Sunday, June 19, 2016

Discover how a Comedian Writes Horror

Author Robert Ryan

Hello everyone! I’m Robert Ryan, horror novelist, but don’t be afraid. Renee has built a nice fire and made this a cozy place to gather around and chat about Dracula Lives. As Dracula himself says in Bram Stoker’s classic novel:

“Enter freely. Go safely, and leave something of the happiness you bring!”

As a writer of horror novels, my ultimate goal is to scare the bejeezus out of people, but I am a comedian by nature—even dabbled in standup years ago. I love to laugh and make people laugh. One of the cornerstones of my philosophy is that laughter is the medicine of the world. But seriously folks…

I took an early retirement several years ago to pursue the goal of having a second career as a novelist. I had gone the traditional route, writing query letters, getting an agent, and so on. The rejections got more encouraging, but they were rejections nonetheless. Then Amazon changed everything with their self-publishing Kindle platform. I re-wrote the novel that had been rejected as The Root Of All Evil and published it as 2013: Beyond Armageddon. It spent six months on one of Amazon’s bestseller lists, got about a hundred reviews, and—voila! The dream had become reality.

Dracula Lives by Robert Ryan
Here’s the Cliff’s Notes version of Robert Ryan (friends call me Bob):

We lived behind the neighborhood movie theater, and my mother took me to everything from the time I was barely out of diapers. When I reached the ripe old age of about six, I couldn’t wait for the Saturday creature features. Giant mutant bugs, the monsters of Ray Harryhausen, Roger Corman’s Poe films, and the frightfests of William Castle were among the early influences that warped my writer’s muse into a breeding ground for—to borrow a line from Morbius in Forbidden Planet—my 
“Monsters from the Id.” On the literary front I soon discovered Edgar Allan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft and followed the trail they blazed into Poe’s “ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir.”

All of that somehow came together as the inspiration for Dracula Lives. Writers are always told to “write what you know.” I kept thinking how much I loved the classic horror from Universal Studios that I had watched so many times—Dracula, Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, and what became known as their “monster rally” movies, in which they combined as many monsters as they could: Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, Ghost of Frankenstein, House of Frankenstein, and so forth. I kept thinking: “What if I could capture the feel of a monster rally in a novel?”

2013: Beyond Armageddon by Robert Ryan
The seed from which the novel grew was the idea of having someone who worked on Dracula in 1931 being still alive. From there I started—to use Poe’s words from The Raven—“linking fancy unto fancy,” and that became Dracula Lives. The dedication reads: “This novel is dedicated to all those who love the classic monsters from Universal Studios.”

See you in the haunted places I call The Shadowland. Best Regards to all—and don’t forget to tip your waitresses!

Check out Robert on his website

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