Readers of borg.com will be familiar with Kim Newman. For years he has been a favorite horror and fantasy writer of millions of readers across the globe. I have reviewed two of his novels in his Anno Dracula series here in the past two years, Dracula Cha Cha Cha (the re-release made our Best of 2012 list) and Johnny Alucard, reviewed here this month. The Anno Dracula books describe a detailed and complex parallel world where Bram Stoker’s Dracula was a biographical account of a real vampire and vampires were integrated into our culture over the course of a century. Kim graciously agreed to an interview with me recently about the latest book in his Anno Dracula series.
CB: Kim, thanks for chatting with us here at borg.com today about your new release Johnny Alucard.
KN: Thanks for having me.
CB: Were there any real world people or fictional characters from early drafts of Johnny Alucard (or in prior Anno Dracula novels) that were left on your “cutting room floor”? Any that you still want to find a home for in the Anno Dracula universe?
KN: The novel features various real filmmakers/artists who talked about – or got quite far on with – Dracula projects that didn’t happen, or who made Draculas that aren’t the ones I imagined. Ken Russell (whose Dracula script has been published) and Ingmar Bergman (who talked about being interested in the book) were on the list, but I couldn’t see a way of including them. I do cast around for some key players – when I needed a fictional Los Angeles cop for a part, I could have selected several 1970s TV characters though the one I went with is the best fit. That whole section of the book is informed a lot by 1970s TV shows, especially The Rockford Files – but I didn’t see a way of including Jim Rockford as a character since I’d used another LA private eye in an earlier chapter and he’d just have repeated the lesson. I tend not to list characters I’d like to use and then find excuses for them – I think of the situations, the story points, or where my main characters are, and then look around for real or borrowed fictional or amalgamated characters who suit the purposes of the set-up.
CB: What kind of feedback have you received from living people who have ended up in your Anno Dracula series?