P.N. “Pat” Elrod is the Queen of Vampires. No offense to Anne Rice or Laurel K. Hamilton, but Ms. Elrod has you both beat, hands down. She is the author of more than 20 novels and 30 short stories, including the wildly popular The Vampire Files series, and although she writes in the areas of horror, dark fantasy, paranormal adventure, paranormal romance, steampunk, and urban fantasy, she is definitely best known for her various vampire novel series.
P. N. Elrod's start in professional writing began at TSR doing gaming modules, but she soon started writing short stories and novels. I first discovered her in 1990, when Bloodlist, the first book in The Vampire Files series, came out. I was immediately hooked, not only by the plot – a 1940s reporter, Jack Fleming, is murdered and comes back as a vampire to take on the crime bosses who did him in – but by Ms. Fleming’s quirky, lighthearted, humorous take on vampire life. Poor Jack’s just an ordinary guy who wants to live a normal life, and now he’s stuck sleeping in a dark room on his native soil, drinking blood to survive, and trying to figure out how to manage his love life and his new profession as a private detective while avoiding all the attempts on his life. At the time, this was rather groundbreaking for vampire fiction – back then we only had a couple of people (Ms. Hamilton, Ms. Rice, Fred Saberhagen) portraying vampires as anything but rabid bloodsucking monsters, and most of those tended toward vampires who were suave, debonair creatures who’d lived hundreds of years and considered themselves better than humans.
Jack Fleming was one of us; a regular guy’s guy.
I devoured that book and the 11 sequels (plus short stories) that came after.
But Pat Elrod didn’t stop there.
Quincy Morris, Vampire Hunter. Jonathan Barrett, Gentleman Vampire. I, Strahd. Lord Richard, Vampire (with Nigel Bennett). If you have read these series, you should. While it’s safe to say Ms. Elrod doesn’t do gruesome vampires or terrifying horror, she knows how to mix in just the right amount of blood and mayhem and create fun, interesting stories for adults and young adults alike. These are not emo, brooding teens who sparkle, nor are they sex-driven romances in disguise. They are simply damn good stories.
Of course, Ms. Elrod hasn’t limited herself to vampires. The Adventures of Myhr is a comedy/fantasy about a half man/half cat and his wizard partner; On Her Majesty’s Psychic Service is steampunk. Her short stories run the gamut from fantasy to steampunk to historical fiction. And she’s edited several collections of short stories for Daw, Ace, and other publishers, ranging from tales of knights and vampires to the science behind Stargate.
Besides writing and editing, Ms. Elrod also provides freelance editing services for new and established writers, makes appearances at genre fiction conventions, and chills at home with her pets. A dedicated science fiction fan, she once built a life-sized TARDIS.
Her work as a writer has garnered her several awards, including the RT Book Review’s Pioneers of Genre Fiction Award for “Forging the Way in Vampire Fiction Since 1990” (2011), the Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine Readers Choice Award (“Beach Girl,” 2011), and the P.E.A.R.L. Award for Best Anthology (My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding, 2006)
For more information, visit P.N.’s website, http://www.vampwriter.com/index.htm, and follow her on Facebook.