Literary Scene: A ‘Requiem’ for an author
There is one vampire left in the world, and it comes to the Lehigh Valley.
At least it does in Larry L. Deibert’s book, “Requiem for a Vampire” (290 pp.; $15, print; $3.99, digital; 2021).
Deibert has a book-signing for “Requiem for a Vampire,” 1-3 p.m. July 3, Moravian Book Shop, 428 Main St., Bethlehem.
“Requiem for a Vampire” begins with a trip to New York City in the 1840s and winds up in the Lehigh Valley.
The horror novel, which has elements of Gothic, erotica and romance, is full of action and a number of characters that are victims of and fighters against evil.
Deibert visited the genre before in his “The Christmas City Vampire,” “Werewolves In The Christmas City” and “Witches, Werewolves and Walter.”
As you can tell by the titles, his monsters are familiar with the Lehigh Valley.
The Christmas City series includes a short story, “The Christmas City Angel,” giving a bit of equal time to the other side.
“Vampires come and go,” says Deibert.
Vampires have had varying levels of popularity in different eras. Although they never die, of course.
Vampires have been spurred on by 1903s’ Hollywood monster movies; TV shows, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Dark Shadows,” and the “Twilight” series of novels.
Deibert, an Army Military Police Vietnam War veteran, was a fan of “Dark Shadows,” which soared in popularity after vampire Barnabas Collins became a character.
”I was upset when I was in the service because I couldn’t see it.
“My sister would write letters to me, giving a capsule version of the episodes,” Deibert says in a phone interview.
In “Requiem,” the vampire is a woman.
“I have strong female characters,” he says. “I don’t know why. My feminine side comes out when I write, or my muse is female. I just put down whatever my brain tells me to write.”
“Requiem for a Vampire” was originally published by Mundania Press in 2007 at the beginning of Deibert’s writing career. He came to feel that the book could have been better, so he rewrote it.
He changed the name of his main vampire, saying the original, Lani Jorgenson, “sounded like a Hawaiian-German bartender.”
“I got the publishing rights back except for the cover. But I could not find the disc of the original manuscript, and the publisher did not have one. I got it from my daughter.”
He dictated the manuscript into to his computer, using word-recognition software, although it did not work perfectly.
“Pennsylvania-Dutch people speak funny,” he says. “I would read a few pages and edit it. It took from May to September to dictate the entire manuscript.”
Deibert, who retired from the United States Postal Service and previously worked for Mack Trucks, Inc., lives with his wife, Peggy, in Hellertown.
He has written 15 books in the genres of horror, paranormal, fantasy, military-romance, children’s Christmas and time-travel.
His first novel, “95 Bravo,” incorporated recollections of his experience as a soldier in Vietnam. He also rewrote that novel, changing the title to “Combat Boots Dainty Feet.”
Deibert says he tends to write in spurts, quickly some times. At one point, he faced a years-long drought. “Nothing came to me,” he says. His generational novel, “Family,” took him five years to write.
The settings of his fiction are often in areas with which he is familiar. On one of their annual trips to North Carolina, he and his wife visited a battleship at a North Carolina museum that was reportedly haunted. He then discovered that the place where they were staying also was supposed to have ghosts. This inspired his “Fathoms: A Novel of the Paranormal.”
Once, on his former part-time delivery job, a little girl looked up at the bearded Deibert and exclaimed, “Santa!” “That little girl planted the seed for my book, ‘Santa’s Day Jobs,’” he says. It’s an illustrated children’s story and coloring book.
Deibert looks forward to his book-signing at the Moravian Book Shop. He enjoys meeting his readers and says, “Hopefully I made all of those people happy.”
“Literary Scene” is a column about authors, books and publishing. To request coverage, email: Paul Willistein, Focus editor, email@example.com