Friday, September 25, 2009

Interview with Dacre Stoker

On Wednesday 30th of September at 2.30pm we are delighted to have Dacre Stoker, great-grandnephew of Bram Stoker, in Chapters to sign copies of his book Dracula: The Un-Dead, the first official sequel to Dracula itself. I took this opportunity to ask him a few questions about himself and the book.

Pádraig Ó Méalóid: What is Dracula: the Un-Dead about?

Dacre Stoker: Dracula: the Un-Dead is our way of reconnecting with original Dracula fans. We have picked up the story 25 years after Bram's novel ends. We have tried as best we can to utilize Bram's original characters in a similar manner as Bram would have with appropriate modernization.

From our website:

Written with the blessing and cooperation of Stoker family members, Dracula The Un-Dead begins in 1912, twenty-five years after Dracula "crumbled into dust." Van Helsing's protégé, Dr. Jack Seward, is now a disgraced morphine addict obsessed with stamping out evil across Europe. Meanwhile, an unknowing Quincey Harker, the grown son of Jonathan and Mina, leaves law school for the London stage, only to stumble upon the troubled production of "Dracula," directed and produced by Bram Stoker himself.

The play plunges Quincey into the world of his parents' terrible secrets, but before he can confront them he experiences evil in a way he had never imagined. One by one, the band of heroes that defeated Dracula a quarter-century ago is being hunted down. Could it be that Dracula somehow survived their attack and is seeking revenge? Or is there another force at work whose relentless purpose is to destroy anything and anyone associated with Dracula?

PÓM: Am I right in thinking that Dacre is an old Stoker family name? And how should we be pronouncing it?

DS: That is easy, Dacre is an old Stoker family name. I am named after a famous Irish cousin, who was my god father: Commander H H G Dacre Stoker, the first submariner to take his sub AE2 up the Dardanelles in WW1. It was fateful as it happened during the ill-fated campaign of Gallipoli. Once in the Sea of Marmara, the tiny sub was attacked and crippled, and instead of being taken by the enemy, the crew scuttled the sub, and were captured. Many more interesting Stories about H H G Dacre Stoker exist; Irish Croquet champion at age seventy-seven etc etc!

To remember the pronunciation, try ‘Acre’ like an acre of land and put a D in front. Or Day-Ker.

PÓM: Did you have to do a lot of research for the book?

DS: The research for the book was done in a few different ways. I personally went to the Rosnebach Museum in Philadelphia with my wife and spent a day carefully reading through all of Bram's hand written research notes that he compiled for writing Dracula. We were looking for things that he had known about and maybe intended to use in Dracula but were left out for some reason. This helped us decide upon the use of Inspector Cotford as a character in our book. Ian Holt and I also hired Alexander Galant, to do research into street maps, and other important details pertaining to historical accuracy of the period.

PÓM: Have you had the usual list of strange jobs that authors always seem to have had?

DS: I have been a school teacher and athletics coach for most of my life. Since I then I owned and managed an outdoor clothing and gear shop for 4 years. Presently I am the director of a land conservation organization, I also teach CPR, First Aid, and Blood-borne pathogens.

PÓM: Is there any interest in filming the book, or is it too early to say?

DS: That is something we are involved in at the moment, we have two routes to go, the independent and studio route. Right now we have significant interest from a few studios and a group putting together financing for an independent project.

PÓM: Dacre Stoker, thank you very much for your time.


1 comment:

  1. I just fainished reading the book. It's very good. Lots of tension! You don't have to read Bram Stoker's book first (though it helps). This one is top-notch--and I don't read much fiction.