Today I’m thrilled, stoked, and elated to share with you an anthology that I know many of you will get behind. Not only that, but it’s edited by a fellow SSP author and dude that I always seem to run into at every con I ever go to, though until recently I’ve been too intimidated to actually like, y’know, talk to him. All kidding aside, Michael West is a great guy and you should check out all his fiction. But enough of singing his praise – let’s get to the bloodsuckers!
What would you do if you had unlimited power and eternal life?
Would you…go back to high school? Attend the same classes year after year, going through the pomp and circumstance of one graduation after another, until you found the perfect date to take to prom? Would you…spend your days moping and brooding, finding your only joy in a game of baseball on a stormy day? Or would you…do something else? Anything else?
The authors of this collection have a few ideas; some fanciful, some humorous, and some as dark as an endless night. Join us, and discover what it truly means to be “vampyre.”
Edited by Michael West
Foreword by Michael West
“A New Life” by J. F. Gonzalez
“What Once was Flesh” by Tim Waggoner
“The Darkton Circus Mystery” by Elizabeth Massie
“Robot Vampire” by R. J. Sullivan
“Beneath a Templar Cross” by Gord Rollo
“The Weapon of Memory” by Kyle S. Johnson
“The Excavation” by Stephen Zimmer
“Skraeling” by Joel A. Sutherland
“Dreams of Winter” by Bob Freeman
“Dracula’s Winkee: Bloodsucker Blues” by Gregory L. Hall
“I Fuck Your Sunshine” by Lucy A. Snyder
“A Soldier’s Story” by Maurice Broaddus
” by Douglas F. Warrick
“Vampire Nation” by Jerry Gordon
“Curtain Call” by Gary A. Braunbeck
Michael West is the critically-acclaimed author of The Wide Game, Cinema of Shadows, Spook House, Skull Full of Kisses, and the Legacy of the Gods series. A member of the Horror Writers Association and Indiana Horror Writers, where he serves as President, West earned a degree in Telecommunications and Film Theory from Indiana University, and since that time, he has written a multitude of short stories, articles, and reviews for various on-line and print publications. He lives and works in the Indianapolis area with his wife, their two children, their bird, Rodan, their turtle, Gamera, and their dog, King Seesar.
His children are convinced that spirits move through the woods near their home.
Today I’m lucky to have a guest post by Bob Freeman, author of Dreams of Winter, which is in the anthology.
Bite Me: A Short Discourse on Vampires by Bob Freeman
“I like my creatures of the night a little nocturnal. My next big novel was going to have a vampire. Now, I’m probably not. They are everywhere, they’re like cockroaches.” — Neil Gaiman
It is no secret that vampires have been largely defanged, their mystique unceremoniously scuttled by Young Adult authors writing their angst-ridden Gothic fantasies for lovelorn teenage girls.
Oh, don’t get me wrong. It is a force to be reckoned with, to be sure. There is an audience for this vampire-lite branding, and more power to them. It’s a money making machine, and we’ve all got to eat.
That I prefer my creatures of the night to have a bit more bite should come as no surprise, but even I was first enthralled by the likes of another angst-driven bloodsucker — Barnabas Collins of Dark Shadows fame.
For all the vitriol spilled toward writers such as Stephenie Meyer and L. J. Smith, they were certainly not the first to ravage the vampire’s dark nature.
Remember when Bela Lugosi’s Dracula appeared alongside Bud and Lou in Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein? From Sesame Streets’ The Count to General Mills’ Count Chocula, or The Munsters’ Grandpa for that matter, the vampire has been used for comedic effect for the greater part of the 20th Century, much to my personal chagrin.
For every Near Dark there is a Love at First Bite. Show me ‘Salem’s Lot and I’ll point you toward Vampire’s Kiss. Drag out Let the Right One In and I’ll expose you to Dracula: Dead and Loving It.
Vampires, as much as I hate to admit it, are not sacrosanct.
And maybe that’s the best thing about these bloodsucking fiends. They’re versatile as hell. They’ll scare the crap out of you, have you rolling on the floor in laughter, or make you weak in the knees.
There’s a vampire out there for everybody — be it ghoulish revenant, campy dark jester, or star-crossed soul-mate.
So, take a deep breath. I get it. Sparkly vampires aren’t your blood type. They’re not mine either. But it’s a big graveyard we’re playing in. There’s room enough for everyone.
Let Meyer, Smith, and their ilk play over there in the well-manicured Garden of Memory, while you and I do our dark business in the overgrown boneyard.
When the sun comes up, let them prance about with their sparklers and their rings of Vervain, while we embark on a dance of death and our vamps burst into flame.
— Bob Freeman is an author, artist, and paranormal adventurer who hails from rural Indiana. His short story, “Dreams of Winter” appears in the Seventh Star Press anthology Vampires Don’t Sparkle, edited by Michael West. He can be found online at http://occultdetective.com
A great post by a great author! He makes a lot of good points about the genre, doesn’t he? I know as a writer, I love the fact that vampires are so versatile (though my personal tastes seem to gravitate to The Lost Boys type rebels or American Vampire’s Skinner Sweet, who’s so completely vile but also hilarious.) What about you? What kind of vampire do you prefer?
You can check out info on this and other anthologies by Seventh Star Press in the following places:
There’s also a tour-wide giveaway going on, and you can access the Rafflecopter for that HERE