In Search of Dracula

“Write what you know,” is a time-honored mandate writers hear constantly.  The other side of  the coin is the ‘fresh viewpoint’ that comes from learning something new.  Add the enthusiasm and joy of discovery that accompanies such learning, and the results can be irresistible.

Somehow, I didn’t see me getting all excited and gleeful about bloodsucking vampires spreading guts and gore all over my imaginary landscape.  Since I was committed, though, it was necessary to check out the lore before I could apply my own, unique spin to it.

I began reading the books I bought for my son, before sending them to him.  I haunted the library, checking out the two most accepted biographies of Vlad Teppes, the original model for Bram Stoker’s famous character.  I bought the one I liked best, (In Search of Dracula) along with ‘The Big Book of Vampires,’ and ‘A Dictionary of Classical Mythology, Religion, Literature, and Art’ and a few others as I could afford them.  Things began taking shape.

I admit I’m a bit more clinical with this subject than I am with my action/adventure efforts.  For one thing, this doesn’t lend itself to chase scenes and shootouts.  Still, it allows treatment of the human condition, what I consider all writing to be aimed at ideally.  Something in me objects to unexplainable supernatural phenomena–especially of a sensational sort.  It is not enough for me to know that certain characteristics are present in a scenario.  I must know when it took place, where it happened, why it involves the ones present, and how they got there.  At what point did their choices lead them to this fate?

Asking the questions and putting the answers together took a very, very long time…


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