So today I am introducing you to the wonderful Tracey Sinclair, author of Dark Dates.
She has written a lovely guest post for you all and then once you’ve read it, there’ll also be the chance to win an e-copy of her book!
If you were to ask me when I fell in love with vampires, I’d probably say as a teenager – swept off my feet by the gothic romance of Anne Rice’s seminal book Interview with The Vampire, and its sequel, the equally intoxicating The Vampire Lestat. A sweeping, sensual series that reached back into the history of vampire lore while bringing it bang up to date in contemporary America, these books still feel fresh today (despite the increasing diminishing returns of the later entries into the series) and are rightly credited with shaping the modern landscape of fantasy fiction.
But if you were to ask about the roots of wanting to write about vampires? I’d probably give you a different answer: The Lost Boys. This 1987 film is easy to mock as ‘vampires for the MTV generation’, but its influence (and that of its contemporary, Near Dark, which came out the same year) can’t be underestimated. While Rice wove an intricate tapestry tracing vampires back to ancient Egypt, these films were all about the modern: these weren’t vampires constrained by history and legend, they were pop culture creatures whose very shallowness was enthralling. Both films – but The Lost Boys especially – abandoned the idea of vampires as elegant loners, instead substituting the idea of vampires as the coolest gang in the world. Sure, the membership fees were high but look at the pay offs – you’ll never grow old, you’ll never die, and you get to spend your time riding motorbikes with your mates and dancing around in cool underground caverns to Doors songs. You can see the descendants of Kiefer Sutherland’s David in many of the films and shows that followed him, most notably Buffy The Vampire Slayer – just look at the bleach haired Spike and the leather coated Angel; the Frog Brothers and Xander would surely get along, and you can imagine Dianne Wiest’s beleaguered single mom Lucy would have plenty to chat to Joyce Summers about. Buffy is of course dazzling in its own originality and was a groundbreaking show, but Whedon’s use of pop culture references and whip smart dialogue sits easily alongside a film that includes the never-bettered ‘death by stereo!’. On the literary scene, too, the movie had its impact: while it’s fair to say that Rice was the defining influence on vampire fiction for the next two decades, you can see The Lost Boys’ footprints in works by writers such as Poppy Z Brite, who combined their heady excesses with Rice’s Southern Gothic to great effect.
The Lost Boys freed the vampire myth from the weight of historical legacy (both in fiction and folklore) and the traditions that had defined it for generations – no longer did you have to give your bloodsuckers a backstory that went back centuries, you just had to give them great clothes. While The Lost Boys is visually the very epitome of the 80s – Corey Haim’s outfits! – it has stood the test of time well, ageing as flawlessly as the immortal undead. The jokes are still funny, the action scenes are brutal and effective, and the central performances still vivid (Kiefer remains sexy after all these years, but then anyone who watches 24 knows that…)
Don’t get me wrong – I heartily admire anyone who can do the kind of historical research that Rice does, or effectively conjure a world long past, and there’s still plenty of great vampire fiction in that tradition around – check out Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian for a recent example of the genre. But I knew that when writing my own book, Dark Dates, I wanted it to be utterly modern. There is of course some London history in there, inevitable when your backdrop is a city with such a colourful past, but my vampires are contemporary creatures, and they are as soaked in the now-ubiquitous information overload as the human beings they live amongst. Let’s put it this way, I thought it was pointless trying to create a convincing world where nobody has read Twilight. And if I managed to create something that’s half as funny, sexy or memorable as The Lost Boys, then I’ll go away happy…
Author: Tracey Sinclair
Publisher: Self Published
Published: April 2012
All Cassandra Bick wants is to be left to get on with doing her job. But when you’re a Sensitive whose business is running a dating agency for vampires, life is never going to be straightforward – especially when there’s a supernatural war brewing in London, a sexy new bloodsucker in town and your mysterious, homicidal and vampire hating ex-lover chooses this moment to reappear in your life…
Witty, sharp and entertaining, Dark Dates is a heady mix of vampires, witches and werewolves – with the occasional angel thrown in – and introduces Cassandra Bick, a likeable heroine destined to join the ranks of fantasy’s feistiest females.
Tracey Sinclair works as freelance copywriter, editor and legal directories consultant. A diverse and slightly wandering career has included writing factsheets for small businesses, creating web content for law firms, subtitling film and TV and editing one of the UK’s largest legal directories. A keen blogger, she regularly writes for online theatre site Exeunt and science fiction site Unleash the Fanboy and her blog Body of a Geek Goddess was shortlisted in the Cosmopolitan Blogger Awards 2011. Her work has been published in a number of magazines and anthologies and her short play Bystanders was premiered in 2011 as part of the CP Players New Writing Season at Baron’s Court Theatre, London. She has published two small press books (Doll and No Love is This, both Kennedy & Boyd) and is now dipping a toe in the digital self-publishing world with her new urban fantasy novel, Dark Dates.
Do you want to win this glorious sounding novel?
Now’s your chance!
Tracey is giving away ONE ebook to ONE lucky winner!
The giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY.
It will finish on the 6th October.
You must follow my blog.
Winners will be e-mailed and will have 72 hours to respond.
Please read the rest of my policy, here