Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Interview with Drew Hayes - Review(s) of The Utterly Uninteresting and Unadventurous Tales of Fred The Vampire Accountant and Undeath and Taxes

I am so psyched about today's interview. I first learned about Drew and this series from Melanie Simmons at Hot Listens when she reviewed Drew's second novel Undeath and Taxes , after I read the premise and checked out the audible sample I knew I had to read this series and since then I've been overdosing on them. Audible fans will LOVE the narration by Kirby Heyborne!
Then all the vampire stakes fell into place and Drew was gracious enough to let me interview him.

I hope you enjoy our chat and my reviews of
The Utterly Uninteresting and Unadventurous Tales of Fred The Vampire Accountant plus a bonus of Undeath and Taxes.

The Series so far

My Interview with Drew Hayes

Drew hi! Welcome to The Reading Frenzy. I saw a review of your second Fred the Vampire accountant book, Undeath and Taxes and knew right away I needed to get book one.
Tell my readers a bit about Fred and his adventures please.
The Fred books are, as I like to call them, paranormal comedies in 5 acts. Every book is 5 novellas that tell small parts of a larger overall tale or fit a general theme. They’re the story of Fredrick Fletcher, a human turned vampire who has stayed exactly as awkward and socially anxious as he was in life, and the small community of friends he builds up around himself.

I have to say that the premise of these books is quirky, fun and unique!
Where did the idea of having an undead accountant come from?
It sort of all started with me getting burned out on modern urban fantasy. Don’t get me wrong, I love the genre, but I felt like I was seeing the same plot over and over: Person is bad at life, becomes supernatural, briefly resists it, embraces the change, becomes a total kickass rockstar at everything. Fred was me doing a bit of satire on that, taking someone better with numbers than people and changing nothing about him save for the shift to vampire. I liked the notion that we’re not so easily changed from who we are at our cores, and wanted to explore that idea.

The covers of books 1, 2 & 3 are fantastic and so fitting for the stories.
Tell us how the covers came to be please?
All credit there goes to Ashley Ruggirello, the owner of REUTS and head cover artist. We talked about general concepts, I always liked the idea of a desk in the scene and as a rule I never show characters in my covers, and she managed to turn those half-formed thoughts into the great covers you see on the books.

Will there be a set number of novels or are you letting Fred lead the way?
I have a general plot plan for the Fred books, though no set number in mind. It’s sort of me writing toward the ending, and once we get there that will be it. I’m not sure how many books it will take to get there, but I’d take a wild guess that it won’t be more than 10. Only time will tell.

When you were developing Fred’s character did he surprise you at every turn or was he as mild mannered for your muse as he is in real un-life?
Fred sort of took me offguard from jump. The original short story where he came from was just supposed to be about a vampire awkwardly attending a high school reunion. But from almost Page 1, there was just so much of Fred there, a nerdy guy with little confidence and lots of personality. I decided to follow the thread as far as it would take me, and I’ve been pretty happy about that choice in the years since.

I listened to the audible version of The Utterly Uninteresting and Unadventurous Tales of Fred the Vampire Accountant, (Whew that’s quite a mouthful) and I love the narration by Kirby Heyborne, he gets all the voices of all the characters perfectly.
Did you get to take part in his choosing?
I did, though a very small part. Tantor Audio, who does the vast majority of my audiobooks, submitted several potential narrators for me to choose from. I could have pushed them all back if I didn’t find a fit, however whoever did the vetting had done an amazing job. All of them were really skilled, and the moment I heard Kirby I knew we’d found Fred.

The humor in the novel was off the charts funny, I in fact catch myself chuckling at an occasional scene even now.
Are you a funny guy?
Do you have to be funny to write comedic urban fantasy? (hmm a new genre)
I think I’m funny, and my friends will either agree or say I’m totally wrong depending on what the last joke I just told was. Let’s call it funny fifty percent of the time. I’d say being naturally inclined to chase a joke makes writing comedy in any genre easier, but so long as you’re willing to put in the time and effort of editing and rewrites it’s not an insurmountable hurdle if you don’t naturally make people chuckle. That’s the beauty of writing, our characters can be things that we aren’t.

As a reader I like series books, not only to catch up on what the stars are up to but the co-stars and bit players too.
What as the author, do you like about writing connected books/series?
I like getting to really develop my characters. The ability to take them through long, complex, different scenarios is a lot of fun for me as a writer, as often I don’t even know how they’ll react until I’ve got them in that moment. Having a series is like working with old, familiar friends who you can explore more and more with the longer things run.

I read somewhere that you are planning one Fred book/year.
Can you give some insight into what Fred will be doing in book 4?
I’d say aiming for a book a year more than planning, but so far I’m on pace! As for Fred spoilers, it’s hard to say what the central theme will be without giving too much away from Book 3. Let’s just say Fred has made some choices that put him in a new role, and he’s going to have to learn how to fill it well.

As an author are you a planner and plotter like Fred, or do you write by the seat of your pants like Fred usually has to end up doing?
I’m definitely a pants-writer. While I go in with a general idea of a plot and a few key checkpoints I know I need to hit, I find writing between those checkpoints is usually an adventure in itself. Sometimes I think I know the path that I’ll take, but oftentimes it ends up a surprise. I like the idea of letting what seems right for the character, more than what’s easy for the plot, dictate the directions they take.

Drew thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer these questions.
Good luck with all your future Fred books and your other works too!
Will you be attending any author/signing events in the near future where fans can meet you in person?
By the time this goes up, the latest one (CONtraflow in New Orleans) will have passed, but I hope to be back at Comicpalooza in Houston next summer.  Thanks for having me on!

 My Review(s)

The Utterly Uninteresting and Unadventurous Tales of Fred the Vampire Accountant.
By Drew Hayes

Hayes’ first in his fantastic UF Fred the Vampire stories is sort of a group of undead coming of age tales told through a collection of short story, journal type stories with the irrepressible Fred at the dialogue wheel. His storyline is amazingly unique in a culture where UF is becoming the norm and his characters, main and bit parts alike rock the read. But It’s definitely his imaginative content and his storytelling ability that makes this a keeper shelf, bring it out often for a re-read, read!

The narration by Kirby Heyborne is FANTASTIC! He nails every character, spooky, ordinary or mild-mannered to a tee. His inflections and ability to go flawlessly from mousey to deep voice is incredible. The audible version is definitely the way to enjoy the 360ยบ total enjoyment of this incredible book.

Frederick Frankford Fletcher is just as uninteresting now as a newly turned vampire as he was while living. With no friends and a seemingly long lonely future ahead of him and with only his acumen as an accountant going for him he decides to open his own accounting firm because he needs something to do with all those long boring hours in the night and blood isn’t free to a vampire who can’t stomach latching on his own canines to a victim.
Then he decides to attend his high school reunion where he reconnects with Crystal Jenkins, a former, fellow misfit who’s blossomed into a beautiful woman. When a band of werewolves take his former classmates hostage he’s surprised to learn that Crystal is an operative in a secret government agency that deals with paranormal crimes and is prepared to kick some were-butt. And thus begins the uninteresting and unadventurous tales of Fred the Vampire Accountant.

 Undeath and Taxes 
by Drew Hayes

Hayes second in his fantastic Fred the Vampire accountant Urban Fantasy series is just as funny and just as inventive as the first. Readers know Fred and his cohorts a bit better but the action and the antics are still fresh and funny and still very unique. The 5 stories/novellas/chapters are still told from Fred’s front seat, 1st person a Point of View that really works for his diary like plot line. If you’re looking for something new in a overrun genre Fred is just what you might be looking for. Books read better in order.

The fabulous all-creature perfect narration of Kirby Heyborne is still the best way to get the full monty enjoyment of this one-of-a-kind gem of a read!

Fredrick Frankford Fletcher has just passed his CPPA test and is now a Certified Paranormal Public Accountant so he can grow his fledgling business to better serve the parahuman community. Unfortunately he not only attracts more business but more trouble too but with the help of his kick-butt, take no prisoners, Government agent girlfriend, Crystal and his eclectic group of friends, he somehow always seems to save the day and continue on with his fantastical adventures in paranormal perils.

Listen to Audible samples here
Book 1
Book 2
Book 3

 Connect with Drew - Website - FacebookTwitter

Meet Drew:
Drew Hayes is an aspiring author from Texas who has written several books and found the gumption to publish a few (so far). He graduated from Texas Tech with a B.A. in English, because evidently he's not familiar with what the term "employable" means. Drew has been called one of the most profound, prolific, and talented authors of his generation, but a table full of drunks will say almost anything when offered a round of free shots. Drew feels kind of like a D-bag writing about himself in the third person like this. He does appreciate that you're still reading, though.
Drew would like to sit down and have a beer with you. Or a cocktail. He's not here to judge your preferences. Drew is terrible at being serious, and has no real idea what a snippet biography is meant to convey anyway. Drew thinks you are awesome just the way you are. That part, he meant. Drew is off to go high-five random people, because who doesn't love a good high-five? No one, that's who.

Today's Gonereading item is:
Because by reading Drew's novels
you feel like you've fallen down the rabbit
hole, HERE is a selection of Alice in Wonderland products

This blog does contain sponsored affiliate links

Save an extra 25% off garment care with the code EXTRA25, valid 10/9-10/15


  1. I love that the author decided to do something different from the norm and I love how quirky these sound!

  2. You read such a wide variety Debbie, and while this is most likely not me, by the time I came to the end of the interview I could see how you would just love Fred!

  3. I saw the title for book one when I was browsing Audible.com and had to have it. The interview was fun and I enjoyed the background on the series and author Drew.

    Thanks, Debbie! I'm looking forward to my shot at the books.

    1. Oh Sophia Rose I can't Wait to see what you think!!!

  4. Nice to know these are on audio, and curious to see how the novellas all tie together.

    1. They are a sort of chronological paranormal journal of Fred's Undead life :)

  5. Great interview. I'm so glad you're enjoying this series as much as I have. I've already listened to book three, just need to write the review and get it posted. Vacation has really put me behind on several things. Thanks for the great interview with Drew Hayes. I loved learning more about how Fred came about. I can't wait to see what is next for Fred and the gang. :-)

    1. Oh I'm so jealous I'm going to borrow book three from the library as soon as I'm finished with my current listen. Thanks for the comment!