Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Guest: Denise Verrico

VampChix welcomes Denise Verrico back to the coffin today (and for another day as well; my fault for posting this so late).  So please say 'hey' and answer the question Denise poses below to be eligible to win a copy of ANNALS OF THE IMMORTYLS.

The Gentleman Vampire

In my research on vampire legends, I found it curious that while so many vampire myths of the East seem to be centered on a fear of female sexual power, the vampire stories of the West often focus on the male vampire.  The zombie-like revenants of Slavic folklore somehow morphed into the suave and sophisticated “gentleman vampire” of Gothic literature. 
This evolution is attributed to the novel, The Vampyre, written by John Polidori.  It’s commonly believed that the 19th century English poet, George Gordon, Lord Byron, inspired the depiction of the vampire in this book.  Polidori, a recent medical school graduate, accepted a position as Byron’s personal physician and traveled with him to the continent.  Byron was a kind of rock star in his day, known for his scandalous love affairs with both sexes.  He created what is known as the “Byronic hero”, a deeply flawed man given to bouts of melancholy.  Lord Byron, his mistress Claire Clairmont (stepsister of Mary Shelly), the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Shelley and Polidori participated in a contest to write a ghost story.  The most famous of these, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, spawned the genre of science fiction.  Polodori’s tale was most likely begun by Byron, but tossed aside.  In any case, Polidori finished and published it. 
While not as well known as Frankenstein’s monster, the compelling vampire, Lord Ruthven, set the stage for vampires like Count Dracula, Anne Rice’s Louis and Lestat, Barnabas Collins and even Twilight’s Edward Cullen. 

Contest:  Leave me a comment telling me about your favorite “gentleman” vampire.  I’ll draw three commenters by random drawing to win a free ebook of my collection of short stories, Annals of the Immortyls.  Please leave an email address where I can email the link and free coupon code.


Denise Verrico said...

Thanks for having me back, Michele! It's great to be here.

SandyG265 said...

Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's St Germain is my favorite.

sgiden at

Denise Verrico said...

He's a great character! Yabro's historical detail is so interesting.

bn100 said...

Nice post. Don't have a favorite.


Anonymous said...

Dan Zukovic's "DARK ARC", a bizarre byronic modern noir dark comedy called "Absolutely brilliant...truly and completely different..." in Film Threat, was recently released on DVD and Netflix through Vanguard Cinema (, and is currently
debuting on Cable Video On Demand. The film had it's World Premiere at the Montreal Festival, and it's US Premiere at the Cinequest Film Festival. Featuring Sarah Strange ("White Noise"), Kurt Max Runte ("X-Men", "Battlestar Gallactica",) and Dan Zukovic (director and star of the cult comedy "The Last Big Thing"). Featuring the glam/punk tunes "Dark Fruition", "Ire and Angst" and "F.ByronFitzBaudelaire", and a dark orchestral score by Neil Burnett.


***** (Five stars) "Absolutely brilliant...truly and completely different...something you've never tasted
before..." Film Threat
"A black comedy about a very strange love triangle" Seattle Times
"Consistently stunning images...a bizarre blend of art, sex, and opium, "Dark Arc" plays like a candy-coloured
version of David Lynch. " IFC News
"Sarah Strange is as decadent as Angelina Jolie thinks she is...Don't see this movie sober!" Metroactive Movies
"Equal parts film noir intrigue, pop culture send-up, brain teaser and visual feast. " American Cinematheque