Ever since the first issue of THE DARK SIRE, David Crerand has graced its pages with his conception piece, The Village. The Village is a series of stand-alone stories based on vampires whose lives are crafted after the occupations of typical medieval residents. Each story (one in each issue 1-4) is a literary work of art from the pen of a very gifted writer. At TDS, we feel very fortunate not only to have been able to publish his work but also to have him agree to answer a few questions for our Creative Nook feature.
TDS: I just want you to know how much I am enjoying The Village. The concept of a series of stand-alone stories based on vampires whose lives are crafted after occupations of typical medieval residents is quite intriguing. How did you chose which medieval occupations to base your stories on?
David Crerand: Let me start off by saying, I'm glad you are enjoying The Village. Originally, the first story, The Squire, started as a dare. I had a friend, who was also beginning to write at that time, and most of what I had shown him was sci-fi or suspense. He was most fond of horror. He said, "try to write a vampire story and see what happens." The Squire was the result, and the spark. I thought that I could structure a series of stories with vampirism as the common thread, but without any correlation to one another. If they were not going to be linked, there had to be a binding commonality, and thoughts of the squire, led to thoughts of that time, and it's social structure. Thus, I came upon the village as the hub. In order to survive, a village must pass down the skills of its current residents to the next generation. Therefore, each village would have a share of apprentices. There would be pubs, taverns and inns. Therefore Lisle, would definitely have a home there. War is an unfortunate commonality throughout history, and in its wake it leaves the conditions ripe for the creation of the orphan. Though the scene this time is the big city (Amsterdam), the destruction wrought by the first world war across Europe destroyed cities and villages indiscriminately. The thought of the orphan as weapon was an extension of the cruelty of the times when such children were disposable. And as for the court jester, well, every administration, even those today, have their clown princes.
TDS: You seem to like empowered women. You have Muriel in The Squire; the baroness in The Baroness; and the Mistress in The Orphan. I took them to be the three stages of a vampire’s life, a kind of morning, noon, and night of life, so to speak. Who are your favorite heroines in horror literature and did you draw on any of them in the creation of your female characters?
David Crerand: I have had the fortunate opportunity to know more than a few empowered women. Because of that exposure, I would be uncomfortable treating any of my characters, male or female, in a callous and demeaning fashion. The strength of a character, molded by the author, should become a seamless interweaving of all the elements of that character, sexuality, empathy, insight and physicality.
That being said, as far as horror heroines, I'm a detective fan so I love Clarice Starling, and I'm male, so Buffey, but other than that my heroes are mostly male.
TDS: I was a huge fan of The Highlander, both the movies and the TV series with its “there can be only one” philosophy driving the action. I saw that same theme emerging in The Orphan as the child vampire draws the life force out of the more senior vampires he kills. What do you see as the ultimate end of Petbe?
David Crerand: I, too, was a huge fan of Highlander and I sort of married some of that theme to standard vampirism. In my view, when a vampire drains a victim, he gets more than just blood for sustenance. Its more of an acquisition of the individual's totality. In that way, the victim becomes incorporated rather than just fed upon. Your question regarding Petbe's ultimate end is an interesting one. I don't know how often authors (unless they're already planning a sequel) look at their character's lives beyond the end of the story. My thoughts are that he will continue to struggle, becoming ever stronger, but never able to defeat the darkness, because it must exist to justify the light.
TDS: In literature, we have seen authors like William Faulkner in As I Lay Dying use 15 different narrators to tell a story or Andrzcj Sapkowski in The Witcher series tell a story from three different timelines only to unite them at the climax. Are you planning any such unification with The Village? Will Petbe have to face the Baroness? Will the Baroness have to put the three apprentices in their place?
David Crerand: I think the strength of The Village stories is their independence.
TDS: How many stand-alone stories are you planning?
David Crerand: Right now I have two more stories in outline; The Ship's Captain and the Cleric. I think I would like to fill out the roster with a few more, bringing the total to ten stories. Then, who knows, perhaps an e-book.
TDS: Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions. We are seriously looking forward to the next stand-alone story which will be appearing in Issue 5 on October 30th.
David Crerand: Thank you for this opportunity to share some thoughts with your readers. I wish you, and your association with The Dark Sire much success. TDS (and Bre*) have been extremely helpful to me and it is greatly appreciated.
*Bre Stephens, Editor-in-Chief
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If you have any questions for David Crerand, be sure to ask them in the comments. We will reply with the answers to keep the conversation going.
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