I've just finished re-reading Bram Stoker's vampire novel, Dracula, for yet the umpteenth time. And every time it still fills me with a sense of Gothic horror.
One of the best settings in the story for me is when Jonathan Harker arrives at Count Dracula's remote, eerie castle, and during his stay becomes increasingly horrified as he realises what a blood sucking fiend is the Count, and desperately seeks a way to escape.
The original novel by Stoker is for me the best, and has, as you will obviously know, spawned so many different variations of Dracula films and stories. After finishing this re-read, I wondered just how many movies of differing standards have been made based on the original idea.
The answer I found in a Google search is at least 61. On IMDB there are 60 ranked from best to worst, and on eeriebooks.com it gives 55 Dracula Movies you should see before you die. Maybe I'll get round to seeing them all before I do.
Back in 1977, BBC 2 made a Dracula weekly episode series of Bram's work, starring Louis Jordan, Frank Finlay, Susan Penhaligon and Jack Shepherd. That was an excellent version.
Where do ideas for fiction stories come from? Every author will have a different method of plucking something out of the ether.
For me, there's no one single technique. Days can be spent tortuously trying to come up with a gripping plot and characters, to the extent my wife Jenny sometimes says to me 'you're not listening are you'? To which my mind zips back to everyday matters with the expected apology to her.
There are times when out of the blue, a place visited, or an incident sparks the imagination. You never quite know from where it will come. My latest paranormal thriller idea came from a dream that has recurred occasionally. A situation where I've been entirely lost in a place I don't recognise, and can't find a way out. It isn't one of those strange things happen, and then you wake up and find it's all a dream stories. That's a hackneyed old plot, and one to be totally avoided. It's more mysterious, and has what I think is good twist at the end.
Currently I'm around quarter way through writing it, and as yet haven't thought of a title. Sometimes that springs out at you as you write the narrative. Just slogging on with it for now.
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Happy reading and listening.
I live in Aylesbury UK with my wife, Jenny, and a tabby cat called Lightning. I've loved writing from a very early age and went on to work in journalism for 30 years. Have also produced audio dramas for hospital radio, and spent several years in theatre and independent film acting. Jenny and I have a son and daughter and two wonderful grandchildren.