Saturday, October 31, 2009

Fangs for the memories: The A-Z of vampires

From Independent UK ( this is great fun )

Once upon a time, they were monsters to be feared. But nowadays, they are cool, sexy creatures with great hair and killer cheekbones – and what’s more, they’re everywhere...Kevin Jackson gets his teeth into the A-Z of vampires

A is for Aristocrat

These days, the word "vampire" is likely to summon up images of a brooding high-school boy with killer cheekbones (Robert Pattinson in the Twilight films), or a macho Southern dude with killer cheekbones (Stephen Moyer in True Blood), or a beautiful young athlete with killer cheekbones (Kate Beckinsale in the Underworld movies, or Sarah Michelle Geller in the Buffy TV series). But for most of the past 200 years, the word evoked a tall, dark gentleman with exquisite manners (when he wasn't tearing open your jugular) and some highly desirable real estate. In short, the vampire was the aristocrat of monsters, the toff of terror. This would have seemed a bizarre idea to even earlier generations, for whom the vampire was a brutish and repellent thing, more like the zombies of our cinematic folklore than most of the vampires we know and half-love. What changed the creature of rotting rags and still more rotten flesh into the suave, elegant stalker of grand houses? Answer: the late Romantics, and one in particular, which is why ...

B is for Byron
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Britain has been the home of vampire myths for more than eight centuries – the tale of the Alnwick vampire dates from the 12th century – but the creature only enters English literature in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, in poems by Coleridge ("Christabel"), Southey and Byron. And it was Byron who wrote the very first vampire story in our literature, albeit a brief one. Byron jotted it down during the notorious "Haunted Summer" of 1816, when he lodged at the Villa Diodati on Lake Geneva with Shelley and others; it was this same sojourn which later inspired Mary Shelley to write Frankenstein. Byron's fragment was picked up, adapted and developed by his personal doctor, John Polidori, who published this longer tale as The Vampyre – and the floodgates opened. The Vampyre was a best-seller across Europe, and particularly in France, where it was widely believed not only that Byron was the author, but that it was autobiographical.

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Go Ask Dallas: Sookie and Halloween

What really happens in the Sookie books involving Halloween ? This is tricky ( haha) and involves a bit of trivia and a 'mistake'

Ok, first to the trivia question ?

What Sookie book/story happens on Halloween ?
Hint : There are 2 right answers

I'll give you the correct answer(s) tomorrow (if no one post its in the comments) but here are a couple of great Halloween book quotes from books 3 & 8

In Club Dead: Sookie says to Alcide about the Club "They can come in? Regular people?" I asked, nodding toward the single metal door. It looked as uninviting as a door can look. There was no name anywhere on it, or on the building, for that matter. No Christmas decorations, either. (Of course, vampires don'tobserve holidays, e xcept for Halloween. It's the ancient festival of Samhain dressed up in trappings that the vamps find delightful. So Halloween's a great favorite, and it's celebrated worldwide in the vamp community.

Then in Dead to Worse:

We see this scene "Did you get an invitation for the Fangtasia Halloween party this year?" he asked. "No. After the last party they invited me to, they might not want me to come back,"

I said. "Besides, with all the recent losses, I don't know if Eric'll feel like celeb
rating." "You think we ought to have a Halloween party at Merlotte's?" he asked. "Maybe not with candy and stuff like that," I said, thinking hard. "Maybe a goodie bag for each customer, with dry roasted peanuts? Or a bowl of orange popcorn on each table? And some decorations?"

Sam looked in the direction of the bar as if he could see through the walls.
"That sounds good. Make a thing of it." Ordinarily we only decorated for Christmas, and that only after Thanksgiving, at Sam's insistence.
Then the next evening this : There weren't too many houses between mine and Merlotte's, but all of them had ghosts hanging from trees, inflated plastic pumpkins in the yard,and a real pumpkin or two sitting on the front porch.

The Prescotts had a sheaf of corn, a bale of hay, and some ornamental squash and pumpkins arranged artfully on the front lawn. I made a mental memo to tell Lorinda Prescott how attractive it was when next I saw her at Wal-Mart or the postoffice.

I worked too hard the rest of the night to think about any of the interesting things that had happened that day. After the patrons all left, even Jane Bodehouse (her son came to get her), we put out the Halloween decorations.

Sam had gotten a little pumpkin for each table and painted a face on each one. I was filled with admiration, because the faces were really clever, and some of them looked like bar patrons. In fact, one looked a lot like my dear brother.
"I had no idea you could do this," I said, and he looked pleased. "It was fun," he said, and hung a long strand of fall leaves- of course, they were actually made of cloth-around the bar mirror and among some of the bottles.

I tacked up a life-size cardboard skeleton with little rivets at the joints so it could be positioned. I arranged this one so it was clearly dancing. We couldn't have any depressing skeletons at the bar. We had to have happy ones.

True Blood Hounds LA event video

BOOK REVIEW 'The Vampire Archives,'

From LA Times

"You have heard, no doubt, of the appalling superstition that prevails in Upper and Lower Styria, in Moravia, Silesia, in Turkish Serbia, in Poland, even in Russia; the superstition, so we must call it, of the vampire," wrote Sheridan Le Fanu in his classic "Carmilla," first serialized in London in 1871 and 1872. It's not just Le Fanu's language that feels antique but his ethos and geography.

Vampires no longer appall us or even stir superstitions; these days a vampire is much more likely to rise up in a high school corridor than from the graveyard mists of some decaying Eastern European pile. Audiences still want their vampires to inspire fear, but they also need them to be human, maybe better than human. Suddenly, and weirdly, vampires feel as integral to the culture as burger chains, except the undead don't chow down on Big Macs.

In "The Vampire Archives: The Most Complete Volume of Vampire Tales Ever Published," editor Otto Penzler assembles 80-plus stories that offer a survey of the genre from the early 1800s to the present day. Byron wrote a vampire poem, as did Samuel Taylor Coleridge (the wonderfully erotic and spooky "Christabel"), likewise John Keats, whose "La Belle Dame Sans Merci" Penzler includes

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7 reasons why Halloween is HUGE in 2009

from Popsugar

Vampire-hunting in New Orleans

From Guardian UK

New Orleans' steamy streets, Gothic buildings and voodoo myths have made it the setting of scary tales for decades

On Chestnut and First, in the Garden District of New Orleans, stands a handsome Greek revival mansion with Ionic and Corinthian columns and arches of ornate, lacy ironwork. Until a few years ago, it was the home of Anne Rice, high priestess of popular vampiric fiction and author of Interview with the Vampire, who, more than anyone, is responsible for making the Crescent City a tourist mecca for willingly gullible devotees of spookiness and the supernatural.

Rice assumed the role of Queen of the Night with brio: she would turn up to book signings in a quilted coffin, and once staged her own mock funeral at Lafayette Cemetery No 1, complete with horse-drawn hearse and a brass band playing dirges. She opened her elegant home to the public every Monday, and adoring fans clad in black would queue around the block to see the macabre artefacts it was stuffed with, including a lemur skeleton and a collection of evil-looking antique dolls, set out in rooms painted mauve and fuschia.

Guides offering tours to "Haunted New Orleans", who built their itineraries around a visit to Rice's mansion, were decidedly glum when the writer left the city five years ago, just before Katrina hit. She is, after all, one of the world's bestselling authors, and her feverish page-turners brought in hordes of visitors eager to experience the city's gothic atmospherics, along with its celebrated Creole food and jazz. This year, First Street offered rather more pedestrian fare in the run-up to Halloween: when I walked around the Garden District – it's an unmissable part of the city – a fortnight ago, I saw only pumpkins, plastic skulls hanging from porches, and the odd Frankenstein's monster tied to a tree.

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True Blood goes to the movies:" Beyond the pole " starring Alexander Skarsgard

Starring:Stephen Mangan, Rhys Thomas, Rosie Cavaliero, Mark Benton, Lars Arentz-Hansen, Alexander Skarsgard, Helen Baxendale, Patrick Baladi, Zoe Telford

Screenplay By:Neil Warhurst, Co-writer David L Williams

Directed By:David L Williams
Produced By:David L Williams and Andrew Curtis

Awards:Spirit Award nomination (Warsaw International Film Festival) World Cinema nomination (Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival)

Plot Outline:A documentary film crew follows the first Carbon Neutral, Vegetarian, Organic expedition to the North Pole. Ever.An arctic comedy/disaster movie Beyond the Pole is Withnail and I on ice, Touching the Void with Laughs.Nobody said saving the planet would be easy...but does it have to be this hard?!
50 more great photos on Facebook here

Stars come home: Sam Trammell ( video)

Sam Trammell, Hollywood actor and a West Virginia native, returned home just in time for the Halloween Holiday.

Trammell, a graduate of George Washington High School arrived in Charleston Thursday. He plays Sam Merlotte, a man who can transform into Animals in the HBO hit series “True Blood”.

Trammell visit was in part of the HallowEast week long celebration for local artist. While in Charleston, he stopped by several east end businesses and a local hospital to talk to fans and sign autographs.

Friday, Trammell spent time at the State Capital Culture Center continue his visit with fans and answering questions about the “True Blood” series.

We spoke to Tiffany Nicholson of St. Albans a fan Trammell, “I’m so excited because I’m a big fan of the book an also of the television show, so I’m very excited to meet him an especially since he’s from our area.”

After leaving the Culture Center, Trammell will rapped up his tour with an “Inside the Actors’ Studio” style interview at the Kanawha Player’s Theater.


Win a Spooky Trick ‘r Treat, er… Treat

Film School rejects has a great contest - remember Andy really liked this graphic novel !

Two (2) lucky readers will each receive a copy of Trick ‘r Treat on Blu-ray AND a hardcover copy of “Trick ‘r Treat: Tales of Mayhem, Mystery, and Mischief.” (Click here for more info about this very cool book.) As this is my first contest for FSR I thought long and hard about how I would determine the winners. What types of questions would I ask? What kind of self-portrait photos would I request? Then I realized that even if I didn’t get arrested for encouraging illegal picture submissions I’d still end up having to actually judge all of the entries.

So let’s do this instead… All you have to do to enter is be one of our Twitter followers and re-tweet this article. Go to Twitter and follow @Rejectnation and stay in the loop on all things FSR. Here’s a quick 1-2-3 guide to entering:

  1. If you don’t already have one, go to and sign up for a free account.
  2. Go to and follow Film School Rejects.
  3. Re-tweet the following twitter update by posting this to your Twitter stream: RT @rejectnation: Win a Spooky Trick ‘r Treat, er… Treat – (RT to enter)

Winners will be chosen at random on November 5, 2009. You must be 18 to enter and you must reside in the U.S. or Canada.

Please Don't Kill Bill, Charlaine!

Well, here the rumor pops up again, this time from Alan Ball's comment at the Paley event the other night ( I took this photo in Houston last January at a Charlaine event)

He said something like " I know in the book world that Charlaine had to be talked out of killing Bill in the last book but I’m saying in our world Sookie and Bill have a connection that will not die"
in response to a question.

Charlaine responds on her message boards:

duckpond100 2009-10-29 18:31

I understand that Alan was commenting on the differences between the future of the series and the plot of the books at Paleyfest, and remarked that I’d been “talked out of” killing Bill. That’s leaving an inaccurate impression with many readers, my moderators have told me.

Unfortunately, in a conversation with Alan some months ago I did tell him that when I was finishing DEAD AND GONE I did consider the possibility that Bill might die in the fairy assault on the field hospital. I did not realize that Alan might remember and repeat my words. During the course of the Sookie series, I’ve considered killing off several characters who haven’t bitten the dust yet and may never. That’s one of the choices a fiction writer considers with every book. And you’ll notice that in the end, I decided that Bill had more story to tell.

So please don’t give Alan’s words any more weight than they’re due, or blow them out of proportion. It never occurred to me that he might repeat a casual remark of mine about a possibility that never came to pass.

Charlaine Harris

True Blood Music Video of the Day: Halloween Video: Happy Halloween

True Blood Halloween video: Happy Halloween

Thanks, yokosen