On June 13, 2009, Daven Anderson’s life changed. After forty years of reading other people’s stories, the impetus to create finally struck. Daven set about to fill two large “voids” in the field of modern fiction. One; to create a story where a person with special needs is portrayed as a wise, dignified hero, without being bogged down in a mawkish sentimentality that turns many readers away. The other; create a new class of vampire book where the back story makes complete sense in both scientific and folkloric terms. Where the conflict between two types of vampires, human and alien, lets readers explore (and debate) what it really means to be “human.”
Many would see the concepts of “a wise hero with special needs” and “vampires struggling to define and maintain their humanity” to be mutually exclusive, yet “Vampire Syndrome” proves these pair of concepts can be seamlessly integrated, and complementary. People with special needs struggle to define and maintain their humanity on a daily basis. As Daven’s main character Jack Wendell finds out, becoming a human Vampire besets him with a myriad of new problems. The challenges he faced in becoming a record-setting Special Olympics champion athlete pale next to the road he now must run. The hidden world of the Vampires, where even living to see the next sunrise will be a challenge for him. Even if he survives the challenges from other human Vampires, Jack will also have to deal with the alien Vampires.
When Daven first submitted his novel to publishers, his “pitch” drew widespread attention. PDMI Publishing LLC was able to see beyond the single-sentence “Forrest Gump meets War Of The Roses” pitch, and appreciate the true meanings behind “Vampire Syndrome.” To deliver the message of “a dignified hero with special needs” to those who would never read a book like “Forrest Gump.” To build a vampire world free of the “plausibility holes” that pause many readers dead in their tracks. And to be the first book that offers a sensible explanation for the menacing Blue Mustang statue at Denver International Airport. Unlike many other vampire novels, You do not have to check your sense of humor at the door to read “Vampire Syndrome.”
Daven’s writing credo is simply this: “Build the world first, and the writing will follow.” All too many speculative fiction writers build their stories’ universes as the writer goes along, and it shows. As several readers have said, “The scariest part of Vampire Syndrome is that everything makes sense.”