By WALLACE McBRIDE
First off, thanks to all of you who sent me messages about the passing of my father in law earlier this week. I tried to wait until after the funeral before responding to you individually, but still feel like I've overlooked someone. If so, my apologies ... your words meant a lot to me.
I'm currently putting the finishing touches on our third MONSTER SERIAL book, for real this time. The proof arrived in the mail yesterday, and I anticipate the final corrections will be made in time for the weekend. This volume showcases essays about vampire movies, and includes a section devoted to HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS and its related films. More on that later.
At the top of the mail bag is a letter from Adam and Eve, which has expressed an interest in paying to publish content on this website. They’re not interested in display advertising so much as “paid content.” I can’t imagine why my site seems like a good candidate for them, unless some bot has scanned my website and concluded that the occasional appearance of profanity is meant literally. (Or maybe it was that post about the porno shot at Seavew Terrace.) I’m morbidly interested enough to let them do it, though, just to see what happens. Adam and Eve is actually a pretty responsible company.
"Good riddance! Glad to see the last of you, you irritating asshole."
— James Spielberg
James and I had a falling out on Facebook, which is pretty much Facebook's raison d'etre. You can probably figure out why he got banned based on this e-mail.
"My name is Brian, and I am an Internet Rankings Engineer. I scrolled across your website Collinsporthistoricalsociety.com and performed a Google search for your business keywords. Upon perusing in the first page, I saw that your website is currently not listed on the first page for your niche and popular keyword (Product) search."
— Brian White, Ranking Expert
While I'm sure your intentions are good, you're way out of your league here, Brian. Regardless of your credentials, I seriously doubt you've got the tools or the patience to deal with DARK SHADOWS fandom. My website isn't ranked higher on Google because of an unusual variety of circumstances I've been powerless to change. For example: Many readers visit this site via Facebook links ... and then return to Facebook to comment on said link. (Which is why there are so few comments left on this site.) Discussions about content have a habit of migrating elsewhere, robbing me of traffic.
There are also problems with the maturity with some of the longtime fans. This website has been nominated for three years in a row (winning once) for "Best Blog" by the Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards. Despite being a DARK SHADOWS fansite, the "official" ShadowGram newsletter has never mentioned these nominations. In fact, the people with the Dark Shadows Festival have spent the last three years pretending this website doesn't exist. They won't even send me news about the festival, which I'd gladly run.
Meanwhile, other "fans" occasionally lift material from this site and share it without attribution. (Or worse, act like that creepy James Spielberg.) All leading me to sometimes ask, "Why the fuck am I still doing this?"
"I can't download the Waterhouse podcast."
— Avid Fan
This was a message from one of our hardcore readers, a guy who loves this site so much that he's gratuitously appointed himself to be our unofficial proofreader. He's actually pretty helpful, so it's difficult when I can't return the favor: This appears to be a technical issue, possibly relating to the browser he's using. It's rare that I get messages about bugs in the podcast, but I thought I'd ask if any of you were having similar problems. If so, please comment below.
Finally, here's message from Charles Avent, who I'm 99% sure I've seen haunting the various DARK SHADOWS Facebook groups. I get hit was a lot of requests to promote products ... so many that I've taken to ignoring requests out of embarrassment. I'm just one person and don't have the time to read and review much of anything these days. And, on the off chance I don't like something, I'm uncomfortable giving negative reviews to independently produced works.
Charles sent me a thoughtful message about his novel, which was very easy to share in a feature like this. Here's what he had to say:
Silent Dawn: Chasing Sunrise". Although the storyline is nothing like that of "Dark Shadows", that show did influence my writing style and, more to the point, my perception of the mind of a vampire, as I wrote this book. You see, Jonathan Frid's portrayal of Barnabas Collins, yes I'm that old, made him the first vampire, in history, who you felt a sense of compassion for. You actually WANTED him to do the things he did, because they seemed justified.(although he DID get a little carried away, when he would beat the crap out of Willy with the cane. LOL)
This is my website address: www.charlesavent.com where readers can obtain a personally autographed copy of my book. When it is ordered from this site, the publisher ships me a copy, the same day and I sign it with a personalized autograph that they have suggested, and send it out the next day, with the reader only being charged one shipping fee.
All in all, Barnabas only fed on people because he was tortured into doing so, to survive. It was not his choice and you felt "sorry for him". I loved the original series so much that I wish I could bring a witch into the mix, but I am afraid that I would not be able to do any of the characters justice. There are a group of wolves, but it is unclear, in the book, if they are werewolves or vampires, thanks to Bram Stoker enabling vampires to shape shift into pretty much anything they wish. ;)