Barbara Hambly, Author of “Sunrise on Running Water”

Tell us a bit about your story. What’s it about?

“Sunrise on Running Water” is about a vampire — he’s traveling under the name of Lord Napier Sandridge but we’re given to understand that’s not his real name — who is unfortunate enough to be on the Titanic on that ship’s maiden voyage.

What was the genesis of the story–what was the inspiration for it, or what prompted you to write it?

The genesis of the story was simple logistics: the Titanic loaded in dusk at Cherborg, sank in darkness, and the rescue-boats made their appearance only minutes after full dawn. If a vampire had been in one of the boats, he’d have been totally without powers — being upon running water (having shipped himself as Dracula did in a box of earth) — and would have been faced with the horrible choice of spontaneously auto-combusting at the first touch of sunlight, or dropping overboard in the deepest portion of the Atlantic ocean, to lie paralyzed upon the ocean floor – conscious and unable to either move or die — possibly forever. Since I’ve posited that vampires are people who would rather kill total strangers than go hungry themselves, there’s no question but that this fate serves poor Lord Napier right. How could you not write a story like that?

What kind of research did you have to do for the story?

Since Lord Napier — and the sinking of the Titanic — are virtually contemporaneous with Those Who Hunt the Night and Traveling With the Dead, (Don Simon Ysidro makes a brief cameo) most of my research was already done. The only thing I had to do was find the deck-plans of the Titanic, which you can do on-line, and figure out why Lord Napier was making the trip.