HOW TO KILL A VAMPIRE: FANGS IN FOLKLORE, FILM AND FICTION is my study of vampire destruction mythology, published 2013 by ECW Press.
Why do we stake vampires? Can sunlight kill them? What’s the deal with garlic? Silver? I’ve examined the origins all known ways to kill vampires, tracing folklore and superstition from around the globe and the evolution of the legend through great books and films, from Dracula through Hammer Horror to Anne Rice’s Lestat and True Blood. Most importantly to me, in exploring how and why these monsters have been created and the increasingly complex ways in which they are destroyed, the book not only serves as a handy guide to the history and modern role of the vampire, it reveals much about the changing nature of human fears.
As I’m writing this, the book is just about to be released. So far someone has called me a “Goth Mary Roach.” I can’t wait to see where this one takes me.
ENCYCLOPEDIA GOTHICA is my guide to Gothdom, from absinthe to zombies, published in 2011 by ECW Press.
It collects and defines more than 600 words and phrases —deathhawks! rivetheads! übergoth!— with biographical entries on goth icons such as Morticia and Robert Smith. It contains 23 original drawings by Gary Pullin.
The book has been well received by reviewers. In America, Alternative Press magazine called it “the last word on the dark rock scene” while UK’s Dominion praised its “dark and humourous spin that only an insider could give.” One of the greatest trips has been the enthusiastic responses from some of my favourite authors: Neil Gaiman sent me a lovely note thanking me for “getting it right.” Kat Von D tweeted “I never thought I’d enjoy reading an Encyclopedia front to back until I got my hands on this one.” Even the Vampire Queen herself, Anne, Rice, wrote that it was “thoroughly delightful.… too funny, too informative….”
A fun addition to the book is my original “Goth Band Family Tree” — where I’ve attempted to document the evolution of Goth music from its origins in 1970s punk, new wave and industrial through to the many sub-sub-genres of the 21st century. You can see the whole thing and play with an inter-active version on the Encyclopedia Gothica website:
ON TENTERHOOKS is my first poetry chapbook, published in 2008 by Burning Effigy Press.
I have described this collection as a dance with death. In my poems, girls drown in Texas floods, Mayan boys are massacred, body parts wash up on shore, and memories are ravaged by the cruel sands of time. Much of this was written while wandering far from home, from America’s Southern highways to the back alleys of Cairo, and I was particular haunted by the concept of The Missing. There is restless free verse, sonnets and glosas. There are monsters.
I’ve you’ve already read and enjoyed my books, I thank you. Comments, corrections and suggestions are most welcomed. If you would take a moment to give it a good word on Amazon or Goodreads or wherever you hang out to buy/talk books, I’d be most grateful.
And if you don’t have a copy yet, well….. order an autographed book from me!
Both ECW Press books are also widely available at your favourite bookseller or library, and as ebooks too. If you would like to order from Amazon, use these links and I get a cut. Thank you for your support!