I have been an admirer of Nancy Baker’s work for some time, so I was really glad that she agreed to do an interview on Speculating Canada. Nancy Baker is the author of fantastic novels such as The Night Inside, Blood and Crysanthemums, and A Terrible Beauty.
Check out our interview on Wednesday December 5th and hear Nancy Baker’s insights on the nuances of vampire characters, infusing vampires with normal lives, the use of the vampiric subject to explore social issues, sexuality, and the role of horror in giving voice to the ‘Other’.
Here are some highlights from the interview:
Nancy Baker: At its best, horror and fantastic literature can show us the darkness that humans are capable of and to reveal that the reader shares that potential. It can also show us that the “other” is sometimes as deserving of compassion as we hope that we are.
Nancy Baker: “What interested me in the first book was what happened if you were an ordinary person who was transformed into a vampire, when becoming a vampire didn’t automatically make you rich, smart, or amoral.”
Nancy Baker: “Vampire fiction has been used to look at issues of addiction, oppression, disease, predation, and sexuality. It’s also been used just to scare the hell out of us.”
Nancy Baker: “The evocation of nature as a shaping, often inimical, force is one of the things that is considered traditionally “Canadian””
Nancy Baker: Vampires never seem to be out of style, though how hot they are at any given time depends on what books and films are popular. I think that reflects the flexibility of the mythology, which can be scary, seductive, funny, or tragic.
Nancy Baker: “The idea of eternal youth and beauty is an ancient one, from Greek mythology to The Picture of Dorian Grey to our own culture’s reliance on surgical intervention.”
Nancy Baker: “The peril of perpetual youth is, of course, that you never actually grow up, and that does seem to be particularly common with vampire characters.”
Nancy Baker: “I suppose the biggest compliment for a writer is that a reader wants to read your next book as well – or your old ones again. I’m also thrilled if someone says that one of the books made them want to try writing something of their own.”
Nancy Baker invites readers of this interview to ponder the vampiric subject further and asks her readers to delve deep into questions about vampire stories and what they can reveal about the world that creates them. She invites readers into the process of postulating over the vampire.
Ms. Baker shares her extensive knowledge of vampire literature on Speculating Canada on Wednesday, December 5th. If you are anything like myself, you will probably be reading this interview and taking notes about what to read next. I hope you enjoy it.
You can check out my review of Nancy Baker’s A Terrible Beauty on September 12th on Speculating Canada. You can check out Nancy Baker’s website at http://www.nancybaker.ca/