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Last week I reviewed the book Zara's Curse, by Andrew Domonkos.  I liked the book so much I decided to do an interview with the writer, who talks about why he got into writing, who he is, and how he deals with cyber-stalking.

LS: Hello there, first off, let me say I loved your book Zara's Curse.  I thought it was a really fun read.  My daughters liked it too.

AD:  Thanks, glad you liked it.

LS: Why don't you tell us what Zara's Curse is about?

AD: Okay.  Well, it's my first ebook that I've put up on amazon.  I started work on it in December of last year, and I put it up for download about two weeks ago.

LS: And if you could, tell our readers what this book is about?

AD: Sure.  It's basically a new take on an old motif made popular by books like Twilight.  I had read countless vampire/romance urban/thrillers to see exactly what was going on in this explosive genre, and what I found was a lot of carbon-copies of Twilight, trying to ride the waves of its popularity.  I thought I could create something a little different, more witty than just some bare-chested guy saying "I'm a vampire" to a moping girl.

LS: Fair enough. So aside from the inspiration for the story, what is the story actually about?

AD:  Well, it starts with Zara Lane, who is by all accounts an smart girl, a college student who has just turned 21.  Zara is more or less unhappy with her mundane life of schoolwork and hanging around her apartment.  Unsatisfied is the word I'm looking for.  So Zara goes out with her friend Abby for their 21st birthday to some Goth bar in downtown Denver, called the Church.

LS: I'm told the bar exists?  Is that true?

AD: Yes it does.  Although the one in Zara's Curse has been slightly modified.  I've actually been to the real Church a few times.  Cool place.

LS: Okay go on, Zara and her friend go this bar, then what?

AD: While at the bar, they run into a guy named Drake, who is kind of an obnoxious jock-type.  He right away tries to get them to do shots.  Abby of course likes him, being a bit obnoxious herself, but Zara wants no part of him.  She leaves her friend to go have a smoke, and in doing so meets Micah, who is more or less her type of guy.  After a brief encounter, she returns to the bar to find Abby has vanished with her new friend.

Outside Zara meets Micah once again, and he offers her a ride home on his scooter.  From there she begins to fall for him, and realize that he is not a normal guy.

LS: Is it okay to say Micah is a vampire?

AD: Sure.  I don't think that's a big secret.  A vampire book usually has a few (laughs).

LS: Okay, so she falls for this guy, but her other friend Twig doesn't much like the new union.

AD: Twig. Yeah, no, he doesn't much like the situation.

LS: Speaking of Twig, I think some of the best parts of the book are his and Zara's conversations.  There is some pretty funny banter there.

AD: Thanks.  Yeah Twig is a composite of several really funny guys I've known in my life.  He's kind of like that guy you know who is always joking around, who never really takes too much seriously.

LS: I know quite a few like that.

AD: Exactly! I think of most of my favorite literary figures, and they are usually fairly snarky or cynical.  Don't ask me why.  Hank Moody on Californication is a good example.  A man-child you can't help but like.

LS: So Twig is at odds with Zara over her new crush.  But he disdain for Micah stems from more than just jealousy, right?

AD: Yeah, early on we see that Twig has a history with not only Micah, but his family the Casparis.

LS:  The Casparis are great.  I love Vivian, she makes my skin crawl, in a good way.

AD: She is the composite of several women I have known. (Laughs).

LS: That's probably enough spoilers.  What did you want to accomplish by writing this book?

AD: Fame and glory.  Ha, just kidding.  No, I wanted to pay a little homage to the Lost Boys and that 80's style of tongue-in-cheek drama.  I wanted to create something funny and accessible.

LS:  The book is short.  And it kind of ends on a huge cliffhanger.  Was this intentional?

AD: Somewhat.  I used an organic approach in writing Zara's Curse.  I didn't set any specific page requirements for myself to fill.  I wanted to make something that was more like a pilot than a full-blown-novel.  I think I accomplished everything I wanted to say with the first one.

LS: And your working on the second book?  Bloodfire?

AD: Yes, well, I'm about a quarter of the way in.  It's still in its infancy, and will require a lot of revisions.  But yes, I'm attacking the thing with both fists.

LS:  And what is the story with this guy cyber-stalking you?

AD: Sigh.  Yeah, I call him Trollluedke.  I had a bad experience with a book promoter, who used some bad promotional tactics.  He spammed a site and before I could even defend myself, so this guy had taken the ball and run with it, calling me every name in the book and is using me as a stepping stool to promote his own writing.

LS: Yikes.

AD: Yeah, well, let him go crazy.  It's pretty obvious he is just trying to drive his own book sales with controversy.  It just makes him look like an obsessed ass.  Pardon my French.

LS: No pardon necessary.  Sounds like one.  So aside from trying to shake the trolls off you, what else are you working on?

AD: I'm working on a book about my hitchhiking travels.  It documents a time when me and some friends hitchhiked from Denver Colorado to Miami beach.

LS: Wow, long trip.

AD: Indeed.  Took about three weeks.  We stopped in St. Louis, slept on rooftops, went to Mardi Gras in New was a hell of a trip.

LS: I can imagine.  Any title for this one?

AD: The working title is Downwind from Chicago, but the book has proved so dificult to write it might take me several years to complete.  The whole journey happened 12 years ago. Hard to put all the pieces together.

LS: Of course.  But we can still expect the sequel to Zara's Curse soon?

AD:  Yep.  Book two of the Empire of Fang series.  Come hell or high water.

LS: Thanks for sitting down and talking to me.  I wish you continued success, and hope your trolls find other people to bother.

AD: Thanks for having me.

ZARA'S CURSE is a book available on the amazon marketplace found here:

The blogs following this series are found here.

We're sorry, but comments have been closed due to this Trolluedke guy lurking around our site and trying to troll all our posts.  BAD. 

     I just finished reading Zara's Curse, a vampire thriller written by Andrew Domonkos.

The story starts with Zara Lane and her friend Abby go out to celebrate their 21st birthday together.  

They go out to a nightclub called the Church (funny there is such a bar in Denver).

While at the bar, they meet Drake.  Drake is fairly obnoxious in that standard jockish way, ordering shots and talking about his muscle car.

While Abby and Drake are hitting it off, Zara decides to escape to the smoking patio where she meets Micah.

Micah is basically the polar opposite of Drake, quiet, reserved, and nice.  

Zara falls for Micah almost immediately, but her encounter is short lived when Micah leaves her their so that he can "return to the fray."  

When Zara returns to the bar, she sees that Abby has left with Drake.  

When Zara leaves the bar, annoyed an dismayed at how her night turned out, she sees MIcah again, who offers her a ride home on his fancy scooter.

From here the story seems to take off and get its legs.  We meet Twig, Zara's close guy-pal who seems perturbed by his friend's new crush.  He also has been hiding things from Zara as of late, and she has begun to think he has a secret girlfriend.

We meet Micah's family, the Casparis, who are eccentric and very odd.  Twig immediately shows his disdain for the sister Vivian when he and Zara attend a party hosted by the Caspari clan.

Soon Zara finds out that the Casparis are not what they seem, and the they are harboring some very dark secrets indeed.

What really made me love Zara's Curse was the style of the writing.  Concise yet complex and multi-layered, the story never bores.  IT moves along quickly, with sharp dialogue and clever twists.  

Zara's Curse is more Shaun of the Dead than it is Twilight.  I couldn't help but think of the style of the old 80's vampire movies while reading this book, like the cult classic the Lost Boys.

The story is very accessible to new readers, but has a lot to offer avid fans of the genre.  At 117 pages Zara's Curse is fairly short for a novel.  More of a novvelette really.  But I'm told the next book in the series will be longer and address more of the characters very interesting back-stories that this book toys with. 

The book contains some light violence (whats a vampire book without a few stakings?) and some light romance.  There are no gaudy sex-scenes or anything too vulgar. 

You can find Zara's Curse on the Amazon marketplace here.

The Cossack is a new literary journal featuring poetry, short fiction, and essays. We nominate for the Pushcart Prize and promote our contributors.
We're fond of imagery, rich meaning and deep psychological and emotional understanding.
Our “mascot,” the Cossack, symbolizes our love of writing that's proud, independent, capable, and complicated.

Genres :  Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction

Submission Guidelines:

Reading Period:  Jan 1 to Dec 31

Reporting Time:  Less than 3 months

Reading Fee:  No

E-Submissions:  Yes

Multiple Submissions:  Yes

Payment:  Contributor copies only

Contact Information
Christine Gosnay, Editor
Hutchinson Road
Los Gatos, CA 95033

River Styx began in the early 1970s when a group of poets and musicians began reading and jamming together in various St. Louis apartments. The first issue of River Styx Magazine, printed on a lithographic press and hand-collated, hit the streets a few years later in 1975. Both the magazine and the readings were characterized by energy, accessibility, humor, wit, and a spirit of inclusiveness. In the 37 years that followed, the readings took place each month at Duff's Restaurant in St. Louis, often packed to capacity, and River Styx magazine bloomed into an international, award-winning journal of poetry, fiction, essays, interviews and art. The magazine has consistently been one of the first to publish some of the most important writers of our time, from U.S. Poet Laureates (Howard Nemerov, Mona Van Duyn, Rita Dove, Robert Hass and Ted Kooser), to Pulitzer Prize-Winners (Yusef Komunyakaa), to Nobel Laureates (Derek Walcott and Czeslaw Milosz). In September 2012, the reading series moved to the Tavern of Fine Arts, where its playful yet dedicated spirit continues.

River Styx has been included in many editions of The Best American Poetry, Best New Poets, New Stories from the South, and Pushcart Prize anthologies. The magazine itself has won several Stanley Hanks Prizes, awards from Coordinating Council of Literary Magazines as well as grants and support from the National Endowment for the Arts, Missouri Arts Council, Regional Arts Commission, Missouri Humanities Council, and Arts and Education. This website samples recent work from River Styx's rich tradition.


Submission Info:

E submissions: No, snail mail+5 month wait for response.  No comment.

Contact Info
Magazine Editor: Richard Newman

Mailing Address:

River Styx Magazine
3547 Olive Street, Suite 107
St. Louis, MO 63103

Granta magazine was founded in 1889 by students at Cambridge University as The Granta, a periodical of student politics, student badinage and student literary enterprise, named after the river that runs through the town. In this original incarnation it had a long and distinguished history, publishing the early work of many writers who later became well known, including A. A. Milne, Michael Frayn, Stevie Smith, Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath. During the 1970s, it ran into trouble – dwindling money, mounting apathy – from which it was rescued by a small group of postgraduates who successfully and surprisingly relaunched it as a magazine of new writing, with both writers and their audience drawn from the world beyond Cambridge.

Since 1979, the year of its rebirth, Granta has published many of the world’s finest writers tackling some of the world’s most important subjects, from intimate human experiences to the large public and political events that have shaped our lives. Its contributors have included Martin Amis, Julian Barnes, Saul Bellow, Peter Carey, Raymond Carver, Angela Carter, Bruce Chatwin, James Fenton, Richard Ford, Martha Gellhorn, Nadine Gordimer, Milan Kundera, Doris Lessing, Ian McEwan, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Jayne Anne Phillips, Salman Rushdie, George Steiner, Graham Swift, Paul Theroux, Edmund White, Jeanette Winterson and Tobias Wolff. Every issue since 1979 is still in print. In the pages of Granta, readers met for the first time the narrative prose of writers such as Bill Bryson, Romesh Gunesekera, Blake Morrison, Arundhati Roy and Zadie Smith; and have encountered events and topics as diverse as the fall of Saigon, the mythology of the Titanic, adultery, psychotherapy and Chinese cricket fighting.

Granta does not have a political or literary manifesto, but it does have a belief in the power and urgency of the story, both in fiction and non-fiction, and the story’s supreme ability to describe, illuminate and make real. As the Observer wrote of Granta: ‘In its blend of memoirs and photojournalism, and in its championing of contemporary realist fiction, Granta has its face pressed firmly against the window, determined to witness the world.’

Sign up to Granta’s monthly newsletter here.


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Contact Info

Granta Publications
12 Addison Avenue
London W11 4QR
Tel +44(0)20 7605 1360
Fax +44(0)20 7605 1361

Writers Haven is a reclusive destination for any writer who is tired of following the protocols of the publishing world and the demands of changing search engine algorithms.

Every form of writing is encouraged including poetry and sonnets. It is theme based to provide a cue to nudge the creative writing process. 

 (*Art and Information provided by Writers Haven)

Genres: Prose, poetry

Format: Web

Response time: 2 weeks

Pays: no

E-Submissions: Yes (no attachments, text only emails)

Reading Fee: No

Nayanna Chakrbarty

Pennsylvania Literary Journal publishes short stories, book reviews and poetry.  This is a more "academic" literary journal, with a focus on more traditional styles in the traditions of Updike and Hemingway.  I don't like to use the word "stuffy," but it seems to fit here.    
Genres Published:

 Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction


Autobiography/Memoir, Cross-genre, Feminist, Historical, Humor, Formal, Political, Prose Poetry, 

Formats: Web, Print
Reading Period: Jan 1st to Dec 31st

Reporting Time: Less than 3 months

Charges Reading Fee: No

Accepts Electronic Submissions: Yes

Accepts Simultaneous Submissions: Yes

Unsolicited Submissions: Yes

Payment: None

Contact Information

Anna Faktorovich, Editor-in-Chief
c/o International Cooperation Department
Shantou University
Shantou, 515063