Dracula rises from Aiken in sequel by Stoker descendent

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In the 112 years since Bram Stoker published Dracula , there have been hundreds of incarnations of the bloodsucking Romanian count in novels and movies, but few, if any, have attempted what Dacre Stoker has.

"I was trying to write this as close as Bram did," said the Aiken resident, whose sequel, Dracula: The Un-Dead , will be released Tuesday by Dutton Books.

Mr. Stoker, whose great-grandfather, George, was the brother of Bram Stoker, has been working with Ian Holt on the book for about six years. One of his goals was to integrate characters and storylines that were suggested in Bram Stoker's notes but were edited from the final product.

The Aiken resident also wanted to provide insight into the Victorian novelist's life.

"It parallels Bram Stoker's life," Dacre Stoker said.

The novel is set in 1912, about 25 years after the end of the first novel. Mina and Jonathan Harker have a son, Quincey, who decides to forsake law school for theater after he stumbles on a production of Dracula , directed and produced by Bram Stoker. (In real life, Bram Stoker left his job as a civil servant to work as a theater manager for London's Lyceum Theatre.)

Quincey sees parallels to his life in the tale carried out on stage. The possibility that Mina Harker might have been pregnant during her bloodletting encounter with Dracula sets up some other plot twists, Dacre Stoker said.

Mr. Stoker said his literary forefather was a stickler for details.

"He got everything right -- the tide schedules, the folklore," he said.

Mr. Holt and Mr. Stoker strove for historical accuracy, too. They hired a researcher to make sure the streets and buildings depicted in the book mirrored those of pre-World War I London. Carriage schedules were researched.

Mr. Stoker said the fast-paced plot should keep a contemporary audience interested. He hopes the pop culture influence of the Twilight series and True Blood will fuel interest.

Mr. Stoker hopes his book will spark an interest in the original and perhaps lead readers to search out other Bram Stoker works, such as Dracula's Guest and Other Weird Tales and The Lair of the White Worm .

Reach Charmain Z. Brackett at charmain.brackett@augustachronicle.com.


TITLE: Dracula the Un-Dead

AUTHORS: Dacre Stoker and Ian Holt

PUBLISHER: Dutton Adult (432 pages, $26.95)

BOOK SIGNING: 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Books-A-Million, 2441 Whiskey Road, Aiken

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