Chapter 16
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NPR’s Guest

Listen today as Michael Sims discusses his new collection of vampire tales, Dracula’s Guest, on the radio

July 12, 2010 This afternoon at 4 p.m. EDT, nonfiction author Michael Sims will be interviewed live on the National Public Radio program Here On Earth. He will discuss his new anthology, Dracula’s Guest: A Connoisseur’s Collection of Victorian Vampire Stories and what he learned, in researching the book, about the natural history of vampires.

He will also take questions from callers, and callers can be total wild cards: “I’ve been doing a number of interviews about this book, but I’m particularly looking forward to Here on Earth because I always enjoy the surprises that pop up in a live, call-in format,” he writes in an email to Chapter 16. “It simply can’t be scripted, like the Q&A at the end of a reading or talk.”

As preparation for the interview, Sims has been doing additional research on what he calls “the larger global perspective regarding creatures that prey upon our vital essence in one way or another.” Such beings—who show up in the folklore of Mexico, India, Chile, Japan, Malaysia—are “the collective background for our contemporary vampire stories,” Sims says, while “the ancestors of Edward and Bella are specifically European”: “In my introduction to the book, I explore the roots of the eastern European vampire folklore, and how Romantic and Victorian writers co-opted these tales into a genre that quickly became rather sophisticated and literary. But who knows where a conversation may go when we have callers with questions?”

Find out more about Here On Earth—and listen to the live interview with Sims—here.

Read Chapter 16’s review of Dracula’s Guest here and read original Chapter 16 essays by Michael Sims here and here.