Preacher Accepted for Vampire Anthology, Dying to Live

On March 17, 1892 — Saint Patrick’s Day — the corpse of Mercy Brown was exhumed in Exeter, Rhode Island, along with the bodies of her mother Mary and older sister Mary Olive, who had died several years before her.  While Mary’s and Mary Olive’s bodies showed significant decomposition, Mercy’s still retained “liquid blood” in the heart and liver which was taken as proof that she was a vampire.  This actually happened, giving Mercy the distinction of being the last of North America’s vampires (at least in traditional terms) as well as, insofar as the event was reported as far afield as New York City newspapers, possibly adding to Bram Stoker’s inspiration for DRACULA.  And so, too, once upon a time, it and the explanation that the series of deaths in Mercy Brown’s family (her heart was then excised, burned, and the ashes fed to her brother Edwin who had also been struck with the “sickness” in the hope that this might cure him) was most likely due to consumption, or tuberculosis, the symptoms of which can resemble those in folkloric accounts of vampirism, also inspired me to write a tale of 19th century New England and possible vampires titled “The Preacher.”

Yesterday, nine days before this year’s Saint Patrick’s, the word came back from Diabolic Publications:  “The Preacher” has been accepted for their upcoming vampire anthology DYING TO LIVE.  To quote from the guidelines, this will be a book of “dark vampires, of the old-fashioned kind!  Erotica is acceptable as long as the vampires drink human blood, bite, kill and so forth.  We are not looking for love story type vampires.”  And “please do not send any stories about vampires that sparkle!”

So there.

DYING TO LIVE is expected to be published in October 2013 and is still open for submissions until June 1.  This is a move forward from an original August 1 deadline, which probably indicates that the anthology is being filled fast, so any who might be interested might want to check here for details without too much delay.  Also included is information about an upcoming science fiction anthology, ETHER WORLD, for next January — just scroll down past it for DYING TO LIVE.  As for ETHER WORLD, the deadline right now is September 15 (I’m thinking of sending something myself, but haven’t made up my mind yet on what) and the pay for both anthologies is 3 cents a word on publication for unpublished work.

And as for the burning of Mercy Brown’s heart for medicinal use, the problem apparently was tuberculosis and not vampirism.  Her brother Edwin died two months later.


  1. Sorry to hear of Edwin’s fate. Interesting!

  2. Yes, people tend to forget about Edwin. But on the plus side, once he was buried no one apparently dug him up again. (I don’t know if you’ll remember, but last year on the World Horror Con vampire panel I mentioned briefly a case of a “vampire epidemic” in New England in the 19th century. There were others and I think the one I’d actually been thinking of was earlier and in Connecticut — and hence the one that partly inspired “The Preacher” too — but the Exeter RI case is the one you’ll usually run across if you google “New England vampires.”)

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