Mixing Tones, Ur Doin It Rite #amwriting #BookReview @SWBauthor

Yeah, Scott Burtness, I’m talkin’ about you.

So there was this Kindle book for free, called WISCONSIN VAMP, and I downloaded it. For why?

  1. Title is WISCONSIN VAMP
  2. Series name is Monsters of the Midwest
  3. Cover
  4. Free

I had just read a couple of kind of heavy books, and wanted something light, so I opened this one and read it.

You can tell from the title, series name, and cover image that this is a funny concept novel. But, right from the first, you can tell the tone is not going to be predictable. Right from the introductory “It Had to Start Somewhere,” Burtness uses a masterful blend of foreboding, humor, stomach-oochiness to let you know you’re in for a bumpy ride.

Okay, Burtness asks, “What if a dorky, nice-guy bowling nerd got bitten by a vampire mosquito and turned into a vampire before he even knew it was happening?” Funny idea, right? That’s what sold it to me. But the-e-en, Burtness asks, “No, seriously, what if that happened?” Not so funny, eh? Kinda yes, kinda no.

The amazing thing about this book is how deeply I cared about the characters. I didn’t expect that. I wasn’t pulled through the story by wanting to see how the vampire trope played out, or how the schlub-turned-charismatic-competent trope played out, but by wanting to accompany Herb and see how he coped with his changes; I wanted to see how he and his friends adjusted — or didn’t adjust — to their altered interpersonal dynamics.

That’s pretty good stuff for a “silly” book, eh?

So guess what? I — yes, I — paid cash money for the second book in the series, NORTHWOODS WOLFMAN. It takes place in the same small Wisconsin town, and features another of the three pals of whom Herb was one. It makes me wonder if the third friend will be the Monster in a third book and, given the friend, really wonder what sort of monster he’ll turn out to be.

I would say more, but I hate spoilers.

Oh, and this:


The book’s tagline is, “Midwestern nice” is hard to pull off when you’re a bloodthirsty monster.

But not, apparently, when you’re a mensch.

You can buy WISCONSIN VAMP on Amazon in print or for Kindle. You can also buy NORTHWOODS WOLFMAN on Amazon in print or for Kindle.

BTW, my books are available there, too. Just sayin’.

A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: What if the nicest person you know turned into a supernatural “monster”? How would they cope?



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “Mixing Tones, Ur Doin It Rite #amwriting #BookReview @SWBauthor

  1. Jane

    October 26, 2015 at 10:28am

    Sounds like fun.
    I also liked “Fat Vampire.” Simlar-like. Maybe not as actually good, but not bad.

    Friends turning into monsters. Hmmm.

    Happens all the time on Vampire Diaries. I have a relative who’s turned into a monster, but I blame in on my –er– HER genes. HERS. I don’t have the monster genes. Really.

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      October 26, 2015 at 11:10am

      You DO have the monster genes, but they mutated and broke out in awesome.

      I didn’t like “Fat Vampire” as much in the end, because … well, I don’t want to spoil the ending for people who haven’t read it, and their mileage may vary. I thought of “Fat Vampire” as I read and reviewed WISCONSIN VAMP, but didn’t want to compare/contrast them because of not wanting to spoil the endings. “Similar-like” is a great way to put it. Not ACTUALLY CLOSELY similar, but similar-like. Or, as Grandpa would have said, “Same thing, only different.”

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply

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