A year goes by, another Hallowe'en arrives! To commemorate the occasion, I thought I'd share a few snippets of vampirey goodness. And lots of links. Oh, so many links.
Firstly, The Highgate Cemetery Vampire Appreciation Society–which I co-admin–has celebrated its first anniversary. We've progressed from a 'den of vipers' with six members to 102 strong. As of this writing. Our success even inspired a clone.
If you're interested in joining, it's free. Well, our 'base' is Facebook, after all. Here's our group and our page. If you're thinking 'Highgate Cemetery Vampire Wha–?', read this article. It deals with one of the most infamous and contested cases in vampire history.
Oh, I also co-admin Vampire lore and legends and Count Dracula. The latter has personal significance. It was born from the ashes of a swiped Facebook group. Unfortunately, its original owner wasn't able to reclaim it, but the group set-up in its stead rapidly gained support and sizable membership. Both groups are great. Join us there, too.
Speaking of memberships, I've just renewed my Transylvanian Society of Dracula membership. Literally. Today. That's not free, unfortunately, but still fairly cheap–an annual fee of $30. Canadian. Here's what membership gets you (courtesy of the society's page):
- our quarterly newsletter, The Borgo Post
- a free copy of our annual scholarly publication, the Journal of Dracula Studies
- access to the Membership Directory
- occasional in-house publications
- on request, access to various resource materials held by the TSD office
- updated information on conferences and Dracula tours, as well as discounts on TSD-sponsored events
If that tickles your fancy, come join us. Last year, I wrote a significant article for The Borgo Post. It was 'the first vampire-related article I've submitted for a print publication. Ever.' You can read it here.
My ghoulish heart was touched by a young girl having the audacity to tell Pippa Middleton that she wasn't interested in princesses, but by certain other creatures of the night...
On 29 October, I received my copy of The undead and theology (Eugene, Or.: Pickwick Publications, 2012). That was another personal investment. A financial one, this time. I've discussed the development of that book here, here and here.
In order to ensure its publication, a Kickstarter fund was set-up. I'm proud to be one of its sponsors. One of the great hindrances of vampire scholarship–though, admittedly, this book covers other undead, too–is that it's such a niche field of interest, with niches of its own.
It's a shame its editors, Kim Paffenroth and John W. Morehead, had to resort to donations, but it also means we could be seeing more and more DIY projects emerge. I welcome that. It'll encourage more authors to get their stuff out there, rather than be deterred by rejections from mainstream publishers. Sure, that also means that there'd also be a lot of crappy output to sort through–but that's no different to what we generally deal with now, anyway.
This particular book doesn't fall into the crappy pile, thankfully. It's a well-produced and researched book. Kudos to Kim, John, its contributors, donors and Wipf and Stock. You can buy the book through its publisher or Amazon.
As mentioned in my previous post, 'my Amazon trawlings have upturned a cache of upcoming books I'm really enthused about.' That post is still on the way, but I'll disclose one of them–as it's no longer 'upcoming', but out.
Tanya Erzen's Fanpire: the Twilight saga and the women who love it was released on 30 October. The timing couldn't be better, what with the last movie in the series–The twilight saga: breaking dawn – part 2–due for release on 16 November.
I also suspect it'll represent a turning point in the Twilight craze, especially as a lot of its literary thunder's been stolen by E. L. James' 'Fifty shades trilogy'. A bit of a kick in the guts, as it spun off from Twilight fan-fic. We'll probably see one last heave of vampire books in the wake of the movie's release, before things die down again and the next boom comes along.
That said, I'd be very surprised if we ever see anything as mainstreamly successful as Twilight was. Sure, Stoker's Dracula developed into a myth, an archetype–but that took decades to cultivate. Meanwhile, Meyers' saga scored her millions in a short time frame, even threatening to topple the success of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series. It blows my mind.
Therefore, books like Erzen's will ironically outlast the saga's success and provide a snapshot of 21st century vampire fandom. What exactly was it about these books that made them so successful, especially as we're awash with–probably–thousands of other vampire novels? What's the appeal? Either way, it's on my wish list. You can buy the book from its publisher or Amazon.
Last but not least, I thought I'd share a tune to celebrate the Hallowe'en festivities. It's not vampire-related–yes, much disappointment all round–but it's a good 'un, nonetheless. Presenting, Stephen Lynch's 'Halloween'.
This particular version features Lynch on Last call with Carson Daly (31 October 2003). It's also available on his 2005 album, The Craig machine.
And on that note, I wish all my readers a safe and Happy Hallowe'en! Enjoy your treats.