The Washington Post

Jack Trammell confronts David Brat — and vampires

(Randolph Macon College, via Associated Press). (Randolph Macon College, via Associated Press).

As House Majority Leader Eric Cantor moves through Washington like the living dead, it’s weirdly appropriate that the Democrat vying for his Congressional seat has a side-line interest in vampires.

Jack Trammell will have to debate plenty of weighty questions during his campaign against Republican David Brat in Virginia’s 7th district, but I want to sink my teeth into this surprisingly line in his curriculum vitae: “Current projects include a vampire novel.”

That sounds like good preparation for work on Capital Hill.

“It was actually intended to be a little more complicated than a standard vampire novel,” Trammell tells me. “The world has quite a few of those right now. In fact, it was supposed to be in the guise of a vampire novel, but actually turn into a medical type of thriller.”

Like, say, Obamacare?

Trammell’s working title is “A Shape I Wist.” But the blood has drained from this project for now.

“Alas, it is a manuscript that is only half done,” Trammell says, “with various chapters, some complete and some half-formed. One might speculate that I won’t be doing much work on it until after November.”

Till then, interested fiction readers may want to check out his YA novel, “Return to Treasure Island”; his historical novel, “The Saints Departed”; or even his romance novel, “Sarah’s Last Secret.” In these bitterly partisan times, Congress surely could use a little romance.

Trammell, who, like his Republican opponent David Brat, works at Randolph-Macon College, has published a number of scholarly articles related to his interest in history and sociology, but genre novels demand a different kind of creativity and reach a different kind of audience.

“I like to write for fun, as some of my credits no doubt suggest,” Trammell says. “But at a deeper level, I try to write to make people think. If you make people think, you’ve accomplished something.”

Ron Charles is the editor of The Washington Post's Book World. For a dozen years, he enjoyed teaching American literature and critical theory in the Midwest, but finally switched to journalism when he realized that if he graded one more paper, he'd go crazy.



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