The Rebirth Of The Un-Dead: Q&A With Dacre Stoker

Published on January 30th, 2010 in: Books, Current Faves, Issues, Kiss Me I'm Irish, Q&A |

By Lisa Anderson

Dacre Stoker, the great-grandnephew of Dracula author Bram Stoker, has co-written an official sequel, Dracula: The Un-Dead, along with screenwriter Ian Holt. I was fortunate enough to get to meet Dacre at a signing at Sherlock’s Books in Lebanon, TN this past December, and he graciously agreed to follow up with an interview by email.

dracula the un-dead

What was it like growing up as a Stoker?
It was not such a big deal for us to grow up in the shadow of Bram Stoker. You must remember that most people only know about Dracula, and far less make the connection between Bram Stoker, Lyceum Theater Manager and Irish author, and our family growing up in Canada. Put it this way: once a year for about three weeks surrounding Halloween, it is like your favorite baseball team is in the World Series. Stokers have our own Fall Classic with Dracula. During October, our friends look at us a little differently, joke about trick or treating, and whether it’s safe to show up on our doorstep for candy or blood. Or they wonder if we’ll be serving Bloody Marys.

How did you decide to do a sequel to Dracula?
Ian and I realized that Bram Stoker’s Dracula had become quite changed from his original version. We felt present day readers would be interested in looking back at where everything started and reconnect with Bram’s original characters and story line.

What kind of research went into the writing of Dracula: the Un-Dead?
We researched Bram’s own notes that he compiled while writing Dracula to get some insight into his characters and his thoughts. We picked up the action with the surviving characters that survived Bram’s book, and added characters Bram listed in his notes, but who for whatever reason, were not included in Dracula.

As we made progress over the years and I became confident that my family would be proud of our book, I began to discuss it with them, including Bram’s great-grandsons in England who are the closest living relatives to Bram Stoker.

My concept made sense to the family: our story could put the spotlight back on the book and the man who spawned the vampires who have resurfaced again with a vengeance. Alexander Galant was an enormous help in the research department; he helped us uncover many historical facts and authentic locations that truly placed us in 1912 in Paris, and in England.

You mention in your presentation that you and your relatives were taking some measures to reclaim the name “Stoker” from public domain in certain aspects. Tell our readers a little about that.
The original literary copyright in America was lost due to a filing error, and Bram’s widow sold the film rights to Universal Films, so the present day Stokers do not have a stake in today’s vampire market. We thought it would be nice to raise funds, through doing some licensing and merchandising of Bram’s likeness, in order to have a statue commissioned of Bram in Dublin. We are presently investigating all these possibilities.

stoker dracula

In Dracula: The Un-Dead, the character of Dracula gets taken in a surprising direction. How was that decision made?
Ian really gets the credit for merging the fictional Count Dracula, Bram’s original monster, with the better-known Prince Dracula of Wallachia. He was the ruler who defended his country from the invading Ottoman Empire, and got the reputation of a barbaric warrior who impaled his captured prisoners. Ian felt that it was time that we presented a merged Dracula, one that actually has a voice to explain his position and to allow readers to understand him better.

Do you have any plans to write any books outside of the Dracula storyline, either fiction or nonfiction?
I am actually starting work on a Bram Stoker Tribute book in honor of the centenary of his death. It will include many testimonials from writers, actors, scholars, and fans alike, highlighting Bram’s contribution to the world.

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One Response to “The Rebirth Of The Un-Dead: Q&A With Dacre Stoker”

  1. Popshifter » Irish Things We Love: Dracula, By Bram Stoker:
    January 30th, 2010 at 11:03 pm

    […] heavily inspired by the work of an Irish writer, specifically, Bram Stoker, author of Dracula. Both Dacre Stoker, great-grandnephew of Bram (and co-author of Dracula: the Un-Dead), and Dennis McIntyre, director […]

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