Sara Dobie Bauer has a lot going on— not only is she a legitimate author, she’s also a model, an outspoken mental health lecturer/advocate and a fan of all things dark and sinister (and Benedict Cumberbatch). These attributes manifest themselves in her writing, particularly Bite Somebody and the just-released sequel, Bite Somebody Else. The continuing story of Celia, a girl who thought she was getting a life of glamour when she gets bitten by a vampire, but ends up awkward and employed at a gas station in Florida, Bite Somebody Else is a hilarious tale about the frustrations of being undead and pregnant.
The Toledo-native, who graduated from Perrysburg High School in 2000, now lives outside Cleveland and devotes herself to writing full-time. She’s grateful to the Rocky Horror Picture Show and its message of “Don’t dream it, be it,” for helping her cope with depression and cites Christopher Moore as a stylistic inspiration. Her goal is to live in a Tim Burton film, so if any of that sounds like your cup of blood, you’d probably do well to get lost in her enchanting books. And if you ever get turned into a vampire, you’d do well to copy her excellent template for spending an eternity amongst the living.
When you lived in Toledo, where were your area hangouts? Everywhere, although my bar-hopping favorites were Bronze Boar in downtown Toledo, Fat Jack’s in Perrysburg, and The Village Idiot in Maumee. I’m also a big Mud Hens fan.
What was your favorite thing about growing up here? Everyone is so nice. Since growing up in the Midwest, I’ve lived in Charleston, SC, and Phoenix, and although I loved both those places, I missed the chatty nature of Midwesterners. Around Ohio, you know your neighbors. You party with your neighbors. Even strangers in bars are nice. Kindness is a rarity you don’t miss until you move away.
Why set your book in Florida as opposed to, say, Toledo? The easy answer: there isn’t a big, sunny beach in Toledo. I thought up the Bite Somebody series while drinking a rum punch on Longboat Key in Florida. I was maybe a little buzzed when it occurred to me: “This would be a silly place for vampires to live.” Since the series is silly, it just fit. Plus, Longboat Key is full of great dive bars and colorful characters. I go down there every year for a pilgrimage of sorts, so most of the locations (and some of the
people) in the Bite Somebody series are real—especially The Drift Inn. It’s so old school, you can still smoke inside there.
How did you originally come up with the idea for Bite Somebody? I’ve always adored vampire books, going all the way back to when I read Interview with the Vampire in sixth grade. I know vampires are supposed to be all charming and charismatic. But … what if they’re not? What if an awkward human just becomes an awkward vampire? The vampires in the Bite Somebody series are just weird people who happen to drink blood. They suffer from bad first dates, wardrobe malfunctions, and crazy landladies—just like the rest of us. They also fall in love.
What’s some advice for people who want to be authors? Develop thick skin, and don’t compare yourself to other people. Find a good group of first readers who will read your early drafts and tell you what needs fixing. Pick and choose what advice you take, because some people are just full of sh*t.
If you were a vampire, how would you spend your eternity? I would read a lot, learn to play the violin, and swim with sharks. I’d probably adopt a hundred nocturnal puppies. I’d wear my sunglasses at night, party like a rock star, and eventually burn up on a beach in Belize.
Pick up Bite Somebody Else or its predecessor Bite Somebody
via any major bookseller and visit Sara August 4-6 at
Rust City Book Con (Detroit Marriott, 200 W. Beaver Rd. Troy, MI.) where she’ll be doing signings. Keep updated on Sara’s work and events at saradobiebauer.com.