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Greetings and hugs!
Red eyes, fangs, ancient castles, surname Harker, and bloodlust... who would not recognize the story by these items? Almost no one would be wrong to say the name of the book, a book that marked a style, a race, a genre, and many, many generations of readers.
Dracula, by Abraham "Bram" Stoker, was published on May 26, 1897, and since then it has not been out of print, fueling night terrors of many literary, inspiring others and creating a trend difficult to avoid when speaking of vampires.
However, the book left some chances, many questions that could be answered in a second part, and not just one but many "sequels", written by authors who gave their point of view about what could happen after the end of the novel.
The September 24, 2009 in the UK, Dacre Stoker, nephew grandson of Bran, with Ian Holt, publishes the oficial sequel to the book that made him famous to his name: Dracula The Un-Dead.
I made contact with Mr. Stoker and he answered some questions about his novel, as well as on his writing career, the influence of the name Stoker in his life, so without any further need to extend the entrance, I leave to all vampire readers the interview with Dacre Stoker.
1. There are so many novels about Dracula, have you read any of them to write yours?
Yes, however there are far too many to mention here. Top one: Salem’s Lot by Stephen King
2. The idea of the book was from Mr. Holt, but what would have happened if he had not thought about it?
Then I probably would have never written a sequel to Dracula.
Would you have written the book on your own at some point?
Most likely not, but I would probably have written something about Bram Stoker instead.
3. You read Dracula when you were in college; the style was something pretty , let's say, "new" at the time when it was published. When you wrote Dracula, the Un-dead, did you want to use it again, at first?
It was a thought of ours, but the epistolary style is not too popular today so we thought it would not be all that well accepted.
4. We had Vlad and Bathory, those two vampires together in the book, so different characters and at the same time, very similar. Why did you decide to put them together?
The sequel needed a new twist, something expected and something unexpected. Why like enemies and not like lovers with a common cause? That would have been to cliche, besides Dracula was still in love with Mina.
5. Every character of the first book has changed a lot since its end; Mina, Arthur, Jonathan, all of them have gone through the consequences of their encounter with the Count, what made you decide the future of each one and their role in the story?
We figured that each character would have been affected like being in a war, sort of post Dracula stress syndrome. They had friends die, they had to kill Lucy, Lucy’s mother died and Arthur’s father died, we figure that would reasonably change anyone.
6. Is any of the new characters based in real people or they are just from Bram's notes?
Elizabeth Bathory is based on a real historical figure, a few others are taken from Bram’s list of characters in his notes but were never used in Dracula like Detective Cotford. The others are just adaptations from Bram’s original characters in Dracula, although Quincey has a lot of qualities of Ian.
7. From your point of view, why do vampires have become so popular now? Meyer and Rice helped in the cause, but do you think there's something else? Something that makes vampires such a fascinating race that they keep coming back again and again no matter what?
They continue to fascinate because authors keep adjusting the situations that they are placed in, that keeps it interesting. The other factor is that the theme of immortality is alluring to most horror readers.
8. Is there a difference between the you before writing the book and the one after doing it or do you feel like the same person?
Yes I am still the same person, however I have enjoyed many wonderful experiences and met many interesting people as a result of promotional tours.
9. In addition to Dracula, Bram wrote other books. Which one is your favorite?
I liked Jewel of the Seven Stars and Mysteries of the Sea.
Would write a sequel to any of these books? Why?
10. Being honest, what do you think of nowadays' vampires? What would be Bram's opinion about them?
I think Bram would have been very proud about the legacy that he created, you must remember that besides being a writer he was a theater manager, longevity in the world of entertainment is highly regarded.
11. When you were a child, besides all the Halloween thing, being a Stoker was something significant to you?
Being connected to Dracula meant very little to me and my family, of course we were proud of Bram’s achievements. We were raised to succeed at everything we did from our studies to our sports, not to rest on the laurels of others but to go out and make your own name.
I am busy working on two books right now, I am finishing off a Bram Stoker Dracula Travel Guide, and staring a prequel to Dracula with the author J.D. Barker. I am also working on a documentary film about the origins of the real Prince Dracula and the fictitious Count Dracula. I have partnered with Romanian Treasures Travel Company to organize and host Dracula Tours to Romania
13. Is there another Dracula novel coming from you, a fiction novel, let's say?
Yes as I just mentioned I think readers are ready for a historical fiction about Bram Stoker writing his famous novel Dracula.
14. After vampires, do you have another creature that you like?
In the horror genre I find witches very interesting. Otherwise I like fish, whenever I have free time I love to go fly-fishing for trout, they are difficult to catch little slimy creatures!
15. To finish, what is your advice for those young writers to become successful authors?
Every time you get a creative thought, write it down, keep a journal, these nuggets may very easily become wonderful parts of your next story.
I can only thank Mr. Stoker for his time and patience with me and my questions. I look forward to hearing from you and your projects!
Greetings and hugs!