From Michelle: Lisa Jackson has lots to say, usually as funny, motivational and moving as just about anything you've heard. Today, she's got something that makes you go hmmmm....ew! Cause you just know these people are out there. Um, I mean, well, if you're one of em, then, how nice for you, and didn't your orthodontist do a lovely job on those bicuspid elongations! Please welcome our very special guest with your warmest, "I vant to dlink your...Wednesday morning double mocha latte" Bella buongiorno...
From Lisa: Well, maybe it was earlier in the week, so the Friday part isn’t as true as the freaky part. This past week I read about a guy who calls himself Vlad The Impaler and was facing charges for allegedly threatening a teenager he met on the Internet. According to the reports I read, she initially contacted him. I couldn’t believe it. This same week the paperback edition of "Lost Souls" is on the stands. It’s a book I wrote in 2007 and the bad guy calls himself, you guessed it Vlad The Impaler. Not only that but he finds his victims on the Internet or at the small college where the heroine of my story goes to school.
This is really a case of life imitating art and I find it intriguing because the accused, Jon Sharkey seems to believe he’s the real deal–one of the undead. Just like in the book.
While researching "Lost Souls," I spent a lot of time on the Internet looking up anything I could find about vampires and cults. Of course I knew of the fascination with all things paranormal and that vampires were “hot.” There were tons of books, movies and television shows on the subject. Sometimes the vampires were the bad guys, sometimes the good, sometimes both, but obviously people can’t get enough of them.
Right, Bellas? I’m sure some of you are big vampire fans. Hey, don’t we all love a good vampire story?
Anyway, I figured a lot of the deeper interest (other than just for entertainment) was from young people, who were experimenting and just loving anything dark and sexy and bloody and creepy. But the more I dug into it, the more I found that there were all sorts of places where people were hooking up, claiming to be vampires and really buying into the fantasy; a real way of life. I googled my own small town. Sure enough, I could, if I wanted, meet some of the other vamps in the neighborhood. I didn’t. In truth I never really met anyone claiming to be a vampire, so I didn’t get my interview with . . . you know.
I still believed that for the most part most of the people involved in the whole vampire thing were probably just in it for “the show” or “to be cool” or to have a few laughs. Then I read about Jon Sharkey and his arrest on felony harassment and coercion of a minor . There was also mention of a threat of bodily harm in the media accounts of his arrest.
Not so funny. Not so intriguing. In fact, pretty freaky. Whatever day of the week it is.
So, here’s a discussion question to get the conversation started: Do you believe or have you ever met someone who really believes in vampires?
Lisa's lovely photo -- credit: Sigrid Estrada