[written by Vampire Awareness Month, co-conspirator, Mark S. Deniz]
Well I even have to admit to getting a little emotional whilst typing the subject for this post. I have to be honest though and say it might not just be melancholy at the thought of this most wonderful of events ending but it could also be from a lack of sleep, brought on by, not just this, but two announcements that will be made tonight (coming up in this very post).
Saying all that though, I’m quite sure that the main reason I’m feeling emotional right now is that I am aware that several of you have settled down with your popcorn, crisps and soft drinks, to watch easily the worst of the sixteen vampire films of the schedule, the yawn-inspiring Twilight. I braved it the other day and it took me five sittings to get through it…
But yes, this month is now to go the way of many a good thing before it, and I’m a little sad about that, as it’s been absolutely fantastic. Not only have Peter Bell and I been rather surprised by how his little idea took off but that we got so many readers, so many mails and so many interested people, both in what we wanted to do and in the topic itself!
For a hastily put together event it went ever so smoothly, the contributors sent their posts to me, with enough time for me to tweak them, add pictures and schedule them for their allotted time. From an outside viewer, coming along to view the posts every day, it must have seemed ever so organised.
Yet we agreed things could have been done better: I think the event grew too big for my blog and would have been better housed somewhere else, not so much for you lot but for me, as it got to the stage where I didn’t want to add my daily thoughts, thinking they might get confused as rubbish posts on the event…;) I even missed blogging about the World Cup final, as it fell on the third day of Vampire Awareness Month. Did you notice that? I did!
My other niggle was that we created an event, rather than a group on Facebook, and this lead to all sorts of limitations over there. Facebook is a wonderful social tool and we really think we could have gotten more exposure had we looked at that differently.
BUT, and it’s a big but (as you can see), we have to remind ourselves (make that me, as Peter has been very satisfied with it all) that it was pretty much a spontaneous event that we turned into a very workable and very engaging month of stuff about the vampire.
May saw me watch twenty-six zombie films, after reading someone else’s blog about the official Zombie Awareness Month, which is really official, before then being asked to write an article for Dark Fiction Review‘s Full Moon Month, in June, not surprisingly featuring werewolves. After Peter mentioned vampires we were then set for the third monster!
As mentioned in the earlier post, Stoker’s Dracula is easily one of my favourite novels of all time but I had forgotten how much I do like this creatures, in their many guises. I was reminded of this when I re-read Keats’ Lamia poem, thanks to Tom English, watched the TV series, Ultraviolet, which I rather enjoyed. I also went back to True Blood, a series I had given up after one episode but actually enjoyed, as I began to watch more.
I am currently re-reading Dracula, and still loving it (ow that sounded like a film parody there) as well as fully immersing myself in all the films, as there were several here that were on my list that I just hadn’t got around to: 30 Days of Night, Shadow of the Vampire, The Hunger and Martin were all films I hadn’t seen before – Martin pretty much ending up being my favourite vampire film ever made – yes, I said it now, so it must be!
But as well as all those gems we got these excellent posts from so many writers, reviewers and artists out there, which basically made the month. I mean the films were good and I’ve enjoyed reading the literature but the posts made the month, they made us re-assess where we are with vampire, what we love about the vampire, what we should be reading, watching, listening to, eating…
A huge thank you, massive in fact, goes to every single one of you, for being a joy to work with, for giving of your time, for linking to/pinging back to/commenting on all the posts, for making Vampire Awareness Month the absolute joy that is was. I am so looking forward to us working together sometime soon…
Which brings me to the first of the two announcements for this evening and that is that after we’ve said goodbye to our little bloodsuckers, we are going to jump right into the next festival, that of Ghost Appreciation Month, as, much as I love the vampire, and the werewolf, and the zombie, the ghost is easily my favourite of the ‘monsters’ I like to write about/read/watch and after hinting the thing to Peter a couple of weeks ago we had made up our mind to go for it.
Bearing in mind all I have mentioned about where we could improve, we have decided to get started on it all now, tonight, and have added it to a website, in readiness for the event, which will take place in October this year. More can be found here:
but more will be forthcoming.
The wily ones among you may also have noticed things going on in that link and that refers to our brand new shiny website, Beyond Fiction, which will not only be the host of Ghost Appreciation Month but will also be home to interviews, reviews and other goodness in this fair industry of ours.
So that’s it for Vampire Awareness Month, hope you enjoyed it as much as we did and very much hope to see you at Ghost Appreciation Month in October!