I have always loved the idea of vampires, they are the one fictional character I still harbour a secret desire to meet in real life, and no not the vegetarian sparkly kind although I am a Twilight fan, but the proper vampires; I’m not stupid, I’d  be protected with my crucifix and garlic cloves of course. My preferred vampires are darkly dangerous, inhuman and truly horrifying vampires who don’t want you to love them, just entertain and feed them. With that in mind here are The Top Five Vampire Novels in the World according to me.

1, Salem’s Lot – Stephen King

I think this was the first ever vampire fiction I ever read and I don’t mind admitting I thought it was pant wettingly scary, and I’m still unnerved by it today. Stephen King at his finest brings you the stuff of nightmares and will have you garlanding your windows with garlic and holy water.
The Marston House in Jerusalem’s Lot has long been the subject of speculation and gossip, Ben Mears has returned in the hope of laying a few of his own demons to rest. Of course, this being King, you know it’s not going to be an easy ride.

Buy Salem’s Lot US
Buy Salem’s Lot UK

2, Interview With The Vampire – Anne Rice

I only read this a short time ago at the urging of many of you who follow us on our Facebook page. Why did I wait so long? Anne has managed to make vampires both horrifyingly frightening and desperately pitiful all at once and the introduction of Claudia, an ancient and worldly wise vampire trapped forever inside the body of a child is a real touch of genius. Not only that but this is the first in a series of (soon to be) 14 books, what more could you want?

 

Buy Interview With The Vampire US
Buy Interview With The Vampire UK



3,  Dracula  – Bram Stoker

No list of vampire literature would be complete without including the original novel. I read this over and over when I first had it, to the point of my copy falling apart and I never bored of it, I still haven’t. I loved the language, I loved the terrifying build up as Harker  voyaged to Transylvania and I loved the naughtiness. So many fictional creatures are improved upon as time passes but for me, Stoker’s Dracula will always be the best.

 

Buy Dracula US
Buy Dracula UK

4, I am Legend – Richard Matheson

Have you seen the film with Will Smith? You have? Forget it, the book absolutely wipes the floor with it and then kicks dirt in its face. I read this because I’d watched the film and quite enjoyed it. I read the book and was smitten!  Robert Neville is the (probable) sole survivor of a plague that has  left the rest  of the world rabid vampire like creatures of the night with an insatiable hunger and dwindling prey. Seriously if you loved the film, read this book, if you liked the film, read this book, Hell if you hated this film, read the book. You won’t be disappointed.

Buy I am Legend US
Buy I am Legend UK

5, Blood Brothers – Brian Lumley

The sixth Necromancer novel but the first in the Vampire World trilogy, this book will take you to alternate universe of Starside/Sunside and the eternal battle between the Wamphyri and the Szgany. Here we are lead to believe the vampires are defeated, all dead but as we all know, vampires have a tendency to not stay dead forever.  A really refreshing and truly horrifying take on the vampire genre.

 

Buy Blood Brothers US
Buy Blood Brothers UK

Those are the five that are my personal favourites but when it comes to vampire fiction I am always on the hunt for new material so if you have any that you think are missing from my list, please let us know in the comments.

Charles Dickens’ Contribution to Science to Feature in Exhibition

By | Authors, Culture, Literary Events, Literary Places, News | No Comments
Charles Dickens: Man of Science is a current exhibition running at the Charles Dickens Museum until November 11th and the exhibition is looking at the author’s contribution to science, and notably medicine.

Dickens astute observations on human behaviours means he spotted many illnesses and their symptoms before they were recognised by the medical community and his descriptions so accurate that they can be used to build correlation between symptoms and disease.
Read More

Some Surprising Facts about J.M Barrie’s Peter Pan

By | Authors, Children's Literature | No Comments
J. M Barrie (9th May 1860 – 19th June 1937) was a Scottish novelist and playwright, best remembered today as the writer who brought us Peter Pan, the boy who refused to grow up.

After being born and educated in Scotland, Barrie moved to London where he wrote more plays and novels. It was here he met the Llewelyn Davies boys who inspired him to write about a baby boy who has magical adventures in Kensington Gardens (The Little White Bird), and to write Peter Pan, or the Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up, a fairy play about an ageless boy and an ordinary girl named Wendy. Read More

Mary Shelley to Be the Focus of ‘Genius’ Season 3

By | Authors, News, Television | No Comments
In 2017, National Geographic launched a new TV series called Genius, which explores the lives of famed historical figures one might well label a genius. The first season followed Albert Einstein, the second Pablo Picasso, and it has now been confirmed that a third season is in the works and will follow the gothic writer Mary Shelley.

“Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein left an indelible mark on generations of imaginations,” said Carolyn Bernstein, EVP, global development and production for National Geographic Global Networks. “Equally inspiring is the story of Shelley’s relentless innovation, coupled with her desire to live on her own unconventional terms despite immense societal and cultural obstacles.” Read More

Quotes on Life and Literature by Joyce Carol Oates

By | Authors, Quotations | No Comments
Joyce Carol Oates is an American writer (16th June 1938) whose first book was published in 1962. Through the years Oates has published over forty novels, plays and novellas and many volumes of short stories, poetry and nonfiction too.

Oates is one of the most celebrated American authors of our time and has won many awards including the National Book Award for her novel Them (USUK), two O. Henry Awards and the National Humanities Medal. She has also been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize six times. Read More

Samoan writer brings taboo subjects to the fore in new book.

By | Authors, New Releases | No Comments
Samoan artist and writer Sia Figiel has a new book out this year that tackles human stereotypes and taboos.

Sia was heavily influenced by the Somoan culture she grew up in and names her greatest inspiration as Samoan novelist and poet, Albert Wendt. She is best known for her earlier novels Where we Once Belonged and Girl in the Moon Circle.

Her latest novel tackles difficult subjects and attempts to dispel certain myths and stereotypes and, she says, only took her 6 weeks to write!

Read More

What keeps Judith Kerr writing after 50 years of success?

By | Authors, Children's Literature | No Comments
Judith Kerr is a writer and illustrator who is best known for her debut children’s book The Tiger Who Came To Tea. Published in 1968, The Tiger Who Came To Tea is so popular that it has never been out of print. 30 books have been created- all written and illustrated by Judith- and 50 years have passed, but Judith is still drawing and writing every day.

What makes a successful artist keep working well into their 90s?

The Telegraph gave some answers in an exclusive interview with Kerr at her home- the one with the very same kitchen as featured in her debut book The Tiger Who Came To Tea. 

Here are some of our favourite quotes from that interview.

Read More

Neil Gaiman’s Favourite Science Fiction Books

By | Authors, Literature | No Comments
Neil Gaiman was speaking to the BBC’s Front Row last month about the film adaptation of his story How to Talk to Girls at Parties as it hit UK cinemas.

As many good writers know one key to great writing is a lot of reading- and Gaiman is no different. His love for writing goes hand-in-hand with reading, so the BBC asked for his favourite science fiction novels.

These are the books he decided upon…

Read More