Raising the bar on reading!
Welcome to The Book Bar today everyone. Please order up your favourite drink and get ready to head into the lounge where our new guest is looking forward to meeting us. He graciously consented to doing a guest article to share and of course give us an introduction to his newest book. I want to introduce you to.... B. D. Bruns. Here's a little background on him before we get started:
In his own words....
Vampire Glitter and Zombie Stickers
Once I loved vampires and zombies, but no more. Like kids at the end of Halloween night, we’ve eaten too much of the good stuff. We’ve been so saturated with these trite baddies that content providers are desperate to find a new spin on them. True, new spins are not new. Anne Rice brought rock-n-roll to vampires decades ago. But can’t we all agree that vampires are about more than teen angst? I’m all for a whole new generation of teens falling in love with vampires and werewolves, but surely Dracula would rather meet Van Helsing than Edward. And zombies? In multiple recent adaptations zombies run faster than Usain Bolt.
We’ve lost sight of what made our most iconic nasties nasty in the first place. Real fear is the discomfort of encountering something that defies our understanding of the world.
Vampires and zombies are now so mainstream that little old ladies display car stickers of their undead grandchildren. We must not let our baddies become so accessible. Monsters are supposed to be worse than teen angst. Sure, it’s awful and stuff, but it’s just not good enough. Revving up classic horror icons with video game frenetics isn’t good enough, either. It won’t stand the test of time. It may entertain but it will not keep you up at night. We must return to the source!
"The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.” - H.P. Lovecraft
Of course, the unknown is precisely what publishers and Hollywood say they want, but clearly don’t. The unknown is risky, and business is business. So they want familiar baddies with a proven track record of financial success. So, is originality doomed? Not at all! One can revisit a classic without destroying what made it, well, classic. May I suggest a good mash up? Keep the best of things and find new, exciting ways to combine them together. Look at American Horror Story. They give us all the stuff we want to see with a fresh spin, like their third season, Coven: witches and voodoo queens in a turf war in New Orleans. They are devilishly clever at incorporating disparate themes and, in the process, creating a fundamentally unique story. But their witches are still witches and voodoo is still voodoo.
I’m no thriller purist: it’s all for entertainment, after all. I fully supported Michael Jackson’s use of zombies in Thriller. Just don’t dilute the monsters to the point where little old ladies think they’re cute. Monsters have dignity, too.
My newest book...