Monday, October 12, 2009

One Crass Dracula

I just read a Q&A in Entertainment Weekly with Dacre Stoker, great-grandnephew of Bram, and I had to post. Sadly, I don't believe the Q&A, from the 10.16.09 issue, is posted online. 

It seems ol' Dacre felt it was time to write a sequel to Dracula, titled Dracula the Un-Dead. I must salute the person conducting this interview, Kate Ward, for letting the author hang himself by his own rope. His answers basically sum up most of what is wrong with corporate publishing. This is how books get written too often now, and as readers, we have got to NOT support it! (In this case, we have Dutton Books, part of Penguin, to thank.)

It starts right out the gate. Ward asks why Dacre wrote a sequel, and he explains,
We grew up thinking, Isn't it too bad that the copyright was lost in the 1930s? Everybody else has been able to take what Bram created and go in a million directions with it. And that's good and bad.
Ward later points out that, despite Dacre's claim that he and his co-author, screenwriter Ian Holt, tried to honor Bram in writing this, Dacre made this novel in third person rather than using the journal format used by Bram, to which Dacre replies,
We just said, "We're going to make it an exciting book because that's what people want these days." Kind of like a Dan Brown thriller, or Tom Clancy, or Clive Cussler. A real page-turner.
Ward also asks about how they wrote about sex in this book, which apparently is described quite overtly. Dacre explains, "We felt if we didn't make it juicy, people would go, 'Oh, this is boring.'"

And finally, Ward hands this guy the noose by asking if he's trying to capitalize on "the vampire craze":
Ian and I met about six years ago, but we had other things going on. When [the craze] was just beginning to pick up, we said, "You know what? We better get this thing done."
And there you have it. He was not savvy enough to hide his motivation here, to take advantage of a very current craze by creating a rip-off of something with pop culture resonance that appeals to the most common reader possible, with no effort at crafting something literary or lasting. I greatly appreciate this man's honesty, even if his publicist and editor don't.


chercheryl said...

I don't appreciate his honesty, at all. Because he is being honest in a very unself-aware way. How sad.

Magnus said...

A class act. I'm sure Dacre's hoping to launch a franchise of ghostwritten horror potboilers to follow up.