Friday, January 28, 2011

Vampires In Nashville

So, what’s the deal with vampires in our pop-culture? We are seeing the bloodsuckers, along with witches, werewolves, and superheroes popping up all the time in our movies and books. This seems to be a trend that is gaining momentum. One Vol State faculty member is on the bleeding edge of that trend.

Melissa Tyndall Fox is a communications instructor here at Vol State. She received a Master of Arts degree in Corporate Communication and a Bachelor of Science degree in English and Creative Writing from Austin Peay. In passing conversation, after my Public Speaking class, I found that she had written a fictional novel entitled, "Bleed You Dry." She crossed a number of genres in this book; you get the best of vampires with a unique twist: think Dracula crossed with X-Men.

“My husband is an aspiring comic-strip artist, so for all the comic book, super-power type stuff I use him as a resource.”

I asked her what inspired her to write a novel about vampires in Nashville.

“It’s easy to write about what you know and in the winter time it’s always dreary and dark here, so it seemed like a good setting for a fantasy. Also, I had a pop culture blog when I was a journalist, and one of the things that people had an affinity for, was any time I posted something about vampire stuff, whether it was "True Blood", Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse series, or "Twilight", those were the things that people seemed most interested in. Once I saw how accepted it was, I thought, I have wanted to write for a while, so why not write now when everybody loves it?”

After doing a little investigating I was intrigued to find out that a number of colleges are now teaching curriculum based on the imagery and evolution of vampires in world culture. Tyndall says quite often the genre doesn't get the respect it deserves in the literary world, but it resonates with the public.

“People like the vampire stories right now because it’s full of symbolism, to show how people are different in our own society. You have people with different religions or different sexualities, and there are going to be people whether monster or human, that are fighting the bad."

Tyndall also writes poetry and has been published in a number of journals.

“I knew I wanted to write in the third grade. We had a teacher who was really young and enthusiastic when I lived in Europe, because my dad was in the military. She assigned us to write our own Rudyard Kipling story. You had to draw a picture and then write a short story. That’s when I got the writing bug for short stories.”

People are buying more eBooks than ever before. Tyndall strongly considered using an agent and going through the formal book channels, but at this time she chose to self-publish, and so far this has proven to be a positive experience.

The $2.00 eBook is available at Amazon and it is also available at Barnes and Noble. She is working on her second novel, a slayer series also based in Nashville. For more information please visit her website/blog
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Derek said...

The history of vampire fiction could easily be used to trace the evolution of popular media. Polidori to Stoker covers the golden age of the novel. The "penny dreadfuls"with Varney the Vampire kick off a century of pulp fiction. Nosferatu was one of the first films and Bela Lugosi's portrayal of Dracula was an early "talky". Vamprella brought vampires to comic books in the late 60s. Marvel had several vampire comics and comic characters in the 70s, including Blade, who would spawn a movie franchise 20 years later. And now we're seeing the decline of feature films and the rise of made for cable serials with no shortage of vampires to be found there either.

Anonymous said...

There is also a book trailer now!