Newspaper article from Wytheville, Virginia.
The Wytheville Enterprise
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
After nearly 50 years, Cullen Roark has returned to his hometown of Marion to put to rest some ghosts from his past.
Upon his arrival, however, Roark discovers he has a daughter he never knew and, even stranger, that his granddaughter has become the prey of a local vampire. Now, Roark has to deal with his haunting past and a vampire hunting his family, all the while looking for a way to end his own unlife as a vampire.
Relax, it's all fiction, the fabrication of Wytheville Community College public relations officer William Veselik.
It's all in Veselik's book "Weep Not for the Vampire," published by Mundania Press. Veselik said this is the first book he's gotten published; however, it's not the first he's written.
The first novel he submitted to publishers didn't get approval, Veselik said, because it was too long. However, Mundania told Veselik it would publish his monster 270,000-word story in three volumes. The first is due out in May.
Veselik said he was also recently offered a contract to write another story. This one will be set in the same world ? a fictional version of Marion ? only with new characters. Instead of vampires, the next time around the characters are ghosts.
Setting stories in a fictional version of a real town makes them easier to write, Veselik said, allowing him to focus more on the characters and developing them instead of imagining a world for them to live in.
"If you know the terrain, it simplifies the writing process," he said.
To some, the idea of vampires may be played out. Everyone from Anne Rice to Marvel Comics has touched on the idea, so why try to breathe new life into the monster?
"I've been in love with vampires since I was a kid," Veselik said.
Growing up, Veselik said he was a big fan of the monster movies from the 1930s and 1940s. One of his favorites was "Abbot and Costello meet Frankenstein."
"It was funny and scary," he said.
In the late 1960s Veselik said he discovered the movies put out by Hammer Film Productions in the United Kingdom.
"They were much earthier," he said.
In some ways Veselik stays true to the monsters made famous in movie land. But he also put his own spin on what it means to be a vampire.
In Veselik's world, vampires are solitary creatures who don't really tolerate one another, especially when one encroaches on another's hunting ground. Veselik's undead also aren't repelled by garlic or crosses. Sunlight will still burn Veselik's vampires and they all still have ultra-heightened senses and abilities.
The biggest change from Bram Stoker's original vampires is the fact that, just because someone is a vampire doesn't mean he's a monster.
"They're cursed with this, but they're not all bad people," Veselik said.
Still, Veselik said his novel's protagonist, Roark, is more of an anti-hero.
"He's not a total good guy. He has to fight another vampire to protect his family and he has to use force," Veselik said. "He's not afraid to break bones to get what he wants."
While this may be Veselik's first novel in print, he still has a few words of wisdom to offer fledgling writers.
"Sit down and write the book," he said. "If you never finish it, you'll never do anything with it."
© 2007 Media General Inc. All Rights Reserved
Terms & Conditions