BOERNE – A 1970s era made-for-tv vampire production not only led Thomas Edwards to a decades-long career in journalism, but also to the fulfillment of his life-long mission to see his own horror novel published.
“I am a great fan of horror, and I always have been,” said Edwards, whose novel “Daughters Drear” was released last month by Texas-based publisher Black Rose Writing.
Edwards is the executive editor for Granite Media Partners Inc., and oversees the news operations at 10 newspapers, five magazines and 13 websites across Texas. Granite is the owner of the Boerne Star.
“Having been a career crime reporter in San Antonio, I wanted to take some of the real-life horrors I saw but visualize them in the context of a vampire story and a reporter trying to prevent the end of the world,” Edwards said.
Set of the frozen streets of San Antonio during an ice storm, Edwards’ “Daughters Drear,” features a pipe-smoking Welsh-American crime reporter named John Blackwood who is forced to match wits with a murderous trio of vampire sisters in pursuit of an ancient book of black magic at a local museum that can give their master, a renegade angel named Sarvael, the power to enslave humanity.
Edwards, now 62, said the first seed for this decades-long project was planted while watching the TV series “Night Stalker” 50 years ago.
“It was about a crime reporter named Carl Kolchak who always stumbled onto these crimes, and the deeper he investigated them, it turned out there were supernatural or paranormal forced behind it,” Edwards said. “As a little boy sitting with my dad, a career soldier, we would watch that show on Friday nights, and I guess that inspired me to actually become a reporter.”
Edwards said his more than a dozen years on the crime beat covering homicides, occult crimes, gang wars, arsons and much more provided much fodder for Daughters Drear.
“As a police reporter, I saw just terrible, terrible things that nobody ever really should see,” Edwards said. “(But) to me, everybody is interested in stories about life and death, and sometimes the most
interesting store are about those who died violently, and if it’s a crime, find the perpetrator and see that they are brought to justice.”
Nevertheless, it was a San Antonio Express-News colleague’s gift that gave Edward’s the details he needed to flesh out the novel’s vampiress villains.
"Another reporter one day was trying to offload this lengthy encyclopedia of paranormal things, an A-to-Z of everything, from the Golem of Jewish lore to zombies,” Edwards said. “These were published in Great Britain in the 1970s. He might have found them in a secondhand bookstore, but I guess he gave them to me because I was weird. And way back in the mid ‘80s, as I started to go through these, I found this class of vampires called succubi, and in certain Christian and Jewish streams of narrative, they are mentioned.”
Despite Edwards’ fascination with horror, there has been one aspect of the genre he takes issue with.
“In too much modern horror, the bad guy always wins,” Edwards said. “You see these movies where the devil is always victorious. I just got sick of that. I am going to go ahead and give a spoiler here: In this book, through hard work, sacrifice and loss, the heroes, the good guys, do win. I just wanted to see a horror novel where the good guys do win, so I wrote one.”
“Daughters Drear” is available on amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com and goodreads.com