Denise [Deni] Dietz is the author of the Ellie Bernstein/ Lt. Peter Miller "diet club" Mysteries. The 4th in the series, STRANGLE A LOAF OF ITALIAN BREAD, comes out this month. For readers who like to read a series from the beginning, Deni has good news. Her backlist: THROW DARTS AT A CHEESECAKE, BEAT UP A COOKIE and CHAIN A LAMB CHOP TO THE BED is being reissued by Wildside Press. The books have been updated and re-edited. Deni calls it "writing wrongs." Deni lives on Vancouver Island with her Aussie/ Canadian husband, Gordon Aalborg, author of Cat Tracks and Dining With Devils - a Tasmanian Thriller.
THE VAMPIRE WEARS PRADA by Deni Dietz
A few days ago I decided to write a new mystery series starring a vampire. Since I've never met one in person, I knew I had some intense research to do, and somehow I didn't think Google or Twitter or Facebook would fly. Well, maybe Facebook, except I was afraid I'd get too many responses from vampires who wanted to be my "friend."
So I looked up Vampires in the Yellow Pages. It took 3 phone calls, after midnight, but I finally found a vampire who was willing to talk to me, no strings attached.
Deni: Thank you so much for agreeing to meet me, Mr. . . what do I call you?
Vampire: Rice. My name is Rice.
Deni (taken aback): Are you related to Anne Rice?
Vampire: Never heard of her. My name is Rex Rice, but most people just call me Rice.
Deni: Okay, um, Rice. Thanks again. I really do appreciate this.
Rex Rice: You're velcome. I'm glad you're a redhead. I love the color red.
Deni: Yes, well, I'm not sure what to ask, sir, er, Rice. Let's start with the basics. Where are you from?
Rex Rice: California.
Deni: Not Transylvania?
Rex Rice: Never heard of the place.
Deni: I've read about vampires, of course, and seen movies, but I had no idea they. . .you. . .looked so. . .well, normal. You could be the bachelor on one of those bachelor TV shows, especially with that chest. Do you wax it?
Rex Rice: I do.
Deni: And your dimples are to die for. I mean, live for.
Rex Rice: Out of curiosity, vhat do you write?
Deni: Crime fiction. My latest book is called STRANGLE A LOAF OF ITALIAN BREAD. It stars a diet club leader. But I was thinking of writing a new series starring a vampire lawyer. . .why are you shaking your head?
Rex Rice: For one thing, 'vampire lawyer' is redundant. For another, the plot vouldn't vork unless he vorked the night shift. Or if he only vorked on cloudy days. Maybe if he lived in a Lincoln Continental. Vith tinted windows.
Deni: Okay, I can see how a vampire lawyer would suck. . .oh, gosh, I mean a vampire lawyer wouldn't be a viable sleuth. How about a vampire cop?
Rex Rice: Same problem.
Deni: I see your point. No offense. I mean, your teeth and all.
Rex Rice: Freudian slip. Happens all the time.
Deni: What about sunscreen? I was thinking maybe I'd concoct a secret government sunscreen, like you might find in a Dean Koontz novel.
Rex Rice: Sunscreen might vork, or, even better, Mime makeup. I've always wondered. If a Mime fell in the forest, would anybody hear him scream?
Deni: I was going to call it 'The Vampire Wears Prada,' but now I'm thinking 'The Lincoln Vampire' might fly.
Rex Rice: Yes.
Deni: Yes, vhat? I mean, what?
Rex Rice: I thought you were asking if I could fly. The answer is yes.
Deni: That's good to know. It could be an important plot element. Do you change into a bat, first?
Rex Rice: A bat? You've been vatching too much TV, lady! Or too many Bela Lugosi movies. Vy vould I vant to be a bat? All that guano. Ick.
Deni: Sorry. I don't usually stereotype. So, no lawyer sleuth and no cop. Let's say, for the sake of discussion, that you were in my book. Who would you like to be?
Rex Rice: Your perp.
Deni: Perp? How do you know that word?
Rex Rice: Vhat? You think vampires can't read. Some of my best friends are librarians.
Deni: Okay, if you were my perp, who. . .whom would you kill?
Rex Rice: Stephen King.
Anyone in the market for a book called THE VAMPIRE WEARS SUNSCREEN?