Thursday, January 23, 2014

MEETING MR. STOKER, BY RAYMOND BUCKLAND, PART 2

(from Penguinusblog.com)


Bram Stoker was a busy man. As theatre manager he oversaw several hundred employees: actors, designers, wardrobe, properties, scenery-builders, plus front of house such as caterers, ticket vendors, ushers. He also handled publicity, finances, special guests, and so on. He very much admired Henry Irving and did a lot of extra-curricula work for him.

Most productions had at least two matinées a week. If it were approaching the end of one production, then rehearsals for the following production would have to be scheduled so as not to interfere with the previous one. With this in mind, I felt that Stoker would not have enough spare time to investigate all of the mysteries that I intended to provide for him. I realized that he needed some sort of an assistant; a Dr. Watson or an Archie Goodwin character to do some of the legwork. I therefore invented Harry Rivers, the Stage Manager.

Although many of the characters I use in my stories are based on actual people from that time period, there are a few created from whole cloth. Harry Rivers is one such. He and his boss, Bram Stoker, work very well together and Harry is able to run around doing whatever is necessary to help with the crime solving. Harry is also able to mingle with the lower classes where Stoker would stick out in that group.

I was not planning any love interest in the Bram Stoker Mysteries but there seems to be an interest developing for Harry. I hadn’t originally intended it but you can never tell what your characters might decide to do themselves! As it turns out, the young lady involved becomes very much a part of the story in the second book in the series, Dead for a Spell due out in October 2014, though I won’t spoil things by saying any more than that here.

I do hope you’ll enjoy the Bram Stoker Mysteries as much as I enjoy writing them!