My novel, The Vampire Girl in London (sequel to The Vampire Girl Next Door) was just named a Notable Book Page Turner in the 2016 Shelf Unbound Writing Competition. You can read the December/January issue for free and see my award mentioned on page 100 (page 103 PDF) and both novels on page 120 (page 123 PDF). Shelf Unbound is a free online book review magazine. Just cllick on SHELF UNBOUND above and you'll see the issue. 

 

Paranormal Romance Guild

The Vampire Girl in London 

  Review by Linda Tonis    

                                                                                                                                                                 

This is the sequel to The Vampire Girl Next Door and that book should be read first, even though the author does a great job of updating the reader.

…Mark Sheridan's life changed the minute he met Sylvia Martin. Sylvia killed Mark's next door neighbor… and visited Mark during the night with him being unaware of it. When Father Callen, the leader of a vampire hunter group came close to killing Sylvia, a little mind control sent him jumping (from a roof), killing him.

Now Mark and Sylvia are on their way to London to be with other vampires and… far enough away from Father Callen's friends to keep them safe. Of course nothing that Mark and Sylvia do comes easy, so their flight is hijacked… Sylvia managed to kill one of them while a man with a hidden weapon disposed of the other.

Mark is thrilled with London, but not so much with Sylvia's friends. She lives in a mansion with three other couples, and other than Susan and Joseph the others are not very friendly. So in the three weeks that Mark has been with Sylvia, he helped kill a terrorist and watched as Father Callen (killed himself). Now he is with other vampires who don't seem to be thrilled that he is there.

While on a tour, Mark and Sylvia come in contact with more of Father Callen's people. The other vampire hunters are unaware of Father Callen’s death and have no idea who Sylvia and Mark are. However, when one of (the vampire’s) cars is bombed, it becomes clear someone… wants them all dead. How did Father Callen know Sylvia was in San Francisco? How did (he) know where Sylvia was living? How did (he) know what hotel Mark and Sylvia were staying at in Reno? Someone knows all about them but who?

This is not your normal vampire book; they walk in the daylight and can be killed. Something is different with Mark and Sylvia and they are evolving, but why? The book has secrets, surprises and betrayals.

 

 

 

Midwest Book Review

The Vampire Girl in London

Review by John Burroughs

October, 2016

 

Exceptionally well written and impressively original, The Vampire Girl in London is a consistently compelling read from beginning to end. A 'must' for all vampire story enthusiasts, "The Vampire Girl in London" once again showcases author Richard Arbib's mastery of this fantasy genre and is certain to be an enduringly popular addition to personal reading lists and community library Science Fiction & Fantasy collections!

 

Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews

The Vampire Girl in London

Review by Lit Amri

 

The Vampire Girl in London by Richard Arbib begins with lovers Sylvia Martin and Mark Sheridan on a jet bound for London, leaving San Francisco behind. The narrative is maintained in first person POV as we follow their journey through Mark’s perspective. He is still mulling over his whirlwind adventures since he met Sylvia and how his life has drastically changed. Still, it’s evident that he is deeply in love with her.

The narrative provides us with an easy read. Just like its predecessor, The Vampire Girl Next Door, Arbib gives us thrilling action scenes early on in this sequel as Sylvia and Mark’s jet is hijacked by terrorists. New, interesting and eccentric characters are introduced as we meet Sylvia’s vampire friends and enemies. Even though it is a sequel, The Vampire Girl in London is definitely solid as a standalone. For readers who have already read Arbib’s first book in this series, there are more intriguing details to be discovered about Sylvia’s past and her vampirism.

I find the subject of Satanism is more prevalent here, so any religiously sensitive readers might be irked. That said, it’s just a part of a fictional, supernatural story and should be read as it is and nothing more. There’s a mystery to be solved as the vampires are trying to find a hidden enemy hell bent on destroying them. In a nutshell, The Vampire Girl in London would satisfy supernatural fans and I’m once again entertained by Arbib’s fascinating couple, Sylvia and Mark.


 


 

 

 

Paranormal Romance Guild

Book Review: The Vampire Girl Next Door

Review by Linda Tonis

Thirty-three year old Mark Sheridan lives in San Francisco. His life revolves around his job selling advertising at a newspaper and the time he spends at the gym with his best friend, Dave. The only real problem in his life is his next door neighbor who parties every night, making sleep very difficult for Mark. Things change for Mark drastically when his noisy neighbor is found dead and a new girl, Sylvia Martin moves in.

This is the third murder Mark witnesses. When he was attacked coming home from the gym, two of his attackers suddenly wound up dead. Mark couldn't remember what happened because he had no memory of it, as if he was in a trance. Now with his neighbor gone, the girl of his dreams has moved in. Sylvia is a strange girl with a lot of secrets, secrets she is unwilling to reveal to Mark. His friend Dave and Dave's fiancé Gail both are taken back by Sylvia's eyes which are black. She also she wears a satanic symbol around her neck, which troubles them, as well. Unfortunately for Mark, all he can see is a gorgeous girl that he wants to be around all the time.

The fact that Sylvia doesn't like to go out during the day doesn't seem to faze him; her story about an allergy to light makes sense to him. Sylvia comes to Mark's apartment every night, but in spite of her flirting and kissing, she refuses to have sex with him. Mark takes that as her desire to go slow--little does he know!

Sylvia is a vampire and for some reason, she wants Mark. She even painted a portrait of the two of them together years ago. Has she dreamed about Mark as he dreamed about her? Even when Dave and Gail get married and a priest, Father Callen advises Mark that Sylvia is a vampire, he refuses to leave her. Knowing that she is a vampire and a Satanist can't diminish his love for her. Does Sylvia want to turn Mark? Will Mark let her if she wants to? Is he willing to turn his best friend away for a girl he has only known a few weeks?

This was an interesting take on vampires and it is told in the first person by Mark. Sylvia also has some very strange sexual desires and they are revealed in detail in this book. I enjoyed the story, it was an easy read, and Mark and Sylvia were interesting characters.

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Richard Arbib

1. When/why did you decide to become a writer?

I started writing stories in my twenties, but actually tried to sign up with the Famous Writers School by mail when I was 14 years old. They rejected me because of my age, but I later went on to get a master’s degree in creative writing at San Francisco State University.

2. What authors inspired you when you were younger? What books do you enjoy reading today?

Several vampire stories I read, all in 1978, inspired me: “Clarimonde,” by Theophile Gautier (1836), “Carmilla,” by Joseph Sheridan LeFanu (1871), Dracula, by Bram Stoker (1897), “The Spider,” by Hanss Heinz Ewers (1915), and Interview with the Vampire, by Anne Rice (1976).  I recently subscribed to Weird Tales magazine. One of my favorite novels is The Girl in a Swing, by Richard Adams (1980). It’s a ghost story and romance.

3. What was the inspiration behind your novel The Vampire Girl Next Door?

The stories I just mentioned were a starting point and then I just imagined what it would be like if the story centered around a guy who falls in love with the beautiful, but quirky girl next door, not realizing that she’s a vampire who killed his last neighbor. 

4. Will we ever see any of the characters again in the future?

Absolutely. Most of them will be in the sequel—except for the ones who are killed in the first novel.

5. What would you do if you were in Mark's situation?

Pretty much what Mark does. Sylvia is the most beautiful girl he’s ever seen. She seems to be crazy about him and he feels love at first sight when he meets her. So despite warnings from friends and a priest, and mounting evidence that Sylvia is dangerous, he ignores most of that and follows his heart.

6. Were any of the characters personalities?

No, no celebrities or famous characters in the novel.

7. You've written and published some short stories. What genre were they and what other genres would you like to try your hand at?

The other stories would also fit into the category of paranormal romance. I think most stories in the future will probably be in the same genre. I have some ideas for other novels. One of them will be a ghost story, but also with a romantic angle. My short story, “The Enchanted Doll,” was just published in the October, 2014 issue of the Mensa Bulletin.

8. What are your personal feelings about religion?

Now there’s a complicated question. I went to the United Church of Christ as a teenager, met the original inspiration for Sylvia at a Buddhist meeting (her name was Sylvia, looked like the novel character, but was not a vampire), met Anton LaVey (founder of the Church of Satan) in San Francisco, practiced magic with the Temple of Set 35 years ago when I was writing the first draft of my novel, and later had a friendship with John Allee, who, with Lillee Allee, wrote the book, Right and Left of Center: Finding Balance in Your Mundane & Magical Life. In my novel, Sylvia recommends their book to Mark on the first page of Chapter 13. On the cover of my novel, the number on Sylvia’s apartment door is 13. Often, art imitates life.

9. Why vampires and Satanism?

Partly because of my own background in magic that I just mentioned. But also, since Sylvia’s parents were murdered for witchcraft and because Sylvia has eternal life through being a vampire, she’s not looking for eternal life through salvation.

10. Would you like to see The Vampire Girl Next Door in theaters or on TV? If so, what actors would you like to see play your characters?

I would love to watch it in the theater or TV. I can’t see it as a TV series like True Blood or The Vampire Diaries because my novel does have an ending to it. But with the sequel, there could be two movies or a mini-series. HBO could do a TV movie since they don’t seem to censor their movies or their series. It could not be a movie on a regular network as the theater rating would be either R or NC17. If I could be 33 again, I would love to play Mark, but 33 is long gone and I don’t have the acting experience. For Sylvia, I would imagine the French actress Mathilda May at about 25 or 30, but with an English accent. If you watch her romantic movie, Only Love (1998), that is how I would imagine Sylvia.

11. Where do you see yourself and your career in the next ten years?

A couple more novels published, hopefully also made into movies. If everything went well, that’s how it would be. And it would be nice if I met someone just like Sylvia (except she wouldn’t be a vampire). 

12. What would you be doing if you weren't writing?

My other hobbies include going to the gym, ice-skating (racing), bicycling, and I studied kung fu on and off. I also go to arts events and the theater. As far as work that is not writing fiction, I’ve sold advertising for years.

13. Can you tell KSR what you're working on next?

Yes, I’m working on the rewrite of the sequel to The Vampire Girl Next Door. It’s set in London and should come out in 2015.

BOOK REVIEW: The Vampire Girl Next Door 

Mark has been dealing with some creepy things lately. He was ganged up on in an alley, blacked out, and when he woke up, two of the three punks were dead. Not long after, his lock is unhinged on his bedroom window. Then, his next door neighbor is murdered in the same manor as the punks in the alley.
He thinks things are looking up when the next door apartment is rented to the beautiful and mysterious Sylvia. But will this new neighbor and relationship of Mark's be his undoing when a priest comes and tells him Sylvia is not what she seems?

I've read countless vampire books, and each author has a different view. Mostly, they were cursed. Sometimes it's a genetic disability. Others have scientific causes for vampirism. In this book, The Vampire Girl Next Door, author Richard Arbib associates vampirism with Satanism. While I personally don't agree with the views, I'm sure many people will.
My version of vampires has always been different than that, but I respect the author's opinion and views and try not to let my personal opinions cloud my judgment when reviewing books. I don't like that people always liken vampirism to the Devil. The Satanism might alienate people of Christian faiths who would want to try and read this book.
I thought the narative could've used a little work. I've seen many authors accused of using too much dialogue, and at times this book does fall intot hat trap. Mark is also not a very special character. I think they would've done better for a male lead. But Sylvia is delightfully creepy (and she isn't even Goth!). I wouldn't want her as MY neighbor! At the same time, I think she is a perfect woman: she's self-made, beautiful and sassy.

The best things about this book, actually, were Dave and his wif, Gail. They were bright, colorful supporting characters that gave this book the pop of light it needed.

Was this a favorite book? No. Was it enjoyable? Definitely. I think a lot of readers will like this: vampirism without the gore or excessive sex. Give it a try, you might find that this is your thing.

Also, make sure you check out the site below, as it is very interactive with the book abd enhances the reading experience

4/5--worth a read.

Purchase The Vampire Girl Next Door via:

Official site (lists all stores where available)

 N&R This article was printed from the Opinions
section of the Reno News & Review, originally published May 8, 2014.
This article may be read online at:
  http://www.newsreview.com/reno/content?oid=13390113
  Copyright ©2014 Chico Community Publishing, Inc.
  Printed on 2014-06-26.



Author

Richard Arbib


By Dennis Myers


 PHOTO/DENNIS MYERS
 

If news of the publication of The Vampire Girl Next Door by Reno's Richard Arbib makes you think there's another entry in the adolescent vampire parade, you should know that Arbib began work on his book when Stephanie Meyer was six years old, and one critic has written of Vampire Girl, “This isn't a teenage vampire love story.” Arbib will sign his book from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Sierra View Library on May 10.

Why a vampire book?

I’ve liked vampires, particularly female vampires, ever since I was very young and I think it started with the movie called Kiss of the Vampire. And I saw that and thought, “This is the kind of horror movie for me.”

In one interview you seemed to say you took a 30-year hiatus from writing this book.

No, it wasn’t a 30-year hiatus. What happened was I wrote the original draft of it between 1979 and 1982. Then for the next 12 years I had four different literary agents who were representing it. All four came close to getting it published but didn’t get it published. And then after probably 12 years of having it sitting on the shelf doing nothing, I moved from San Francisco to Reno and then about five years ago I rewrote the novel. Made some changes, added a lot of humor to it because the original draft did not have any humor to it, changed the tone of the novel.  So I wasn’t actually writing it for a total of 30 years and I didn’t stop writing it during that 30 years. As a matter of fact, after I wrote the first one, a few years later I wrote a sequel to it which I used as my master’s thesis for a degree in creative writing. And I’m working on that now, on rewriting the sequel, and the sequel will come out in about a year.

Was writing a novel different from what you expected?

No, not really. I think everybody’s process of writing a novel is different. My process is kind of slow. I get idea and as I get ideas I write them down on 3x5 cards and this may take months or, in the case of my novel, it takes years. And then I put them in a chronological order and then I once I have them in a chronological order, I have a very organized outline and then I work from the outline and the cards and write the book. So I don’t just sit down to a blank page and start making stuff up as I’m typing it on the screen. I have all the events that happen and the dialogue, I’ve already organized it before I sit down to write, so I know the exact order. The plot and foreshadowing have to be set up very carefully and so they have to go in a very specific order. It’s not random or just off the top of my head or being inspired when I turn on the computer screen. The inspiration part takes a long time and it comes randomly. …

One critic said your novel is “once again proving the universal allure of the crazy girl.” Was that one of your intentions?

I think, yes, that’s one of the things about Sylvia. Some people describe her—including some of the other characters—described her as a stalker. Mark, the main character, doesn’t see her that way because she’d really beautiful and sexy, and he’s so attracted to her he doesn’t really look at that aspect of her. But there certainly are aspects of her personality that are a little bit abnormal. Last year [after the book was completed] I watched all most every minute of the Jodi Arias trial, her murder trial. And watching her trial I could see a lot of parallels between the two characters.

 

 

Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews

The Vampire Girl Next Door

Review by Lit Amri

 

Mark Sheridan’s life is taking a strange turn; three curiously related murders had taken place within twenty-four hours of each other, and both murder scenes had happened within close proximity to him. The strangeness only intensifies with the arrival of Sylvia Martin from London, a mysterious pretty girl with weird eyes. She moved in after Mark’s loud and obnoxious neighbor was murdered in his apartment one night. Enchanted by her, Mark could not help but feel truly infatuated with her, ignoring his friends’ advice to be cautious, including a priest’s ominous warning about Sylvia. The Vampire Girl Next Door is a fast-paced, immersive supernatural fiction by Richard Arbib.


Narrated from a first person point-of-view, readers could tell right away that protagonist Mark is an average guy with a busy life schedule – gym, Kung Fu and film classes as well as working thirty hours per week selling advertising for a weekly newspaper. Readers don’t have to wait long for the eerie supernatural scenes to start. Right at the start of the novel Richard Arbib introduces Sylvia, whom Mark’s friend Dave caught staring at him from outside the gym’s window. As he walked home, Mark was attacked by three young thugs but he was saved by someone or something that swiftly killed two of them without being seen. We could already guess who his ‘savior’ was.


Overall, the story’s pace is definitely a fast one, and yet it does not feel rushed at all. The plot is adroitly written and I myself feel drawn to the mysterious Sylvia. This is perhaps the best supernatural fiction that I have read this year.

Interview with Richard Arbib

Author Richard Arbib

Author Richard Arbib

Congratulations on the publication of your first novel Richard!

Your biography tells us that your background is in English and creative writing and you have previously published short stories and articles. What made you decide to write a novel and why did you choose the vampire theme?

Yes, after many years, I eventually earned a master’s degree in English and creative writing at San Francisco State University in 1989.

But I’ve liked female vampires ever since I was 13 and saw the movie, Kiss of the Vampire. I’ve always found them sexy and romantic. I recently realized that my writing category is paranormal romance, not really horror. The romantic relationships in my writing are the central focus and there is less blood and violence in my fiction than what occurs in most fiction categorized as horror. However, it’s not in the “young adult” category. The characters are all adults and there are some risqué scenes

The Vampire Girl Next Door takes the standard format of many vampire novels and presents a gender reversal. Mark is a regular guy who all of a sudden finds himself surrounded by horror and mystery, centred around the seductive Sylvia. Can you tell us about where this idea came from?

You’re exactly right that The Vampire Girl Next Door seems to present a gender reversal compared to more recent novels such as those by Stephenie Meyer or Charlaine Harris. In mine, Mark, the narrator, is human, and falls in love with Sylvia, not realizing that she’s a vampire. However, I wrote the original draft for my novel between 1979 and 1982, so my novel was not influenced by any current vampire fiction. I rewrote the novel about five years ago, changing the tone by adding more humor, but not altering the plot at all.

As to where the inspiration for the story came from, I was influenced by three stories I read in 1978: “Clarimonde,” by Theophile Gautier (1836), “Carmilla,” by Joseph Sheridan LeFanu (1871), and “The Spider,” by Hans Heinz Ewers (1915). All three have beautiful female vampires who are seductive, seemingly sweet and innocent, yet dangerous. All three are narrated by the actual victim, who has fallen under the spell of the alluring vampire.

Book Signing at Grassroots Books, Reno, Nevada, December 2, 2012

Book Signing at Grassroots Books,
Reno, Nevada, December 2, 2012

Where did the inspiration for Sylvia come from? She has a diverse background and varied interests. How did you pull it all together?

Both the name and the facial description came from a very real woman, Sylvia, whom I met way back in 1973—40 years ago! We had a brief romance, but the memory of her always stuck with me. When I first saw her in real life, I had the same reaction that Mark has when he first sees Sylvia—an intense attraction like love at first sight. (See Chapter 4. This scene is in the free reading sample on my website.)

While Sylvia’s name and physical appearance is based on this real person (whom I haven’t seen in 30 years now), the personality of the character is not based on any specific woman I’ve known. I let my imagination run wild and created what I considered to be my own fantasy woman who would be perfect in every way. In my original draft 30 years ago, this created a lack of conflict, so I had to make changes so that there would be some conflicts between Mark and Sylvia, but those conflicts are humorous. As the book cover states:

When Mark first meets Sylvia, he tells her, “You’re the girl of my dreams!”

Sylvia smiles and responds with a warning—“Be careful what you wish for.”

How are the vampires in your novel different than others in the genre? You mix in some interesting religious elements to the story and character development. What was your inspiration for this?

Every vampire story has its own rules. In my novel, Sylvia is able to go out in daylight, just like the vampires in “Carmilla,” “Clarimonde,” and Dracula. This whole idea of vampires dying from sunlight basically started with the silent movie, Nosferatu, back in 1922. Many modern vampire stories feature vampires who can’t go out during daylight. But Sylvia is able to go out during the day and even attends a church wedding. Because of this, she seems much more human and is less detectable as a vampire since she doesn’t fit some of the stereotypes.

Regarding religion, Sylvia is a Satanist, which makes sense in her situation. Since she already has eternal life as a vampire, she doesn’t need salvation for a life in the hereafter. She is also bitter about how her family was murdered by villagers wrongly accusing them of witchcraft. There are some amusing religious conflicts Sylvia has with Gail, the born-again Christian fiancée of Dave, Mark’s best friend. Since Sylvia is not bound by typical religious guilt and shame, she is sexually uninhibited, which proves to be quite a challenge for Mark in a couple of funny bedroom scenes. She turns out to be more than he had bargained for.

I lived in the Richmond district of San Francisco, where the apartment building is located in the novel. As my novel mentions in Chapter 1, (also in the free reading sample) this was the same neighborhood where the original Church of Satan had their house. When I went shopping at the Cala Foods supermarket on Geary Blvd., I sometimes saw high priest Anton LaVey there, and we had a conversation once where I told him about my novel. I did a lot of reading and study regarding the supernatural and magickal groups from the late 1970s to the early 1990s. I also lived in London for nine months in 1990 and visited Highgate village and the famous Highgate Cemetery. Sylvia is from Highgate and that’s the setting for the sequel. So while my novel is clearly a work of fiction, some of the supernatural elements are taken from history and real experiences.

Book Signing at Sundance Books, Reno, Nevada, March 3, 2013

Book Signing at Sundance Books,
Reno, Nevada, March 3, 2013

Without giving away details I will say that the book has a satisfying ending that brings completion to the plot of the book. Do you have a sequel in mind or is it intended as a stand alone novel?

Oh yes, there is definitely a sequel! I planned that from the very beginning. Just like the original novel, I wrote the sequel many years ago. I am now rewriting it and updating it so that the tone completely matches the original. The Vampire Girl Next Door takes place mostly in San Francisco. The sequel is set in London, Sylvia’s city. Although the first novel concludes with what you described as a satisfying ending, the sequel starts at the exact spot where the first one ends and there is a major crisis within the first two pages. But I don’t want to spoil the plot of the first novel by revealing what happens at the beginning of the sequel. I think the sequel will come out sometime in 2014.

Who are some of your favourite authors?

I mentioned some of the classic writers such as Theophile Gautier, Joseph Sheridan LeFanu, Hans Heinz Ewers, and Bram Stoker. For modern writers, one of my favorites is Anne Rice. I read Interview with the Vampire in 1979, the year I started writing The Vampire Girl Next Door. When I was a creative writing student in 1979 at San Francisco State University, I met Anne Rice. Her husband, Stan Rice, was chairman of the Creative Writing Department there, and I was a guest at her house several times, including a party where I met my first literary agent.

Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions for us, I wish you success with this novel and your future work!

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to talk to your readers about my book. There’s more information on my website: www.thevampiregirlnextdoor.com It has a 4-minute video book trailer, book reviews, a free reading sample, and interesting links to things mentioned in the novel (such as Mark’s kung fu style and his sports car, Sylvia’s harpsichord, samples of the music she plays, and a video about Highgate in London). The links are in the chronological order of the novel and can be read or viewed while reading the book. They enhance the reading of the novel and don’t spoil the plot.

View Richard’s novel The Vampire Girl Next Door at The Vampire Library

 

The Vampire Library

 
In association with Amazon.com

I'm not completely gaga over the whole vampire craze but I like reading books and watching movies about them, as long as the plot is interesting.  The Vampire Girl Next Door is one such book that reeled me in and "sunk its fangs" into me until the end. 

  The book tells of Mark, a salesman and avid gym enthusiast, who lives in an apartment building with a noisy neighbor.  Mark is confronted in an alley one night and, in an unexplainable manner, becomes surrounded by dead people.  Mark becomes stressed that he could be pinned for the murders, but that worry dwindles when a sultry woman named Sylvia soon becomes his neighbor.  Sylvia is the woman of Mark's dreams (literally).

 This isn't a teenage vampire love story.  Throughout the adventure, mysteries are unraveled and Mark learns a lot about Sylvia. She's daring, risque, and dominant.  She also turns out to be much more than meets the eye. 

I received book for review.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Midwest Book Review: Reviewers’ Bookwatch

Burroughs’ Bookshelf—August 2012

“The Vampire Girl Next Door”—book review by John Burroughs

 

A dream isn't all that far from a nightmare. "The Vampire Girl Next Door" is a novel following the arrival of the mysterious Sylvia in the vicinity of Mark, and the two begin to hit it off immediately. Despite all the warning signs that surround him, Mark may have to learn the hard way about Sylvia and her past she just won't speak up about. "The Vampire Girl Next Door" is a choice pick for one looking for a romance with a supernatural twist, highly recommended.