UT alumnus Steve Perlow brings business into novel writing

Collyn Burke

Before sinking his teeth into the world of vampire novels, Steve Perlow was just a regular business student.

Perlow is a UT alumnus and the author of the “Vampires and the Life of Erin Rose” series. The latest of entry in the saga, “Choosing a Master,” was released Jan. 16.

Perlow, who graduated with an MBA from the McCombs School of Business, said he had an unusual professional start not as a writer, but as an app and website developer. It wasn’t until one of his app ideas was ripped off that Perlow got into writing.

“I realized I was never going to be able to stop that,” Perlow said. “So, I said I wonder if I could write something, because if I could write something, no one would be able to copy it like they copied my app.”

Perlow said while he enjoys writing, it was never something he had seriously thought about doing before more or less turning it into a professional endeavor.

“It’s not like for years and years I’d always wanted to be a writer,” Perlow said. “It was a different creative outlet for me, and it turns out in the end, I certainly enjoy it more than some of the apps and things like that.”

Perlow said he used his business background to help him create a brand for himself and his books.

“One thing that kind of got hammered into me in McCombs was the importance of brand and consistency,” Perlow said. “Just something as simple as my book covers you know, I think that its consistency with brand. I think each one is a good cover but looking at them really all together they make a nice set.”

Perlow described his books as telling human stories within a dark fantasy world and said they were reminiscent of Anne Rice’s novels and Quentin Tarantino’s “Kill Bill.”

“I try and write vivid scenes that people can really get into,” Perlow said. “My hope is that it’s easy for people to read this first person writing and be able to put themselves in the scene and really imagine it.”

Perlow’s editor, Stefanie Spangler Buswell, also made the connection between Perlow’s and Rice’s writings. Buswell said Perlow’s vampires are similar to an older and more Gothic version, as opposed to the more modern, romance-focused vampires of Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight.”

“(Choosing a Master) encompasses a very broad range of time and questions some really deep motivations of both its human and immortal characters,” Buswell said. “I would agree that it is much more reminiscent of Anne Rice’s style than some of the more contemporary vampires.”

Perlow’s publicist, Sydney Mathieu, said while Perlow’s vampires are more reminiscent of the classic vampire, fans of both Anne Rice and “Twilight” could relate to them.

“I think there is a place for both of those genres,” Mathieu said. “I think there is some overlap in readership, but I think having the Gothic and horror vampire is really nice, and I think there is an audience that really likes that that doesn’t necessarily like that paranormal romance and vice versa.”

Above the success and clout he might gain from his books’ popularity, Perlow said having his books out in the world for people to read is the most important thing to him.

“It’s exciting to have it out there just so people can read it,” Perlow said. “You have all these ideas you want to get across just having it out there it’s like, ‘Finally other people can read it.’”