Just received word that my member profile will be published in the winter edition of the Borgo Post,  the newsletter of the Transylvania Society of Dracula.  I am glad to be in such great company!

And here it is:

fThe Borgo Post
Tell us a bit about your background.
I’ve primarily worked in health care,
inpatient psychiatry mostly, with a BA in
psychology and an RN license. I think I
have actually learned more about human
behavior from a lifetime of reading
literature. I believe I was fortunate to
grow up in a household where books in
particular, and English literature
especially, were prevalent.
What attracted you to
vampires/Dracula?
As a young child I remember being afraid
of Frankenstein; even the opening credits
of The Twilight Zone scared me badly.
So, of course I grew up loving all things
horror, dark and creepy. When your
birthday is practically on Halloween you
come to associate the two celebrations in
your young mind—happily! I must have
gotten over my fear at an early age too; it
makes me laugh when others describe
“running home from school to watch
Dark Shadows.” That was my
experience, exactly, and I remember my
Dad shushing us kids so he could watch it
with us. I don’t ever remember being
truly afraid of vampires; more fascinated
than anything. I was probably exposed to
the Hammer films early on, but Dark
Shadows had it all for me: the
aristocratic, genteel mannered tragicromantic
anti-hero (whom I realized after
marathon viewing recently, was full of
menacing evil and duplicitous charm, and
also quite mad); a dark mansion, creepy
cemetery/mausoleum; a curse and a
heavily gothic atmosphere. Barnabas
Collins was my first real and prolonged
exposure to vampires and there was no
turning back. I even got to meet Jonathan
Frid once!
The first vampires I ever read about were
in Anne Rice’s Interview with the
Vampire. I still have the original
paperback—in fact she recently signed it
for me. She opened up a new world of
vampire possibilities, but subsequent
books had her vampires going in a
different direction than I wanted to go. I
kept looking in vain for more of what I
craved but never quite found it. I finally
read Stoker’s Dracula a few years ago
and found it tough but well worth it.
What aspects of the subject appeal to
you?
The ideal vampire is autonomous, never
controlled by anyone. The allure they
possess transcends age, gender, time, or
place. They represent living history;
effortless physical power; a supernatural
presence that could exist right in our
midst yet we are not aware of them;
enigmatic with a beauty that is
transcendent and terrible, frightening and
fascinating.
Ethereal beings. There is always a tragic
aspect about them, and it is how they
cope with their existence that interests
me. I am more attracted to the micro
view of one creature, rather than in
legions of vampires. And they must be
truly immortal. There is a broad distaste
for anything that trivializes or ridicules
vampires, though I can enjoy a well done
parody such as Dracula: Dead and
Loving It. I don’t like portrayals that
make vampires too mundane or all too
human: holding down jobs, mowing the
lawn, working in the public sector…or
cyborgs/plague-ridden zombies; rogues
from warring clans; pseudo-royalty;
academy-taught; soap opera derivative
vampires… I guess that means there are
vampires for every taste though.
What are your favorite vampire
movies/novels?
Other than those mentioned: the 1931
Dracula with Lugosi; Blood and Donuts,
Nosferatu, Vampire Journals, Shadow of
the Vampire. Francis Ford Coppola’s
version is a decent one. Only Lovers Left
Alive was near perfect. A stunning
achievement. Carmilla; Varney the
Vampire.
What other interests do you have?
I have always been drawn to those who
exist outside the mainstream of society:
Beatniks, gypsies, artists, witches,
paranormal researchers and members of
the goth subculture. I claim membership
in the last 4 categories. I will be
attending GothCruise # 11 this year and
Goth Convergence #21 next year. I seek
out vampire themed experiences too,
having been to Endless Night Vampire
Gathering in New Orleans; a vampire
themed cruise to Alaska (no, NOT
Twilight!). I’ve have had two visits to
Romania (twice climbing Poenari, only 7
short of Elizabeth Miller’s record!), two
visits to Whitby; twice to the ARVLFC
ball in New Orleans. I have done ghost
tours in England, paranormal
investigations across the US, and attended
Poe’s long overdue proper funeral in
Baltimore in 2009.
Besides a passion for movies, my reading
interests tend toward literary horror: Poe,
Lovecraft, S. Jackson, and Russell
Green’s It Happened in Boston? I also
love Jane Austen, paranormal fiction,
biographies and any book or theme that
captures my interest or attention at the
moment.
My love of writing has finally led me,
over the past 5 years, to create the
vampire novel I have been longing for. It
is adult oriented, focusing on one vampire
and how he exists in our world. It
explores themes of connecting with
others, especially those who are different
than us; loss and joy; the things that bind
and separate us; the rewards and dangers
of co-existing with an alluring but
dangerous supernatural being. Book one
stands at 740 pages (two other lengthy
volumes are completed) and it is in the
editing process now. I hope to see it (self)
published early in 2015.

Advertisements