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Vampires and Things That Go Bump in the Night!

My latest book, Undying Magic, delves into the myths and legends of vampires. I thought it was about time to introduce them to my White Haven paranormal world.

I’ve always been a fan of the vampire myths, and I think it started years ago when I watched the Hammer House of Horror films as a teenager. I loved Christopher Lee as Dracula, and Peter Cushing as Van Helsing. In fact, I loved many of the Hammer House films! Any hoo, Christopher Lee was the perfect Dracula. He was tall, dark, handsome, and menacing, and he embodied the vampire type that has become so popular in many films and books.

Christopher Lee as Dracula

If I’m honest, I barely remember the story, but he could be seductive when he wanted to be, and his arch nemesis was Van Helsing, who was hunting him down. Of course, much of the story was taken from Bram Stoker’s book, Dracula. It was published in 1897 and established many of the story conventions we follow today. Stoker also introduced us to Professor Abraham Van Helsing, the vampire hunter.

The book is told in epistolary format, which essentially means it’s told via letters, diary entries, newspaper entries, and ships’ logs. It works really well, and I found I was quickly drawn into the story. When I read it, I expected it to only hint at the horrors of Dracula, but it doesn’t. It’s actually quite graphic and chilling, especially Jonathan’s experiences in Count Dracula’s castle, and when the team are chasing him through Transylvania. I recommend it! The film, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, released in 1992. It’s a gothic horror, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, and is a pretty accurate interpretation of the book.

But, I didn’t want my vampires to be seductive or swoon worthy. I was aiming for the more Nosferatu style of vampire. Heard of him? He was really chilling!

Nosferatu, as played by Max Schreck in 1922.

Nosferatu is an old black and white film, and is probably the first film based on Bram Stoker’s book. There’s nothing sexy about this vampire. He has horrible teeth, long clawed fingers, and a suitably creepy castle, and was played by Max Schreck. Unfortunately this film was an unauthorised adaptation and Stoker’s heirs sued, and subsequently a court order ruled that all copies should be destroyed. Fortunately, a few copies survived! You can watch it on You Tube.

One of my favourite vampire films is called The Fearless Vampire Killers, directed by Roman Polanski, released in 1967. It’s tongue in cheek, and very funny, and stars the very beautiful Sharon Tate.

Vampires, however, just won’t go away. There are oodles of books, films and TV shows about them – far too many to list, but they include: Twilight, Vampire Diaries, Buffy, Angel, and others. I was a big fan of Buffy and Angel. A couple of my favourite books include:

The original Dracula: https://www.bookbub.com/books/dracula-by-bram-stoker-84171daf-631d-404b-b246-2783bdd31801

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova – https://www.bookbub.com/books/the-historian-by-elizabeth-kostova – an excellent modern interpretation.

Hidden Fire: The Elemental Mysteries book 1, by Elizabeth Hunter: https://www.bookbub.com/books/a-hidden-fire-by-elizabeth-hunter. It’s more paranormal romance than I normally prefer, but it’s a really good series, with some great spin-off series too.

Image of how Vlad Dracule killed his enemies

But Dracula was partially based on the real life character, Vlad Dracule, or Vlad the Impaler, who became the ruler of Wallachia in 1436. His history is complicated, so I won’t go into it here, but he was known for being blood thirsty and cruel. Many stories weave his history into their fiction. I also talk about Strigoi in Undying Magic, and again these are mythical figures in Romanian Mythology, who have many of the attributes that have been included in the Dracula mythology.

In Undying Magic, I draw on some of the tropes from Dracula and the Strigoi – the vampire’s ability to crawl up walls, their supernatural strength, and their ability to change form and drink blood for strength, but I keep them in the monster category. They’re not swoon-worthy. They’re bloodthirsty creatures who prey on humans, and Avery and the team have their work cut out to save White Haven and the people they love. I had a lot of fun with it!

I also talk about spirits and mediums in Undying Magic, but I’ll save talking about that for another blog post!

If you haven’t read Undying Magic, you can get your copy from lots of retailers. Check the links here: https://tjgreen.nz/books/undying-magic/

2 Comments

  1. Mary says:

    Lots of very interesting information, I enjoyed reading it.
    Love all your books always an excellent read. I enjoy the storylines, love the characters what more can you ask for, other than the next book please.

    1. TJ Green says:

      Hi Mary, thank you!

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