itself leaves room for hope. How hard was it to walk the fine line between being cursed and hoping for salvation?

Well, because it is fantasy, not too difficult. I did want to stay as true to folklore as possible but if it became too difficult to stick to something and make it work, I'd just change it to accommodate the story. For instance, vampires are typically undead. Mine isn't. Don't you just love fantasy? :)

3. You've mentioned you're currently working on the sequel, Forever Richard. Any hints on what's to come in the sequel?

LOL I had no idea what was going to happen Never Ceese! I was as excited as everyone else to see how it ended. I suppose there will be a little more direction in Forever Richard though. And a sort of new character will be introduced. Oh, you should see the first chapter!

4. Your characters are so strong and defined. Do you have a favorite? If so who is it? Do you identify more with one particular character? (At least as much as you can relate to one who shreds wool towels or drinks blood)

Or destroys a computer mouse! Did you know I wrote the entire first part of the book just to get to that scene. I'm not kidding! LOL Favorite one . . . hmmm . . . okay, Richard. Then Ceese and Rodney together. But Josh is so hard not to like. Kyle, I don't know about him. But I have known so many people like him.

I loved that scene too, Sue! :) I cracked up!

5. Any parting advice for writer's trying to find the light at the end of the publishing tunnel?

Yes, quit looking at publishing like a tunnel! It's more like a large sea with all these people on the other side where you want to be. If you can get someone's attention, they'll usually help you get across. Oh, what a fine analogy that is!! Watch out for the salt in your eyes though, it burns!

Thanks, Sue, for answering my questions and for writing such a great book! I promise not to procrastinate when Forever Richard is released. :)



Sue Dent said...

Oh, this is awesome!!! Thanks April! :)

April Erwin said...

You're quite welcome! I wouldn't have praised it so much if I didnt' mean it. :) Anything I can do to spread around great fiction, it's well worth my time.