When I wrote the summary above it sounded like an allegory: Rob Wallet going now to a better place. Throughout the writing of the novels I never intended any of it to be allegorical and I certainly didn’t expect to send Wallet off into the dark night.
But what was it all about? At its heart the TotenUniverse was an enormous bit of fun, a chaotic ride involving blood, sex and a lot of black humour. It brought together a lot of stuff and nonsense I’ve been interested in all my life: rock music, the supernatural, a bit of conspiracy and a good mystery. How could I resist writing these ideas and creating a new world?
Another reason was the rehabilitation of the vampire genre after it was successfully hijacked and repackaged for a middle-class youth audience. The Twilight and Vampire Diaries series may have brought a lot of pleasure to millions of readers, I don’t begrudge them that, but come on: vampires were never meant to be stalking teenage girls around American colleges!
Writing about the Malandanti was more problematic. The stories coincided with a virulent strain of jihadist terrorism and whilst writing the novels thousands died at the hands of these pious lunatics. How could I possibly question innocence against that kind of backdrop? My excuse is not that I think the innocent are guilty, but that it takes more than a terrorist to kill thousands; it requires a perverted geopolitical environment, a rapacious arms trade, a religious mindset that has lost all connection with morality, and a media that insists on simplifying complex problems for their own business interests.
Insurmountable problems? My own personal view is very pessimistic and maybe Wallet’s retreat into the lost valley is my projecting hope onto a hopeless situation. But as I said the novels are not allegorical, they’re not autobiographical, the vampires don’t represent anything other than a strand of folklore, the Malandanti is a borrowed term from Italian history and Frieda Schoenhofer is a name a lot of people will never pronounce correctly. (Shurn-hoffer.)
So when you turn the last page and read the final sentence, don’t go looking for messages that aren’t there, don’t feel sad for anyone, look back on where all this started: a musical project in Logic Pro, a newspaper article about 10CC and a Youtube video of the Sweet. From such inauspicious sources urban legends are born.
Come the Day of Revelation will be published in late 2022.