Dacre Stoker International bestselling author and great grandnephew of Bram Stoker, will be at the Cinema Salem on Tuesday October 11, 2022 giving two 90 minute audio visual presentations (2:30pm and 6pm) 125 years of Dracula: Secrets Revealed, the Mysteries Behind the Research and Writing of Dracula in conjunction with screenings of DRACULA 1931(1pm) and Bram Stoker’s DRACULA 1992 (8pm).
Joining him onstage will be historian and performer Jennifer Emerson of The Petticoat Pages.
Joey Phoenix of Creative Collective interviewed esteemed author Dacre Stoker and Chas Tewksbury of HFH Exhibitions about the upcoming event.
JP: As the heir to this legacy, were you more predisposed to be fascinated by this subject or did it take you a while to warm to the topic?
Dacre: It definitely took me a while to get interested in the whole goth literature scene. Vampires and Dracula were not a part of my life until I was in university. It really made an impact in my life when I decided to delve into learning about my famous great grand uncle.
JP: The impact of Dracula on pop culture and literary history needs no introduction. What has the personal impact been on you?
Dacre: Once I got into the writing I decided to immerse myself into learning as much as I could about the Vampire Myth and then the impact of the novel Dracula in pop culture, which meant doing a lot of reading and watching of movies and TV shows and streaming series. I pride myself not on being a film expert but I am very well versed in Bram research and writing of his famous novel Dracula.
JP: Do you feel like it was your responsibility as a writer in this family to pick up the mantle?
Dacre: In a certain respect I felt it was my duty as a family member to promote Bram’s literary legacy by enlightening fans of the gothic about Bram Stoker the person as well as Bram Stoker the author. It is an honor and a bit of a responsibility since I am profiting off of my association with him and the fact that I have been fortunate enough to have had access to many Stoker family papers which have helped immensely with my writing of two international bestselling novels, a prequel and a sequel to Dracula.
JP: Apart from Bram Stoker, who have your literary influences been?
Dacre: Stephen King and Ken Follett are two of my favorite authors, King for down to earth everyday horror, and Follett for his historical based fiction.
JP: What are your thoughts on modern vampire culture?
Dacre: Vampires in popular culture are as strong as ever, there continues to be new novels, graphic novels, role playing games, board games, not to mention movies and steaming series to keep fans of the gothic interested. It is ok to reimagine Bram’s original version of Count Dracula; in fact I think it is wonderful how so many authors and screenwriters and playwrights have been inspired to come up with their own adaptations of Bram’s work, that is one reason why Dracula is so relevant today…he keeps coming back in slightly different forms keeping the Vampire myth fresh and relevant.
Chas: Vampire culture of the last 20 years or so seems to have been a massive conglomeration of ideas. I am certainly no scholar or expert yet I do have an eye for detail and a great sensibility for legitimacy and what I have seen is the masses have taken certain elements of vampirism and pop culture and turned into something that is closer to a fashion statement than I would prefer to see. Vampirism for the light hearted so it is what it is and you may know of what I’m referring to?
I am a purest when it comes to film and music along with any ideas of such related mindsets or lifestyles of those art forms so don’t get me wrong, I am not down on anyone or anything, it’s similar to when a genre of music gets watered down, I like the originals and thankfully there are others who still respect it as much as I do.
JP: If Dracula were roaming the world today, where would he be and what would he be up to?
Dacre: In Hollywood trying to convince studio execs to make a faithful adaptation of Bram’s novel.
Chas: I would like to imagine him hiding out in castles around the world moving with the seasons and making victims of those who cause real trouble in the world. Ultimately a savior for humanity. Ha! Wouldn’t evil people taste better? Yet, I understand an argument for the opposite.
JP: Dacre, do you plan on leaving the Dracula-verse, as it were, to pursue other projects?
Dacre: I have actually started working with an Irish Canadian named Chris McAuley, we have created the StokerVerse, which is a range of stories, textual, audio, and graphic novels as well as a series of Games, RPG’s, board and dice games. It is part of my efforts to broaden the exposure of Bram Stoker inspired products to fans of Bram and Dracula, not quite finished here yet.
JP: Why did you choose Salem to host this event?
Dacre: Salem is the prefect location in the Fall for more than just Witches! New England has a rich history of Vampires dating back to the 1890’s during the Tuberculosis outbreak creating a Vampire Panic. Bram Stoker was well aware of this period and actually had a newspaper article about it in his notes for Dracula.
Chas: Salem has a pretty serious history and as the city has developed over the last number of years, the celebration for everything that Halloween is and beyond is fantastic! The attraction to the area and New England is vast and aesthetically pleasing as well. So it is a great spot for Dracula to visit this October!
JP: Tell me a bit about the event itself and what guests can expect.
Dacre: Stoker on Stoker 125 years of Dracula secrets revealed, with Dramatic readings is an audio visual presentation which entertains the audience with details and images from Bram Stoker’s life explaining how he researched and wrote the novel Dracula. Guests can expect to see images of Bram Notes, places that inspired him, books, maps and articles Bram used to source relevant real world information that he wove into the fabric of Dracula.
Chas: The event is a celebration of Dracula! It is the 125th Anniversary of the novel and we are doing all that we can to make it as special as we can. We will have artifacts on display including maps, manuscripts and novels and Dacre will be present describing these items and sharing further details. He will also give two presentations, one as a matinee and one in the evening where he will share details of Bram’s research and writing of Dracula with new revelations as well as Dacre’s own experiences writing his wonderfully amazing books! Attached to each of his presentations will be a screening of Universal’s Bela Lugosi 1931 film as well as Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula film from 1992. Our celebration will be one of the very few with permission to show 1992 film so it will be a very exciting evening!
The Dacre Stoker reading list:
- Dracula Annotated for the 125th Anniversary, 2022 Hellbound
- Stoker on Stoker Dracula Revealed, 2021 Telos
- Dracul, 2018 Putnam
- Bram Stokers Lost Journal, 2012 Hellbound
- Dracula the Un-Dead, 2009 Dutton
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