Monday, September 16, 2013

Dark Shadows Star, Lara Parker, Still Bewitching Fans and Readers

IMG_1686Growing up, my absolute favorite series on television was Dark Shadows. Having been born the year it debuted, I didn’t see it in its original glory. I unearthed it ten years later when it went into syndication on WTBS. It aired at 10:00 pm, Central – which also happened to be my bedtime. But my horror show loving dad had put a TV in my room and every night, I’d bid the fam goodnight, shut my door and secretly turned on Dark Shadows.

I adored the melodramatic Gothic goodness, the unrequited love, time travel, vampires, witches, werewolves, and ghosts. My favorite part of the series was when Victoria Winters traveled back in time to the 1700s where she got unwittingly caught up in the love triangle between Barnabas Collins, Josette DuPre, and Angelique Bouchard.

The wonderful foggy cemetery scenes, dramatic music, long dresses, coiffed hair, wolf’s head canes and greatcoats beckoned my romantic nature like a siren song. Even as a 10 year old, I sided with the plight of the villainess, Angelique, who also happened to be a powerful witch. After all, Barnabas had toyed with her affections. Don’t we all wish we could hex a trifling man once in awhile?

Because Angelique was portrayed as such a villain on the show, I (at that tender age of 10) began writing Dark Shadows fan fiction, featuring Angelique as the heroine. And, I gave her a sidekick gal pal named Gwendolyn Wyse. (If you’ve read the third book in my Phantom Lovers series, Watchkeeper, you’ll recognize Gwen’s name.) Reverend Trask, Collinsport witch hunter extraordinaire, and his protégé, (a character of my own making) Geoffrey Static, became my villains who suffered taunting only a 10 year old could dream up (Rev. Trash lol) and the occasional cauldron-induced curse rife with eye of newt and wing of bat.

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I enlisted the help of my best friend, Karen Murphy Merrigan, and together we illustrated and wrote pages and pages of Dark Shadows stories featuring our witchy heroines. We even were given permission by our favorite teacher, Mrs. Hudson, to put on a Dark Shadows themed play in which I (of course!) played the part of Angelique.

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Fast-forward forty years… (just like time travel on Dark Shadows!) and I discover, Lara Parker, the lovely actress who played Angelique in the original series on Facebook. And to my delight, I learn that she has written several Dark Shadows books. After visiting her website, I learned she’d be in Memphis signing her latest book, Wolf Moon Rising.

I most definitely had a fangirl moment when I got the opportunity to meet her and show her my childhood Dark Shadows fan fiction.

Have you ever met your favorite actor, actress, or author? Or someone who inspired you when you were a child?

watchkeeper_msrComment on my post to be included in a drawing for a free download of Watchkeeper and to be entered in the grand prize giveaway, a Kindle Fire HD 7 Tablet!

Meeting your favorite author or actress is such a treat. So is taking away a signed book, or two, or ten!

This month we’re celebrating our Romance Readers Luncheon, where there’ll be several authors hosting tables, greeting fans, and signing books, by giving away books and other goodies, including the grand prize of a Kindle Fire HD 7" Tablet.  To win the tablet, be sure to comment throughout the month. On September 30, we'll draw from everyone who commented (exception: Southern Magic members and international commenters are ineligible - sorry) and announce the grand prize winner.

If you wish to attend the luncheon, be sure to register and pay before October 27 at www.southernmagic.org/luncheon/html.

When: November 2, 2013, Saturday, 11 a.m.

Where: Harbert Center in downtown Birmingham, AL (free parking)

Who: The keynote speaker is NYT bestselling author Jeaniene Frost! The welcome speaker is NYT bestselling author Christy Reece who also writes as Ella Grace.

Why: We’ll be giving away lots of free books, and you’ll have opportunities to take home a basket full or more. Plus you’ll have a wonderful lunch with a published author. The list of authors can be found at www.southernmagic.org

Good luck, everyone!

8 comments:

Naima Simone said...

Oh wow, I can't believe you still have the hand-written pages and drawings! LOLOL!! That is so freakin' cool!! I used to write stories about me and Donnie Wahlburg. Then I'd pen some love stories about my sister with Joe McIntyre, and my best friend, Giovanna and Jordan Knight. Snicker! I still have those in a trunk deeeep in my closet. You bought back some great memories!

I've never met an actress or singer I loved, but I remember vividly meeting Linda Howard at my first ever Readers Luncheon. I had such a fan girl moment! I couldn't believe I was in the same room as her only tables away. She was--shooot! IS!--my icon! So that was a great moment for me!

AWESOME post, Debra! Thanks for sharing!!

Jillian said...

how utterly cool. I loved, loved that show. I was a Quentin girl all the way. It's awesome that you still have your pages. The drawings are wonderful. What a neat experience to meet her.

bn100 said...

Don't have a fav actor, but it was nice meeting Peter Gallagher

bn100candg at hotmail dot com

snarkymomreads said...

I was a real fan geek when I went to a Creating Keepsakes University and met Lisa Bearnson & all the gang. I embarassed my friend running around asking for autographs LOL!

Louisa Cornell said...

OMG !!! I am GREEN with envy! I LOVED Dark Shadows when I as a kid. (Which tells you how old I am!) I watched it for the first time at my Nana's in Pennsylvania. She was a huge fan. I think I was about nine years old. LOVED the series and I think I still have a forty-five (that's a vinyl record to you young whippersnappers!) of the Dark Shadows theme on one side and Quentin's Theme on the other.

I've met so many of my idols since I joined RWA. I mean, I rode the subway in New York and went to a Lady Jane's Salon reading with Jo Beverley! THE Jo Beverley!

I met a number of well known opera singers during my career and I even sang for Pavarotti once. (He was such a dear, sweet man!) And I met Leontyne Price too! She is gorgeous, ageless and she and my Mom talked recipes!

My biggest thrill so far as meeting actors goes was meeting Vincent Price! He did a touring one man show of Oscar Wilde and I caught the show at the University of Alabama. He was absolutely charming! We talked opera and Edgar Allan Poe.

Debra Glass said...

Oh Louisa, how cool! Vincent Price!!
Thanks everyone for all the comments!

Pyxi Rose said...

Anne Rice! She is an amazing writer and just the sweetest person you will ever meet. :)


Great post!
Pyxi Rose

Shadow said...

Awesome post! It would be fantastic to meet one of my favorite authors. I have so many! Id definitely have some fangirl moments! My dream is to go to one of the book conventions, meet all or at least most of my favorite authors! Youll know me by the wheelbarrow im carting around. Making multiple trips to my car. lol Id want at least one signed book from them. lol Thanks for sharing! Im now gonna go check out Dark Shadows. Ive never heard of it. lol Thanks!