Kevin J. Anderson, Author of “Much at Stake”

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

“Much at Stake” is a different sort of Dracula story — I took the two opposite ends of the legend, from the original Vlad the Impaler to the actor Bela Lugosi, and made them meet each other.

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

I learned that Bela Lugosi was quite a heroin addict, which I thought provided the opportunity for him to “meet” the real historical Vlad the Impaler, inspiration for the Dracula legend.

Was this story a particularly challenging one to write? If so, how?

It required a lot of historical research — both about Vlad and about Lugosi — more than one would usually do for a short story.

Most authors say all their stories are personal. If that’s true for you, in what way was this story personal to you?

As a kid I was always a fan of Lugosi and his old monster movies; this allowed me to get a closer look at the man, and some of his very interesting flaws.

What is the appeal of vampire fiction? Why do so many writers–or you yourself–write about it? Why do readers and film viewers love it so much?

The mythos has grown so rich and varied over the past century or so, it gives writers plenty of room to operate with their imaginations. My story takes place on the periphery of actual vampire fiction…more a story about vampires than a story with vampires.

What are some of your favorite examples of vampire fiction, and what makes them your favorites?

My personal favorite is Dan Simmons’s Children of the Night…but then, he’s always exceptional.