Books That Have Influenced Me: Dracula

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I have ready many books over the course of my life, and books have become a central part of who I am. I read books for pleasure, for study, and for examination. I teach books in my literature classes, I write about them in scholarly work, and I write novels. As I was considering the topic for this post, I started to think about what books have influenced me the most in my life.

I do not mean that I want to explore what books are the most meaningful or the most important literature. That is a completely different discussion. Certainly there can be crossover in my choices, because I will not eliminate a text on its literary value, but I am interested now in which books had a part to play in my development as a human being, which ones helped to form me into the person I now am.

So many come to mind and are possibilities for discussion, especially when I think of some of the books I read as a youngster in high school. Among these novels are Dracula, The War of the Worlds, A Tale of Two Cities, Frankenstein, The Lord of the Rings and Fahrenheit 451.  Certainly, there were many more books that I read at that time, and I have always been a voracious reader, but these books, in a variety of ways help to shape my interests and some of my directions in life.

Today, I will focus on Dracula by Bram Stoker and what its influence on me was and is. This was one of the first Gothic novels I had read, and its power caught me immediately. I was drawn to the images of dark castles, terrible villains, and the supernatural. That I love Gothic is still clear, because not only do I teach Gothic literature, but also I write it.

Dracula, however, had a much deeper impact on me that simply the horror aspect; I was drawn to the idea of the need for good people to oppose evil.  It is a theme that, on the surface, might seem simplistic, but a person need only look at the history of the 20th Century into our contemporary time to see that evil does exist, especially in the form of people who would oppress, torment, exclude, and bully others. Of course, I am not making an argument that the supernatural evil in this novel exists, but that human evil certainly does.  The Nazis demonstrated that human horror in its full capacity.

In this book, a fellowship of human beings is created, and they decide to fight a creature that is far more powerful than anything they could have imagined, and they do so at the risk of their lives.  This act of defending others, even if the people do the battle are put at risk, became a central part of my ethos.  There will always be those who would bully and oppress others, and they must always be opposed.  While in early high school, Dracula helped to form that idea in my mind.

In the next entry in this series, I will discuss a book in which the idea of fellowship is a central theme.

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Gallows Hill can be found here in ebook.

Gallows Hill in paperback can be found here.

An interview about Gallows Hill can be found here.

32570160

Please follow the following links to find my novel:

ebook

Print book

Thank you!

The book trailer:

Maledicus:Investigative Paranormal Society Book I

My radio interview:

interview

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Available on Amazon

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Progress On A First Draft

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I made a breakthrough in terms of plot with the first draft of the political thriller I am currently working on! I have been continuing to work on it with discipline, doing about 1000 words a day, 5 days a week, but I had recently come up against a bit of a roadblock. It looked like a large tree had fallen across the writing path I was journeying on.

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I woke up early this morning, which is unusual for me–I am far more of a night person than a morning person. Additionally, I saw a way around the obstacle on the writing road–and it involves simply going off that particular path and trailblazing a new way! Perhaps my dreaming mind worked out the problem, and I came to understand how two plots, not one intertwine in the book.  And that has made all the difference.

Now I know the direction to take the rest of the book. I am sure now that, except for any kind of unusual circumstances, I will complete this first draft by the end of August.

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Then it will be time for revisions and to begin another first draft!

What Are Your Works In Progress?

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To all the writers out there: I hope your work is going well, that you are continuing to write as often as you can, and that your works in progress are, indeed, progressing.

I recently complete draft 3 of a fantasy novel, but it will need at least 2 more drafts, especially because I have overloaded expository information in the opening chapters. So, I will work on including that information in the plot and not simply give it. That will be the focus of the 4th draft.

I am also a little more than halfway through the 1st draft of a political thriller, which I am hoping will be done by the end of August.

So, to all the writers who read this:

What are your works-in-progress?

GallowsHillFinalCoverEbook

Gallows Hill can be found here in ebook.

Gallows Hill in paperback can be found here.

An interview about Gallows Hill can be found here.

32570160

Please follow the following links to find my novel:

ebook

Print book

Thank you!

The book trailer:

Maledicus:Investigative Paranormal Society Book I

My radio interview:

interview

FOE_Cover_French

 

Available on Amazon

coverIPScookbook

The Summer Promote Your Book Party!

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We are well into Summer, and I thought it was time again for a book promotion party!

I want to offer an opportunity for all writers who follow this blog to share information on their books. It can be very difficult to generate publicity for our writing, so I thought this little effort might help. All books may be mentioned, and there is no restriction on genre. This encompasses fiction, poetry, plays, and non-fiction. If I have neglected to mention a genre, please consider it to be included.

To participate, simply give your name, your book, information about it, and where to purchase it in the comments section. Then please be willing to reblog and/or tweet this post. The more people that see it, the more publicity we can generate for everyone’s books.

Thank you for participating!

Keep on writing!

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GallowsHillFinalCoverEbook

Gallows Hill can be found here in ebook.

Gallows Hill in paperback can be found here.

An interview about Gallows Hill can be found here.

32570160

Please follow the following links to find my novel:

ebook

Print book

Thank you!

The book trailer:

Maledicus:Investigative Paranormal Society Book I

My radio interview:

interview

FOE_Cover_French

 

Available on Amazon

coverIPScookbook

 

The Investigative Paranormal Society Cookbook by Charles F. French is Now Available!

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I am very excited to announce the release of my newest book, one that has been a great deal of fun for me to write: The Investigative Paranormal Society Cookbook by Charles F. French!

This books contains recipes from my characters in Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society, Book 1 and Gallows Hill: The Investigative Paranormal , Book 2.  Some of you might recognize a few of the recipes, which I featured in blog posts here in the past.

The book is available both as an ebook on Amazon

and

as a paperback on Amazon

I hope you enjoy reading about and learning recipes from these characters. These foods should enchant  you, tempt your palate, and entice your culinary curiosity.

Happy Reading, and Happy Eating!

GallowsHillFinalCoverEbook

Gallows Hill can be found here in ebook.

Gallows Hill in paperback can be found here.

An interview about Gallows Hill can be found here.

32570160

Please follow the following links to find my novel:

ebook

Print book

Thank you!

The book trailer:

Maledicus:Investigative Paranormal Society Book I

My radio interview:

interview

FOE_Cover_French

 

Available on Amazon

Cover Revealing For The Investigative Paranormal Society Cookbook by Charles F. French

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Hello to everyone! I am excited to reveal the cover of my upcoming book The Investigative Paranormal Society Cookbook in which characters from my two novels, Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society, Book 1 and Gallows Hill: The Investigative Paranormal Society, Book 2 give a variety of their favorite recipes.

The wonderful book designer is Judy Bullard
http://www.customebookcovers.com . I recommend her highly!

Unlike the villains the heroes in my books battle, I hope these recipes do not frighten you. Instead, I hope they entice your appetite.

I will shortly give the release date for the book!

Happy reading and Good Eating!

GallowsHillFinalCoverEbook

Gallows Hill can be found here in ebook.

Gallows Hill in paperback can be found here.

An interview about Gallows Hill can be found here.

32570160

Please follow the following links to find my novel:

ebook

Print book

Thank you!

The book trailer:

Maledicus:Investigative Paranormal Society Book I

My radio interview:

interview

FOE_Cover_French

 

Available on Amazon

Another Review of Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society, Book 1 by Charles F. French

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Maledicus
“Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society Book I” is, on the one hand, a masterstroke of suspenseful storytelling, but also a touching exploration of the human drive and spirit. Maledicus, a vile demon, who in life was a monstrous torturer and advisor to the ancient Roman Emporer Caligula, embodies pure evil who will not let death get in the way of his search for absolute power.

Opposing Maledicus, we meet Roosevelt, Jeremy, and Sam, three men who, in their retirement, form a group meant to investigate all manner of the unexplained and occult. They name themselves The Investigative Paranormal Society, and before long find themselves pitted against this ancient evil who will stop at nothing to get what he wants.

The story spans multiple periods, from ancient Rome to modern-day Pennsylvania, all described in vivid detail, which makes you feel like you are right there with them. Our heroes are deep, complex characters, all dealing with challenges and the ghosts of life experiences that we all have as we walk in the twilight of life’s journey.

I highly recommend this story to anyone who enjoys a deeply disturbing villain, relatable heroes, historical settings, and comfortable, yet sophisticated, writing. It is highly entertaining, and is as much a story exploring the relationships of three friends, as it is a gripping tale of horror and suspense.

 

GallowsHillFinalCoverEbook

Gallows Hill can be found here in ebook.

Gallows Hill in paperback can be found here.

An interview about Gallows Hill can be found here.

32570160

Please follow the following links to find my novel:

ebook

Print book

Thank you!

The book trailer:

Maledicus:Investigative Paranormal Society Book I

My radio interview:

interview

FOE_Cover_French

 

Available on Amazon