Tell us about your current release.
My current and first release is Bound By Blood, which comes in two volumes because of its size. It is the first in a new series, The Dracula Chronicles, that adds a new dimension to the Dracula myth. It is actually Chronicle 3 in the series, but I have begun with this book to give readers the vampire first. The first two Chronicles are based around the life of the real historical Vlad Dracula. On retail sites it is categorised as a Gothic horror, but it is also an historical adventure, a romantic tragedy, a tale of paranormal fantasy and romance, and erotica.
What is the hardest part of writing your books?
Because my books are historic epics the hardest part probably of writing my books is actually incorporating historical narrative without sending the reader to sleep. I have written in a period of history that a lot of people might not be too familiar with and therefore I have to educate my readers on the period as well as engage them in my story. For me, no historical content is boring, but that may not be true for everyone. Sometimes I can use dialogue to deliver this, but it is not always possible to do so and on occasion narrative cannot be avoided. This is what I find hardest to write in my books, making people aware of the historical background without boring them and causing them to switch off.
How do you describe your writing style?
I like to think my style is fast and easy. I re-invented my writing style while I was writing The Dracula Chronicles. In my younger days, and even in the earlier drafts of my books, I used to write sprawling prose and very long sentences. Whereas I felt some people would like and appreciate that, I thought that the majority would not. I wanted to write in a way that would hold appeal for everyone, knowing different people have different levels of literacy and different levels of interest. I wanted to reach people who speak English as a second language and maybe even people who read very little or even not at all. Therefore, I completely changed my style. I focused on making my work much more concise and trimmed it down considerably. I took out longer words and substituted words that are easier to understand, I shortened my sentences noticeably and concentrated on fluidity and readability. I made it my goal to have something on every page to keep my reader interested so that when I delivered a shock, they would feel it.
At what point in your life did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
I have always wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. By the age of 8 or 9 I was certain of it. I was most prolific in my teenage years writing books of 50k-80k words that I would read to my closest friends. Unfortunately, I had a tendency to lend them out and not get them back. In those days, of course, a typewriter was a luxury item so I had to write by hand – yes I am that old. So yes, when my friends wanted to be football stars and fighter pilots, I wanted to be a writer.
Are the names of the characters in your novels important? How and why?
Oh yes, absolutely. I would say 90% or more of all my characters are real people, real historic figures who are known to many people that will read my books. This put an extra emphasis on my fictional characters being as real to life and plausible as possible to blend in with my real-life characters.
Entice us, what future projects are you considering?
Following the release of Bound By Blood – Volume 1 & 2 there will be a series of horror shorts and then an anthology called Tales Of The Black Sabbath, which will have variant endings from the originals.
The next volume from The Dracula Chronicles – The Gates Of Babylon – will surface later in the year. I have also written down the outline of another vampire series for the future. That one I will keep close to my chest.
What do you find most rewarding about writing?
Writing is a great reward in itself. I have carried these characters and story lines around in my head for many years. To get this all down on paper and then go through the long and arduous process of getting it into print, so that I can finally hold my own creation in my hands is an absolutely wondrous feeling.
Is there one passage in your book that you feel gets to the heart of your book and would encourage people to read it? If so, can you share it?
Yes, this is a passage from Chapter 21 in the book. It focuses on Andrei, Dracula’s twin soul, who is the one bestowed with the power to bring Dracula down. He is the balance to the great evil that is Dracula and his opposite in every way.
The Dracula Chronicles is the brilliant and terrifying new concept of Dracula. It is an epic journey through the ages where the forces of Light and Darkness struggle for supremacy until the Second Great War, as foretold in the Book of Revelations. This bitter feud began after the creation of mankind. Lucifer’s jealousy leads to the First Great War of the angels. Hundreds of thousands of years on the feud simmers beneath the surface. It plots the course of history as we know it today. Both sides manipulate the major players through the centuries to seek an advantage over the other.
On a cold night in December 1431 in Sighisoara an old gypsy woman delivers a prophecy to the great Vlad Dracul. She tells him he is about to sire two sons, one an angel and the other a devil. He returns to his fortress just as his wife bears him a son, whom he names Vlad. In the very same moment across the country on the border between Transylvania and Hungary a gypsy girl gives birth to another son, Andrei. The die is cast. The twin souls are born. The young Vlad Dracula becomes the instrument of the forces of Darkness. To balance this, the baby Andrei is blessed by the angels and bestowed with awesome powers. These chronicles are their story.
Chapter 21 - A location near Cluj in
Transylvania. March 1502.
Dracula’s twin soul, Andrei, is waking with his wife in their tent.
Shane O'Neill is the writer of The Dracula Chronicles, a new and exciting series adding a new dimension to the Dracula myth. He has begun the series with Chronicle 3 to give his readers the vampire first. Chronicle 1 will follow to take you back to the beginning.
The author developed a fascination with Dracula from an early age. Like many others he was enthralled by Christopher Lee's portrayal of him on the big screen. It was in his late teens that he discovered Dracula the man and the love affair began from there. An avid historian, he studied the period in which the real historical Vlad Dracula lived, 15th Century Balkan, for many years. It followed from there then that with his love of writing he would always choose Dracula as his subject.
Away from writing, the author has a wide range of interests. He has lived and travelled all over the world. He has a love for all things historical, with a particular fascination for medieval
Europe. Anywhere he travels he likes to search out locations with an historical interest.
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