Ginger Nuts of Horror
Everything has a beginning; an origin. Like some who read this, I’ve always been intrigued by how certain stories get their start. In most cases mythical and legendary, we’ll probably never know, which is why they remain myths and legends. However, when a writer is given the foundation to begin (relatively) anew; ideas flood, clouds part, and a canvas appears as white as nothingness. This was the beginning of my journey creating an origin about the up rise of a cryptozoological creature already known as, el chupacabra. It was a tremendously exciting opportunity, but like most origins, I knew it was merely a branch off the tree trunk of greater legends.
Now, I would never in a billion, trillion, quadrillion years compare myself, or my writings, to that of the astounding Bram Stoker; however, I feel I may be able to relate to the sensation of having a cleansed palette as he had received before writing his 1897 infamous novel, ‘Dracula.’ According to research, the first mention of the vampire was in the 1748 German poem, appropriately titled, ‘The Vampire’ by Heinrich August Ossenfielder, about a man rejected by a love interest, promising to return to her at night and drink all her blood with a toothy kiss; thus proving his ways were superior to the Christian values her family held. Now, flash-forward about 250-years later, and compare that plotline to ‘Twilight.’ Not only was the character of Bella willing to give of herself to a vampire, but I seem to recall the story being more about romance than religion. So, did Ossenfielder then create the unnatural immortals we all know and love today? My guess is… “no.” The vampire is most likely a defined offspring of the undead, which people in the mid-18th century already believed and feared. Ossenfielder, like Stoker, mutated a mythology that pre-existed.
Enter el chupacabra: a Latin-American animalistic creature with characteristics remarkably similar to the vampire--think Dracula’s pet Fido--however, this legend began in 1991/2 when reports of a blood-sucking beast were recounted in Puerto Rico, America, and South America. It is clear how the chupacabra received its name since the reports clarified that it was seen sucking the blood out of livestock, especially goats. The name “chupacabra” literally translates to “goat-sucker” from Spanish to English. Of course, it is in our nature as humans to have an explanation for every mystery, but how much of our awareness influences our beliefs? (e.g., How much of the spectator’s knowledge of monsters and vampires influenced what they perceived?) Suddenly, people became desperate to know what a chupacabra was and where it had come from. We, as humans, have the innate desire to understand everything around use… even which cannot be explained; therefore, as history has proven, rumors started to emerge. Now, at this point, I will switch. This post could easily mature into a debate as to whether the chupacabra, along with its other legendary family, is real or not, but that is not what this telling is about. The purpose here is to merely enlighten a journey taken, and the choices for the path chosen.
Regardless of whether the chupacabra lives in life or in fiction, it should have an origin; everything needs to have an origin. I realized this when I began piecing the lengthy Chupacabra Series together in 1993. Nothing other than the reported sightings had been known of the beast at the time. This presented a nearly blank, white slate, and to me, white was as good as gold. Enter the flood of questions: What if the elusive chupacabra had been around for years… or centuries? If so, it could have been roaming the deserts during America’s Old West days. Like today, there were unexplained occurrences regarding missing or dismembered livestock. What if, like vampire mythology, it was just another mutation of something that already existed? This was when the clouds parted; I could do almost anything I wanted as long as I made myself the promise to bring the story back around to the familiar characteristics that have already been widespread about the elusive goat-sucker. Would I receive criticism for straying from expectations… of course! (and have). But did I fear that criticism… absolutely not. I knew of my plan. Besides, isn’t creative license what being an artist is all about? Stoker was able to do it, there was no reason I could think of to not attempt the same myself. And on that note, I would be curious to know what Ossenfielder thought of Stoker’s “Dracula”, or better yet, Ossenfielder and Stoker of “Twilight”? Maybe that answer could be another story? Revenge of the undead horror writer’s anyone?
Michael became an author alongside building a successful career in feature film publicity, but his passion to create stories with suspense, laughter, and heart is not his only love. Michael also volunteers for Meals on Wheels in Southern California, as well as aids in his local area's capture/spay/neuter/release program.
To date, Michael's publications include CURSE OF THE CHUPACABRA, NIGHT OF THE CHUPACABRA (the first two books of six in the Chupacabra Series) and his first publication, THE NIGHT AFTER CHRISTMAS, a holiday picture book for believers of any age. Michael also authored the micro story, HUNT FOR THE CHUPACABRA, preceding the events of Night of the Chupacabra, which currently is only available in audiobook as read by the author here.
When Michael does have some down time, he likes to ramble on his blog:
Post Civil War. Families move West to begin rich new lives, only some never make it. There is a creature that lurks in the vast open deserts of the west. It can only survive on blood and, although it prefers to prey on the weak and young, it will slaughter anyone or anything, once provoked. It is unnatural, deceptive, and difficult to kill. Word about the existence of this elusive beast has not spread for anyone who has crossed paths with it did not live long enough to tell of their account. Night of the Chupacabra is about one man’s journey to reunite with his missing family, while the lethal creature that separated them, the mysterious and ravenous chupacabra, is never far behind. Night of the Chupacabra is not only a gruesome regale of carnage, but a unique combination of science fiction bloodshed with a more poignant tale of lost love set against a Western backdrop. Night of the Chupacabra takes an unflinching look at the impossible choices made for love, while knowing the consequences could ultimately lead to a fate worse than death.
They never thought their luck would be their curse.
In the months following the onslaught, the extraordinary survivors continue to know no peace, as they are haunted by signs that the relentless creature remains on their trail. However, this fight will be better matched, now that they’ve discovered an advantage that will help protect them from the monster’s bloodthirsty lust. But once faced with the decision to kill the beast, the choice will not come lightly since it is still unclear which loved one the chupacabra possesses.
"Curse of the Chupacabra" stretches beyond the claustrophobic world of "Night of the Chupacabra"'s single town setting as the creature’s victims inadvertently lure the beast across the western states; not only becoming a road story soaked with blood and treachery, but a powerful chronicle of passage that exposes the consequences of not following the path of one’s own heart. “Curse of the Chupacabra” is a relentless feast of tragedy that examines the dangers awaiting those who might be kin to the most infamous abomination to walk this earth.