Welcome to author Laura Resnick. The very first book I read of Laura’s was Fever Dreams and that was several years ago. She’s reissued it in Kindle! Be sure you pick up a copy. If you enjoy steamy romantic with an amazing story/plot and fantastic characters, this is a book for you. You won’t be able to put that book down. Today, though, she’s here to talk about her brand new work. Laura likes to write with fantastic twists, something I always admire in an author. Take a look at the cover! Get your favorite beverage and read about Vamparazzi.
Everything you think you know about vampires is wrong…
Just ask Esther Diamond, the protagonist of my urban fantasy series, whose latest misadventure is Vamparazzi, which was released two days ago.
The novel takes place over Halloween weekend, when throngs of vampire groupies and paparazzi gather outside the off-Broadway theatre in Manhattan where Esther, a struggling actress, has a supporting role in The Vampyre. The play is a modern adaptation (which I made up) based on the (real) 1819 tale by Dr. John Polidori.
Polidori is mostly remembered in our time because he was briefly a companion of Lord Byron, with whom he was at the Villa Diodati in Switzerland in the summer of 1816 when Byron challenged each of his house guests to write a ghost story—and Mary Shelley, in response to this, began work on her iconic novel, Frankenstein.
Yes, even back then, paranormal stories were popular.
A much less celebrated result of that summer at the Villa Diodati is that it changed vampire history.
Lord Byron participated briefly in the ghost story game he had proposed to his houseguests, but he soon lost interest and abandoned the material—which was about a vampire. Polidori adopted Byron’s discarded fragment (and although the two men parted on bad terms that summer, Byron later supported Polidori’s claim of being the author of the finished story), and he used it as the basis of The Vampyre, which was first published in 1819 and soon became a sensation. Polidori died only two years later, but his story was reprinted multiple times and in multiple languages for years thereafter; it also inspired various stage adaptations in England and Europe over the course of the 19th century.
Although various forms of vampire mythology had existed worldwide for millennia, it was Slavic vampire folklore that really captured the imagination of Western Europe starting in the 18th century, when news first spread of vampire epidemics in the Austrian Empire’s provinces in Eastern Europe. But the vampires of Slavic folklore were grotesque monsters that rose stinking and decomposing from their humble peasant graves to prey mindlessly on the living. And Polidori’s vampire (or vampyre) was a distinct and imaginative contrast to that widespread concept of the undead.
The Vampyre was the first vampire fiction written in English. It was also the first-ever depiction of a vampire as suave, sophisticated, and seductive—a portrayal which has become such an entrenched and widely accepted convention that very few readers even wonder about its origin. Many people mistakenly attribute this innovation to Bram Stoker’s Dracula, a novel which builds on Polidori’s by-then-familiar vision of the vampire as aristocratic, intelligent, and complex. Written several generations after The Vampyre, Dracula became the most influential vampire novel of all-time, eclipsing everything that had gone before it. Since then, few people besides ardent students of neglected gothic literature are aware of Polidori’s founding contribution to our modern view of vampires.
So the starting point of Esther Diamond’s latest paranormal misadventure became her participation in a modern adaptation of the seminal Western vampire story—one which few people are familiar with. As well as my discovery, during the research for Vamparazzi, that most of our cultural assumptions (and our consequent sexual fantasies) about vampires are based on the work of a couple of fiction writers (Polidori and Stoker), and that their portrayals of such creatures were drastically different from the reports that Austrian officials were filing about vampire epidemics in the 18th century.
So what do long-dead writers and historical vampire epidemics have to do with a struggling actress in modern Manhattan? Well, Esther finds out when the death-by-exsanguination murder of a vampire groupie who’s been stalking The Vampyre brings her into uncomfortably close contact with real vampires, fake vampires, homicide cops, subterranean New York, the truth about vampires (which, in Esther’s world, is: not at all what you expected), and an ancient cult of vampire hunters in Vamparazzi.
Settle down to enjoy the novel with some Vampire Chocolate (see: Prize)!
To read an excerpt from Vamparazzi: http://sff.net/people/laresnick/Excerpts/UnsympMag.htm#vamparazzi
You can find Laura Resnick on the Web at: http://www.lauraresnick.com/
A 10-pack of Vampire Fine Belgian Chocolate; 5 pieces of dark chocolate, 5 pieces of milk chocolate. Enjoy this luscious treat on its own or with a bottle of blood-dark red wine!