Bite Club by Hal Bodner was published in 2005, but the author featured the best-selling book this past weekend at Long Beach Comic Con with the Horror Writers’ Association. His first novel, Hal wrote Bite Club about a gay couple in West Hollywood…who just happen to be vampires! As he guaranteed I’d be happy to sink my teeth into his book (do you see what I did there?), we began to discuss the book, his inspirations, and himself.
Hal was inspired by living through the AIDS epidemic, watching people leave the world left and right from a disease nobody could stop. It is no secret that it was slanderously and rudely called the “gay man’s disease,” Hal was unaffected by the negativity. He mourned the loss of his friends and fellow members of the gay community, but he never succumbed to the pressure thrown at him by anyone or anything. When I asked him if this book was for the gay community or to simply make the masses more aware/accepting of it, he said no. The book was created for the love of his story, for entertainment, but of course, he had to stay true to his personality and sexuality. “It feels like the gay community has lost a lot of its sense of humor, and I wanted to bring some of that back.” The added bonus of a vampire romance is just the icing on the cake for readers such as myself who do love that macabre and twisted story line.
I asked Hal if he was offended (as some members I know personally of the community are sometimes offended) the well-known fact that many heterosexual women enjoy fantasizing about M/M couples, and that they were among the most frequent purchasers/readers. “Oh not at all, as long as it isn’t including me in the fantasies!” He laughed and went on to muse that it was good for business, more books in his genre would sell. Many readers (including myself) have been more and more
infatuated with love stories and other storylines involving horror/magical creatures of fiction, such as vampires, werewolves, elves, and others since the Twilight Saga.
I asked Hal to describe the story, as I have not read it yet. He said, “Bite Club is about vampires and monsters living in West Hollywood. They don’t know it, but the town is full of crazies, and they’re just trying to fit in and appear “normal.” They have no idea that the humans’ behavior is not really normal.” The two main characters, gay partners Chris and Troy, try to fit in while they help a friend investigate the pileup of dead and blood-drained bodies of attractive young men in West Hollywood.
Hal says the book is best suited for fans of True Blood, and hints that he calls one particular character the ” gay Sookie Stackhouse.” He encouraged me to watch the television show and make my own comparisons, assuring me I’d love it and the similarities. He also suggests the book for a more mature audience, as readers still or not yet in their twenties may not understand some of the jokes and references made in the writing and dialogue.
Above, Hal is pictured holding his best seller and hugging his beloved pet, Radu the Husky. Bite Club is available on Amazon and in bookstores.