Q: How were you approached to write a DRACULA novel, based on the Universal Lugosi movie?
PAUL: The editor at Dark Horse, Rob Simpson, was my editor at DC Comics when (with Elizabeth Hand) I co-created and co-wrote the comic ANIMA. We'd always wanted to work with each other again, and when this project came along, he called me up and offered me a shot at Dracula. I was in the middle of another book at the time, but I didn't hesitate to put it aside and take up the opportunity to contribute something new to the legend of Dracula. Incidentally, Elizabeth Hand is currently writing a Bride of Frankenstein spin-off for Rob!
Q: You managed to make Dracula a much more fearsome creature-capable of influencing world events, such as The First World War. How did that idea come about?
PAUL: Thanks! I didn't want to just rehash the movie or what others had written about Dracula. I wanted there to be more at stake, so to speak, than just the fates of a handful of characters. Once I had the idea of setting the book in WWI, I became aware of a need to link the war and the vampire in more than just a metaphorical way. At that point, a magnification of his coercive, hypnotic abilities seemed the logical route.
Q: I liked what you did with the Renfield, making him a sympathetic character. Who is your favorite character in the novel and why?
PAUL: I enjoyed writing Renfield quite a bit. Also Lisa and Faulks. Faulks was closest to my heart. But it was a blast to write the scenes in which Dracula shows his stuff.
Q: What was the most difficult aspect of writing the book?
PAUL: Fitting the details of the Dracula movie into the history of WWI was the most difficult, and yet also the most enjoyable, aspect of the book. There were a lot of moments of sheer frustration, when I couldn't see how to move things forward, but they invariably resolved themselves, very often in a sudden inspiration. I think Dracula wanted his story to be told!
Q: The revelation of who DRACULA really is works but it's something that I've seen before, such as in the movie DRACULA 2000. What made you decide to go this route with his origins?
PAUL: Well, I haven't seen Dracula 2000, but there is no revelation per se in my book as to the true identity of Dracula. Dracula himself offers one possible origin story. Another character offers up a different one. Which of these two stories the reader believes, if any, is up to the reader. I have my own idea as to which origin story is correct, but I will leave that for any potential sequel I may be fortunate enough to do!
Q: Is this a stand-alone book or are you slated to write any other DRACULA novels?
PAUL: Not slated, but there is always the possibility. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
Q: What other projects are you working on?
PAUL: A novel about clockmakers in the 18th century; another about the Civil War; and a strange story that may yet turn into a novel about golf and the devil. Yes, golf. Meanwhile, a collection of my short fiction is coming out from PS Publishing in 2008.
Q: How can readers contact you?
PAUL: I can be reached through my website, which has links to e-mail as well as to my message board at the Nightshade Books web site.