Interview with middle grade author Aric Cushing

Today’s special guest is Aric Cushing. Our topic is Vampire Boy, Aric’s new middle grade fantasy,
humor, horror novel.

Aric Cushing is the author who recently
discovered and published commentaries by literary great Charlotte Perkins
Gilman (Lost Essays, editor). He is
also the co-founder of The Los Angeles
Fear and Fantasy Film Festival. After
graduating college, he travelled in a 2 person theater company performing Robin Hood and Kidnapped for elementary, middle schools, and high schools
throughout the Pacific Northwest. Aric has starred in a variety of television
shows and feature films, including the upcoming feature film with Raphael
Sbarge (Risky Business, Once Upon a Time,
Murder in the First
) and Meg Foster (John Carpenter’s They Live) where he plays Maximillian, in the role of the title
villain, in There’s No Such Thing as
Welcome, Aric. Please tell us about your current
The Carpathian Chronicles
(Alex Vambarey #1), is the first in a series of books about Alex Vambarey,
vampire boy, and his first year at the Carpathian Academy.
What inspired you to write this book?
I have been planning on
writing this book since I was in 5th grade. I had the idea at that
time, and through a turn of life events, I wasn’t able to start the book until
much later in life. Throughout the years I had sketches, ideas, etc., and
jotted them down in notebooks before finally starting to write the series. At
first I was disappointed when the Harry Potter series came out, because I felt
they were similar. But then I realized they were different worlds. A particular
blog I enjoyed was ‘Harry Potter has Fangs’ by the Serial Reader Blog (,
in which the review pointed out the similarities and differences between the
Excerpt from Vampire
“Now, can any of you
tell me why humans are important? How about you?” Mr. Ticora pointed to Aggy.
“Ugh .  . 
.  maybe .  .  .”
and a look of defeat came over her face. “No, I guess not.”
“Anyone else?”
Alex wracked his
brain. For bat’s sake, why couldn’t he think of anything?
Silvanus raised his
hand. “My dad told me that they don’t like the way they look. So they are
always doing things to themselves.”
Cha Cha, a girl in
the front row, twisted in her seat, and looked at him. “I read that they put
lotion on themselves to get a tan.
That’s what they call it. To get darker. They don’t like white skin.”
The girl sitting next
to her, Eloise, laughed. “That cannot
be true.”
Cha Cha gyrated her
head, emphatically, “It is true.”
“No it’s not! You
made that up.”
Alex smiled. The
human debate had already started and it was only their first day of class! Of
course, everything was purely conjecture. No one had ever met a human, or for
that matter, seen one.
What exciting story are you working on next?
Book 2 of the series! The
second book in the series is Vampire Valley, and it’s a continuation of Vampire
Boy. After arriving at the academy, the Magus gives a riddle to the ‘newbies’,
or, in Carpathian terms, ‘beginners’, to solve before the end of the school
year. Alex, his gargoyle friend Otis, Angelica (the elemental), and a variety
of other friends from throughout Carpathia struggle to solve the riddle and win
the school prize. Book 2 finishes the first year of Alex’s schooling.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I was very young and just
started writing. I started my first novel when I was 10 years old at my
father’s house in San Jose, California. There was an old typewriter in a
destroyed dining room next to the kitchen (which no one ever used) and I would
sit in there and write. If only I had kept the pages!
Do you write full-time? If so, what’s your work day
like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to
I am an actor as well, and
currently there has been re-shoots on a feature film I just finished called
‘There’s No Such Thing as Vampires’. So my writing schedule has been a bit off
track, but usually I write as much as I can every day. I never want to stop,
but life’s responsibilities have a way of yanking you from your work. I think a
great method for anyone that is writing (or wants to be a writer) never forget
it’s easy to use your phone as a notebook. If you’re waiting in an office with
a friend, or in queue somewhere, you can jot down ideas and outlines.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Wow. That’s a good
question. I don’t think I have one. Let’s see. I think the most difficult thing
is getting an idea when you are in bed, usually when you are right about to go
to sleep, and then having to turn the light on and write the idea down before
it’s lost. I’ve also woken up in the middle of the night for the lieu (who
hasn’t!) and been hit with the writing bug.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wish I could say ‘I
wanted to be happy’. I think that is what everyone should say to themselves.
But the answer—straight from my own journal at 12 years old—is ‘I want to grow
up and be a vampire actor.” Which I guess I have achieved with this new film I
am in, and with the first book in this series.
Anything additional you want to share with the
Yes. Keep reading my
fellow Carpathians! Anything and everything!
Thanks for stopping by today, Aric. All the best with
your writing!


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