Friday, November 12, 2010

Guest Blogger, David Nelson Bradsher, Author of The Vampire Sonnets

Today, I'm very excited to welcome David Nelson Bradsher the author of The Vampire Sonnets.  I was privileged to meet him and hear him read some of his beautiful sonnets at A Mystical day of Bloodlust in Lexington Kentucky.  Being a lover of poetry, I very much enjoyed the poems and chatting with David about Lord Byron and Shakespeare, among other things.  I was intrigued by the story the sonnets presented.  Vampires and poetry seem like the perfect marriage to me.  I think you will find David's work as exciting and innovative as I did.  David is also offering a copy of his book in a drawing.  Please read on for entry details.




Denise, thank for the invitation to be your guest blogger for the week. It’s great to be here to talk a little about The Vampire Sonnets, my new verse drama from Nelson Pearl Publishers.


The Vampire Sonnets is one of those projects that more or less occurred rather than being planned. I call it a happy accident. I’d written a single sonnet, based on the image of the sun being a portal to flame, and it just made sense to couch it as a fourteen-line snapshot of a vampire, a vampire so immersed in his feeding of a serving wench that he doesn’t notice the sun rising behind him. The sonnet ended with him having to seek sanctuary in the cool earth of a forest floor, and my intent was to leave it at that.


Therein, I located the happy accident, ripe for the picking. A British friend of mine, a writer of prose, read the sonnet and told me he’d like to hear the “resolution” of the immortal’s plight. Not wanting to disappoint an interested party (poets dream of such an audience), I wrote another; then four; then eight; then sixteen, etc., and before I came up for air I had a full-fledged verse drama before me.

So, what we have now is a set of 193 sequential Shakespearean sonnets that tell the story of Tristan Grey, a 19th Century Londoner who is unwittingly led into the Chelsea clan by Nina, a psychotic ancient vampiress from Russia. What begins as a vampire seeking shelter from the sun transitions into an immortal review of his second life, complete with episodes of his siring, his relations, victims, loves and needs. It’s a novel in the sense that it tells a story, but what sets it apart is the fact that the entire tale is written in rhyme and meter, with each chapter consisting of three quatrains and a couplet, and then moving immediately into the next chapter, which may be a continuation of the episode, or a change in time or setting, depending on the circumstance.

Many people are curious as to how you write such a story and stay true to the poetic form, but still achieve the freedom necessary to tell the tale in an unfettered manner. The best answer I can come up with is that it takes time, patience, and not a small dose of madness to grind the gears until it reads smooth enough to satisfy a perfectionist. Truth be told, I could have worked on this for forty years and still found things to change, but at some point you have set your fledgling free, and (with the help of my angel/devil of an editor/publisher) I finally signed off and let the presses roll.

I’d love to know from your readers, Denise, if the idea of a story told entirely in sonnets is off-putting or intriguing, and if those who haven’t had much experience with poetry would still give it a day in court? I can pretty much guarantee that if a reader takes his or her time, follows the punctuation with minimal attention to the line breaks and maximum attention to the story, there’s something there for lovers of poetry, paranormal, romance and mystery.

I appreciate the opportunity to be here, and I’d love to hear from the readers, if they have any questions or comments. To spark some interest, I’d also like to offer a free book, determined by a random drawing, to be awarded at the end of a week’s time. Thanks again for letting me be here, and I hope to hear from some of you. For those interested in purchasing the book, please visit www.nelsonpearlpublishers.com. Please also feel free to visit the Facebook group page at http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/group.php?gid=47383438565.



David Nelson Bradsher graduated from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill ('89 B.A. English). He is a metrical poet, a late-arriving disciple of verse, and he still believes in the traditional forms, its meters, and rhyme's ability to capture the reader's ear and memory with an accordance of sound and music. He makes his home in Raleigh, North Carolina.

David, thanks so much for being my guest! Readers, please leave a comment for David to enter the drawing. The drawing ends 11/19/10, 11:59 PM EST. Winner will be announced the next day.

If you'd like to learn more about the world of Immortyl Revolution, please visit http://deniseverricowriter.webs.com/bookthreefreeread.htm.












38 comments:

Jazz Sexton said...

It is absolutely 100% intriguing to me. Denise was telling me about your books at WFC last month, and I'm still thinking about it. I'm writing a vampire novel, and I've begun exploring myself as a poet in the last year so The Vampire Sonnets are right up my alley.

morobrany said...

Very fun. I've contemplated doing a full novel in verse before but haven't done much beyond a crown of sonnets and about twenty cantos of an unfinished bit of craziness.

Have you thought of sending a sample to the folk at Hot Topic? I talked to one of their buyers once and she said they like getting stuff from small presses because it helps their indie cred, despite being a national chain. I picked up the Meisha Merlin chapbook of "Candles for Elizabeth" there and I've seen them carry a number of other small press publications of gothy interest.

Kevin Andrew Murphy
http://www.sff.net/people/Kevin.A.Murphy

Denise Verrico said...

Neat idea!

Jesse said...

I can't wait to read this book. I just haven't gotten a chance to order it yet.. as soon as I can I will.. I am very excited about.

David said...

Jazz, thanks so much for your support, and best of luck with your own journey into the paranormal and poetry world. If you ever want to compare notes, look me up. :)

Kevin, how ironic you bring that up. My publisher is in touch with Hot Topic, and we're now trying to create a buzz for the book that will inspire Hot Topic to give us some counter space for the holidays. I love where your head is at, brother, and that you've already delved into the madness of sequential verse. Once you're in, there's no way out. :)

Jess, thank you very much. I appreciate your enthusiasm and interest in the project, and you're now registered to win a copy. Good luck. :)

Melissa (Books R Us) said...

I have always been a sucker for vampire novels since I had written one my self called "Ginger High". I look forward to reading the sonnets.It is a very unique idea and I wish you luck in your publishing ventures.

Jennifer said...

I think a novel in verse is very intriguing! I love sonnets and continue to write them despite my poetry professor in college mocking me for it. Long live meter, rhyme, and vampires!

Bitten by Books said...

Awesome guest post and premise for a book. Thanks to Denise for inviting me and YOU! There is Vampire Haiku why not Sonnets too (ooh I was a poet there!). Seriously, best of luck to you. Sounds like a fabulous read. :)

Rachel

Stanley said...

Hello Mr. Bradsher,
I was fun seeing you and hearing you speak about your book at the Day of Mystical Bloodlust event in Lexington, KY.

Bertena said...

Hey David-- wait til everyone else reads your book. They will love it too.
Guys- it is sooo passionate...wait til you guys read it.

Stanley said...

I am sorry Ms. Verrico, I was just informed that it was poor form to say Hi to Mr. Bradsher and not you as well, because you were at the Day of Mystical Bloodlust event. Possibly, there are others from that event passing through here as well and if so I will say Hi to them as well. I am sorry I didn't get to hear everyone's talks. I was in and out alot sitting the wolf and it's keepers.

David said...

Melissa,
Thank you very much, and best of luck in your own ventures. You have quite a head start on when I started. ;)

Jennifer,
Thank you, and I applaud you going "against the grain" of contemporary academia. Rhyme and meter comprise the root system of poetry and should not be forgotten. Glad to find other formalists still around. I appreciate your interest.

Rachel,
I follow your work myself, and I appreciate the vote of confidence and your own poetic contribution to the thread. I'd love to work with you, as well. :)

Stanley,
I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Kentucky, and I can't wait to get back next year for Scarefest. Now that I have many new friends there, man, woman AND beast, I'll certainly be back. Tell Razz hello for me. ;) I appreciate your support.

Bertena,
As always, I sooo appreciate you and what you do for small-press writers. You're a master of your craft, and your enjoyment of the book carries much weight with me. Thank you. :)

Morana said...

I've read some of the story on Facebook, and was absolutely enthralled! "The Vampire Sonnets" is on my Christmas list, but I can hardly wait! The entire concept is very intriguing, and I should think that it will be a well-received idea!

Thank you, Mr. Bradsher, for introducing me to this blog!!

David said...

Good morning, all. Morana, thank you so very much for following on Facebook, and for dropping in here. I hope there are many like you who want to read red for Christmas. I appreciate your interest and support.

If anybody has any questions, feel free to ask. My publisher muzzled me (always a good idea) from giving away too much in the brief excerpts I posted awhile ago, and I'm happy to discuss anything now (as long as she's not lurking). ;)

E.J. Stevens said...

David,
I am so excited to read the work of another paranormal poet and would love to be entered in the giveaway.
xx,
E.J.
From the Shadows
e.j.stevens.author[at]gmail[dot]com

Mirit said...

David,

I am really looking forward to reading your book. I plan on stopping by Borders with the twins next month. You must feel so proud. I am so happy for your success.

Mirit

David said...

E.J. Thank you very much, and consider me excited to encounter another steeped in the genre. Please stay in touch. :)

Mirit,
I'd LOVE to see you and the twins. Thank you so much for your support and for taking the time to stop by here. I really appreciate it. :)

James said...

David, I'm so glad the book is finally out - I'll be reading it soon, having read and heard you read some of the sonnets. The use of this form to create a novel is an amazing accomplishment, in my opinion. I intend, as you suggest, to read slowly and savor the words while following the story!

David said...

James, thank you so much for your kind words. Writing an entire book in verse inspired my quote on the back cover of the book, and I think anyone who attempts it can identify with my assertion that there must be an element of madness to accompany the wherewithal. I'm not sure I possess the wherewithal, but the madness is a certainty. ;) I appreciate the support, James.

Denise Verrico said...

Stanley, it's nice to hear from you. I'm glad you stopped by to read David's psot. I'm so pleased at the response he's gotten. Hi, to all you folks I've chatted with in the past as well!

Anna Banana said...

This is such a fantastic idea! I do renaissance reenactment in the summer and combining my passion for all things Elizabethan and Vampires is one of the best ideas I have heard in a LONG time!
It is so generous of you to offer a copy to one of us! Thank you so very much and I wish you much success!!
Anna

You can find me at:
AnnaBananaCreations.blogspot.com

dyannak said...

I would love the chance to win an autographed copy of The Vampire Sonnets...

dyannak[at]dishmail[dot]net

Dani said...

I can't wait to find a copy of your book and I hope you would give me the chance to win a copy! I love vampires and I love Shakespeare!

David said...

Anna, what a fun thing it must be to do renaissance reenactments. I do agree that vampires and sonnets are, for whatever reason, an intriguing combination, and I hope I do the union justice. Thank you very much for joining in.

Dyannak, consider yourself qualified. Thanks for stopping by. :)

Dani, I appreciate your enthusiasm, and you definitely have a chance. Loving vamps AND Shakespeare would definitely qualify you as the kind of reader I'd like to have. Thank you. :)

Keith said...

Wow, I didn't realize when I first came across the vampire sonnets on facebook that it was a novel. But not just any novel; I novel completely written in prose, rhyme, poetry. I have never that is today's works. Very intriguing and looking forward to reading. I am also, glad to see that it developed from someone who lives 2 hours down the road from me.

David said...

Keith, thank you very much. Yes, this is what I call a verse drama, a novel written completely in Shakespearean sonnets (not the vernacular, but the form). I'm aware of one other book written in verse (by Vikram Seth), but not in sonnets. I appreciate your interest, and it's great hearing from another in the Tar Heel state. :)

dez said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dez said...

sounds wondrous and exciting. can hardly wait to get a copy and devour! raawr! V''V,

David said...

Thank you, Dez. I love your hunger for the book. ;) Raawr right back at ya.

David

C.J. Ellisson said...

Very intriguing! And yes, I want to win a copy. But even if I don't I'll be buying one - please tell us where we can get it.

I'm posting a link on my page as well - hope to steer more interested parties your way!

Great post, David!

Katrina W said...

Thanks Denise for the post !! and David for his intro.. and Of course Cj who has posted this on face book ;)
I love the world of vampires, and I must say this sounds very interesing and one of a kind !!! David cant wait to read !! Im from Australia so Ill be keeping my eyes posted on face book for more !!
kat ;)
Im not a writer Im a reader !! I get the best of both worlds ;)

URON said...

Hi David,

I have to say that your idea sounds like it could have "epic" results. I personally love Shakespeare and the combination of vampires and poetry would be something that would interest me greatly. I'm sure a lot of other writers and readers would agree with me.

David said...

C.J., thanks so much for registering. Because of time constraints, my reading of your book is moving at a glacial pace, but I look for to spending time with Viv at breakfast every morning. ;)

Katrina, I really appreciate you taking the time to comment, and you're now registered. I have several readers in Australia, and I'd be honored to have another. :)

URON, thank you very much. I hope there are a million who think like you and I when it comes to that. You're registered for the free book.

Denise Verrico said...

C.J., thanks for the shout out for David! I'm looking forward to hosting you here next month.
Check out C.J. Ellison's book Vampire Vacation if you haven't yet.

David said...

Last day to register.

TANNERSGRAN said...

I personally know David, and he is a wonderful guy. I have never read anything he has written but I am anxiously waiting for this book. Good Luck David...

Diane Kennedy

David said...

Thank you, Diane. YOu're now registered. :)

David said...

And the winner is...

E.J. Stevens.

Congrats, E.J., and please provide me (or Denise) your shipping information so I can get your copy out to you. Thanks for registering.

To everybody else, I truly appreciate you taking the time to register, and I do hope the book holds enough interest and curiosity for you that you'll consider ordering from www.nelsonpearlpublishers.com. They also make great Christmas gifts.