Dacre Stoker, great-grand nephew of Bram Stoker and co-author with J.D Barker of the first authorized prequel to Dracula, Dracul, will be visiting UTC on Nov. 8th at 7pm in Derthick 201.
Dracul is an historical fictionalized origin story of his great-grand uncle’s life leading up to the writing of his immortal horror fiction novel, Dracula. Dacre Stoker is in many ways the perfect person to write the prequel to his great-grand uncle’s historic novel, as he has been researching and writing about his family’s history for many years. In anticipation of his coming talk, reading, and book signing, we asked Stoker to respond to some questions about his book and what he would be coming to talk about.
What was your experience like co-writing Dracul with J.D Barker ?
First of all we wrote Dracul in the epistolary manner, the same way Bram wrote Dracula. We wanted readers to attain a similar feel when reading both novels. Our collaboration was very symbiotic. I provided a family historical timeline, and tons of factual research from my family. JD and I wove fact and fiction into the story in a seamless manner. JD’s writing style is much more suited for a mystery thriller than mine, so his voice was the predominate one in the finished text.
Students will be interested to know that the protagonist of your novel is based on your own great-grand uncle, Bram Stoker himself. What inspired you to make that decision?
Most of the characters, Bram Stoker, his older sister, Matilda, their older brother Thornley, and other members of the Stoker family as well as Arminius Vambery are all based on real people and are featured in our story. Dracul reads like a made up mystery thriller. It’s not until readers take a look at the Author’s Note at the end, do they realize that most of the story was real or based on real events.
What was the research process for you like, to discover who your ancestor would be as a character?
I have been researching my family for many years, so creating life-like characterizations of each of them for our novel was actually quite easy and exciting, especially as I saw them come back to life in or story.
Vampires are an ancient monster various cultures have represented in diverse ways across the globe and throughout history. Yet, vampires seem to have enjoyed a resurgence in popularity in recent years. To what do you attribute the vampire’s both lasting and resurgent popularity?
We all need to be aware that the Vampire has existed in superstitions and folklore in most of the world’s cultures for thousands of years. So they have always been around in one form or another. It takes good authors and screenwriters to adapt a story for these Vampires to continue to be new and exciting and not simply a revised re-run.
What else would you like students to know about your new novel and your coming lecture at our campus?
I am very excited to be coming to UTC. I love to spread the word about my famous relative and some of the secrets and mysteries behind his writing of Dracula as well as highlight my latest efforts with JD Barker about Dracul, the prequel to Dracula. I can guarantee that you will be entertained and learn something at the same time.