All books draw on the literary tradition of their genre, but none of the panelists are so conscious of it, or as vocal about it as Cynthia Leitich Smith’s Tantalize series which was inspired by Stoker’s Dracula. As she tells readers on her site:
“One key question was when to embrace Stoker’s influence and when to shrink from it. I discounted the idea of retelling the story and chose to extend it instead.”
— Cynthia Leitich Smith, Tantalize Reader’s Guide
What Cynthia does is take a relatively minor character from Dracula, the Texas vampire hunter Quincey P. Morris, and make the character female and the protagonist. Unlike Dracula, the story becomes less about the hunting and slaying of vampires and more about hunting and slaying the monster within. After all, Cynthia wanted her characters to have “a potential for moral vision, the ability to see themselves, that Stoker’s lacked.”
To hear Cynthia talk more about her books, come join us Friday at 7PM for the Vicious Valentine panel. Click here for more information.