Tag: Werewolf

Nominate: Best Vampire or Werewolf Acting?

There is going to be another vote; best vampire or werewolf acting!

Klause Kinski in Nosferatu  the Vampyre
Klause Kinski in Nosferatu the Vampyre

Please nominate your favourites in the comments and I will add them to the list. Nominations close 5pm, 18 May. You can nominate by commenting here, tweeting me at @Lazlo_F or messaging me/commenting on Facebook.

Es wird wieder eine Stimme zu sein; beste schauspielerische Vampir oder Werwolf!

Bitte benennen Sie Ihre Favoriten in den Kommentaren und ich werde sie in die Liste aufzunehmen. Nominierungen in der Nähe 17.00, den 18. Mai.

Hier sind meine Nominierungen (in keiner bestimmten Reihenfolge):

एक और वोट होने जा रहा है; सबसे अच्छा अभिनय पिशाच या वेयरवोल्फ!

टिप्पणी में अपने पसंदीदा में नामित करना और मैं उन्हें सूची में जोड़ देंगे। नामांकन, 18 मई 17:00 बंद कर दें।

यहाँ (कोई विशेष क्रम में) मेरे नामांकन कर रहे हैं:

Il va y avoir un autre vote; meilleur vampire intérimaire ou loup-garou!

S’il vous plaît nommer vos favoris dans les commentaires et je vais les ajouter à la liste. La clôture des candidatures 17 heures, le 18 Mai.

Voici mes candidatures (sans ordre particulier):

No va a haber Comentarios otra vez; mejor vampiro o la actuación del hombre lobo!

Por favor nominar a sus favoritos en los comentarios y voy a añadir ’em a la lista. Nominaciones estrecha 17:00, 28 de Mayo.

Aquí están mis nominaciones (en ningún orden en particular):

ایک اور ووٹ ہونے جا رہا ہے؛ بہترین ویمپائر یا ویئروولف اداکاری!

تبصرے میں آپ کی پسندیدہ کی نامزدگی اور میں فہرست میں شامل کرے گا، براہ مہربانی. کاغذات نامزدگی، 18 مئی 5pm کے بند.

یہاں میری نامزدگیوں ہیں

Here are my nominations (in no particular order):

Willem Defoe as Max Schreck in Shadow of the Vampire (movie)

Robert Pattinson in Twilight (movie)

Catherine Deneuve in The Hunger (movie)

Klaus Kinski as Count Dracula in Nosferatu the Vampyre (movie)

Tom Cruise in Interview with a Vampire (movie)

Jack Nicholson as Will Randall in Wolf (movie)

Nina Dobrev as Elena in The Vampire Diaries

Kate Beckinsale as Selene in Underworld (movie)

Gary Oldman as Dracular in Dracula (movie)

David Naughton as David Kessler in American Werewolf in London (movie)

Christopher Lee as Dracula (various Hammer movies)

Lina Leandersson as Eli  in Let the Right One In (movie)

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Sneak preview of Ordo Lupus III: what do you think?

Here is the second preview of Ordo Lupus III, the as yet untitled third and final book in the series. I hope you like it. Please comment because your feedback is valuable to me.

Ordo Lupus III

Copyright © 2014 by Lazlo Ferran

All Rights Reserved.

We reached the street above the Street of the Salt Sellers and turned into it. Some way along it, Guillaume pointed to a small outcrop of rocks to the left.

“That courtyard. The entrance should be in there.”

Two Roman guards stood guard outside a heavy iron grill in a courtyard.

“Now what?” Hugo asked.

“I can deal with this easily,” I whispered. “Give me a few moments.”

Directly above the iron grill was a rock-face, perhaps thirty feet high but slightly to the nearside was a ledge only ten feet above the two guards. What was more, I could see an easy way to reach the ledge. Within minutes, I was in place and then leaped down on the nearest guard in dog form. I tore his throat out before he could react. The other guard had a one hand full of figs and the other raised to his mouth, He was too shocked to do anything but drop the figs and reach for his sword. I was upon him well before it left its sheath.

“No! No! No!” was his eloquent protest when my canines penetrated his neck. I transformed back to my usual self, my fangs still immersed in his warm blood. I tasted a sample before dropping him to the ground.

“Later!” I whispered. “It’s been a long time since I tasted the blood of Rome.”

I waved to the others and John’s keen eyes saw that the way was clear. Unfortunately, the guards kept no keys but a big heave with the hilt of a sword hilt broke the chain around the grill.

We’re in!

Every second man drew a torch, made from oil-soaked cloth wrapped around a short staff. They lit them to light our way. From a pouch, Guillaume drew out a tattered piece of parchment and checked his bearings in the flickering torchlight. Ahead of us the tunnel opened up. You could see where large, rectangular blocks of white limestone had been hewn from the cave’s walls, ceiling and floor, leaving an uneven surface like an old pavement.

“This way!” he announced, afterwards muttering, “If nothing has changed!”

He led us south, into a vast chamber perhaps 350 feet wide, and on into a series of low tunnels.

“What are we looking for,” John asked Guillaume. “Can I see the diagram?”

We huddled round as the knight held up the parchment.

I saw three diagrams and some text. From left to right, I saw: a snake wrapped around a staff underneath what looked like a twelve-pointed star around an eye; a crude depiction of six soldiers carrying a body wrapped in a sheet, with a crucifixion cross as background and a diagram showing a tunnel complex. Centrally placed, underneath the three diagrams was the single Hebrew word, ‘ישוע.’

***

So what do you think? Answers on a postcard please.

Ordo Lupus (The Order of the Wolf): who do you think they are?

This week: Grammar and Onomatopoeia and – Ordo Lupus (The Order of the Wolf): who do you think they are?

Grammar and Onomatopoeia

Grammar
I am just doing a light re-edit of the second book in the Ordo Lupus series: The Devil’s Own Dice. I have been pleasantly surprised how good it is! I occasionally go back to old books to just bring the grammar up to date. This is because, not only do my grammar skills improve as I publish more work but also there are fashions in grammar and these gradually change! Yes, it’s true!

Of course everybody knows that the meaning of a word can change over time. This field of study is called semantics. The obvious example is ‘gay’. When I was young this simply meant ‘happy’ or ‘bright and cheerful’. Now it most usually denotes someone physically attracted to the same sex.

Another word which changes meaning with time is ‘insidious’. The meaning of this word seems to actually fluctuate during cycles of about ten years. It can sometimes mean ‘subtle’ and sometimes mean ‘subtly bad’.

In two of my books, written in the mid-noughties, the phrase ‘in-control’ comes up quite a lot. People actually used said that a lot during the 80s and 90s. Now, nobody seems to use it so I take it out wherever I see it.

While I edit, I also look at ways to subtly improve the text. Occasionally, particularly when the action gets going and where most writers tend to use less commas, I find too many of the blighters. This sentence had two but by removing them, I created a much simpler sentence with a more flowing ‘feel’. Actually, I am quite pleased with this sentence; its quite difficult to create one this long which has no commas and yet is grammatically correct (correct me if it’s wrong somebody):

I did my best to stand up straight and look dignified in the doorway at the top of the stairs while the water dripped from my cloth hat onto my nose and then to the dry stone floor.

Onomatopoeia
Finally, I had the rare chance to improve on my use of onomatopoeia when I came upon this sentence:

At the sound of eight tolls of the nearby Abbey bell, I made my way back to Herleva’s room.

I instantly saw that this sentence had some onomatopoeic potential. I wanted this sentence to communicate a gloomy mood. What if eight syllables reminded me of the sound of a bell being tolled? What I ended up with is this:

At the sound of eight bells, tolled from the nearby Abbey bell, I made my way back to Herleva’s room.

Here we have the eight syllables: eight (1) bells (2), tolled (3) near- (4) by(5) Abb- (6) ey (7) bell (8).

Of course, strictly speaking this is not onomatopoeia. Nevertheless, the sounds of the words reflect the feel I want to get across so I think it’s very effective.

One wag quipped that in this case it may even simply be euphony (any agreeable (pleasing and harmonious) sound) because the sound of a bell ringing is pleasant but I would argue that I am not trying to create a pleasant sound, but a gloomy one.

See if you can find a sentence in one of your books where you can try this sort of trick. Writing can often be about mood-setting and this trick can work well.

Ordo Lupus (The Order of the Wolf): who do you think they are?
I have often been asked where my idea for the Ordo Lupus occult thriller series; Ordo Lupus and the Temple Gate and The Devil’s Own Dice, came from. Well, to be honest, the idea didn’t come completely out of the blue.

I had been interested in werewolves and vampires for a while. I was also intensely interested in cults and secret societies. Long before Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, I was interested in the Knights Templar and through this came to books by Henry Lincoln like Key To The Sacred Pattern: The Untold Story Of Rennes-le-Chateau (sadly out of print but still available on Amazon as a hardback). These books led me to an interest in the lost treasure of Rennes-le-Château and from there to an interest in the Cathars.

All this interest may well be because my family’s roots are in that region of France. In fact, one of my ancestors may well have been a Cathar!

So the seeds were there for a book about mysterious treasure and secret societies were planted in my mind. Then I stumbled upon this video on youtube while googling wolf cults:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DpJwzIC4G_4

I didn’t think too much about the video but at the end there was a link to a website:
http://www.ordolupus.org

I typed the address into my browser and came upon the most bizarre website I have ever encountered! The appearance is nothing special, forbidding crossed swords on a plain, black background and with nothing in the way of information about the cult apart from the enigmatic phrase ‘Don’t forget who you are’. Perhaps the introverted aspect of the website tempted me to enter my details in the hope that I would gain membership, if only for journalistic reasons.

I was to be sadly disappointed. Not only did they not respond to my submission, but when I messaged them on youtube, they didn’t respond there either. Frustrated, I copied their video, colour-corrected it and posted on my own youtube channel (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFYgIWQXS4Y). I was sure this provocative act would get them talking to me but no! They have never once contacted me. In fact, apart from a brief mention in a UK national newspaper (I can’t remember which one) and two mentions in Le Monde (29 September 2009), I have been able to find no other references to the cult.

And yet the website is still there!

Incidentally, from the Le Monde article I was able to find the park in Lyon where the beast was filmed and even the balcony from which it was most likely filmed. The trees are Plane Trees and from their size, I would estimate the beast was one of three things: a large alsatian/newfoundland cross, a smallish newfoundland, a wolf (they are not uncommon in Southern France although they are not known to enter the cities) or something else…

The website never changes. Clearly, my submission for membership did not arouse their interest, nor did I fit the credentials they are looking for. They ask the nascent member to say a bit about themselves and check that you are an adult but nothing I have tried, arouses their interest. Perhaps I need to be a werewolf? Ha! Ha!

In any case, I decided to write about Ordo Lupus. I made most of the detail up but speculation about this most secret, and exclusive of cult societies in inevitable.

So, tell me what you think. who do you think they are?

Blog: The Taste of First Blood

This week: Werewolves in Mauritius, Rewards for Reviews, Short Stirling aircraft recovery, Video Blog Tour

Werewolves in Mauritius
I often feel like a rabbit in the headlights when it comes to blog time. I simply haven’t prepared anything much and I am so busy, yet I want to give something to my readers and fans. This week it is a little easier because I came across this article on Werewolves in Mauritius. Actually it’s not the original recent article I was looking for – I heard of this phenomenon back in the summer – but the frequency of reports shows just how steeped in Werewolf culture Mauritius is.

Werewolves – or Loup Garou – the French equivalent word – inhabit the Mauritian subconscious like the sea and sun of this gorgeous island. They are said to prowl the streets and night, rape women and appear as naked men covered in oil. They are also said to be able to vanish at will but despite having such supernatural powers, they are not averse to a little high-tech gadgetry in their lives. The most recent spate of sighting this year included several eye-witness accounts of the Loup Garou carrying mobile phones and even talking on them!

I am fascinated by Vampire and werewolf… shall we call it culture, for now; I hate the terms mythology and legend. To me, vampires and werewolves are part of our very deepest emotions and views of the world. I believe man has had the idea of vampires and werewolves since he could visualise his own existence. Indeed I have been slowly developing a para-world that includes this as part of its fundamental structure. They may not be part of the physical world around us but their effect is.

I am equally fascinated by werewolves and I think they fit a similar niche in our inner-most thoughts. Shape-shifters or lycanthropes all, and welcome to my world if you believe. To this category we might also add the classic zombie – a creature which is also undead and loves the taste of human flesh. Their only real disadvantage is that they are rather impractically slow. I seriously doubt zombies of the classic Hollywood type could catch a hedge-hog, let alone a terrified human. Perhaps if we allow them a little more speed they too fit this category?

Whether you believe in the benevolent lycanthropes of early Medieval culture, or Jewish views of the seductive Lilith, or the predatory creatures of Hammer Horror, they fascinate most of us.

Getting back to Mauritius, of which I now have some knowledge, this island seems to regard werewolves as no more unusual than rain storm although they engender a much greater fear. A few things strike me about the Mauritian view:

1. The sightings are often most frequent just before, during or after a cyclone. Some claim (as quoted in the linked news report above) that these rumours are circulated by the government to deflect criticism away from their Prime Minister who claims a divine ability to stop Cyclones. If so, making the people even more terrified seems a bad tactic at a time of devastation.
2. Mauritius is not the only island subjected to tropical storms which has an endemic belief in this collection of supernatural beings. Haiti is regularly subjected to these storms and has some of the most fascinating zombie tales of all.
3. Mauritius is not the only former French colony to believe in these supernatural monsters – Haiti does too.
4. Mauritius is not the only Creole speaking community that believes in these creatures. Haiti does too.
5. Mautitius is not the only culture steeped in Voodoo that believes in these creatures. Haiti, and in fact most Caribbean islands do. Some of these use Creole too. Here is the Wikipedia page on Zombies in Haiti.

I think you probably see where I am going with this; rather than the standard view that fear of and belief in shape-changers and zombies comes from backward, third-world countries, are we looking at a belief culture that is being propagated from France – indeed the France of the middle ages?

I believe so. Furthermore, I speculate in my books, Ordo Lupus and the Temple Gate, and The Devil’s Own Dice, that these creatures are born of the clash of two great cultures – the European and the Eastern which met like great tectonic plates in the Balkans and forced belief systems like Catharism into being some time between the 6th and 10th Centuries.

I do believe whatever forces brought up vampires, werewolves and zombies from the very uttermost depths of our souls, are still acting as well-springs of secret desires and fears today. I’d love to hear from you. What are your thoughts?

Rewards for Reviews
I am reducing the price of Ordo Lupus and the Temple Gate to £2.99 for Christmas but I still need more reviews. I also need reviews for my new book Attack Hitler’s Bunker! As you will see further down in this blog post, I am planning a Video Blog Tour for both books soon and more reviews would certainly help persuade more people to try them. So, if you submit a review of either book to Amazon in December or January I will give over my blog for one day to you to post about your book, cd or any other product (within reason!) I will also include you in my Video Blog Tours which will provide you with loads of traffic and plenty of material to post about in the form of interviews. Two things you probably don’t know about these two books:
1) There is a pass called Pas de Loup near Rennes-le-Château which I feature in The Devil’s Own Dice. To the best of my knowledge this translates as Wolf Pass. No idea why it has that name.
2) I knew the Hollywood Oscar Winner Cliff Robertson towards the end of his life through a brief correspondence. He was a very skilled pilot and owned a Spitfire for many years. He was partly the inspiration for Attack Hitler’s Bunker!

So hurry up and get reviewing!

Short Stirling aircraft recovery
stirling
If you’ve been following my blog you will know that I write about, and am mad-keen on World War Two aircraft. I first came across the Short Stirling – the first British 4-engined bomber of WWII, when I made an Airfix model of it in my childhood. Since then I have often wanted to see a real one but there are no Short Stirlings left in the world. This seems a great shame to me. The Stirling Aircraft Society is doing its best to rectify this. Time is running out now for WWII aircraft wrecks that are viable restoration projects. After 70 years those left are mostly in the sea and too corroded to lift. The recent Dornier Do 17 lifted off the English coast may be one of the last that is raised. Let’s hope its not too late for the Stirling.

Imagine my surprise then when I saw a video on youtube showing a fairly intact example, dived on my a French team. I regularly scan the web for any news about Stirlings and hadn’t seen this. I watched it again and then immediately reported it to one of the senior members of The Stirling Aircraft Society. He told me he had seen it and tried to contact the divers but nobody had replied. Knowing how tricky it can be to communicate with youtube, I was determined to try and contact them myself. After a lot of googling and guess-work I found two email addresses and fired off two friendly emails. I received two enthusiastic replies and was able to put them in touch with the Society. Things are moving along now, with both teams working on identifying the aircraft so that the French Authorities can be contacted for permission to dive the wreck. I would be very happy if anything comes of this. Let’s hope so. If you want to watch the video, it’s here. The wreck is on its back but seems relatively intact and in shallow water. If you are interested in The Stirling Aircraft Society, they are here. As an interim measure the Society is attempting to build a replica of the forward fuselage section of a Stirling and you can read about it here. Short Stirlings feature heavily in my WWII action thriller Attack Hitler’s Bunker! Click on the menu item at the top of this page if you want to grab a copy!

Video Blog Tour
I am planning Video Blog Tours – or VBTs for both Ordo Lupus and the Temple Gate and Attack Hitler’s Bunker! soon. This will hopefully be a series of interviews I do about these books with the questions set by other blogs talking about related subjects. So if you are blogging about Vampires, Werewolves, WWII, the Luftwaffe, RAF, Short Stirlings or allied bombers of WWII please leave a comment and I’ll get back to you. I am now following a long list of such blogs so if I don’t hear from you, I will be in touch!