Saturday, April 23, 2011

My Dark Muse#2: Dracula in My Bookshelf

It took me two years from when I saw Bela Lugosi in the 1931 Dracula to find the Bram Stoker novel from which it —after being wrung through the wringer of a stage adaptation—took flight. 

1965. I was around ten. Believe it or not, despite its eerie shadow over western culture, a copy of Dracula was hard to come by back then. In fact, it had never been a real bestseller. Critics liked it more than readers. It was one of the most highly-praised novels of its day. 

But it failed to provide for the security of Stoker and his family. After the novel's 1897 publication, its author kept his day job as theater manager and over-worked secretary to Victorian
stage superstar Henry Irving,  thought to be the fire for Stoker’s magnificent titular character.

Both an aunt and a grandmother (on my mother’s side) recalled having a copy, but it had vanished. I recall a family friend describing it as a “very thick book.” It remained a glinting flash from the corner of my eye.

 [And so now I see Mina Harker returning home one evening, looking up to see Lucy Westenra slumped across her bedroom window sill “fast asleep, and by her, seated on the window sill was something that looked like a good-sized bird.”

The bird has of course, vanished when Mina reaches Lucy’s bedroom.]

You can imagine the leap in my boy-soul when I finally found a Laurel/Dell paperback edition in a local department store (maybe Caldor’s, one of the first discount department stores, known for its book section). I must have pained my poor mother as I pleaded with her to buy it for me. I was on an
allowance of 25 cents a week then; I’d probably already spent my weekly quarter.

The cover seemed coated in blue frost. It portrayed Dracula in a cameo profile, against ancient bricked castle walls, exactly as Stoker so well described him: blue-white face, skin like a coarse alabaster, bladed teeth, pin-point ears, high cheekbones, aquiline nose, vicious fire-yellow eyes,
fine mustache and long silver hair. (A bit, I realized some years later, like Charlton Heston, who, mysteriously, never played the Caped Conniver. He would have been great, equal to the triumvirate of Schreck, Lugosi and Lee, maybe even better . . .  but we’ll talk movies later.)

I read Dracula every night in bed, aloud to myself, with great whispered flourishes, over a period of a few weeks, in the little upstairs bedroom I’d recently taken over from my oldest brother, in the small bed whose mattress sagged on the right side. I quickly sensed it was better than the sometimes stiff, undernourished movie whose dark star had snared my psyche.

I’ve read it fives times since, most recently in an edition annotated by Leslie S. Klinger. No matter how I matured, how my literary tastes were refined over the decades by canon classics by Steinbeck, Kantor, Shakespeare, Joyce, Williams, Chekov, Twain, Pynchon, Heller, Hemingway and many more,
its title would pop from my mouth whenever the question of favorite novels slipped into conversation.

I’ve always been easily embarrassed, but even though eyes rolled, noses sniffed, and pursed looks of puritan disapproval snapped my way—often from prudish lofty-minded types, disdainful of the energy and imagination found in the best genre literature--I always called it one of my favorite novels.

In 1974, I was delighted to discover that I was not alone in this amoral enchanted castle. A scholar named Leonard Wolf (father of feminist author Naomi Wolf) assembled the first Annotated Dracula. It remains nearly the best of the illustrated editions, thanks to an artist named Wilfried Sätty. Inspired by Gustave Dore, Sätty captures the eerie Gothicism of Stoker’s tale in pen-and-ink collages. They’re sunk in ancient atmosphere, with the buried energy of a dark world trembling under their elaborate cross-hatched surfaces. That Wolf himself was born in Transylvania only added to this version’s mystique. I found the annotations informative and captivating, though I gather Wolf updated them in a later edition.

Wolf was one of Dracula’s Freudian interpreters, as he made more explicit in his later non-fiction book, A Dream of Dracula. This book clarified for me how the novel was very much about forbidden sex, as seen by Victorians. I have no stake to pound through that view—Stoker would certainly agree with it. But in the hundred years since, that interpretation has ossified into another of those limiting ideologies that leads, among other things, towers of unimaginative formula fiction and boring movies.

Like all ideologies, Leonard Wolf’s leaves out a lot, crowding out other, equally worthy, representations. Before Freud and Stoker, for example, the Dracula figure was portrayed (in folklore and penny dreadfuls such as Varney the Vampire) as an aristocrat draining the life from the powerless bourgeois or peasants who lived under his brute bloody thumb. Dragon’s Ark nods back to this notion, with extra Nietzschean pizzazz. “Like a Superman of Evil,” someone once remarked to me . . .
but now, you should go buy the book for yourself.

Dracula is a palimpsest, a totem to carve our imaginations from. Artists and writers can see him as they please.

In recent years, I’ve taken to collecting illustrated editions of the novel whenever funds allow. For a brief moment, I considered collecting every single edition ever published . . . there are hundreds upon hundreds by now . . . but then that would have marked me a Renfieldien madman, wouldn’t it?

My favorite illustrated edition is Charles Keeping’s, published in 1988, horrific pen and ink drawings that interpret Dracula and his world as otherworldly savages, steeped in foul aggressive
decay. Keeping draws Dracula in near Lovecraftian terms--a bald, wormy Invader from Beyond the Stars, merciless, grotesque.

The edition illustrated by Edward Gorey seems hastily assembled and disappointed, while another with oil paintings by Greg Hildebrandt feels posed, stagy and lacks energy, its characters stiff and waxy.

There are two new versions out yet to slip into my shelf, one with illustrations by an artist named Jae Lee and a recent edition with illustrations by Ben Templesmith, which looks very intriguing.

Leslie Klinger’s annotation contains no illustrations and could use them. Despite the commendable research done for this volume, Klinger takes a Po-Mo approach, teasingly treating the novel as being based on actual real events, with both Dracula and Stoker masterminding a cover up of “what really
happened.” Some may find this amusing, and cannot criticize the idea of re-imagining Dracula, since I’ve done so myself.

Still, I found Klinger’s annotations distracting. They obscure the actual history and literature behind Stoker’s only masterwork. Whatever opinions we might hold of Stoker as a writer, this
approach seems to diminish the strange fever that drives this work and its remarkable accomplishment—a novel that, in the hands of most other writers, might well have been a forgotten
potboiler, but it has haunted along the borders of western consciousness for over a hundred years.

But what about Dracula the novel anyway? Is it really any good? I’ll take that up next time.

Photo by Author

Copyright 2011 by Thomas Burchfield

Thomas Burchfield's contemporary Dracula novel Dragon's Ark  is available right NOW, published by Ambler House Publishing and can be ordered through your local independent bookstore, through Amazon, Barnes and Noble and will be available as an e-book by the end of April. Other essays and postings can also be read at The Red Room website for writers. He can also be friended on Facebook, tweeted at on Twitter and e-mailed at tbdeluxe [at] sbcglobal [dot] net.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Unfinished Business #8: Other Mistakes That Weren't Made


Last Sunday, I delivered what I hope will be the first in a series of readings and speeches to promote my novel Dragon’s Ark  at the monthly meeting of the California Writers Club—Berkeley Branch.

I’m a trained actor with a Bachelor’s in Speech-Theatre (U.W.-Oshkosh) and I’ve spoken off and on over the years. I spent days preparing my reading selection and speech, rehearsing them once, twice, three times a day, timing them against the kitchen clock. On the last day, I realized it lacked music that would make some parts funnier and edited it some more.

Still, every time I get up in front of a crowd is, in a sense, like the first time. Butterflies stroked their wings against the lining of my belly, a hoard to draw Nabokov’s net from his bag. (Careful with the boots there, Professor!)

Still, it all went all right.

My lips did not freeze. My tongue did not swell and flop from my mouth. I did not forget to zip my fly and did not trip on my way to the podium. I did not forget to thank anyone immediately important, especially Elizabeth. I did not stand too close to the microphone. I did not stand too far away from the microphone. Nor I did I knock the microphone over with a grand, sweeping gesture.

My hat did not fly off to expose my bald scalp. No one demanded I take it off, either. Nor did it catch fire, like straw hats do.

I did not read from one of the more violent, grotesque sections of my book to this comparatively conservative--in the old non-debased sense--crowd. Nor did I read one of the more boring parts.

I did not mumble and I did not drool. Nor did I vomit, shake, cough, sneeze, or otherwise faint. I suffered no sudden muscle cramps.

I did not stumble over or gulp my words. I neither read too fast, nor read too slow. I did not lose my place. My reading did not go over time and neither did my follow-up speech. My explanation for why I wrote a Dracula novel--adapted from here—did not cause apparent offense, draw visible sneers and did not fail to bring at least some laughter where I hoped it would.

My mild Bela Lugosi impersonation did not sound like Sarah Palin’s.   

I do not think I came off as liking Dracula too much. Or too little.

I did not lose my way or stare numbly into space or anytime experience the falling sense of having nothing to say. I was not at a loss for words. I did not pick up too many and throw them about either.

No word was more than ten letters long.

The audience did not snort, they did not boo, they did not throw food. No one attacked the stage. I, in turn, attacked no one.

Most importantly, no one slept.

Not many questions were asked. I did not have to answer whether or not I was a vampire, though I answered anyway for the ten-cent chuckle. I did not have to answer whether I thought Gary Oldman made a better Dracula than Christopher Lee (Answer not given: Are you kidding!?); nor whether Gilbert

Gottfried should be cast as the lead in the movie version of my book.

When they applauded, I did not hit my head on the podium as I bowed. I did not say “Fuck you very much” instead of “Thank you very much.”

Nor did I refer to that day's main speaker, Matt Stewart, as "a hack." I did not trip as I left the podium or rush straight to the men’s room.

Afterward, I did not sell ten books. I did not sell seven. Of the checks made out to me, I altered none of them to pay for a chalet in Switzerland, a dacha in Russia, or a cottage in Somerset. I did not autograph my books with graceful flair, nor did I inscribe them with my initials instead of my long name.

(As Richard Nixon once said to Bruce Springsteen while Springsteen was signing autographs: “You know Bruce, it must be tough to have such a long name! I bet it makes it hard to sign autographs. President Eisenhower had a long name, too, and you know what he said to me once while signing autographs? He said, ‘Dick, you’re lucky you’ve got a short name!’”)

In short, unlike the Nixon Presidency and so much human history, nothing went wrong.

I wonder: Should I do it again?

Copyright 2011 by Thomas Burchfield
Photo by Elizabeth Burchfield

Thomas Burchfield's contemporary Dracula novel Dragon's Ark  is available right NOW, published by Ambler House Publishing and can be ordered through your local independent bookstore, through Amazon, Barnes and Noble and will be available as an e-book by the end of April. Other essays and postings can also be read at The Red Room website for writers. He can also be friended on Facebook, tweeted at on Twitter and e-mailed at tbdeluxe [at] sbcglobal [dot] net.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Unfinished Business #7: Praying for a Flood

A couple of weeks ago, I sent the final files for my ripping horror yarn Dragon’s Ark into Lightning Source/Ingram: Its short, sometimes pot-holed road to publication was reaching its terminus. I received my first copy at the end of March. It’s a lovely cover as you can see—or at least lovely in the Gothic sense: stark, hypnotic, forceful, brilliant.

In the run-up during the weeks before, Joel Friedlander, my interior designer, suggested planting a few words from one of the blurbs I’ve received on the front page, under my byline. I selected some of David Corbett’s kind and excellent words, but when I presented it to cover designer Cathi Stevenson, she couldn’t make them fit. Nor, I decided, would they have fit well higher up the cover because they might have distracted from the “Dragon’s” cruel, compelling stare. I love it as it is, how he grabs the eyes, unapologetic in his ruthless intelligence and ferocity, a character out of classic horror fiction. Like I always imagined Dracula would be.

I imagine bookstore customers coming upon it. They freeze suddenly, sunk into dumb hypnosis. They then marching stiffly over to the cashier: “Must . . . buy  . . . Dragon’s Ark . . .  mmm . . .  no . . .  buy TEN . . . copies . . . Dragon’s Ark.”

On March 31, I sent my approval for Dragon’s Ark to be released.

April 26, 2011, I thought. That day draws closer.  Plans started to congeal for the week leading up to that date. I ordered 22 copies from Ingram (my credit card screamed as its flesh was torn once again), ten of which will be for sale at my first public reading on Sunday, April 17; the rest for individual sales and gifts.

I suppose I should have waited awhile. The next day, April 1, 2010, my email box displayed a Facebook message from lovely FB friend Janna Shoemaker:

“I ORDERED your book Dragon's Ark from Amazon, I should be getting it in a week!! I CANT WAIT TO READ IT :D Thanks ! ;).”

I stammered out a reply, something along the lines of: er, um, really wasn’t intending on releasing it now you know. I was kinda gonna wait . . . .

And then I sighed . . . Oh, the hell with it . . . Let's go! as Pike Bishop says in The Wild Bunch.

You can buy Dragon’s Ark right now at your local bookstore (the ethical preferred method), or you can order it here at the non-taxpaying corporation called Amazon, at Barnes and Noble, or you can wait a couple weeks until it’s ready for the KindleNookPad.

Since then, I’ve found two text errors. I won’t tell you what they are. For those who collect ephemera such as print and continuity errors in books, you’ll have to go out and buy a copy. (People do this with movies—even great ones—so I imagine they do it with books, too. A challenging exercise in detective work, not necessarily hostile.)

I’ll find more errors. Maybe some of you will tell me yourselves. However the news comes, it’s best not to think about it now, even though I know that there will be readers who throw books into the trash the second a comma slips or an unzipped modifier shows the slightest dangle.

I will receive bad reviews. I will also receive positive reviews. And I will receive views that are negative, but interested and thoughtful and speaking with a sound, quiet voice—“Nice try, Burchfield, but here’s where you went wrong.” I look forward to those. You have to step around in front of your ego if you want to be good at what you do.

As for persnickety Amazon flatheads, like John Waters’ Serial Mom, they only want to stick their scissors in someone, it doesn’t matter who, or why. The sticking of the scissors, the knowledge that they’re causing pain, that’s the thing. They’ve been with us since the dawn of consciousness, through the Hill at Calvary, through the last awful century and into this one. There’s no point in writing for them. It’s one of the things I hate most about the Internet. Sometimes I think the web is nothing but a chorus of psychopaths, drowning out the best voices among us.

And there will also be able to who simply “don’t like this kind of thing,” whether because it’s genre fiction or horror fiction. Or maybe they think I “should be writing something else.” Nothing I can do about them, either. No book has ever pleased everyone. Dragon’s Ark will definitely be no exception.

Whatever happens, I’m not waiting to shoot up the bestseller lists. I won’t even check my sales figures for a little while. It’ll be drips and trickles at first, maybe for quite along time to come. But I’ll praying for a flood.

No, I’m not Alfred A. Knopf. (Hell, even they’re not Alfred E. Knopf anymore). Instead, let’s pretend it’s 1957 and I’m Roger Corman—a hero to scrappy talented independent artists everywhere--trying to make the best movie I can on only a dime. Maybe the editing’s a tad choppy, the dialogue flat, the camerawork shaky . . .

. . .  but darn aren’t we having fun . . . ?

Or, I hope, aren’t you having fun?

Dragon’s Ark: Go for it.

(re-edited 4/11/11)

Thomas Burchfield's contemporary Dracula novel Dragon's Ark  is available right NOW, published by Ambler House Publishing and can be ordered through your local independent bookstore, through Amazon, Barnes and Noble and will be available as an e-book by the end of April. Other essays and postings can also be read at The Red Room website for writers. He can also be friended on Facebook, tweeted at on Twitter and e-mailed at tbdeluxe [at] sbcglobal [dot] net.

Announcement: "Dragon's Ark" by Thomas Burchfield. Now available in Paperback at Independent Bookstores, Amazon and B&N

A Tale of the Supernatural by Thomas Burchfield

For over a century, Dracula—the King of Nightmares, the Superman of Evil—has been quietly casting his dark and impish dreams in the sleeping souls of a High Sierra community, who only know him as the eccentric old recluse who lives under the forbidding peak known as Dragon’s Ark. But now, facing a modern world bent on cleansing the shadows from his enchanting, haunted world, the Vampire King brings a dying woman back from the brink and ensnares her in a grim, ruthless struggle with resort developers over the future of his mountain kingdom.

Dragon’s Ark is a weird, thrilling, and violent tale of supernatural power, intrigue, betrayal, and surreal bloody revenge that follows a fabulous legend’s bizarre and bloodthirsty quest to preserve his life and power against the relentless, dreamless light of the 21st century.

“Like a tightrope artist, Thomas Burchfield seems eerily at home walking the fine line between the comfortably familiar and the terrifying. His characters—people you'll recognize, and like—have all blundered much too close to the portal of the unknown. And what resides beyond that portal makes Hell look like Club Med. Dragon's Ark is not a book to read just before nodding off. Unless you're on very good terms with your nightmares.”

David Corbett, author of Do They See Me Running?

“Burchfield muscles his way into Stephen King country, like he’s Bram Stoker taking a stab at writing Our Town — the sort of entertainment where you transport Transylvania to the mountainous peaks of California. Population: a large and diverse cast of characters. Then grab a seat, in anticipation of the first droplets of blood”

Don Herron, author of The Dashiell Hammett Tour Book and Willeford

"Thomas Burchfield is a world-class master of suspense and makes a heavy statement on the blood-sucking exploitation that goes on all around us. Dracula not only lives in our world, he is our world. With a language clear and beautiful as a sunset, Burchfield leads you down the path of darkness"

John-Ivan Palmer, author of Motels of Burning Madness

Now Available from Ambler House Publishing
In POD Editions Through Lightning Source/Ingram, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble!
Coming Soon in e-book Editions!

For more information visit the Dragon’s Ark page at
E-mail: amblerhouse at
or call (510) 541-1991

Sunday, April 3, 2011

My Dark Muse: A Boy's Life with Dracula


I spent four years writing my novel Dragon’s Ark (due out April 26, available at your local independent bookstore, on Amazon and as an e-book). I’m spending even more sand grains trying to persuade everyone in the English-language reading world to open its creaking castle door.

As I buttonhole my way around town, I occasionally confront the following response:

 ”Dracula? That old thing? Again!? But . . . why?”

With a literary and cultural figure who has been raked over (or staked over) as much as Dracula, it’s a fair question that deserves as thorough an answer as I can give.

Honestly, I wrote Dragon’s Ark not because “vampires are hot right now.” I’d have written this book, Twilight, True Blood, or no. I don’t read much vampire fiction and, frankly, vampire hotness is a marketplace fluke I could have done without. It forces me to shout even louder with a tale that already storms through the mountain tops as it is.

Anyway, Dragon’s Ark is not a “vampire novel.” It’s a “Dracula novel,” to me a distinct entity, a singularity, a specific mythic personality that symbolizes a stark stain in the human psyche, an unpleasant unsettling idea about ourselves. It’s been digging itself out of my graveyard of nightmares for a long time.

And at last, in Dragon’s Ark, he is free.

When I was a kid in the early 1960s, the other boys wanted to grow up to be spacemen or cowboys, teachers or doctors, baseball or football players. Not me! I wanted to be Dracula! Not George Reeves as Superman in his fruity underpants and cape. I wanted to the original Man in Black. The King of Nightmares. The Superman of Evil.

I’ve loved Dracula from the moment I saw Bela Lugosi glide with his peculiar majesty down that cobwebbed castle staircase in the 1931 film version. Such grace and power! The air split in two before him as his words sang with peculiar, ethereal music: “The blood is the life, Mis-ter Renfield!” his
voice pouring down on wide-eyed Dwight Frye like poisoned syrup, his eyes blazing with a command you encounter only in the dark, a “morally fatal glamor” as Peter Straub puts it in his masterwork Ghost Story

“Listen to them! Children of the night! What music they make!” I love the implication burbling behind Lugosi’s interpretation here: how can mere mortal music compare to the moonlight song of wolves calling from a faraway land? Call of the wild, indeed!

I first saw Dracula on a weekday: “Movie of the Week” on WOR-TV Channel 9, one of my favorite channels. I must have been seven or eight. Of significance to Freudians, my father, a distinctly unpleasant man, had left several years before, though his shadow still hung like angry smoke in the fine old house down Red Mill Road. Everyone could smell the burned bridges.

A Freudian might say someone—or Some Thing heh-heh-heh--had to fill the parental vacuum. But I believe my response to Dracula was much more elemental than the cliché of absent fathers.

Anyway, I was a little boy, incapable of such insight. To me Dracula’s greatness—it struck like black lightning—lay in his freedom and his power.

Think about it: Dracula gets to stay up all night. He lives free in a world that never says “no,” a world without parents, bullies at home and school, teachers, police, government, or any of the rules that make the human world the fleshy rational prison it is.

And, most magical of all, Dracula controls the elements, down to the subatomic particles of his body. He can reform, shape-shift at will into a bat, a wolf and . . . Gee whiz, my young psyche whirled. Why stop at bats and wolves? What else can he do? If only I had such power!

He’s insolent toward the laws of physics and all humans freeze and tremble under his stare! He rules every living thing that passes by his hidden shadow. No one dares argue with him. If I were Dracula, every single bully at home and at school, would never lay their brutish hands on me again. They’d be my slaves or be gone in terrible grotesque suffering! By my wish, by my will, they would die! Die I say!

It took awhile to find a copy of Bram Stoker’s classic novel, a Dell/Laurel Leaf paperback for 25 cents from 1965, with Dracula looking like as Stoker described him so well, a bit like Charlton Heston too. I read the book all the way through and it was even better than the movie, which even I sensed was not as good as it should have been, even with Lugosi at its center. (But more about film and literary aesthetics later.)

I cast my own shadow as Young Dracula around the schoolyard at George Washington Elementary in Mohegan Lake and, later on, at Lakeland Middle School in nearby Cortlandt. I knew everything about all the other monsters in Universal Studio’s great pantheon of wonderfully impossible creatures: the Frankenstein Monster, the Wolf Man, the Mummy. But the Frankenstein Monster and the Wolf Man were
victims, unable to help who they were. Dracula chose his life, and so became their Lord and Master.

With much pleading, I persuaded my poor mother to buy me a subscription to Forrest J. Ackerman’s “Famous Monsters of Filmland” magazine. I even found a board game of “Dracula” (Object: escape from his castle, forgotten now, even on the Internet). 

The other kids, I’m sure, grew fairly sick of my monster obsession. The teachers worried about my taste for “blood-and-thunder,” as one put it. It became something of a joke. One afternoon, a kid named Christopher Ryan slipped and fell off the gym bleachers at Lakeland Middle School during a mild recess rumpus. As a teacher pulled Chris to his feet, he pointed at me: “He made me fall! He stared at me like Dracula!”

Ah . . . such Power wielded so shamelessly! It is, indeed, a good thing that children do not rule the world . . . or don't they?

As for the sexual implications underlying Dracula, that realization only came later and—unusually for me—I shrugged it off. As I grew older my ambitions to be a Sociopath with Supernatural Powers, or any kind of full-bore criminality, faded away, to be replaced with the prosaic, pragmatic liberalism
that marks my thinking now.

But still, the dream of Dracula remained alive, a shadow in shadows, especially when, in real life, I encountered similar individuals, mostly male, but all with one thing in common: a casual drive to dominate, to exploit, who often spoke glibly of freedom, but only cared for their own. I found them in the history books, in the news, and, sometimes, walking by my side, intelligent, calculating, charming, compelling but deadly to body and soul.

For me, Dracula has always been about freedom without attachment, power without responsibility, action without consequence, life without end, tempting things all, especially for the human male. I try to stir this theme to the surface of the blood-rich pool of Dragon’s Ark, something that I don’t
think any adaptation, film or fiction, has ever caught fully. In this book, I'm not digging up suppressed sexuality, drug addiction or moony teenage passion, but the craving for eternal life, absolute freedom and transcendent power.

In Dragon’s Ark, Dracula wants more than our blood.

For him, liberty and license are one and indistinguishable. The individual is all, inviolate and untouchable. He’s a Demon God who cheerfully thumbs his nose at an indifferent Universe, or scorns its oppressive Creator (against Whom he is a negative image, a bitter irony); a sociopathic terrorist who mocks whimpering, cowardly humanity; a vicious prankster who torments his enemies to insanity with cruel bizarre tricks while feeding off the dozing human cattle as though we were fuel dumps, happiest when the world is darkest.

As for the rest of us well, if we ain’t got it, too bad, bubs (though we may certainly and secretly envy him). The world I created in Dragon’s Ark is Dracula’s world. We just live in it, with, at best, only a dim awareness of our enslavement; a fascist/authoritarian dream for a certain kind of faux libertarian maybe, but a nightmare for everyone else.

Dragon’s Ark is also a love letter, if you will, to a fabulous legend, to a grand but deadly myth conjured from ancient myth, civilized history, and the childhood fantasies of one little boy. He’s a force of both nature and of our unexplainable selves, here, I hope, seen through a prism of a moral curiosity that is often absent from the fantasy lives of boys and always from the moral insanity that marks terrorists and tyrants alike.

(To be continued)

Photo by Author

Copyright 2011 by Thomas Burchfield

Thomas Burchfield's contemporary Dracula novel Dragon's Ark will be published April 26 by Ambler House Publishing and can be ordered through your local independent bookstore, through Amazon and as an e-book. Other essays and postings can also be read at The Red Room website for writers. He can also be friended on Facebook, tweeted at on Twitter and e-mailed at tbdeluxe [at] sbcglobal [dot] net.