To our knowledge, this was Raymond McNallys last interview on the subject, a quote from which features in his obituary in the >>New York Times<<
Raymond T. McNally, author, co-author and compiler of various books and texts on the subject of vampires and associated fiends:
+ In Search of Dracula: The History of Dracula and Vampires
HCM: What attracted you to Vlad Tepes as a subject for investigation, and were you shocked by what you discovered?
RM: I had an intuition over forty years ago that Bram Stoker’s Dracula novel was based on a real person. The geography was correct, the train schedules accurate down to the minute. Mention was made of the Borgo Pass, where Count Dracula meets Harker. I went to a map and found the Borgo Pass just beyond Bistritza. So I went in search of Dracula. I was not shocked by what I discovered; I was pleased. If Dracula had turned out to be just another milk-toast nice ruler, there would have not been much interest in him.
HCM: What do you think lies behind his enduring appeal, whether as the fictional vampire or very real monster & statesman?
RM: The appeal of Count Dracula, the vampire, is that he knows what he wants. He promises physical immortality, which is appealing to most humans who love life.
HCM: What did you find the prevailing attitude was towards Vlad Tepes amongst the people of Romania? Did they consider him a national hero, a villain or some sort of supernatural bogeyman?
RM: Most Romanians consider him to have been a national hero, who was cruel, because the times were cruel.
HCM: The scale of carnage wrought by Vlad during his periods in power is frightening, even by today’s standards. Do you think he was a good ruler, taking into account the folk tales that a gold cup could be left by a drinking well and not be stolen during his reign?
RM: I think that impalement is too high a price to pay for law and order in the streets.
HCM: What do you think were the shaping influences on Vlad Tepes that created the monster who impaled people by the thousands and allegedly drank their blood?
RM: The main event, which shaped Vlad Tepes was the period from 1444 to 1448. His father left him and his younger brother Radu as hostages to the Ottoman sultan. He was a teenager bereft of father and mother. He lived among people, whose language he did not understand at first, and they were Moslems, and he was raised a Christian.
HCM: What is the horror you wanted to explore within the vampire myth?
RM: The horror of Count Dracula is that he is a parasite; he does not contribute to society; instead he takes the life’s blood from people.
HCM: What was your inspiration for your book(s)?
RM: The inspiration for my book was my fascination with the seemingly impossible.
HCM: Is it what you would like to be remembered for?
RM: I would like to be remembered as a stimulating teacher.
HCM: Do you think “The Vampire” as a genre is dying, does it have any real horror left in it?
RM: The vampire genre is not dead, only resting, waiting for some new creative writer to revive him.
HCM: What aspect of the Vampire did you most enjoy writing about?
RM: The notion of remaining forever young and healthy is enjoyable.
HCM: Why did you choose the vampire as a subject?
RM: The vampire allows us to deal with taboo subjects. He is the dark side of ourselves.
HCM: Why do you think the vampire is such an enduring cultural icon?
RM: Because most of us are fascinated with such a powerful, evil character.
HCM: What do you think is the greatest vampire story ever written?
RM: Bram Stokers “Dracula”
HCM: Who is your favourite author in the genre?
RM: Bram Stoker with Sheridan LeFanu, author of “Carmilla” about lesbian vampires, running a close second.
HCM: Do you believe in real vampires?
RM: Real vampires are live human beings addicted to drinking blood.
HCM: What is your opinion of people who believe they are vampires whether through a psychological fetish or biological blood dependency?
RM: Such persons need to be treated by a competent psychiatrist.
HCM: If Count Dracula came up to you and offered you the chance of immortality, would you go for it?
RM: I would not be willing to pay the price for his kind of immortality. I do not wish to take the life’s blood from any human.
(Editor’s Note: these interviews date 2001-2009, so some information may not be current)
Fiction by Helen C. Murphy can be found >>here.<<
Tags: Author Interviews, Authors, Bloodlust-UK, Dracula, Helen C. Murphy, Raymond T. McNally, Vampire, Writers
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