So you can read my books

Thursday, November 8, 2012


{Dracula's Google Doodle courtesy of Google}

The ghost of Bram Stoker looked at me across my table at the haunted jazz club, Meilori's.

"Ah, Roland, you ask me how I came to be writing Dracula in the first place.  Now, that is a story to be telling on my 165th birthday."

He looked off into the velvet shadows, "Before writing Dracula, I met Ármin Vámbéry who was a Hungarian writer and traveler.

Sure, but Dracula emerged from Vámbéry's dark stories by Carpathian mountains.

 I could not shake the fingers of those shivering tales so evocatively told in the ghost light of that dark room where Armin and I sat.  

Haunted by those frightful images, I became a driven man I tell you, driven!  I was a man possessed and spent years researching European folklore and mythological stories of vampires.

 Dracula I wanted to be frightening due to its matter-of-fact telling at its inception as were  Vámbéry's words. 

 So no lurid tale is it at the start.  No, it is an epistolary novel, written as a collection of realistic,

but completely fictional, diary entries, telegrams, letters, ship's logs, and newspaper clippings,

all of which added a level of detailed realism to my story, a skill I developed as a newspaper writer.

In that, Roland, Dracula is much like life if you can be believing that thought.  For you see:

What we know of life comes in snatches from here from there,

from sources who either do not know the full story,

hide key elements for their own purposes,

or are mistaken in various degrees."

He studied me a moment. 

"My life was the theater, namely the peerless actor, Henry Irving, and my lovely wife, Florence. 

Ah, life. What a impish lady she is. 

Did you know that the original title to DRACULA was THE UN-DEAD?  I changed it on a whim at the last minute."

He smiled sadly.  "The allure of mysterious and dark tales in the night were my siren's call.  What was yours?"

And so I told him. But that is for another post. 

What was your siren's call to write what you do?


  1. When I could no longer find the scifi I wanted to read. I wanted to try writing one myself.

    Long before that, I had wanted to be a writer, since I studied journalism back in high school.

    Reading the Village Voice in college, while writing poetry and working in the music library. All those things were my siren call.

    Nice question to pose, Roland!

  2. D.G.:
    Your siren call was much like my own. Great to learn more about you. :-)

  3. I'd have to say that I was heavily influenced by children's fantasy books like the Black Cauldron by Lloyd Alexander.

  4. My siren's call is more like stew of fantasy and sci-fi reads from the past, chopped up, diced and pleasantly seasoned by my life's experience. Hence, stories of angels and demons and souls that get devoured at not just things of my imagination, they were brewed there, just waiting for the right moment to be set free.

  5. Good thing he changed the name.
    Sorry, my call was not a book. It was movies and shows such as Battlestar Galactica, Star Wars, and Star Trek. Once those visuals were in me, I could see my own universe.
    And from that came CassaStar.

  6. Michael:
    I loved THE BLACK CAULDRON series up until the last book. See? We have similar tastes.

    As you'll find out tomorrow, my siren call was much the same thing! :-)

    Nothing to be sorry about. A siren call is a siren no matter the medium, right?