Episode 115A – Chris Denmead – Vlada

Overview

Chris Denmead hosts a midnight horror themed radio show The Dr. Chris
Radio of Horror show in Worcester MA. The show has been broadcasting
on 91.3 FM from the WCUW building since Oct, 2007 It Airs Sunday
night at 10pm. He recently published Vlada a Dracula Tale, a Graphic
Novella and Audio Book and Tie in Prequel Comic Book with artist Ken
Hunt. He gender swaps the cast of Dracula. He lives in Framingham MA.
He has one son and his Black Cat. When he is not writing books on the
most unusual filmmakers in New England, he is watching Godzilla
movies with his son or playing video games. He is an avid comic book
collector.

His Book

Favorites

That’s Entertainment – https://www.thatse.com/

YouTube

Transcript

[00:00:47] Stephen: Hello, welcome to episode one 15 of discovered word Smiths. Today. I have Chris DME on and Chris has done something fun and unique. He took the Bram Stoker classic of Dracula and rewrote it with gender, swapping all the roles and he turned it into a graphic novel. So I was really interested in this, cuz I love vampire stories.

I’ve been involved in a vampire anthology, which should be coming out this October. And um, they’re, they’re just one of my favorite reads. Uh, I’ve enjoyed reading Dracula and uh, the sequel and prequel that Daker has done with JD Barker and uh, others. So. It was a, a fun talk. Uh, it was nice to hear about this and if you’re interested in graphic novels, if you like vampires, this would be a good one to give a try.

So here’s Chris. Well, Chris, welcome to discovered word Smith. You said you’re feeling a little under the weather today. Sorry about that. Hope. Hope you get better here. It’s June. So before we talk about your book, tell us a little bit about yourself, where you live, what you like to do outside of writing, hobbies, that type of.

[00:01:57] Chris: I live in Massachusetts in the Middlesex county area. I’ve been a writer for probably a DEC, you know, over a decade, including poetry as well. And at least going back to when I was like 19 now. And I’ve also been a, uh, the host of a radio show in Worcester mass for the last 15

[00:02:15] Stephen: years. Wow. Nice. What’s the radio show about

[00:02:20] Chris: called radio horror?

[00:02:22] Stephen: What, what, what, what do you do on it? What’s it.

[00:02:25] Chris: It’s called radio of horror. It’s a horror thing. And radio show directors, actors, writers, musicians, come on the show. We interview them. Okay, cool. Plus playing music as well. Cause it is a, a broadcasting show on the dial. All right.

[00:02:39] Stephen: And do you have any special hobbies or anything you do outside of your writing and podcast in that

[00:02:45] Chris: that’s taken up so much of my time.

I mean, I ride my motorcycle. No, sir, that’s really a hobby. I guess some people consider to be a hobby and I’m a avid comic book collector. Who’s your

[00:02:55] Stephen: favorite comic book series? That’s

[00:02:59] Chris: I don’t know if I have a favorite series. Things have like been up and down and crazy in the comic book industry, but Spidermans, I’ll just say Spiderman is my favorite comic book character.

So

[00:03:06] Stephen: I agree. I love Spiderman. He’s been my favorite forever. My son works at a comic store, so I hear

[00:03:11] Chris: all the new, I don’t have one specific book. That’s my favorite, I guess I did. But again, it’s been ebb and flow. So I would just say Spider-Man when people ask me that.

[00:03:19] Stephen: All right. So you said you’ve been writing since 19.

What made you wanna start writing? Excuse me.

[00:03:27] Chris: I just, I guess probably like creative freedom. Okay. And you said I don’t have a really great answer for that question when I get asked it, you know, I don’t, I don’t have an answer for it. Okay.

[00:03:39] Stephen: All right. You just,

[00:03:40] Chris: I’m just right to write. I don’t have any reason why I’m doing it.

I don’t have any like clear agenda with bladder. It’s just the agenda to get the book done. And then do like the spinoffs and the expansion stuff that we’re working on. But otherwise I don’t have a, like a writer’s agenda, you know, I’m just writing because it’s freedom.

[00:03:55] Stephen: Okay. Yeah. And that’s what a lot of writers, the reason they do it, the creativity, the freedom.

So I take it you’re independently published, correct?

[00:04:04] Chris: Yes. I have a couple things that are with publishers that are gonna be coming out, but I don’t wanna get into what they are cause they’re not out. But I, majority of my stuff is independently published, but the two things that are coming I’m pretty excited about.

So they’re, uh, it’s a, what I will say. It’s a publishing company that publishes a lot of like behind the scene history of media. They’re not a fiction publishing company.

[00:04:27] Stephen: Okay. All right. So tell us about your book. It’s a vampire book, which I love vampire stories. So very interested.

[00:04:35] Chris: Yes. Did you get a chance to read it?

[00:04:37] Stephen: Oh, um, unfortunately with a busy work in family life, I don’t really get to read all the books for the interview. So I have not yet, but it’s on my list.

[00:04:48] Chris: We, uh, called Vlada a Dracula tale. We gender swap the cast of Dracula. Oh, nice.

[00:04:55] Stephen: Okay. Tell, tell us a little bit about the, the book without giving away all the plot.

[00:05:00] Chris: It’s the plot is 125 years old. I mean, it’s, it’s the same kind of Dracula story you are fulfillment familiar with, but we just take the characters and gender swap ’em and then add a few little tweaks to the story here and there. But the story beats of the original novel are still in there.

[00:05:16] Stephen: Okay. And why did you choose to write a vampire book and gender swap everybody?

[00:05:22] Chris: Cause nobody had done it before. And you that’s, that’s honestly the reason why nobody had done it before and I liked Dracula. Cool. I object upon myself to do

[00:05:33] Stephen: it. Have you seen the prequel and the sequel that Daker Stoker had put out?

[00:05:40] Chris: Yes I’m. I’m I’m I’m friends with him. He’s been on my show

[00:05:43] Stephen: before. Oh, nice.

Yeah. I, I talked to him at our writer’s conference. I was at cool. Yes. And he’s a very nice guy. JD Barker too. Who helped write the pre.

[00:05:53] Chris: Yes. I have his book. I have their books right here next to me in my vampire library. Yeah. I wanted to

[00:05:57] Stephen: go to horror Fest, hoping to get both their signatures on my book, but I wasn’t able to make it maybe next year.

So the book is the book already out?

[00:06:07] Chris: Yeah, it

came

[00:06:07] Stephen: out two years ago. Okay. And you said you’ve got some plans for

[00:06:11] Chris: it came out, sorry. It was Kickstarter two years ago. It came out last year, so, okay. It’s still pretty new. Okay, cool. And, and, and then there’s comic book tie-ins and audio books. That we did in a short film, and then there’s a short story collection coming this fall.

[00:06:25] Stephen: Nice. And, and how well received has the book been feedback from readers, especially other vampire book readers.

[00:06:33] Chris: For the most part, it’s been pretty positive with just the exception of a couple people needing to remind me that. Camilla came first and Elizabeth bathy and I was just like, okay, I don’t care.

I don’t know what the point is of making that comment. I don’t understand if you’re just like needing to be heard and trolling my post because I don’t care. It just seems like that’s the worst thing that people will say is like, oh, well, Dracula, just to rip off a Camilla and so on and so forth. It’s like when people see Elvira get posted about something, they wanna like, just swoop right in about vampire and be like, oh, Avira just ripped off vampire.

Oh, vampire is so popular, but Elvira’s been around for 42 years or whatever. And, and, and merchandise galore. What are you doing? Right. I just don’t like the trolling comments is the only thing I’ve ever had to worry about. And I. I’ve been told not to engage by my artist and sometimes I do. And sometimes I don’t.

Okay.

[00:07:24] Stephen: Did, you said you talked to Daker on your radio show. Did he get a chance to read your book

[00:07:29] Chris: 10 years ago? So I don’t remember a lot about it. ah, got it. OK. That was a long time ago. He came on the show, but I’ve run into him a few times, so, and we’re friends on Facebook. Nice,

[00:07:37] Stephen: nice. Yeah, he’s a good guy.

So if you had a choice, would you rather see this turned into a movie or a TV show?

[00:07:47] Chris: I mean it could go either or, but I would definitely, I would definitely make sure that I took a hit on whatever it is. The payment to the author would be. So I can have some creative control.

[00:08:00] Stephen: Okay. I know a lot of people are interested nowadays in the streaming services, Netflix and stuff, putting it on there.

I know Hugh Howey’s Netflix

[00:08:09] Chris: has got aula thing coming on their channel. They’re not gonna touch me.

[00:08:12] Stephen: well, others have it, but I know Hugh Howey’s doing a series I forget for who. So there’s a lot more interest nowadays for that type of thing.

[00:08:20] Chris: Yeah. There’s a Dracula series from BBC that’s on Netflix and then there’s cult of Dracula by rich Davis.

That’s gonna be on Netflix. Definitely would have to be somebody else. Okay.

[00:08:31] Stephen: If you had a choice Disney

[00:08:32] Chris: call Disney calls and says, we’re gonna make this next Disney princess, we’re gonna golf. I’ll be like, sure. Got

[00:08:37] Stephen: it. Okay. Um, and now tell us, uh,

[00:08:40] Chris: I sold myself to Disney for my creation to wipe out all my debt and help my son.

Yes, I did. Um, tell

[00:08:46] Stephen: us, uh, where we can find your book. What services is it available on? And do you have a.

[00:08:52] Chris: I don’t have a website, but it’s on, excuse me. It’s on Etsy, Amazon and Facebook marketplace. Plus there’s a lot of stores in the, uh, new England area that carry it. You can go to your local comic store and ask them to carry it.

And they’ll usually, you know, get ahold of me. I’ve had stores get ahold of me asking, can we get copies of that book? You know, what’s our comic book store fee. It’s cuz it’s a graphic pros novel more than a comic book. And, but there are comic books that are tied into it as well, so.

[00:09:17] Stephen: Okay. And you said a lot of local stores are carrying.

[00:09:21] Chris: Local to me in Massachusetts, local to my artist, Ken hunt, he’s the illustrator for the entire thing. Plus the, the, the second comic book that we did, plus he and I are working on the hard cover right now. So he lives down in the Maryland, Pennsylvania, DC area, Virginia. So there’s a lot of stores down there that carry it.

And then a lot of stores up here in Massachusetts and a couple, you know, in the other states like Rhode Island and New Hampshire that Carrie it as well. But if you have a hard time trying to get it at those, you know, any stores. Silver, moon comics, vamp, fangs, and Salem. Those are the two biggest ones I would go to.

Okay. Magic box LA Harrison comics. That’s entertainment. That’s entertainment, Wooster. They carry it. Okay. But, uh, I would, uh, also again, go to Amazon or Etsy. All right.

[00:10:03] Stephen: And you said you have a connected, short story collection coming out this fall?

[00:10:08] Chris: Yeah, we have a lot of people working on it, like six short stories connected together by various writers and artists.

Um, they’re they’re. The short story collection will be like maybe six, excuse me. Six to eight pages per short story.

[00:10:23] Stephen: Oh, nice. Okay. So Chris, let me ask this for you personally. Oh, wait, I also had another question. You said you have it up on Etsy. Why’d you choose to put it on, on Etsy? That’s unique. There’s

[00:10:35] Chris: a lot of books on Etsy.

Okay. Yeah. I mean, there’s a lot of people selling. You know what you’d find on like Amazon or eBay for used books on Etsy. But excuse me, there’s a lot of creative own products on Etsy. So it’s a good place to go to. And since it’s a very secure site, I’ve never heard of them having any kind of, you know, bad reputation for, you know, security issues with their site.

So, and it’s on Facebook marketplace is a place people sell too, but it’s very difficult. Thankfully it’s also on Amazon digitally and as the book itself, And then the hard cover will be on Amazon soon, too.

[00:11:09] Stephen: Okay. Are you finding, uh, good success on Etsy? More

[00:11:13] Chris: or less here and there? James Deval just ordered a couple copies of my book.

Oh, do you know who that is? No, I

[00:11:19] Stephen: don’t even recognize the name. Sorry.

[00:11:21] Chris: He was Frank. The, he was Frank the rabbit in, uh, Donny Darco.

[00:11:24] Stephen: Oh, cool. Wow. Nice. He should have them sign one. Get it sent back to you.

[00:11:32] Chris: Yeah, we, he just came on my show. So I just, I’m sorry. I just interviewed him. So it’s sitting in the can right now.

I took the night off last night for my show because of just how I was feeling. Oh, okay.

[00:11:41] Stephen: So lemme ask you, Chris, what are some of your favorite books and authors

[00:11:45] Chris: I’ll name one just in particular. That’d be, let’s see if I can pull it out. There’d be John belays, all of the illustrations in this and by illustrations, I just mean the front and back cover and the inside front piece are all done by Edward.

Go. And John belay is I’ve always said is my favorite haw author of all time. He was, uh, he lived here in Massachusetts. His, all his books are written in post world war II, new England. You know, Gloria lived in Massachusetts. Um, belays died in 1991 and Gloria of course died in 2000. So, but, uh, I love all of, I have most of John Bo’s novels.

So. Okay, good. And the house with the Cocken walls was a movie that was turned. That was a Hollywood movie based on one of his books a few years ago. Yeah.

[00:12:27] Stephen: I remember the movie.

[00:12:28] Chris: Okay. Yeah. That’s one of that’s the John Belairs

[00:12:30] Stephen: novel. Nice. Did you like the movie

[00:12:32] Chris: based on the book I did. For the most part, I wish it would’ve been darker, but I understand why they had to go as light as they did.

It’s just funny that Eli Roth was the director of it and he couldn’t go as dark as he probably could with it. So, but they obviously needed to appeal the kids and stuff. You know, there was no Harry Potter prequels out quite, you know, they. Lightening up the box office quite yet. So those are great novels that Hollywood should look into to making every one of them into a movie.

Cause they’re, they’re great. And the artwork by gory is amazing, but in terms of like comic book writers for other, you know, people I inspire to be Jack Dallas catch em, do you know who that was? No, I don’t recognize that one. You wrote the girl next door along with a dozen other horror and thriller novels.

He died in 20. 18 of cancer, but he was a, uh, big guiding force in my life. He’d probably been my most Rere on the show, but he, third round of cancer unfortunately did him in, but, uh, he was a New York times bestselling author. That was pretty well regarded by a lot of people. And I like Stephen King course, too.

Tim Seely. He’s a comic book writer. I do a podcast about one of his comics and he did a cover for me, TRALA, very parody, cover of two Dracula. Two Dracula was a Marvel comic book series that blade came from,

[00:13:43] Stephen: right? Yeah. Yeah. Comic bookstore. My son works out. They’ve got a couple key issues up on the wall.

[00:13:50] Chris: That one that’s yeah, probably the biggest key issue is probably tumor Dracula. Number 10. It’s the first appearance of blade blade. Yeah. And it’s gone up a lot in value because the, the hype, the movie is slowly building up. Right. Yep.

[00:14:01] Stephen: Okay. And you mentioned a couple stores that your book is carried at, besides carrying your book.

Do you have a comic or bookstore that you like to frequent?

[00:14:10] Chris: Yeah. That’s entertainment. The hall of comics. That’s entertainment in Worcester. Excuse me. The hollow comics in Southborough bedrock comics in, in NAIC, silver moon comics in Salem, as well as Harrison comics. And then of course there are stores that carry my book that are not comic book stores, like BAS is a vampire boutique go clothing store.

Oh,

[00:14:32] Stephen: cool. Nice. All right. So before we move on to some author stuff, tell everybody if they, you know, ran India on the street or so. What you would tell them if they said, well, why should I get your book and

[00:14:45] Chris: read it? Well, I need to find out what they’re into first. I mean, I know my book is not for everybody, so I definitely would wanna find out what they’re into.

Cause if you’re not into vampires, you’re not gonna touch my book. Right.

[00:14:54] Stephen: Okay. So those that are, what would you tell ’em

[00:14:57] Chris: it’s a unique take on a old classic. That’s why you should get it. It’s not the same old spoonfed story. Okay.

[00:15:04] Stephen: All right. All right. Well, Chris, thank you for telling us about the book. I love vampire stuff, so it sounds really.

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