Oh, my, another vampire novel? You may find comfort in The Lonely Vampire which has a ground-breaking take on the vampire as a creature with roots in folklore. A stand-alone intimate story with past tense writing, short (five-or-six-page) chapters, writing in first-person from Myrna Ivester’s perspective and third-person point-of-view for the other characters in the novel to give insight into their motivations. Ann Greyson explores the inexplicable bond between the vampires showing readers just how broad a range her imagination can encompass.
In 1578, Gheorgheni, Romania, people rise up to remove the vampires from society by cutting off their heads or driving a wooden stake through their hearts, leaving behind a werewolf planning to go after missing vampires. Present day, Newcastle Upon Tyne city in Northumberland, England, Ileana Vladislava is perpetually a lonely vampire in her countryside castle. Ileana doesn’t like the idea of killing other people in order to survive, rather she feeds on the blood of wild animals or helps herself to pints of blood from hospital reserves. Watching the film Nosferatu on television, Ileana amuses in the inaccurate depiction of vampires when the character Max Schreck portrays disintegrates from exposure to sunlight. Most true that Ileana thrives in darkness and is sensitive to sunlight, but only long-term exposure will inflict severe burns to her body. When Ileana encounters Myrna at a library, she has her fangs set on her because there is something about Myrna that sets her apart from anyone else. Longing for a vampire family again, Ileana emerges from sadness and loneliness to make an eternal connection by appearing as a bat in Myrna’s dream. In all actual, Myrna is under hypnosis, in a state of deep trance, spell-inducing sleepwalking into the woods for a rendezvous with Ileana who turns her into a vampire without her consent. An astonishing attraction that teases her at just the right time in her life, Myrna embraces her endless immortality without giving a second’s consideration to her bloodlust. This tale of a good vampire will hold up on its own, right up to the conflict with the werewolf, who at long last finds Ileana.
In the midst of a life-shaping event, the reader will feel Myrna Ivester’s joys and pains, and will appreciate how her relationship with Ileana develops. Leaving her old life and friend Siobhan Mulcahy behind is heart-wrenchingly sad enough to make you cry or hold back a tear or two, but Myrna finds what she has always been looking for in the vampire’s life, and it doesn’t get much better than this. Who Myrna is at the beginning of the book is not the same person she is at its end. Join Myrna as she truly discovers who she is and the truth of her destiny.
Nothing can prepare you for Lorraine Krag, a nosy busy-body neighbor, who lives in a house nearby Ileana’s castle. This haughty older woman nags at her husband with a never-ending stream of meddling that may lead to the discovery of the truth about Ileana or reach the wrong conclusion entirely, making things fall out-of-your-chair funny.
It goes without saying that vampire-novels are not all the same and never quite that simple as The Lonely Vampire moves in a different direction. Ann Greyson ups her writing game, digging deep into the quirks of her characters. You can connect to a vampire’s world chock-full of characters (such as April Fielding and Viktor Pavlovic) whose strength comes from being different, outcasts that reclaim the concept of weird, wearing it on their sleeve like a badge of honor. Needless to say, it is another highlight of the book which will no doubt be of interest to vampire fans.
The stakes are higher than ever in this dark, engrossing story full of passion, humor, and a fairy tale ending with such a twist that after reading The Lonely Vampire in its entirety you’ll want to read it again to make sure you really get it. Because in the end none of it is the way you expect it to be, is this story’s most non-conformist aspect of all.
After the release of The Lonely Vampire, other books coming of Ann Greyson’s manuscripts and novelizations of TV programs by 2025 are: Gotham Kitty, Birdwatcher, The Out World, SpaceWoman, Cowgirls & Indians, The Distressed Damsel, Atlanta Penitentiary Hostage Crisis, and O Christmas Tree children’s book.