Behind the Book: Writing The Shadow of Dracula

Behind the Book: Writing The Shadow of Dracula; Harker’s Inheritance.

When I started the research process for The Shadow of Dracula; Harker’s Inheritance I knew that I had to be thorough and committed to Bram Stoker’s classic. From the beginning, I was writing this book for fans of this long-lasting pillar of literature. I was not, be assured, pinning a plot to the success of Dracula in order to capitalize on it.

Fans of the classic may recall the final note that wraps up the story mentioning a son born to Jonathan and Mina Harker. A boy named Quincey. I always thought it was an interesting thing to introduce right at the end. The boy with a “bundle of names” stuck with me and eventually a story developed. That story, Quincey’s story, is told in The Shadow of Dracula; Harker’s Inheritance as a collection of journal entries and in section of prose that is meant to have been written by the characters.

To keep that level of respect for Stoker’s Dracula I re-read the book and kept it close for reference. A cup of coffee and a copy of Dracula were a constant companion to my computer. I listened to Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata constantly. It created the perfect mood as I, essentially, got into character to write as Quincey Harker, a 36 year old from 1934 London.

Being that this book is written primarily by two English men, I felt that it was an obvious necessity to use British spelling and terms. I am American myself, but am an avid fan of British film and television often finding myself preferring the BBC to most American productions. Thus I have had the chance to study the little cultural differences, such as calling the “living room” a “sitting room,” and such. While I do have the artistic leniency of individual character quarks, in case something was a tad off, I am confident that my research was thorough.

I am a perfectionist, in mostly good ways. I am committed to getting things right. It’s disrespectful, in my belief, to simply claim “artistic license” as an excuse to simply not do the work. And writing The Shadow of Dracula; Harker’s Inheritance was a lot of work. I researched everything I had access to do so. Even details like the days of the week; I found a calendar for 1934 to be sure that the date set to be Sunday was, in fact, a Sunday in 1934. I wrote this story because I wanted to tell it, more than I wanted to sell it.

Making The Shadow of Dracula; Harker’s Inheritance available for Amazon’s Kindle store took a lot of editing and formatting. Furthermore, sorting out the formatting and other logistics for using a print-on-demand service, Lulu, took a lot more work. Had this simply been about a supposed “quick buck” I would have given up months ago. But I really want to see what people think about it. I really want to share this story, and future stories, with readers. So I’m including the entire first chapter of my book to read here, for free.

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