Today is Sara Dobie Bauer’s book birthday for Bite Somebody, and I couldn’t be more excited. This book is phenomenally-written, fun, and it’s the perfect beach read.
Do you have your copy of Bite Somebody yet?
Okay, done? Good.
Let’s get to the fun stuff… because once again I interviewed Sara, and I promise you won’t be disappointed. I never am, believe me.
Okay, let’s get the mundane detail that’s going to be in every interview out of the way. Bite Somebody started out as a short story that was rejected. Rejection hurts any writer. But this turned out to be the best rejection ever, did it not?
Ha. Yes! Well, okay, honestly, at the time, I was like, “No way am I going to make this short story into a book.” Then, one morning in bed, I grabbed my computer and just started typing. I wrote the first draft of Bite Somebody in 41 days.
Celia is absolutely obsessed with the ‘80s, particularly movies from the ‘80s. But for such an ‘80s lover, Celia’s a bit anti-Fraggle Rock. It’s almost un-American to say that, don’t you think? I don’t know a single kid from the ‘80s who can hear the words “Fraggle Rock” and not break into the theme song.
Confession: I never once watched Fraggle Rock as a kid. I don’t know if I was trapped under a couch or what. I loved movies more than TV, especially the scary stuff like The Dark Crystal, Return to Oz, and Labyrinth. Oh, but I did watch Reading Rainbow every chance I got.
As a writer, I’ve found that I sit down to write my characters with a basic plan in mind, and then my characters end up taking me on a completely separate journey, one that’s often better than the one I originally planned. I also know you’re fond of letting your characters run the show as well. Give me an example of where that happened in Bite Somebody. I’m willing to bet money it was an Imogene moment.
Actually, it was Ian who went off grid. There’s a scene in Bite Somebody where I wanted Imogene to be really annoying, and she wouldn’t do it. Instead, Ian took over and ended up singing Queen’s “Bicycle Race” at full volume while standing on a coffee table. [Editor’s Note: That is a fantastic scene.]
Celia and Imogene seem to fill in the gaps in the other’s personality quite well. When it comes down to it, though, does Celia need Imogene or does Imogene need Celia more?
It’s symbiotic really. I speak from experience. My friend Sam (who the book is dedicated to) called me up one day and said, “Do you realize you wrote us in Bite Somebody?” Sam claims she’s Celia, and I am Imogene … and she’s pretty much right. So based on this accidental fictionalization of one of my favorite friendships, I can tell you, true friends can’t live without each other. It goes both ways.
What’s your personal take on rum punch? (These are hard-hitting questions, I know. Rum punch is important, darn it.)
Indeed! Very important! My husband and I discovered rum punches while on our honeymoon in Belize. We drank them by the pitcher. Whenever I even think of a rum punch, I think about Belize, ergo, rum punches are amazeballs.
Of course Benedict Cumberbatch’s influence is present here as well—in Ian’s clown poof hair. He’s a surfer turned video game tester—that’s kind of a crazy jump to make, how did that go down? Side note, do you think Benedict has ever surfed? I have a hard time envisioning Sherlock on a surfboard.
All of my guy friends, no matter how outdoorsy, played video games when we were kids. I figure Ian was the same way, especially since he has three older brothers. When he couldn’t surf anymore, he didn’t know what to fall back on, so he held tight to the one thing he still loved that didn’t involve the ocean: video games. (PS: I bet Benedict has surfed. I’ve seen pictures of him all freckled and tan in Greece—pictures that helped shape Ian, honestly.)
Let’s talk about your psychotic editor a minute. How rough was editing for this one? I happen to have it on good authority your editor made you go back and do a complete rewrite and change point of view. Are you happy with where it ended up?
Psychotic? Nooooooooooo. My darling, wonderful editor did, in fact, make me change the entirety of Bite Somebody from first person, journal format, to third person, limited perspective. It was a huge pain in the arse, but I’m so thankful for her. I am so very happy with how the book turned out. I was initially worried that changing the POV might detract from some of the humor, but it didn’t. Bite Somebody is still funny as hell.
There’s rumor of a Bite Somebody sequel. What do we have to look forward to?
Who told you that??? … Yes, there’s a Bite Somebody sequel. It’s written from Imogene’s perspective and picks up a couple months after book one.
Because we did it for Wolf Among Sheep, let’s go for another round of Marry, Shag, Kill (which also happens to be one of Imogene’s pastimes). Ian? Colin Firth? Hugh Grant? Mark Wahlberg? Harrison Ford? Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson? Channing Tatum?
- Ian: Marry (I already kind of did. There’s a lot of Ian in my husband.)
- Colin Firth: Shag
- Hugh Grant: Kill [Editor’s note: This broke my Hugh Grant-loving heart to which she replied: I mean, not YOUNG Hugh Grant. Look, I couldn’t shag EVERYONE, okay? Well, I could … but I shouldn’t!]
- Mark Wahlberg: Shag
- Harrison Ford: Marry
- The Rock: Kill
- Channing Tatum: Shag
About Bite Somebody
“Do you want to be perfect?”
That’s what Danny asked Celia the night he turned her into a vampire. Three months have passed since, and immortality didn’t transform her into the glamorous, sexy vamp she was expecting but left her awkward, lonely, and working at a Florida gas station. On top of that, she’s a giant screw-up of an immortal, because the only blood she consumes is from illegally obtained hospital blood bags.
What she needs to do—according to her moody vampire friend Imogene—is just … bite somebody. But Celia wants her first bite to be special, and she has yet to meet Mr. Right Bite. Then, Ian moves in next door. His scent creeps through her kitchen wall and makes her nose tingle, but insecure Celia can’t bring herself to meet the guy face-to-face.
When she finally gets a look at Ian’s cyclist physique, curly black hair, and sun-kissed skin, other parts of Celia tingle, as well. Could he be the first bite she’s been waiting for to complete her vampire transformation? His kisses certainly have a way of making her fangs throb.
Pick up a copy of Bite Somebody
Sara Dobie Bauer is a writer, model, and mental health advocate with a creative writing degree from Ohio University. She spends most days at home in her pajamas as a book nerd and sex-pert for SheKnows.com. Her short story, “Don’t Ball the Boss,” was nominated for the 2015 Pushcart Prize, inspired by her shameless crush on Benedict Cumberbatch. She lives with her hottie husband and two precious pups in Northeast Ohio, although she would really like to live in a Tim Burton film. She is the author of Life without Harry, Forever Dead, Wolf Among Sheep, and Bite Somebody.