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Sheri Lewis Wohl

Vampires and Werewolves and Ghosts, Oh My!

Month

March 2013

We’re all Irish for a day

I’ve always loved vampires…books, movies, TV shows (who didn’t watch the original Dark Shadows!) but it was an Irish writer who took my love of the undead to a new level. Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu’s short story “Carmilla” opened up a new world that ushered in a change in my life. When my mentor professor suggested I read the story as I was trying to narrow down the subject of my Master’s thesis, I thought it was just another vampire story. How wrong I was. Not only was it written 25 years before Dracula but the feature of the story was a female vampire. It was even more interesting because “Carmilla” wasn’t just a woman, she was a lesbian. Considering the story was written in 1872, it was fascinating for a whole bunch of reasons. I was off and rolling on researching my thesis. My focus was set.

It worked out great too. Not only did I thoroughly enjoy the research and the writing of the thesis but once finished, approved, and submitted, it was subsequently nominated for outstanding thesis of the year. A thesis on a vampire story. A thesis on a lesbian vampire story. The stuff of dreams for any paranormal buff.

It continued to work it’s magic. Some years later I wrote a novel featuring a lesbian vampire as the hero of the story. It was a joy to write. Incredibly freeing and personally gratifying. At first no one was interested. Sure, they all liked the storyline and liked my writing style, but…there was always a but. Until I met Radclyffe at Bold Strokes Books. I figured it would be a bust there too because of the parallel straight love story in the novel and I was wrong. Crimson Vengeance my tribute to my Master’s Thesis and Le Fanu’s progressive vampire story came out in 2011. I found a home with Bold Strokes Books and have never looked back.

All it took was one little Irish vampire story written 130+ years ago to set me on a vampire path that makes me smile every single day. Yeah, it’s good to be Irish even if it’s just for a day.

Imagination

I’ve always had an active imagination. In fact, some might even argue…over-active imagination. Where others see romantic moonlight, I see werewolves. Where others see glowing mist, I see vampires. It’s just the way I roll. Always was. Always will be.

SRiverCase in point…if you weren’t already aware, I do triathlons and distance running (although distance trotting might be a more accurate description of my running style) and this past weekend I participated in the Snake River Canyon Half Marathon. It is an out and back course along the river that cuts through the Snake River Canyon. Beautiful, beautiful area. But, because I am less than speedy, there were sections on the return portion where I found myself by myself. Okay with me, I like solitude and enjoying the beauty of my surroundings. EXCEPT…all of a sudden I noticed odd sounds coming from the canyon walls. Odd hissing sounds…in SNAKE River Canyon. All I could envision were coils of snakes on the rocks their glinty little eyes staring at lonesome me trotting along the road. Not just oh no, more like OH HELL NO!

Not surprisingly, my pace picked up until finally I couldn’t stand it anymore. I stopped dead in the road, closed my eyes and really listened. Then I laughed at myself. No hoards of snakes waiting to slither down and give me the big one. Nope, it was run off that because of the landscape simply sounded more like a snake than running water. Or perhaps to everyone else in the run it sounded like running water and to the lone paranormal writer trotting along by herself, imagination got the best of her. I’m not saying that’s what happened but then again it wouldn’t be the first time I saw or heard something far different from those around me.

Oh yes, imagination is a wonderful thing.

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