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Behind the Book: Writing The Shadow of Dracula; Harker’s Inheritance

Posted on July 17, 2012 by Flames

Our author design series continues today with a new essay from Corissa Baker, who tells us about her new novel The Shadow of Dracula; Harker’s Inheritance.

Behind the Book: Writing The Shadow of Dracula; Harker’s Inheritance

    When I started the research process for The Shadow of Dracula; Harker’s Inheritance I knew that I had to be thorough and committed to Bram Stoker’s classic. From the beginning, I was writing this book for fans of this long-lasting pillar of literature. I was not, be assured, pinning a plot to the success of Dracula in order to capitalize on it.

    Fans of the classic may recall the final note that wraps up the story mentioning a son born to Jonathan and Mina Harker. A boy named Quincey. I always thought it was an interesting thing to introduce right at the end. The boy with a “bundle of names” stuck with me and eventually a story developed. That story, Quincey’s story, is told in The Shadow of Dracula; Harker’s Inheritance as a collection of journal entries and in section of prose that is meant to have been written by the characters.

    To keep that level of respect for Stoker’s Dracula I re-read the book and kept it close for reference. A cup of coffee and a copy of Dracula were a constant companion to my computer. I listened to Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata constantly. It created the perfect mood as I, essentially, got into character to write as Quincey Harker, a 36 year old from 1934 London.

    Being that this book is written primarily by two English men, I felt that it was an obvious necessity to use British spelling and terms. I am American myself, but am an avid fan of British film and television often finding myself preferring the BBC to most American productions. Thus I have had the chance to study the little cultural differences, such as calling the “living room” a “sitting room,” and such. While I do have the artistic leniency of individual character quarks, in case something was a tad off, I am confident that my research was thorough.

    I am a perfectionist, in mostly good ways. I am committed to getting things right. It’s disrespectful, in my belief, to simply claim “artistic license” as an excuse to simply not do the work. And writing The Shadow of Dracula; Harker’s Inheritance was a lot of work. I researched everything I had access to do so. Even details like the days of the week; I found a calendar for 1934 to be sure that the date set to be Sunday was, in fact, a Sunday in 1934. I wrote this story because I wanted to tell it, more than I wanted to sell it.

    Making The Shadow of Dracula; Harker’s Inheritance available for Amazon’s Kindle store took a lot of editing and formatting. Furthermore, sorting out the formatting and other logistics for using a print-on-demand service, Lulu, took a lot more work. Had this simply been about a supposed “quick buck” I would have given up months ago. But I really want to see what people think about it. I really want to share this story, and future stories, with readers. So I’m including the entire first chapter of my book to read here, for free.

    If you find yourself interested in reading more, the Kindle version is available at Amazon.com and in paperback, from Lulu.com.

    For more from me, check out my blog at: Corissabaker.com.

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