If you’re no stranger to my blog, then you may remember when I helped reveal the cover of Strange Blood, an anthology of essays on vampire movies, edited by Vanessa Morgan. I’ve also had Vanessa on the blog before, to talk to her a bit about one of her novels, Clowders.
I’m happy to have Vanessa back today to answer a few more questions for us, this time related to largely to Strange Blood, a bit more about her own writing, and just a little about vampires. Please join me in welcoming her!
What drew you to compile and/or edit an anthology about vampire movies?
I really love working with other people and assembling their writings, because there are so many insanely talented and knowledgeable people out there, as well as incredible vampire movies that are worth discovering. I wanted to showcase both these writers and the films. However, the idea for the book isn’t mine. I work for the Offscreen Film Festival in Brussels, and last year, my boss suggested we’d dedicate part of our programme to unusual vampire movies. As soon as I started delving into it, I realized this would make for a great book as well.
Is there something in particular in the anthology that you’re looking forward to sharing with people?
Strange Blood is a mix between well-known and obscure movies from 23 different countries. As such, I’m certain that readers will discover many vampire movies they’ve never heard of before, not even vaguely. Some of them are even hard to find, unfortunately. That’s why I like putting together this type of book: to make readers discover amazing films they had no idea existed.
What was the most difficult part of editing the anthology?
Getting my writers to deliver their pieces on time. Another aspect I find really hard is having to refuse pieces.
Is this the first anthology that you’ve edited?
It’s the second one. My first anthology was When Animals Attack: The 70 Best Horror Movies with Killer Animals, which came out in 2016. I have several more ideas for film anthologies, and I can hardly wait to start the next one.
You’ve written fiction in the past—do you prefer working on fiction or non-fiction? Why?
It changes, but I generally prefer writing non-fiction, just because it’s easier for me.
What draws you to the horror genre as a whole?
I’ve always been interested in horror, even from an early age. Difficult to say where it comes from, but I think it has to do with finding a way of dealing with fear and the darker sides of life.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
No matter how hard or even impossible a project seems, you’ll be able to finish it without outside help; just believe in yourself.
What books or magazines about writing would you most recommend other writers read?
On Writing by Stephen King.
What does literary success look like to you?
If the majority of my target audience likes my books and they’re selling consistently.
And finally, if you had to choose only one vampire movie that you could watch for the rest of your life, which would it be and why?
That would be Let’s Scare Jessica to Death – without any doubt. It’s been my favorite horror movie for over 20 years now, and chances are it’ll still be my favorite 20 years from now.
About Strange Blood
This is an overview of the most offbeat and underrated vampire movies spanning nine decades and 23 countries.
Strange Blood encompasses well-known hits as well as obscurities that differ from your standard fang fare by turning genre conventions on their head. Here, vampires come in the form of cars, pets, aliens, mechanical objects, gorillas, or floating heads. And when they do look like a demonic monster or an aristocratic Count or Countess, they break the mold in terms of imagery, style, or setting.
Leading horror writers, filmmakers, actors, distributors, academics, and programmers present their favorite vampire films through in-depth essays, providing background information, analysis, and trivia regarding the various films. Some of these stories are hilarious, some are terrifying, some are touching, and some are just plain weird. Not all of these movies line up with the critical consensus, yet they have one thing in common: they are unlike anything you’ve ever seen in the world of vampires. Just when you thought that the children of the night had become a tired trope, it turns out they have quite a diverse inventory after all.
About Vanessa Morgan
Vanessa Morgan is the author of several fiction and non-fiction books in the horror genre. Three of her stories (The Strangers Outside, Next to Her and A Good Man), have become movies. When she’s not working on her latest book, you can find her reading, watching horror movies, digging through flea markets, or photographing felines for her blog Traveling Cats.