When seventeen-year-old Hailey’s multi-racial, single parent family migrate to the tiny rural town of Corpus, Georgia (population 700), she would rather have moved anywhere but there.
That is, until she spots him. Mysterious definitely, perhaps even supernatural. Where Hailey is awe-struck by the young man of her dreams, her little brother, Mason, sees a soulless creature of the night, a half-man who may be responsible for a series of grisly murders across the southern gothic town.
Antwan Zeddman, the town’s first African-American Sheriff, must enforce a curfew in Corpus to ensure the safety of the townsfolk. He must contend with sightings of hellish winged beasts and investigate the slaying of an innocent young couple traveling through town. There is a growing sense of racial unrest. Hailey will find herself caught between her family, the residents of Corpus, and the vampire she’s falling in love with.
The Grateful Boys is an otherworldly Young Adult novel which explores the challenges of growing up mixed raced in the southern states of America, and the troubles of a young woman coming of age in a town full of danger and temptation.
Title: The Grateful Boys
Author: Françoise DuMaurier
Release Date: 1st October 2019
Page Count: 328
Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48062952-the-grateful-boys
Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1913136469
5 Favourite Things About Vampires by Françoise DuMaurier
Vampires have had a long history throughout the English language. The mythology goes back decades and has been altered with each generation. In the 1890s, they could turn into mist and wolves. Before that they could transform into cats. By the 1920s, Vampires became creatures who burned by daylight. And this century saw them morph into popular sparkling hunks. In anticipation of my own vampire novel, here’s a rundown of my top five things about vampires.
- The first English language novel about vampires was written in 1872 by an author named Sheridan Le Fanu. The eponymous Carmilla was a lustful vampire who came by night to seduce both men and women. Her powers included the ability to transform into a black cat. A few short decades later, Bram Stoker would build upon the transformation mythology. He wrote about some vampire named Dracula who could morph into a black bat, a wolf, and even the mist in order to seep through windows. In the intervening years, popular culture has stripped vampires of their transformative powers but I knew it was an aspect I wanted to bring back. My novel contains modern vampires with all the old transformation powers found in Stoker’s Dracula.
- Reflections! We know when vampires lost their reflection: Bram Stoker took it away from them in 1897. But to date, it’s hard to pinpoint why they have a lack of reflection. Some suggest it is because mirrors were once lined with silver (more on that later) while others believe it is because vampires lack a soul which has passed on with their humanity. For my novel, I wanted to explore the humanity of a vampire’s reflective soul in ways I hadn’t seen explored before. The way I saw it, the inability to hold a reflection was the ultimate curse of the vampire (along with needing to drink blood). To walk the earth for centuries and to forget what you look like, to never be able to see yourself, to be blind to your own appearance would be soul crushing… if they had one.
- Silver is often toxic to vampires and that’s an aspect that’s remained from Stoker to Stackhouse. It comes back to religiosity. In early Christianity, silver was considered an element of the divine. Religious objects were made of silver centuries ago and when vampire lore cropped up, they, being creatures of the night, were considered allergic to an element considered of purity and divinity. However, there’s one religious take that I prefer even more. In some circles of lore and myth, Judas Iscariot is said to have been cursed to walk the earth forever after betraying Jesus Christ of Nazareth. And as a creature forced to walk the earth for all of eternity, he was also cursed with a toxicity for the very thing he betrayed Christ for: a few measly pieces of silver.
- Vampires have almost always been considered the great seducers. Twilight has resulted, over the past fifteen years, in a backlash surrounding the romantic aspects of these fictitious creatures. But going back to the first English language vampire book, Carmilla, vampires were lurid dream-like seducers who came to people at night in a bid for arousal and blood. Bram Stoker took this one step further and made the Count’s journey one of finding his true love. True Blood, Twilight, the Vampire Diaries, and now my own novel The Grateful Boys have kept the love affairs in tact, with varying degrees of temptation. Is she falling for a vampire? Or is he just using his vampiric power of hypnosis? I’ll let you decide.
- “Let Me In.” This is not only the title of one of my favorite vampire films, based on the award winning Let the Right One In, it’s also the sort of phrase a vampire must say if they wish to enter your house. But why? Because the narrative simply calls for it. These are immortal superhuman creatures who can fly, transform into animals, sink their claws into you, hypnotize anyone into doing anything, and have I mentioned their power of seduction? Our main characters need to take a breather. They need some kind of place in which they are safe from the most vicious creatures ever dreamed up in literature. We need solace and safe ground in our own homes. We’re essentially safer from burglars than from vampires. After all, what burglar will politely ask if they can enter your house?
Françoise DuMaurier is a Special Education Case Worker who works out of a small town in rural Georgia which inspired the Southern Gothic setting of The Grateful Boys. To get to work, DuMaurier passes through miles and miles of farms, as far as the eye can see. Before entering education, DuMaurier attended the Ernest G. Welch School of Art and Design where he studied visual art and creative writing. Having worked with an array of students along with his own experiences, DuMaurier is uniquely suited to provide a wry voice that encapsulates #ownvoices fiction.