- Tell us a little about yourself. How long have you been writing?
Hi there Brian, I have been a published author for over twenty seven years and I have written social commentaries, short supernatural fiction, poetry, reviews and research pieces on horror films, Kenneth Williams (film actor) – all sorts really, including a lot of promotional work for other ‘artistes’. A lot of my early work has been lost to history including many short stories and poetry. With the few pieces that I do have left, on retrospect I can see I have always had potential, but it wasn’t until I attended University that that potential was fine tune and the best has been brought out of me, in terms of my writing.
- Which story did you contribute to Fresh Blood and what made you want to write that story?
I contributed Tear of Blood. It had languished in my archive for over thirty years. I brought it out, dusted it off, gave it an overhaul and it was published in a magazine in the UK called Reflections (issue 18). They have published about fifteen of my short stories to date.
As a writer I’m never truly satisfied with my work and it’s always evolving. I was re-drafting Tear of Blood again when Dan (Shaurette) put out the call for vampire stories. I contacted him and discussed the story and the rest, as they say, is history. The original story was written way back in 1983/84 for my English class and is one of the few remaining pieces from that time. If my memory serves me well, Jackson Heylt was originally based on Richard Lynch’s Vampire from the TV movie.
3. What other work have you done?
In 1984, I wrote, directed and starred in a play Mora the Vampire Meets an American Woman. It was basically a man dominated by a vampire, but through the love of a woman, the slave is able to kill the vampire. It was written as an exam piece and later re-written to be produced whilst I was at college. There are about 18 publicity photographs taken to promote the play and a poster drafted, but unfortunately the project fell through. Looking through my archive, I still have a copy of the original script, the poster I designed (where you can see the Lugosi influence) and one of the props!
I have written and published informal portraits of Bela Lugosi and Anne Rice. Anne Rice: Queen of the Damned was published in Flickers‘n’Frames magazine in 1995. Bela Lugosi: The Road to Dracula was published in Vampire News: The (Not So) End Times Vol2 and can be found here: www.crazyduckpress.com/#!vampire-news/c2kd
It was later tinkered with and published, fully illustrated in We Belong Dead issue 10.
I wrote a paper on Homosexuality and The Vampire Film and that was published in Jugular Magazine #3 1998. When I posted a copy of article on Facebook it got torn apart! The reason for this was that I dared to express an opinion that the early vampire films had a hidden sub-text of homosexuality running through them. My poem Dig is about Bela Lugosi (published in The Pendragon Writers Circle Poetry & Short Stories Anthology No3 A Ghostly Anthology.) The poem is about Lugosi’s drug addiction and the title is a reference to trying to find a decent vein in which to inject the drug.
I helped with publicity for a vampire book author writing reviews, sending out press releases and making a couple of promotional videos that were used throughout both our social media sites to promote his work. But that relationship soured – I can’t go into too much detail as I don’t really know why. The only possible reason that I can see was because I pointed out that a film that he was going to include in his sequel was not a vampire film per se and couldn’t be used as an example. He was that miffed with me about this that he went on a radio show and made a show and dance about it without referencing me and to be honest I found that really pathetic. Ironically he thanked me for all the hard work that I had done for him in his sequel! My argument is and was if you are going to write to an audience that know their subject matter, then you have to make sure that your research is absolutely correct – otherwise you’ll get someone like me who will pick up on any mistakes and question the validity of that research.
In early 2013 Reflections magazine published on completely re-vamped story, Tear of Blood. After its initial publication it was then given a complete overhaul and tightened up for Dan Shaurette and his anthology Fresh Blood which was published in October 2013.
One of my biggest influences when it comes to research, especially my researches into Bela Lugosi is Dr Gary D. Rhodes, who has produced probably the greatest body of work on Lugosi’s life and career. Just when you think that you know everything about Lugosi, Dr Rhodes comes out with more fascinating information. To say that I admire his work is an understatement. His latest book, with Bill Kaffenberger, No Traveler Returns: The Lost Years of Bela Lugosi is no exception to the rule and I have done some promotional work to publicise this book.
4. What is it about vampires that makes you want to write about them?
When I was about seven, we moved and my father managed a hotel. Every Sunday he’d put a film on for the hotel guest children and on one of these occasions he put on a Bela Lugosi compilation film and it was the scene from Abbot & Costello Meet Frankenstein, where the Wolfman chases Dracula out onto a balcony and grabs Dracula as a bat and they both plunge into the sea below that got me hooked on Lugosi and vampires. To be fair the supernatural in all its manifestations interests me, not just vampires. I write about what I know, what I’ve seen and read or been told. Throughout all my fiction there is a grain of truth. As I live in Cornwall, which has a rich history of the ‘otherworldly’ I use a lot of that myth and legend as back story in my work. With regards to writing about vampires (in my fiction) I try to place myself into someone who has lived a long time, but lost all that they hold dear … and see where the pen leads me. I have just about wrapped up the sequel to Tear of Blood, titled A Matter of Life for Death, which features a different sort of vampirism, and deals … I can say no more on this point.
- What other interests do you have and how do they influence your writing?
There are several influences to my writings, the first and foremost is the Father of the Modern Ghost Story, M R James. I have written several articles about him and his work. Stephen king has also been an influence as has Anne Rice. I was a big fan at one point and Tear of Blood owes a lot of debt to Interview with the Vampire. All my supernatural writings are linked and cross-referenced with each other – thus creating my own ‘haunted world,’ which like James, who uses academia as the back-bone to his characters, I have used ‘place’ as mine and in that respect the biggest influence here is J R R Tolkien. With my film research work, it is my knowledge of the genre that I love as well as the love of researching them that make it a pleasure to do. Literature and film both dominate my writings and continually inspire me. I’m currently working on a re-examination of Dracula’s Daughter and this will be followed by The Return of the Vampire – both for We Belong Dead. Homosexuality & the Vampire Film is scheduled to be re-written and I’m working on three short stories: A Matter of Life for Death, Ribbons (both vampire tales) and The Voice of the Victim.
- Give us some links where we can find your other work (if available):
This is a link to my blog where you can find out all sorts about my writings and promotional videos I have made for various pieces that I have had published: http://thelastgodofgoth.blogspot.co.uk/
In my younger days I wrote and produced an album which is/was Goth/pop. This is a link to my some of my tunes and a couple of radio broadcasts of short stories: https://soundcloud.com/the-gods-of-goth
This is a link to a video to one song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5he1wFabxDs
This is a link to Vampire News: The (Not So) End Times Vol 2 which features by biography on Bela Lugosi: http://www.crazyduckpress.com/#!vampire-news/c2kd
Reflections Magazine regularly publishes my supernatural short stories and has done so since issue four. Here is the link to that page and from there there are links to all other issues that I have appeared in: http://exeterreflections.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/reflections-issue-4.html
And this link will inform as to where to obtain issues of We Belong Dead: http://www.classichorrorcampaign.com/?s=we+belong+dead&search=Search
Find Fresh Blood: Vampire Writers Support Group Anthology #1 on Amazon: