Thursday, December 22, 2011

Interview with Nessa Harcanu, a 400 Year-Old Vampire

Bob Anderson: Ms. Harcanu, it was very nice of you to invite us to do the interview in your lovely apartment.
Nessa Harcanu: You may call me Nessa.
Bob Anderson: I don't mean to offend you, but you're a beautiful woman. Aside from a slight paleness, I would never know that you were a vampire.
Nessa Harcanu: Why should I be offended when you tell me that you think I am beautiful.
Bob Anderson: hmmm um.
Nessa Harcanu: (she laughs) I am sorry, this is being filmed for a national audience. I should not please you. During my long existence, I have seen many trends come and go. I do not mean to belittle the movement towards equality in America and Western nations. The movement towards equality for women has taken up and down road over the centuries. When I was alive, and working a farm with my husband, he treated me as an equal. Of course, he was the man of the house, but on a day-to-day basis, he never took me for granted or spoke down to me.
Bob Anderson: It would be interesting just to to do an interview regarding feminist issues. Obviously, you have a unique perspective that would interest many women..
Nessa Harcanu: In what ways do you see my perspective as unique?
Bob Anderson: You were born over four hundred years ago. You must have had many different relationships with men and women as society has evolved over during that time.You had to deal with a variety of social conventions in different countries and different societies.
Nessa Harcanu: A beautiful woman can always make our own conventions, especially if she's wealthy. Men who talked down to me were less offensive than those who were obsequious in their pitiful efforts to seduce me. (She laughs)  I must apologize. I do not mean to make light of your questions. You make one assumption that I must challenge.
Bob Anderson: Which one is that?
Nessa Harcanu: your assumption that society has evolved over the centuries is not necessarily true. While there are no more slaves, and serfs, and peasants, and people have guaranteed rights and freedoms in Western societies, people continue to interact with the same basic needs and desires. Greed and fear have not changed nor have love and compassion. Excuse me. I am going off on a tangent. Go ahead with your questions please.
Bob Anderson: In Frank's novel -
Nessa Harcanu: I am sorry to interrupt, but I must clarify misconceptions about Frank's so-called novel. It was intended to be a biography, but Frank yielded to pressure from the publisher and made it into a novel. Frank artistically touched up portions of my life. However, almost everything in the so-called novel actually happened.
Bob Anderson: Were you angry with me when he did as the publisher requested?
Nessa Harcanu: of course I was. My biological functions changed when I was made into a vampire. My emotions remained the same. (She pauses) I did not stay angry for long. Frank is very precious to me and I would never punish you emotionally as many women due to their husbands or partners.
Bob Anderson: you mentioned being wealthy. Did you really find a sack of gold coins resting next to a man who had died of the new bionic plague?
Nessa Harcanu: I just told you that the book was true in its portrayal of my life. (Pause) yes, the sack of gold was lying next to the corpulent, piggish face man who had died of the plague. Even in death, he had his hands wrapped around it. Peasants and farmers lived on next to nothing, while the rich ate until they develop gout or clog their arteries with so much cholesterol they died at an early age. The gold coins became precious because they enabled me to rejoin society and not let alone. Even though I have been wealthy for a long time, I never forgotten my life as a peasant farmer. We live in the wealthiest country on the planet and yet so many people go without proper nourishment. (Pause) I did not mean to get off on a personal tangent.
Bob Anderson: It's fascinating to hear perspectives on society and life in general. Can we go back and talk about how you became wealthy.
Nessa Harcanu: The book described how that came about. Is there something you're trying to learn?
Bob Anderson: Well, the book describes you're getting the money to Jewish merchants and bankers and trusting that they would keep your money safe, and even increase your wealth. What made you trust them?
Nessa Harcanu: initially, I asked discreet questions. When it became obvious that the people I dealt with were completely trustworthy, I didn't bother with the details. Jewish people, and Jewish merchants and bankers in particular, had to be scrupulously honest. They perpetually live under the threat of arrest or even death so they did not dare to cheat anyone. They were honest in all their dealings with outsiders and their family members.
Bob Anderson: I'd like to talk about your art collection if we could.
Nessa Harcanu: That  would be fine.
Bob Anderson: I've been told that you have original paintings by Renoir, Manet, Monet, Pissarro, and several paintings by van Gogh.
Nessa Harcanu: I knew almost all of the Impressionists. As indicated in the book, I gave them money when they were starving you bought their paintings when no one else would. I have kept only a few and give them the rest to museums in Europe in this country.,

Friday, December 9, 2011

Unholy Embrace - Mortal Man Loving a Female Vampire

Frank, a mortal,  thinks heavily on an emotional commitment to his girlfriend Nessa, a vampire.

"After leaving her apartment, I was outside walking toward Central Park within five minutes. If I took too long to decide, our relationship would end. Nessa had been lonely for over four hundred years. She made a choice about me, perhaps impulsively, but now I knew how much I meant to her. She would be devastated if I rejected her, and I had no wish to be the cause of such pain. But I also needed to consider the risks involved.

I walked along the outside of the park until I found myself in front of the Museum of Natural History. For all the information it contained, it didn't have displays about creatures the visitors were better off not knowing. Nessa, werewolves, and demons didn't exist in any of the museum's catalogs. However, she was also a woman, one that aroused the strongest feelings I had ever experienced. Should I make a commitment based mostly on feelings? I was always so rational. To go with her was to step into the unknown and far beyond my comfort zone.

When I looked at my watch, I saw five hours remained until dawn. For once in my life I decided to go where my heart led. I walked south until I hailed a cab, and in a few minutes I was back at her apartment. The strong need I felt to be with her contrasted with how I felt two hours ago. Time is not measured in minutes or hours but by the manner in which we experience our lives. When I stood in front of her door, I knew my decision."

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Night Librarian, a short story by Neil Benson, to be included in Satin Beauty

My short story,The Night Librarian, was accepted for publication inin Satin Beauty Anthology, to be published by Static Movement. The Night Librarian is a story about a librarian who helps the students at a local college during the day, and helps herself to the local students at night. The librarian is a succubus who uses The virility of the male students to a replenish her energy on a daily basis. She is a "good succubus" because the students are alive, but tired the following morning. Ancient myths portray Lilith as the mother of all succubi. She's also been accused of being the mother of all vampires.Clearly, the woman has a bad reputation. If you have a few minutes to kill, so to speak, type in "Lilith" into Google and I guarantee you will have a few very interesting minutes.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Review of Unholy Embrace by Neil Benson Paula Phillips

PictureReview  by Paula Phillips: Unholy Embrace - Neil Benson -2010

A popular storyline lately has been the tale of the mortal/vampire love story and the majority of them have ended up writing the male as a Vampire and the female as the lovestruck mortal. One thing that I really liked in Neil Benson's book is that he decided to use gender reversed roles and make the male the lovestruck mortal and the female the Vampire. Having it this way, was a nice change for once.

The story starts when Frank and Nessa are out on a date and are attacked by Werewolves, the attack causes Nessa to extract her fangs and go all-vampirey , something that Frank hasn't really experienced before. From then on , we are transported back to the beginning -where they first met and how their relationship started and of course how they reached the point in the story.

What follows is Nessa explaining and opening her 400yr old heart to Frank and telling her story on how she became a Vampire starting in Hungary all the way to her travels via Vienna and Paris to the Present time in New York.  We read as the Werewolves attacks are just the beginning as Nessa has been on the run nearly 400 years and has been tracked by Narice - the vampire lover of the Vampire who turned Nessa and in return Nessa Killed out of vengeance.

When Frank realises the consequences and danger of being with Nessa , can he stand strong and embrace the unholiness of being with a Vampire or will he take the white feather coward option out and leave Nessa to follow a path of a normal life ?

An excellent story that shows readers in a paranormal and supernatural way that no matter what happens and how terrifying obstacles can be - love between not only mortals but mortals and supernaturals can stick together and overcome anything.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Real Vampires: The need for bad science.

Undead Vampires, ranging from Dracula, created by Bram Stoker, to the more urbane Lestat, created by Anne Rice, all share two basic characteristics. They are dead, and they need to ingest blood from mortals to continue to exist. They also share common traits with mortals.  They stand, talk, move, run, and carry out all sorts of physical activities.

How do vampires carry out their active physical existences? Humans, mortals, have complex biological systems that provide energy to the muscles, tendons, bones, etc. that enable us to carry out activities. Vampires are dead: their hearts don't beat; their lungs don't breathe; and their former biological energy producing systems are no longer functioning. Where do their muscles get energy? Dr. Katherine Ramsland wrote an entire book, The Science of Vampires, speculating about how vampires function and think. Dr. Ramsland could only speculate, because neither she nor anyone else has examined a "real undead vampire."

In the movies and in novels, vampires share blood with humans to turn them into vampires. How is this possible? Without hearts that beat, what keeps vampire blood flowing? Vampires are always depicted as being cold to the touch, quite logical since they are dead. Vampires are also depicted as being impervious to the cold. However, if they are cold-blooded creatures, and they are outside, or even inside, in freezing temperatures their blood would thicken. That issue has never been addressed to the best of my knowledge. It's not a matter of unanswerable questions as much as it is a illogical possibilities.

We've also seen, or read about, vampires turning into some kind of dust or smoke. The transformation of matter from one form, a solid, into another form, gaseous, requires heat or some kind of chemical process. Modern science has no means by which it can almost instantaneously turn a solid object into a gaseous one with the exception of a nuclear explosion. There's a lot of bad science going on when it comes to the undead vampire. The stories of these creatures arise from folklore and are given life not by some magical process, but by the creative imagination of writers. The reader also has to participate, because more than a little suspension of disbelief is required to go along with the idea. However, judging by the current popularity of vampire books, movies, and now television shows, science and logic of the furthest things from the minds of readers and viewers.