Kaptain Vamp by Joanne Lécuyer

Looking for a different kind of vampire story? Then Kaptain Vamp by Joanne Lecuyer might be just the thing.

Allistaire Arturius Doppelganger Varning IV is not your typical vampire. His parents, mom is a doctor and dad is a scientist, created him and his brother and sister by crossing vampire genes with human genes. So, while he has many of the traits and abilities of a vampire, he can go out during the day and isn’t required to sleep in a coffin.

Allistaire learned from his mother that not long ago, humans were afraid and distrustful of vampires, so he wants to change all that. With the help of his best friend Rich, a human, he is inspired by a comic book superhero to become Kaptain Vamp and perform good deeds.

I’m not a huge fan of the paranormal genre for kids. I feel it’s been over done to the hilt. When I was asked to host this author by Promotion a la Carte, however, I thought this book sounded different from the usual vamp story, so I agreed to review it too. Kaptain Vamp is definitely not your typical vamp story.

We have this young, funny, upbeat vampire who wants to change the humans’ opinions on vampires by performing good deeds. He’s just not sure how to do it. When he finally figures it out, he enlists the help of his human best friend, Rich, to create an alter ego so he can perform these good deeds. Inspired by a comic book superhero, the boys create Kaptain Vamp, costume and all.

Young readers will definitely laugh as they read this book. Lecuyer does a great job of creating characters that readers can relate to well. It’s a light easy read that will leave them eager for another Kaptain Vamp book.  The artwork provided by Amy Rottinger is out of this world. From the cover to every interior illustration, she captures the essence of this book and its characters perfectly.

The one thing I found confusing is how the book started off, versus how the rest of the story was told. Chapter 1 is a letter from Allistaire to the reader, revealing much of his past and how his family came to live where they do. It talks all about his vampire powers and his human traits. The reader is immediately drawn in by this witty, charming vampire on a mission. But starting in Chapter 2 and for the rest of the story, the point of view is third person omniscient. I was disappointed. I really wanted Allistaire to tell the whole story, since I loved his character right away. In addition, some of what Allistaire reveals in his letter, is then told throughout the balance of the story, so it’s redundant. I don’t feel a younger audience would mind, but I couldn’t stop thinking that I really wanted to hear Allistaire tell this story from beginning to end.

I would love to read a Kaptain Vamp sequel. I hope that’s in the author’s plans.

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
  • Language:English
  • ASIN:B0063GJVBE
  • Lending: Enabled
  • SRP: $7.99

Also sold through the author’s website at http://topsybooks.com/

I received a FREE e-copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinions. I did not receive monetary compensation of any kind to provide this review.

Interview with Joanne Lécuyer, Author of Kaptain Vamp

Joining us today is Joanne Lécuyer, author of Kaptain Vamp. This is a children’s book geared toward ages 7-10 and anyone that is young at heart.

Welcome to The Children’s and Teen’s Book Connection, Joanne. Can you please start off by telling us a bit about yourself?

Well, while I really love writing books and giving story writing workshops for kids, I have a full time job in communications and change management with the Canadian federal government. The daytime job keeps me pretty busy.

In my spare time, I’m also a professional and personal coach and a Reiki Master. I have a very active mind and like to do many things. I consider myself as an eternal learner. I’m turning 50 next year, so I’m beginning to pay more attention to my body now. I need it to keep up with me and my many projects!

I live in a small rural community outside ofOttawa,Ontariowith my husband Rick, our dog Kato and two cats, Black Magic and Minx. For fun, I love to read, write, and watch movies (Rick and I love animated movies – especially the ones for kids). We also spend time with friends and family.

When did you first get bit by the writing bug?

I’ve always been writing something or other. But I would say that finding my passion for writing kids books started in 2009, and just keeps on growing.

Why did you decide to write stories for children?

I’ve been writing stories for children for about 2 years now. But, it all started about 6-7 years ago.  After spending a weekend with my younger brother who’s extremely creative and a graphic artist, I got an idea for a story that I called Topsyturvia. On my way back home on the train, I jotted the story down on some scraps of paper. When I got home I just put the pages away.

In 2009, I remembered that I had written the story and transcribed into my computer and just kept adding to it. I got to about 6,000 words and read it to my husband who told me that he thought it was a very good story. So I gave a copy to a few colleagues with children and they liked it too. Everyone has been so supportive and encouraging. I decided to publish my first book The Witch, the Cat and the Egg last fall. Since then, I’ve had so many story ideas it’s been great. I look forward to having the time to write them all down.

Do you believe it is harder to write books for a younger audience?

To me, it feels like it’s easier writing children’s fantasy books, since I can use my imagination and anything is possible. For the last few years, I’ve been writing things like speeches and correspondence. Writing for someone else is hard. It’s difficult to know exactly what they want to say.

What is your favorite part of writing for young people?

What I enjoy most about writing for young people is stirring their imagination. I’m always hoping that they will enjoy the story, as much as I love writing them, and that it will awaken the reader/writer/illustrator in them. It’s a challenge to hold kids’ attention these days, since we have to compete with video games, television, YouTube, Facebook, etc.

Over the summer, I gave 4 story writing workshops for kids, in a school and at a summer camp. In addition to sharing my writing process with them, it was exciting to help them use their own imagination in creating characters and story ideas. I totally enjoy writing for them and playing with them in the workshops.

Can you tell us what your latest book is all about?

My latest book is Kaptain Vamp. It’s the story a young vampire named Allistaire, who is also part human. He wants to change the fact that humans are afraid and distrustful of vampires. His family has been living among humans for hundreds of years and they’ve always used their abilities for good. One day, while reading his favourite superhero comic, Allistaire decides that he’s going to do everything he can to help humans. In order to become a superhero, Allistaire will start by doing good deeds. His sidekick, his human friend Rich, offers to help him out.

What inspired you to write it?

Since vampires have been the rage for adults for the last few years, I thought it would be fun to write a story about them for kids. I liked the challenge of taking this theme and making it positive. I didn’t want to give the kids nightmares. Also, I thought a vampire-human superhero would make a good story.

Where can readers purchase a copy?

The eBook is available on my website at www.topsybooks.com.

The print version will be there in November – just in time for Christmas!

I’m working on getting it on to Amazon and Barnes and Noble soon.

Do you have a website and/or blog where readers can find out more?

On topsybooks.com you can find out more about Kaptain Vamp and my other book The Witch, the Cat and the Egg. Kids can download images from the books to color and learn words from the books in 5 different languages. There is also a monthly draw for copies of books or t-shirts.

What is up next for you?

I have a few writing projects on the go. An artist friend is working on the images for my next book about a fairy. My brother is working on the images for my Topsyturvia series.

I’m also experimenting with other writing mediums. I’ll soon have one or two new comic strips that will be available only on the website. Readers will be able to vote for the one they prefer and I’ll either continue with as a comic or turn it into a future book.

I’m working on an adult short fiction story that I’m considering entering into a contest later this year.

Do you have anything else to add?

When I started writing stories for children, I decided that I would write the kinds of books that leave my readers feeling good and wanting more; that also leave them with a smile on their faces. The type of book that you can read to kids before they go to bed that will help them have good dreams! That’s what Topsy Books is all about. My personal motto is “Dare to imagine and believe in the magic of possibilities!” I hope that new readers will make Topsy Books part of their reading collection.

There will be sequels to The Witch, the Cat and the Egg and Kaptain Vamp next year. An eBook of the Witch book is available on the website. An audio and French version of the book will be coming soon.

Thanks for the interview and for reading Kaptain Vamp.

Thank you for spending time with us today, (Joanne Lécuyer). We wish you much success.

Kaptain Vamp web page:
http://topsybooks.com/ourbooks/our-books/kaptain-vamp/

Topsy Books website:
http://topsybooks.com/ourbooks/

Topsy Books Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Topsy-Books/179610058715988

Topsy Books Twitter: @JoTopsyBooks
http://twitter.com/#!/JoTopsyBooks

eBooks
Price: $6.99
ISBN:
– epub – 978-0-9869517-2-5
– mobi – 978-0-9869517-5-6
Pages: 68
Release: September 2011

Paperback
Price: $12.99
ISBN: 978-0-9869517-4-9
Pages: 68
Release: November 2011

eBook buy link: ($6.99) (epub, mobi, pdf)
to come

Paperback buy link: ($12.99)
to come