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David Patrick, a 2008 graduate of Bethlehem High School, is currently trying to promote a novel that he published in 2007.
Patrick, now 23, began writing his novel “Nero Damare and the Legend of the Vampires,” when he was just 15.
“I was going through an old Nintendo Power Magazine and there was a videogame I came across,” Patrick said.
The game was “Castlevania” and it depicted a Victorian-era hero that would travel through dungeons and tunnels to the top of a castle, where he would typically fight Dracula or some version of a vampire.
“Everything about it was pretty fascinating to me, and I ended up thinking ‘I’d like to tackle this genre.’ ”
Patrick had been experimenting with different story ideas since he was eight years old.
In August of 2005, he began his sophomore year at Bethlehem, and it was then he became more focused about completing a book. He began writing ideas for vampire stories, and within a couple of hours, he had an outline for a 200-plus-page manuscript.
“I had little pinpoints I had written down, kind of like when you open up a DVD case and there is a little pamphlet with the whole movie marked down in chapters,” Patrick said.
He took these mini chapters, characters and quotes and put a skeletal structure together for the book.
By 2006, Patrick had finished and edited his story. By 2007, when he had turned 17, he went ahead and had it published. But a busy life of preparing for college overwhelmed the young author.
“I basically looked at my finished book and said I’d come back to it someday,” Patrick said.
Patrick married this past October and his wife read his book and told him it was time to share it with the rest of the world.
In an effort to spread the word of his book, Patrick has set up a number of book signings and events. He is currently working with the principal of Bethlehem to put together a signing at the school.
“The basic premise of the book is about a 7-year-old boy named Nero and his fascination with vampires,” Patrick said. “He lives in a city where you don’t believe in vampires, or the supernatural or even God, and he is really ostracized for his beliefs.”
Patrick said it is Nero’s destiny to defeat the vampire king and save the world.
Patrick’s novel shows the struggles, even psychologically, that a protagonist deals with.
“You don’t have this portrayal of some sort of angelic archetype vs. some wicked evil Disney source,” Patrick said.
The author found it important in his writing to go outside the norm of popular vampire culture.
“In the last decade, vampires are portrayed more so as erotic and sometimes even as heroic,” Patrick said. “They are typically pale-skinned humanoids with fangs. My interpretation is very much against the grain.”
Patrick’s depiction of vampires is more like gargoyles or demons with frontal lobe horns, wings, and tails.
“They are depicted much more monstrous than in the way the media has, of late, portrayed them.”
Patrick also worked to write his book in a way that would not “repel” certain audiences. Coming from a devout Christian background, he wanted to incorporate some of those biblical concepts, but not explicitly, so that those of different backgrounds and religions could relate.
“That allows interpretation for different readers,” Patrick said. “Whether you are part of the same faith or not, it will still be relatable.”
Patrick’s’ novel is available on Amazon.com as well as a Kindle e-edition.
For more information about the novel or Patrick, visit www.legendofthevampires.net.