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Local author and bookstore manager bring vampire character to life

By Valerie Franchi, Contributing Writer

Cover of “My Terrible Mistress”

Hudson/Westborough – An unexpected collaboration between a local author and bookstore manager has resulted in a ghoulishly good book cover. Hudson author Joseph Bebo was promoting his horror novel, “The Shivering,” when he casually mentioned the new book he was then working on to Tatnuck Booksellers Manager Amber Doe.

That book, “My Terrible Mistress,” is the story of an ancient and evil vampire, Rebecca, and her servant Henry, who is the voice of the novel.

“I was describing Rebecca to Amber,” Bebo recalled, “and she showed me a picture of her with long tangled hair that would be perfect for a vampire. I suggested she should do the cover.”

“I thought he was joking,” Doe remembered.

As it turns out, he wasn’t, but wasn’t sure how to go about it on a low budget. Doe told him that she had two friends – who she calls “sisters” – that could help. Hair and makeup artist Taralyn Rose and photographer Cynthia Burns donated their time and talent to transform Doe into Rebecca. The pair received a “thank you” in the book’s credits.

The crew did the photo shoot during an afternoon at Doe’s home in Uxbridge, which happens to be across the street from a graveyard. Aside from a few minor snags such as having to wear a full-length black velvet gown on a 90-degree day and gluing her false vampire teeth to her gums, Doe said becoming Rebecca was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

“It has not been real,” Doe said. “It was so much fun. I’m 40 with a half dozen kids – when does something like this happen?”

Bebo said asking Doe to do the cover was “the smartest thing I ever did. She nailed it. She really transformed into the character. I couldn’t have hired someone better.”

He noted that, based on her portrayal, he tweaked Rebecca’s character a bit.

“Amber actually had an effect on the character,” he said.

“My Terrible Mistress” is Bebo’s seventh fiction novel. The retired software engineer has been writing for 30 years in a variety of genres – historical fiction, science-based fiction and now horror.

“It’s my year of horror,” Bebo said.

“I have always been fascinated by vampires,” he continued. “In old vampire movies, most female vampires are subservient and weak. I wanted a female vampire who was just as powerful as the males.”

In the novel, Rebecca is indestructible. Bebo said he “twisted the vampire myth a little” so that she cannot be killed by a stake to the heart or exposure to the sun.

“I don’t take the myths too seriously,” he noted. “I had a lot of fun with it.”

He also mixed in his love of history. While the novel takes place in modern times, the reader is taken on a journey through different time periods of Rebecca’s past.

Doe, who has worked at Tatnuck Booksellers since 2010, is a fan of the horror genre and of Bebo’s work.

“I love vampire books,” she said. “Joe is a wonderful writer. I’ve read all his books and we’ve become good friends.”

Bebo will be at Tatnuck Booksellers, 18 Lyman St., Westborough, on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 28-29, from 1-3 p.m. He noted that, as a special treat, Doe will be at the Saturday event in character as Rebecca.

(Photos/submitted)

Joseph Bebo

Short URL: http://www.communityadvocate.com/?p=95170

Posted by on Oct 19 2017. Filed under Business, Byline Stories, Hudson, Neighbors in the news, People and Places, Westborough. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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