R.H. Greene will appear in Los Angeles at a book signing at Book Soup (8818 W Sunset Blvd, 310-659-3110) on Sunday, November 15 at 4 PM.
Bram Stoker’s most terrifying creation tells his own story in Incarnadine: The True Memoirs of Count Dracula. Author R. H. Greene vividly reimagines the harrowing and sensual Dracula mythos as a first person memoir written by Dracula himself. In this first of two volumes, the Medieval origins of Dracula and his three brides are chronicled using elements drawn from Slavic and pre-Christian religious traditions. Horror, wonder, violence and romance combine to reinvent one of literature’s most fascinating characters for the modern era.
“It’s for grown-ups, for one thing,” Greene says of the first installment in his two-part Dracula memoir. “I’ve never read a Twilight novel or seen an episode of True Blood, but I stand in supermarket checkout lines, like everybody. It does seem like we’re going through the Hannah Montana era of gothic fiction, doesn’t it? I mean, there’s an Edward Cullen Barbie doll coming out, you know?”
In the memoir, Dracula tells the story of his life before he became a vampire, and then leads the reader through his own unholy transformation and that of his three “wives.” The action begins in the late Middle Ages during the last great battles of the Ottoman invasion of Eastern Europe, and ends with the first meeting between Dracula and Bram Stoker’s protagonist Jonathan Harker.
The encounter with Harker sets the stage for a “very free” approach to Stoker’s characters and event structure in Memoirs, Volume Two, which Greene has just completed writing. “Book two is called The Charnel House, and it’s a very different piece of work, though in the same spirit as Incarnadine.”
According to Greene, the first-person voice lets the reader experience the Dracula mythos with an unusual amount of intimacy, and also allowed him to write a book in which “Dracula is the hero and God is the villain, which is the way I think a ‘Prince of Darkness’ would see things. We’ve kind of gotten away from the spiritual in vampire fiction, but it’s clearly one of the core concerns in Stoker’s original.
“There’s also a whole wealth of detail in Slavic folklore that was unavailable to the author of Dracula, and it’s been great fun researching those older traditions and trying to incorporate them into Incarnadine in a way that feels authentic.”
Interestingly, just a month after Greene’s Dracula origin story goes to press, the Bram Stoker estate is coming out with Dracula The Un-Dead, an “official sequel” by Dacre Stoker and Ian Holt that Greene says “sounds like a detective novel based on the new Amazon extract.”