Monday, October 4, 2010

Kevin Jackson's top 10 vampire novels Part 4

8. The Moth Diaries by Rachel Klein

A sophisticated exercise in unreliable narration: the novel purports to be a memoir written some 30 years after the event by a former psychiatric patient who witnessed some terrible events at the exclusive girls school she attended. But, somewhat in the manner of Henry James's classic ghost story "The Turn of the Screw", the reader gradually comes to wonder whether the true villain of the piece might not be the supposed girl-vampire who broods all day in her dorm room but the narrator herself. There are hopeful rumours of a forthcoming film version, to be directed by Mary Harron; fingers crossed.

9. Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist

No one who has seen the justly acclaimed film version of Lindqvist's bleak but unexpectedly humane novel will need much encouragement to seek out the original, where much that is cryptic about the on-screen story becomes clarified. The heart of the narrative remains the same – a story of friendship and love between Oskar – a lonely, sad, bullied boy – and Eli, the girl (or is she?) vampire who comes to be his protector. But the book encompasses other tales too, and makes explicit the fact that Eli's older male companion is in fact a paedophile as well as a killer. Harsh, and uncomfortable, but compelling.

10. Dracula by Bram Stoker

The daddy of them all; by no means the best-written (Stoker was, at best, a competent prose stylist, and none of his other fictions have stood the test of a century) nor the cleverest, not even the most original ... but none the less a masterpiece of myth-making, comparable only to the works of Mary Shelley and Conan Doyle. It has been said that all western philosophy is a series of footnotes to Plato; it would hardly be an exaggeration to say that all modern vampire fiction is haunted by Dracula. If you haven't read it, a bloody treat lies ahead.

Alexander Skargard says the controversial Rolling Stone cover"just happened on the day"

Most celebrity photo shoots take weeks of planning, but that controversial Rolling Stone cover featuring a nude and bloodied trio of "True Blood" stars? It "just happened on the day" - or so claims Alexander Skarsgård in a new interview with GQ UK.
"We showed up and we shot very PG-13 with our clothes on for basically the whole day, like six or seven hours," says Skarsgård, who posed alongside co-stars Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer. "Then towards the end the photographer said, 'I have this, these shots are beautiful and the magazine is going to be happy with them, but I'd like to try something if you guys are game.'"
After the photographer explained his concept, Skarsgård says, "It was just one of those things in the moment where we all looked at each other, we'd spent all day with the photographer, we felt comfortable with him, we knew that he was great and the atmosphere was right, and we were like, '[Expletive] it, let's do it.'"
The actor admits that no one thought Rolling Stone would actually run the gutsy photo. "They want to sell at Walmart," he explains. "We thought this was going to be too offensive."

read on

Charlaine Harris : Sink your teeth into hit series

...But that has all changed with the success of the Sookie Stackhouse Mysteries (better known by the TV title True Blood) which have sold several million copies, including 400,000 in Australia in the past year.
Harris is no longer a solo operator -- she has a business team behind her. She has an assistant to orchestrate store appearances and publicity requests; a continuity editor; a group of friends who read her first draft; and a tribe of dedicated fans who have volunteered to run her websites and supply fan information and apparel.
"Things have changed a lot," Harris says. "Certainly people are definitely wanting more things from me. I'm getting used to having a new reality.
"It's very gratifying for any writer to be taken so seriously. There are times it is exasperating, but it's also what we all aim for when we start our careers -- the success of knowing people love what we have done. It's very exciting. It's also a tremendous responsibility."
Harris, a writing veteran of more than 20 years, says her first two series were conventional murder mysteries, but with her Sookie Stackhouse books she wanted to write a series "which would stand out".
"I began to think I could do better and write something different. Something I was trying to convey was not getting across, so with the Sookie books I expressed my sense of humour . . . I had lots of blood and explicit sex.
"It came at the right time, the right blend of characters. The books hit a nerve. They started to sell through word of mouth.
"Your books have to have a spark in them. You have got to make the reader love your characters and be vitally interested in what happens next."
Harris says one of the main reasons she was attracted to writing a series was to "establish new and different ways to stay true to my characters".
She has just finished the 11th book in the proposed 14-book series Dead Reckoning (out next May).
Harris says she likes to create characters who are strong but also sympathetic with secret pasts.
"People want to follow the characters through their lives, much the same way as a series on television.
"The readers develop strong opinions about what should happen to them and what direction the series should take," Harris says.

read on 

True Mud : more on the " Bill Compton Muppet "

There is much discussion on the Muppet wiki ( of course , there is a Muppet wiki! did you think we were the only ones that obsessed on a TV show ? ) about the True Blood ( Mud ) Parody

A Bill Compton Muppet appears in a Sesame Street sketch, "True Mud", a parody of the series True Blood. He's a caricature of series lead Bill Compton (played by Stephen Moyer).The man strolls into a restaurant (whooshing through the room instead of walking) and orders some "true mud." The rest of the patrons accuse him of being a Grouch, as they have a strong affinity for mud. However, the waitress brings him a "true spud", some "true cud" and a man name Bud, who tries giving him his broken watch (a "true dud"). Annoyed, the man throws himself on the floor, with a "true thud". Just when he's had enough, the waitress finally brings in a bathtub full of mud, which he uses for his mud bath.

Jerry Nelson (voice)

"Vampires Don't Sleep Alone " Your Guide to Meeting, Dating and Seducing a Vampire

"Vampires Don't Sleep Alone " is a tongue-in-cheek guide to meeting, dating and seducing a vampire in today's modern society. It is the creation of the Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab's very own Elizabeth Barrial and DH Altair. In it, they describe 10 types of vampires to help you decide not only if you should romance a vampire, but if so, which kind. We need more than just our imagination though, so of course, BPAL had to create a line of scents to personify each of these vampires. In this roundtable, Tarts describe how the scents smell to them and how they fit that vampiric image.

Passionate and dangerous, the vampire is the ultimate lover. Stalking his prey in the dark of night, he is not easily tamed. But armed with the right skills for seducing a sexy immortal, you can meet, date and ultimately sleep with the vampire of your dreams. Vampires Don't Sleep Alone provides the vital information you need to take a walk on the dark side and delve into the pulse-pounding world of vampire love and lust, including:
  • How to turn on your vampire without arousing his hunger for blood
  • Different types of vampires and which one is right for you
  • How to keep your sex life exciting for eternity

About the Author

D.H. Altair is the vampire nom de plume of Del Howison, a three-time nominated Bram Stoker Award winning editor and author. He has been nominated for a Shirley Jackson Award, a Rondo Hatton Award, and the Black Quill Award. His own short stories have appeared in various anthologies throughout the years and his tale "The Lost Herd" was converted into a script by Mick Garris and filmed as the premiere episode of the NBC horror anthology series "Fear Itself". Elizabeth Barrial is a freelance writer and the co-owner of Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, the world's first dark perfume house, whose thematic focus is literature and gothic cultural anthropology.

True Blood Music Video of the Day:Power Of Love (Huey Lewis ) : True Blood Couples

Power Of Love (Huey Lewis ) : True Blood Couples (Mostly Eric & Sookie)