Check out Giveaway details at the end of the post!
JB: Current obsessions -- literary or otherwise?
KE: London! I moved here temporarily to research Dracula in Love
because I wanted to breathe in the atmosphere of late Victorian England, which is very much alive in this city, and I never left! After so many years of living in Los Angeles, which represents everything new, I am having a great awakening living at the intersection of history, of which London has an immense amount, and the very multi-cultural, vital present. I am having the time of my life simply immersing myself in London's many aspects and hope to write about my personal experience here too.
JB: I despise the pervasive myth of inspiration – the idea that an entire book can exist simply because of an accumulation of inspired ideas – but I don’t deny that inspiration exists. There are things that have no other explanation. Was there a singular moment of inspiration for this book?
Now that said, I had my "vampire epiphany" long ago. I used to race home from grade school on my bike to catch "Dark Shadows" on TV. I grew up in a family of spooky women in New Orleans, which is a haunted city. I adored Anne Rice's books, and then later, as a screenwriter, adapted Rice's The Mummy or Ramses the Damned for James Cameron and 20th Century Fox (sadly, the film remains unmade!). So while the idea seemingly just "occurred" to me, I have loved vampire lore for a very long time, and moreover, my novels retell the stories of women in history in an empowering way. So empowering the vampire's "victim" was a natural for me.
JB: Criticism. It’s part of the territory. How do you handle it? Is this the way you’ve always handled it?
As far as criticism from the people who support me, such as my agent and my editor, I put my faith in these folks, and I try very hard to listen carefully to their comments. I don't blindly take every suggestion, but I do put my ego aside and try to objectively consider and address everything they bring up. Writers are buried so deeply in the minutia of our stories that we often cannot see the big picture.
JB: What kind of child were you, inside of what kind of childhood, and how did it shape you as a writer?
The Dracula in Love video tells the whole story of how my childhood influenced my tastes and the writing of the novel, so please take a look!
JB: Research. We all have to do it. Sometimes it’s delicious, sometimes brutal. Tell us a tale from the research trenches.
JB: What other jobs have you had -- other than writing or teaching writing? Did one of these help shape you as a writer?
For more information on Karen Essex check out these links:
Historical Fiction Virtual Tours is sponsoring a giveaway for five copies of Dracula in Love to five winners here at Debbie's Book Bag!
~ You must be a Google Friend Connect follower to participate.
~ US addresses only!
~ Deadline to enter the giveaway is Midnight EST Aug. 15th.
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