The Immortal Bram Stoker

Born on November 8th, 1847  Bram Stoker would be 165 today if he were as immortal as his famous vampire. Though his name is synonymous with his 1897 novel Dracula, Stoker authored several other novels and creepy little short stories. As part of a series of digital books I’ve curated about Magical Creatures, I’ve included a gripping short story,  Dracula’s Guest, as well as the more obscure short story, The Burial of Rats. Both come from a collection of stories published by his loving widow two years after his death.
Stoker had plans to publish several short story collections, and these stories–part of the first collection–were yet to be edited. His widow chose to publish them as he left them on his desk. And if this is his “raw” work, any of us who fancy ourselves writers would be humbled by the notion. He is as stunning a writer in his shorter works as in his epic novels.

You can buy them now for you kindle, nook, or other e-reading device. Less than $3 and you can be the judge.

The Burial of the Rats by Varla Ventura and Bram Stoker (Amazon) (B&N)

Dracula’s Guest by Varla Ventura and Bram Stoker (Amazon) (B&N)

Church of Mabus and Varla’s House of Horrors

Just had a great interview with Jeffery Pritchett. Jeffery  is the host of The Church Of Mabus Show “bringing you high strange stories from professionals in the carousel of fields surrounding the paranormal.”

Read about hospital horrors, magical creatures, psychic premonitons, and body snatchers~

Interview on Examiner dot com, Varla Ventura on Real Life Horrors

This video explains how to write a successful horror story by keeping your reader gripped and always wanting to know what's in store for the characters.

Who’s That Knocking on my Coffin Lid? Vampires, Magical Creatures Part Three

Lovers of True Blood, Dracula devotees, and Twilight tweens: I offer you the ancient vamps of my Magical Creatures series!

These are the stories that Stephenie Meyer and Anne Rice read when they were but wee babes, suckling on their mothers (or the  neck of their mother). These are the groundwork stories about vampirism, both horrific, romantic, and psychic.

Currently available exclusively as e-books, these are found volumes of forgotten lore (many a quaint and curious tale!) and cover the realm of such creepy and cool beings as goblins, werewolves, vampires, banshees, mermaids, and phookas, to name but a few.

(If the response is positive on these little e-beasts, I’ll be expanding them into book form!!)

Horror devotees will recall the story of the infamous gathering at a lake house outside of Geneva, Switzerland in the summer of 1816 where a small party celebrated the settling darkness by reading ghost stories aloud to one another. Present were the host, Lord Byron, and his guests: Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft (Shelley) and her sister, and Lord Byron’s physician—John William Polidori. At the prompting of Byron, pens were set to paper to write ghost stories of their own. Here the groundwork was laid for what would become Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, a Modern Prometheus. Shelley himself wrote Fragments of a Ghost Story, and Byron wrote something called Fragment of a Novel. This “fragment” became the basis for Polidori’s The Vampyre, A Tale—the first vampire novel published in English, some seventy years before Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

Also in the vampire collection, are two lesser known tales by Bram Stoker: Burial of the Rats and Dracula’s Guest. Both were part of a collection of stories that Stoker had been working on but never published. After his death, his widow decided they were fit for print and submitted them to his publisher in 1914. And Théophile Gautier’s Clarimonde is by far one of the most controversial vampire stories from the early 19th Century. A would-be priest begins to doubt his path and his God when he meets (by chance?) fair Clarimonde. I won’t give it all away but this is some necromantic romance at its best! And finally, George Sylvester Viereck’s 1907 short story The House of the Vampire was the first novel to introduce psychic vampires.

You can purchase these little digital gems following the links below:

The Vampyre: A Tale by Varla Ventura and John William Polidori (Amazon) (B&N)

The Burial of the Rats by Varla Ventura and Bram Stoker (Amazon) (B&N)

Dracula’s Guest by Varla Ventura and Bram Stoker (Amazon) (B&N)

Clarimonde by Varla Ventura and Théophile Gautier (Amazon)

The House of the Vampire by Varla Ventura and George Sylvester Viereck (Amazon) (B&N)

Vampire Meets Frankenstein

Or maybe, in this case, it is the other way around. You fans of horror (you are fans of horror, right?!?) may recall the story of the birth of one of the best horror novels of all time–Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein. Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Mary Wollstonecraft (Shelley) were reading ghost stories aloud to one another one stormy night at Byron’s lake house in Geneva, Switzerland. Byron prompted his partygoers to write a ghostly tale of their own. Out of this came the beginnings of Frankenstein, a Modern Prometheus.  As it happened, John William Polidori was also there that fated night. Personal physician to Lord Byron and a writer as a past time, Polidori crafted The Vampyre, A Tale from a sketch of a story that Byron composed that same evening. Often wrongly advertised as a story by Byron himself, The Vampyre has remained a relatively obscure tale of terror. The first vampire story published in English, Polidori’s work predates the seminal Bram Stoker’s Dracula by more than seventy years.

Check it out here, at the Amazon kindle store. Available soon in multiple formats for any digital reader of your choosing.

The Vampyre

Available also for your Nook:

The Vampyre

This book is part of the Magical Creatures, A Weiser Books Collection that I am delighted to be curating. There are four more available now as well as five titles in the Paranormal Parlor collection! All curated by me, Varla. That’s right, I’ve been combing through the cobwebs to find you volumes of forgotten lore!

John Polidori, Lord Byron's doc!

Vampires R Us

Ah, vampires. They’ve been hanging around the cobwebs of my mind lately. My latest Huffington Post blog is about vampires, and you can read it here:

A Carnival of Vampires

I guess it is the season! The count down to Halloween is on. I have been plotting further treats of the trickiest kind, and imagining the mayhem yet to be.  And what would make a vampire’s attire more appealing than fangs that look…natural. A self-made fangsmither, this guy: Father Sebastiaan makes real fangs for the masses. Or at least for the dedicated. I think they are prerequisite before you are allowed into any of the upcoming Vampire Balls. There is one in New Orleans, New York,  Salem, Massachusetts and more!

And speaking of Salem it is the PLACE to be during the month of October. There are countless haunted happenings, including The Festival of the Dead, Dumb Supper, ghost hunts, Witches’ Ball, Vampire Ball, oh lordy! It is an endless fiesta of complete freakery and fun. This year I’ll be pining for my witchy co-horts on the East Coast. Sigh….