Now signed for TV development: “Vampire Syndrome”

“Vampire Syndrome” has been signed for TV development by Joel Eisenberg’s company Council Tree Productions.
Vampire Syndrome Dean Cover (small)

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Taking Orlok to the Ultimate

Most of you are at least a little familiar with Count Orlok, the vampire in the 1922 film “Nosferatu”, which forever changed the face of cinema.
Nosferatu Self-CheckoutThe story itself may have been an unauthorized version of Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel “Dracula”, but “Nosferatu” revolutionized the visual art of cinema. The now-classic “burn-up-in-sunlight” trope started with this film. Count Orlok’s sun-ray immolation is just one of the great, ground-breaking visual effects featured.

Count Orlok himself is, of course, another bold visual statement. What many may not realize is that Nosferatu’s director, F.W. Murnau, intended Count Orlok as a return to the hideous monsters of original vampire folklore, as they were two centuries before Nosferatu’s release.

From TVTropes’ “Looks Like Orlok” page:

History time: In the original folklore, most vampires were short, ugly, Eastern European peasants. Then (in 1819) Polidori creates the character of Lord Ruthven and suddenly they’re all elegant, English, aristocratic and look suspiciously like Lord Byron. Rymer’s Varney the Vampire (1847) gives them fangs and the whole “wandering the world hating what they’ve become” thing. Then Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla was written (in 1871), and vampires suddenly became alluring, bisexual upper-class gothic girls. Then, Dracula was written (in 1897), and they’re still elegant aristocrats, but moved back to Eastern Europe, sexy and deadly, outwardly beautiful yet disguising an inner corruption. Thus, horror turned to fetish, and pop culture… ahem… the world was never the same again. And we all know what happened since.

In the early 1920s, F.W. Murnau had a great idea. Since the German Expressionist movement was all about stylization, why not apply this to vampires? Why not create a vampire that looks exactly like what he is: a parasitic bloodsucker?

In the ninety-odd years since “Nosferatu”, Orlok’s appearance has influenced dozens of characters, vampire or otherwise. From The Master in “The Strain” and the Elder Vampire in “Dracula: Untold” (yes, Orlok has now ‘officially’ crossed over into a Dracula tale!), to Voldemort.

The one thing that’s been missing for all these nine decades is why the Orlok-type vampires look the way they do. We can’t undo three centuries’ worth of humanizing vampires, after all, so there must be reasons as to why the Orlok-type vampires look different from vampires of basic human appearance. This is where most vampire novels and movies drop the ball, usually not explaining this in any detail, or using the “old master” mythos where vampires will eventually age to an Orlok-like appearance.

Until now, the best explanation for Orlok-type vampires comes from the Role-Playing Game “Vampire: The Masquerade”, wherein the Nosferatu are the most ‘vampiric’ of the seven playable vampire subspecies.

Vampire: The Masquerade – Nosferatu

The Nosferatu are one of seven playable clans in Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines. The damnedest of the damned, the Nosferatu are disfigured and have a frightening appearance. This means that they can only use sewers, and should they be seen by humans, they will violate the Masquerade. Due to this however, the Nosferatu have become very gifted at sneaking and hacking, which means they have information on almost everything and everyone. They gather information not only as a means of survival, but out of pure pleasure as well. The Nosferatu are ostracized by other vampires due to their appearance, but also their ability to dig up dirt on everyone. This doesn’t stop the leaders of other vampire clans to come to them when they need information, however.

When I set about creating the universe for my Vampire Syndrome Saga, I found many of the classic folkloric abilities attributed to vampires (ie. clinging to walls and ceilings, aversion to acidic plants such as onions and garlic, harmed/weakened by ultraviolet radiation/sunlight) would not make scientific sense for my living human Vampires. The human genome has millions of years worth of evolved tolerance of sunlight or garlic, and to undo these would require (basically) a ground-up total DNA rewrite to where the being would no longer be “human”.

So I created planet Sek’Met, and its race of humanoid alien carnivores. With aliens, the folkloric attributes I could not (personally) justify for human vampires became easy to rationalize scientifically for the Sek’Metian race, who evolved on a different planet, under different conditions.

And it follows that alien carnivore humanoids who evolved on a different planet would also have distinct appearance traits of their own. Which gave me the best explanation ever as to why Orlok-type vampires appear they way they do: They’re aliens!

A sketch that captures the essence of my character Syl’Tes 🙂
VTM Nosferatu Waiting by Oharisu

Book Signing this Saturday at 2nd & Charles FlatIron Crossing, Broomfield, Colorado

Can a Vampire with Down Syndrome survive, and even thrive?

Find out at my book signing this Saturday, April 4th, 2015, from 1pm to 5pm, at the 2nd & Charles store in FlatIron Crossing, Broomfield, Colorado. Get your copy of Vampire Syndrome signed, and check out the great selection of books, movies, games, music and musical instruments while you’re there.

2nd and Charles Signing Flyer Apr 2015 Negative

Vampire Syndrome Book Trailer

Here’s the first book trailer for Vampire Syndrome. An old-school creepy Halloween feel!

Book Signing at 2nd & Charles Aurora – January 24

Join me on Saturday, January 24, 2015, at 2nd & Charles in Aurora, Colorado.

I’ll be signing copies of the new mass market paperback of Vampire Syndrome.

2nd and Charles Signing Flier

Vampire Conspiracy – Sneak Peek into the Playlist

Now that the main text of “Vampire Conspiracy” (book two of the Vampire Syndrome saga) is finished (and being edited by PDMI), I’m working on peripherals, such as the glossary and the playlist.

A brief glimpse into Chapter 32, “Deconstruction Crew”:

Jack:

“Are you sure about this?” Razvan asks us.

“We’re positive,” I answer.

“We’d like to drive back ourselves,” Coach Ron says.

“Do you want motorcycle escorts?” Petra asks.

“Thanks, but we should be fine,” Diane replies.

“A lot of people runnin’ and hidin’ tonight,
A lot of people won’t get no justice tonight.”
“Armagideon Time”, original version by Willie Wilson

Yes, Officer, I’m An Author.

Here at PDMI Publishing, LLC, our Authors are a most diverse lot, covering a wide social spectrum within the diverse halls of our company. Our Authors create oil paintings, host Civil War re-enactments, work with film producers, roleplay at Science Fiction conventions, host educational events for children, caregive for the homebound, and cruise around in loud musclecars.

Wait a minute, did I just say “cruise around in loud musclecars?” Yes, I did. For, you see, I, PDMI Publishing, LLC Author Daven Anderson, am a lifelong “gearhead”, as devoted to the piston as I am to the keyboard.

Many outside our supercharged world of cruising machines view us “gearheads” as being barely above the status of motorcycle gangs, and cast many churlish presumptions our way. Least not of which is a predisposition that our social circle can barely read books, let alone write them.

Earlier today, I joined a few dozen of my “tribe” for a cruise. Two of the cruisers found themselves subject to some heated discussions and even group ridicule for their actions. One unfortunate petrol soul admitted to filling his vintage musclecar with regular-grade gasoline, and then asked for help with his car’s resultant degraded performance.

Another car owner had placed a most indefatigable brand of braggart lettering on his trunklid, advising cars behind him that they could not defeat his “unbeatable” street machine. His car did indeed look the part, with a fiberglass hood and racing tires usually found only on the very fastest of street cars. Alas, under the mighty hood rested a tired engine that would not be able to beat the average Joe’s V6 Honda Accord.

These two car owners were forced to endure some harsh critiques of their rolling stock. These most animated discussions soon reached the point where some “innocent bystanders” decided to summon the local gendarmes to ascertain the true nature of these dialogue exchanges.

One such official representative of the community offered an informed critique regarding the modifications of my car. I agreed with Mister Officer’s opinion that my car’s flat black hood and A-pillar gauge cluster did, in fact, contradict the “sleeper” customizations on the rest of the car. I further clarified that I was “a man of contradictions,” stating that I was not just a “gearhead”, but a published Author as well.

Mister Officer read the back cover of Vampire Syndrome, as I read its book blurb aloud, stating “Daven’s love of musclecars and the open road led to the Vampires’ high-octane adventures all across the beautiful state of Colorado.”

Much to my delight, I overheard Mister Officer explaining to some of the “innocent bystanders” that one of the ransacking Vandal Visigoths before them was, in fact, a published Author.

One of the main missions of my Vampire Syndrome saga is to combat prejudice. My protagonist Jack Wendell, a Vampire with Down Syndrome, helps others to overcome their prejudices against his kind. Jack would be proud that today, I did my part to vanquish some negative assumptions people make about my “tribe.”

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