Hello Carole and thank you for inviting me onto you blog. First a little about myself. My name is Charles E Butler and I am a sometime writer/illustrator and actor. I was born in Leeds, west Yorkshire UK and have probably worked everywhere in that city over the last thirty years.
Having no formal qualifications, I have tried my hand at wine waiting; Telephone operative. Wholesale Administrator, sweet manufacturer, fixer of electrical goods, warehouse wholesale and retail, printing and print finishing and a whole range of layman jobs, warehouse skivvy and removal man…to name but a few.
Growing up, I was an ailing child who flung himself into fantasy when I lost my father. I started collecting comic books and watching all night horror movies on BBC2. I became lost in fantasy. I also had an uncanny ability to be able to draw my favourite characters from the comic books. I would write and draw my own stories. I had found my calling; I wanted to be a comic book artist!
As the rejections poured in and the years went by, I found myself drifting from one job to another thanks to the celebrated YTS government program scheme. I left school with no qualifications and no hope! I laughed at a Romany Gypsy who told me – on my 25th birthday – that I was going to be internationally successful and the linking factor would be the letter ‘D’.
I joined local acting groups and fended off my depression in a variety of plays and short films. Sometimes I would be paid, which is always welcome. Twenty years on, I have finally secured an agent!! Jobwise, however, I was still drifting.
Technology grew and the 1990s – thanks to regular acting gigs – went by in a blur. The millennium came and went, but I was still exactly where I began! I had still to invest in a pc. A friend sold me a Windows 97 pc in 2007 after I had just walked out of another job – telephone salesman – and I paid 50GBP for it. I began playing with the paint program and scanner.
I had no internet, so had a lot of time to acquaint myself with the keyboard. I wrote some short stories on the word program – now lost unfortunately – and then I read a really dumb review book that talked about the celebrated Horror film Studio, Hammer films. The character who wrote – if that is the word? – the book, clearly had no interest in the project save for the cheque that he had already put into the bank. Unemployed and feeling dejected, I threw the book down in disgust promising myself that I could have done a better job.
I looked at my creaking video shelves filled with vampire horrors! The seed had been planted and in three months the first draft of The Romance of Dracula; a personal Journey of the Count on celluloid was completed, with a specially prepared cover and scanned photographs. But there were copyright restrictions on using photographs. I balked at my brother’s suggestion that I draw the illustrations.
When I finished the drawing of Max Schreck lying in his coffin, then I decided to publish!
The Romance of Dracula was rejected world-wide 48 (forty eight) times. The work was excellent, but they couldn’t sell the author and many were filled with, ‘there is always room at the top’ type suggestions and ‘don’t give up!’ I had no intentions of ever giving up. I posted the full manuscript complete with drawings and a new cover to an established publishing house printers on Route 66. Two months later they returned the drawings, but no text!
Warning bells sounded and I invented a publishers logo and self-published to kindle pad that very next hour! Since publication of the kindle pad in 2010 and the hardcover emerging in 2011.
I have followed through with Vampires Everywhere; the Rise of the Movie UnDead and Vampires Under the Hammer in 2012 and 2013 respectively. I have also written articles for esteemed publications, The Eerie Digest, Diabolique and We Belong Dead and I have drawings published in other people’s works. I have been extensively interviewed online and had my books accepted in libraries locally.
I am informed that Iowa State University holds a copy of The Romance of Dracula and all three books are in the State Library of Southern Australia!
Currently, I am writing three follow on books; Werewolves; the Children of the full Moon , The Monsters of Frankenstein.
and my first novel, Demosthenes and the vampire of Rome,
but beating them to the printer will be Vampires; the Final Hunt which closes the coffin lid on the movie vampire once and for all.
In the near future, I am looking forward to giving my first lecture at Bradford University around September and in October, I am a guest at the Dark Arts section of the Bram Stoker International Festival in Whitby! Plus of course, my narrated short story on the televised ‘Fragments of Fear!’
The Romance of Dracula https://www.createspace.com/3573229
Vampires Everywhere https://www.createspace.com/3928848
Vampires Under the Hammer https://www.createspace.com/4049295
Fragments of Fear http://fragmentsoffear.com/
Bram Stoker International Film Festival - http://www.bramstokerfilmfestival.com/