Happy Draculas Release Day

Three of the four authors of the new gory horror novel Draculas -- Blake Crouch, Joe Konrath (Jack Kilborn), and F. Paul Wilson -- are all contributors to the Hint Fiction anthology, so I thought it would be more than fitting to let you know their new e-book has officially been released today.

If you're familiar at all with Konrath, you know he's somewhat become the king of e-book self-publishing, and this new experiment is no exception. Four major authors, one low price of $2.99. But you don't just get the novel. The e-book also contains deleted and alternate scenes, along with notes from the authors. Even better, at the very end is an "Exclusive Behind-the-Scenes Making of Draculas" that contains a series of e-mails between the authors and how the idea came about and how they worked together to make the finished product.

I got an advanced copy of the e-book but haven't had that much time yet to really sink my teeth into it. (Like that vampire reference?) I'm only about a quarter of the way in, and as you would expect, it's gory. Really gory.

Because people's favorite and least favorite books and movies always intrigue me, I asked the authors what their favorite and least favorite vampire books and movies are. Here's what they said:

Joe Konrath: My fave vampire books are Vampires by John Steakly, They Thirst by Robert McCammon, Midnight Mass by F. Paul Wilson, and Salem's Lot by Stephen King. I also loved The Keep by that Wilson guy, though technically it only begins as a vampire book and then becomes something much bigger.

Near Dark blew me away when I first saw it in the theater. For sheer fun, you still can't beat Fright Night. Udo Kier is THE best Dracula in Andy Warhol's Dracula. And for flat-out scary, 30 Days of Night featured some really frightening bloodsuckers. And, of course, The Night Stalker. If we're talking old school, I enjoyed House of Dracula and the original Nosferatu, plus Last Man on Earth which was the inspiration for Night of the Living Dead which was the inspiration for Draculas.

The worst? I'm going to be criticized for saying so, but the original Dracula with Bela Lugosi is static, clunky, and overly melodramatic. Compare that with the Spanish version, shot at the same time, which is a much better movie. The "so bad it's good" category has Dracula vs. Frankenstein, with a silent Lon Chaney Jr. drinking his way through the role. Taste of Blood by Herschel Gordan Lewis is two hours long, with three minutes of entertainment value. It's a tie between The Hunger and A Vampire in Brooklyn for the most embarrassing big budget vampire flick.

As for vampire music, I recommend Night of the Vampire by Roky Erikson, Possum Kingdom by Toadies, and Bloodletting by Concrete Blonde.

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F. Paul Wilson: Christopher Lee's original Horror of Dracula from Hammer remains my favorite. Least fave: ignoring the ones that were supposed to be bad, a toss-up between the Palance and Langella versions because they managed to make Dracula dull, with the final nod going to Langella's Dracula. Yeah, book-wise, Salem's Lot is tops for me.

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Blake Crouch: Sleepwalkers, the film based on Stephen King’s unpublished novel, would have to be far and away my least favorite. I really wanted to like 30 Days of Night. The premise is just off-the-hook, but it rang hollow for me. In terms of favorite books, I loved The Keep and Salem's Lot.

My favorite vampire movie, hands down, is Let the Right One In. I also love The Lost Boys.

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Jeff Strand: I haven’t seen it in twenty years and am scared to watch it again for fear that I’ll be suddenly ashamed of my love for it ... but I’m going to go with The Lost Boys. Honorable mentions to George Romero’s Martin, even though Martin may or may not be a real vampire, and Shadow of the Vampire.

I hate to repeat somebody else’s answer, but if you exclude cheesy micro-budget flicks, there’s really no worse vampire movie than A Vampire in Brooklyn.

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Now what about you, faithful blog readers? Tell us what your favorite or least favorite vampire book or movie is in the comments section. At midnight tonight I'll pick a random winner to receive a free PDF of Draculas. Have at it!