Thursday, October 28, 2010

Cozying Up to Vampires?

Good morning, fellow Stiffs and readers. Here's a treat for you: friend Rebecca Cantrell AKA Bekka Black, who's going to talk to us about her new release, iDrakula, which is getting rave reviews and mentions all over the internet and in some pretty big newspapers too.

Rebecca has visited with us before, to talk about her historical mystery series - A Trace of Smoke just won another award, by the way; congrats, Becky! - but this is something different. Something new. Something totally rad and cool. Read it and weep over the fact that you didn't come up with the idea!

Without further ado, here's Bekka:

* * *

Thanks for having me here on Working Stiffs! It’s an honor to participate in a forum about murder, work, and life. As someone whose life work seems to have a lot to do with murder, it’s a cozy spot to hang out.

Speaking of murder, my new novel, iDrakula, just came out in print form and as an Apple app. It’s about the ur-vampire, Dracula, but updated to the modern age and told only in text messages, emails, voicemails, and web browsers. If Dracula were around, this is what his life would look like.

Let’s look at our own lives, shall we? Close your eyes. Oh right, you can’t do that and read, so pretend that you are closing your eyes while you read this. Ready?

Imagine you’re out swimming in a clear blue ocean, maybe a little farther from shore than you should be, but it’s a warm day and you can see the beach so you feel pretty safe. You’re enjoying the waves and the sun on your face.

Something scratches across your thigh. You look down. The ghastly shape of a great white shark glides through the water under your feet. You’ve seen the surfboards with a bite out of them. You’ve heard the stories. You feel a thrill of terror. You are in his domain and he can eat you as easily as you pick a peanut out of a bowl. A ribbon of red threads out of your leg into the sea.

You swim for shore. If you make it, you have a story to tell for the rest of your life. If you don’t, well, someone else does.

If you’re lucky, that shark might lose interest. Maybe a school of tuna will swim by and distract him. For the shark, there are plenty of fish in the sea. But if that shark were a vampire, he’d have to eat you. Humans are his only source of food, after all.

In iDrakula I have an autopsy, written by medical examiner and author Dr. Jonathan Hayes. I put it in there to remind us what vampires are about: death. They’re at the top of the food chain and we’re not.
But what if that shark looked like Bela Lugosi? Or Christopher Lee? Or Tom Cruise? Or Brad Pitt? Or Edward Pattinson? If the face around the fangs were sexy enough, would that thrill of fear turn into a thrill of something else entirely? The women being bitten in the movies look like they’re having a lot more fun than, say, a shark attack victim, but…

As we near Halloween, think about where you fit in the general order of things. Maybe on All Hallow’s Eve you stick close to shore, lock your windows, and smear garlic on your window frames. Or maybe throw the windows wide open.

Happy Halloween!


PatRemick said...

Unusually thought-provoking way to begin my day! Thanks for visiting Working Stiffs -- and I shall continue to ponder whether I want/need garlic on those windows.

Joyce Tremel said...

You gave me chills, Rebecca!

How did you come up with idea of "redoing" Dracula? If I would have thought of writing something that different, I probably would have talked myself out of it. Did you have many doubts you could make it work?

And big congratulations on your award for A Trace of Smoke!

Joyce Tremel said...

I almost forgot--thanks for being our guest today!

Jenna said...

Hiya, Becks, and thanks for visiting. Yes, cool post (which of course I read a few days ago), and uber-cool concept for iDrakula. So happy for you that it seems to be going so well for all of your books. Any plans for more i-books? Say, iFrankenstein?

My word verification is faked. Just had to mention that.

Patg said...

Very interesting concept, I look forward to reading it. Any variation on Vampires is good, but I take it, this is Ole Drac himself?
In real life, remember, never panic in the water.

Rebecca Cantrell said...

Thanks, Pat!

It is a tough decision to make, garlic or no. Plus, the garlic might draw ants, which are much less interesting than Brad Pitt in pale makeup.

Rebecca Cantrell said...

Thank you, Joyce!

I picked Dracula to redo because it was written in epistolary form and the characters are all talking about their high tech communication devices (the typewriter, the wax Victrola cylinder). I did try to talk myself out of it for a bit, but in the end I thought it would be just too much fun not to do. Luckily, as it was.

Thanks for the Macavity congrats and for having me!

Rebecca Cantrell said...

Thanks again for the invite and also for the lovely intro, Jennie!

I do have more iBooks plans. Next in the iMonster series is iFrankenstein. That's been much creepier to write as the monster, well let's just say the monster hits closer to home.

This word verification was deedur, which cracked me up.

Rebecca Cantrell said...

Hi Pat (G)! I figured if you're going to do vampires, go to the source. Ole Drac is immortal, so he'd still be around causing trouble if not for those pesky Victorians.

Never panic in the water is probably good advice for vampires as well as sharks. Keep your wits about you at all times. And wear something with a stick neck...

Gina said...

Welcome to Working Stiffs, Rebecca. I suppose a vampire expert like yourself would be able to identify Dracula's favorite fruit, right?
[I'll provide the answer later if nobody gets it.]

Rebecca Cantrell said...

Hi Gina!

I do know the answer, but that's more as the mother of a kid with a joke book than a vampire expert. Should I say or leave 'em in suspense?

Rebecca Cantrell said...

Hi Gina!

I do know the answer, but that's more as the mother of a kid with a joke book than a vampire expert. Should I say or leave 'em in suspense?

Gina said...

Rebecca -
Let's wait and see if they get it.
[I actually told this joke to Anne Rice once at a book signing. That woman has the patience of a saint! Wish we all could sit in one place for hours signing books for a line of fans that stretched all through the bookstore, then out the door and through the neighborhood!]

Joyce Tremel said...

I don't have another comment, but I had to write something when I saw the word verification was "minabb." How appropriate!

Rebecca Cantrell said...

Drumroll...the answer is:

What is Dracula's favorite fruit?


Gina said...

Although blood oranges are a close second.

Rebecca Cantrell said...

He needs to keep his Vitamin C up! Otherwise he might get scurvy and his fangs would fall out.