Shane O’Neill is the writer of The Dracula Chronicles, a new and exciting series adding a new dimension to the Dracula myth. He has begun the series with Chronicle 3 to give his readers the vampire first. Chronicle 1 will follow to take you back to the beginning.
The author developed a fascination with Dracula from an early age. Like many others he was enthralled by Christopher Lee’s portrayal of him on the big screen. It was in his late teens that he discovered Dracula the man and the love affair began from there. An avid historian, he studied the period in which the real historical Vlad Dracula lived, 15th Century Balkan, for many years. It followed from there then that with his love of writing he would always choose Dracula as his subject.
Away from writing, the author has a wide range of interests. He has lived and travelled all over the world. He has a love for all things historical, with a particular fascination for medieval Europe. Anywhere he travels he likes to search out locations with an historical interest.
Read our interview below and be sure to check out the excerpt too! I’d like to thank Shane for being on my blog!
What is your book about and what genre are you writing in?
On retail sites I have labelled it a Gothic horror novel, but it is so much more than that. The book is an historical adventure it is a romantic tragedy, a paranormal fantasy with a lot of serious erotica.
The Dracula Chronicles are an epic journey through the ages where the forces of Light and Darkness struggle for supremacy until the Second Great War, as foretold in the Book of Revelations. This bitter feud began after the creation of mankind. Lucifer’s jealousy leads to the First Great War of the angels. Hundreds of thousands of years on the feud simmers beneath the surface. It plots the course of history as we know it today. Both sides manipulate the major players through the centuries to seek an advantage over the other.
On a cold night in December 1431 in Sighisoara an old gypsy woman delivers a prophecy to the great Vlad Dracul. She tells him he is about to sire two sons, one an angel and the other a devil. He returns to his fortress just as his wife bears him a son, whom he names Vlad. In the very same moment across the country on the border between Transylvania and Hungary a gypsy girl gives birth to another son, Andrei. The die is cast. The twin souls are born. The young Vlad Dracula becomes the instrument of the forces of Darkness. To balance this, the baby Andrei is blessed by the angels and bestowed with awesome powers. These chronicles are their story.
That is the overview essentially, but people who read the books will see there is so much more to the series.
I needed a title that was relevant to a vampire novel. And because it is Lucifer that makes Dracula immortal, binding them together through the act, I thought Bound By Blood would be perfect.
What motivates you to write?
Writing is what I have always wanted to do. I have not always dedicated myself fully to it, but I know now it is my vocation in life. With The Dracula Chronicles I have created this amazing world, and am desperate to share it with everyone, so they can see the same things that exist in my mind. But it does not end there. I have multitudes of stories and ideas to share and get out to a wider audience. This is what inspires me. But I want to convey it all in a way that people can feel inside, and be either shocked or moved by it. That is essential to me in all that I do as a writer.
Do you have a specific writing style or approach to writing your books?
Yes, definitely. In my younger days, and even in my earlier drafts of my books, I used to write sprawling prose and very long sentences. Whereas I felt some people would like and appreciate that, I thought that the majority would not. I wanted to write in a way that would hold appeal for everyone, knowing different people have different levels of literacy and different levels of interest. I wanted to reach people who speak English as a second language and maybe even people who read very little or even not at all. Therefore, I completely changed my style. I focused on making my work much more concise and trimmed it down considerably. I took out longer words and substituted words that are easier to understand, I shortened my sentences noticeably and concentrated on fluidity and readability. I made it my goal to have something on every page to keep my reader interested so that when I delivered a shock, they would feel it.
What were the challenges (research, psychological and logistical) in bringing it to life?
Well, as a lover of history my biggest fear was to make an error with my historical content and be pulled up on it by an expert in the field. Therefore, I have had to be meticulous with my preparation to ensure I got it right. And then to maintain historical accuracy around my premise threw a few obstacles my way that I had to negotiate. I also wanted to create a fresh Dracula legend that lovers of vampire lore would like and admire and that was uppermost in my mind as I put this project together.
What are your current projects?
Following the release of Bound By Blood there will be a series of horror shorts and then an anthology called Tales Of The Black Sabbath, which will have variant endings from the originals.
The next volume from The Dracula Chronicles – The Gates Of Babylon – will surface in 2013.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Sure, I would love to though I will cut it off before the best part. The scene comes from Chapter 58 – It is 1528 and Dracula has sent his granddaughter to meet with Anne Boleyn at her residence outside London, to convince her to warm to the advances of Henry.
When the guard sloped off to relieve himself she stole inside. She closed the door quietly and walked into the house. Anne had just stepped out of a bathtub. The two of them froze. It was an awkward moment. Ruxandra found herself staring at the naked girl.
Anne stood there without a care in the world. Suds dropped from her breasts and onto her stomach. She did not speak, but looked the stranger in the eye. The look on her face betrayed her thoughts. Her expression said, “What are you looking at?”
Ruxandra fell victim to a fit of laughter. It prompted Anne to do the same. She answered the younger woman’s thought. “I was looking at you.”
Anne looked puzzled. “Did I say that out loud?”
“I can see why the King is so taken by you. Who would not be? You are a dish.”
“Why, thank you,” Anne smiled. “I am glad I meet with your approval.”
“I am only telling you what I see.”
“Are you looking to have your way with me as well?” she teased. “Do you want to do all manner of wicked things to me, just like the King?”
Anne waited, curious as to the response her question would yield. Ruxandra just blushed. She dismissed it with a smile.
“That is a yes then, is it?” asked Anne, not letting go.
“It was not,” Ruxandra assured her. “I was a little surprised. That is all.”
“No woman has ever tried to flirt with me before.”
“Really? I find that hard to believe.”
Ruxandra laughed again, though this was more of a nervous one. “Why do you say that?”
“Well, you really are quite the beauty. I am not sure if I have ever seen a woman as beautiful before. Not in this country at least.”
She blushed even harder. “Oh stop. That is silly talk.”
Anne shrugged her shoulders. “Fine. But if you think I look good, you should take a look at yourself.”
She toyed with one of her nipples, as she spoke. Ruxandra watched her for a moment and then turned her head away again. Anne showed no desire to conceal her nakedness or to dry herself off with a towel. “Why did you turn your head?”
Ruxandra found it hard to breathe for a moment. “So I cannot see what it is you are doing.”
“Does it excite you?” Anne probed. “Knowing that another woman finds you desirable? An attractive one such as myself no less.”
The truth was that it did excite her. It embarrassed her that the advances of another woman could make her feel like this. She sighed and turned to face Anne again. This was not why she was here.
It annoyed Anne that the woman did not respond to her question. She began to wonder why she was there at all. Who is she? She stepped back into the tub. How did she even get in here? Where is the guard? The bubbles reached up to her neck as she lay back. “So why are you here?”
Anne sat and waited for her to answer. She began to wonder if her visitor was prepared to satisfy any of her curiosities.
Ruxandra walked up to the tub. She leant against it with both hands. “I have come here to talk to you about your future.”
“Why do you have an interest in my future?”
“There are many that do.”
“And that includes you too?”
“Yes it does.”
Anne grinned at her. “Then you had better climb in,” she said. She indicated with a nod of her head to the spot in front of her.
“You want me to climb in there with you?”
She nodded with a smile. “That is if you want me to talk to you.”
Her visitor looked down at her. Anne sat there with her knees together and a smile still etched across her face. Ruxandra paused and wondered what to do. She looked down at Anne a second time, fighting the temptation to get involved with her. But at the same time she felt aroused. The first traces of moisture leaked from between her legs.
She took a deep breath. Biting her lower lip, she undressed slowly. Anne gasped when she saw her naked. The woman had the most perfect body she had ever seen. Her smile changed to a look of wonder, as her lips parted. There and then she knew she wanted her.
This was not lost on Ruxandra. She held Anne’s eyes with her own and placed one foot into the tub. The water still felt warm. She pulled her other leg over and then sat down opposite the English girl.
There was not much room in the tub with the two of them inside it. Ruxandra had the much longer legs. For her it was even more awkward. To be able to relax properly she knew she would have to place her legs over Anne’s. She did this. The action brought the two women much closer together.
For a time the women looked into each other’s eyes. They did not speak. Both of them just sat and enjoyed the moment. A great excitement raced through them. Eventually Anne picked up a cloth from beneath her legs. She squeezed the warm soapy water over Ruxandra’s breasts. Ruxandra found the sensation electrifying. She closed her eyes and groaned. The warm water washed over her nipples, making them tender, but erect.
She trembled slightly. Her every instinct told her Anne was going to kiss her. But she wanted her to. She waited with expectation until Anne brushed against her lips with her own. When the moment came it touched every delicate nerve in her body. She responded hungrily, pulling Anne close in the most intimate embrace. Their lips melted into one longing kiss.
Their tongues touched. It triggered the same ache in both women. Without a word they left the tub and rolled onto the bed nearby.