This past weekend I loaded up on new reading at my favorite local bookstore at their buy five, get five free book sale. Out of the ten I walked out of, one of my choices was a complete accident. While searching for a final book to round out my ten, I had noticed a few copies of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and grabbed one to finish my stack. When I got home, I realized that had in fact bought a collection of Bram Stoker’s short stories called Dracula’s Guest & Other Tales of Horror, instead of the novel Dracula.
I was intrigued. I had been previously unaware, like many people, that Bram Stoker had written anything other then Dracula. It turns out, he’s written eleven novels in addition to the numerous short stories in the collection I stumbled upon.
The introduction to the collection gives some interesting details of Stoker’s childhood, during which he was sickly and bedridden. His mother entertained him with Irish folklore and stories of the cholera outbreak that occurred in 1832, which biographers believe inspired his many works involving numerous deaths.
Reading this collection of Stoker’s short stories is also giving me a change to take the advice of another blogger, Rust Belt Girl, and read a renowned author’s earlier work to better appreciate how they craft their stories. So far I’ve only gotten through the first story, but I can already see some of the ideas that would further develop in Dracula.