INTRODUCING THE VAMPIRE
My Obsession with Vampires goes back an awfully long way, indeed it’s difficult to imagine life without them! My fascination even took me to Transylvania - the Carpathian mountains where I discovered the sad fact that Vampires meant nothing to Rumanians – the link with Transylvania comes from over this way, Ireland, in Bram Stoker’s Dracula of course. So I wasn’t all that surprised when I rediscovered a very early novel of mine, The Reluctant Vampire.
I’d say with some confidence that the novel was written in the early 80s, just after I’d left South Trafford College in Timperley, where Alison, the heroine, also studies. I’ve used my friend Sally’s house as the setting, as I myself spent many hours there during those years. Many of the characters show traces of other friends I had at the time, though Alison certainly isn’t me – in fact, she most resembles another of my heroines: Frances in Dry Rot. Another similarity with Dry Rot is in the humour, although I’d say it’s definitely black, and very tongue-in-cheek. Although I don’t think this is one of my best novels, that is to say, I’ve obviously learned by experience the art of novel writing, I would say that it’s definitely worth a read; I’m particularly impressed by some of the characters, who are remarkably vivid and alive still. Doctor Lloyd Jones is my favourite – the wonderfully eccentric psychiatrist, who was based on Mervyn Peake’s Dr Prunesquallor, from his Gormenghast trilogy. But my most favourite is of course the Vampire himself, Thomas. I think this comes across quite clearly all the way through the novel.I’ve decided to serialise this short novel on my blog, chapter by chapter, as I’m quite aware that most people don’t have much time to read lots on the internet in one go, there is a danger that readers might find it frustrating, only having one chapter at a time, braking off when they want more! So I’d welcome your comments on this… please be quite honest. This is only an experiment for me, being the first complete novel I have published Online. Eventually I intend to make The Reluctant Vampire available as an E-Book.
You can start reading Chapter One here.