Dracula Daily: New Service E-Mails You Sections of Bram Stoker’s Novel On The Dates They Take Place


I’m a huge fan of Bram Stoker’s classic horror novel Dracula, which serves as the defining story in all of vampire literature. But even I’ll admit that the book is at times dry and ponderous, and these days finding time to sit down and read is damn near impossible. Thankfully, there’s a new service called Dracula Daily which e-mails you sections of Dracula on the dates they take place, so you can read Dracula in ‘real time’ throughout the year.

How does this work? Well, Dracula is an epistolary novel, meaning it’s comprised of letters and journal entries which tell the story. Since most of those are dated, it’s possible to ‘follow along’ with Dracula by reading about the events on the dates they happened. The story actually starts today, May 3rd, with unwitting mortal Jonathan Harker rolling into Eastern Europe.

We reached out to Matt Kirkland, the guy behind Dracula Daily, to find out how he came up with this zany but pretty awesome idea…

What inspired the creation of Dracula Daily?

I was re-reading Dracula and recapping it as I went for my daughter, who was around 8 at the time. Every couple of days she’d ask, ‘What’s happening in Dracula?’ and I’d recount the events I’d read through. I told her about the format, and we realized that if I slowed down a bit, we could almost read it in ‘real time’. Then I realized what a good fit this would be for an email newsletter. We could email out the events ‘as they happen’ to the characters.

Is this a broader concept for epistolary novels, or is this about a love of Dracula?

First of all, Dracula is so great. It’s obviously THE classic vampire story, and it’s got all the building blocks of the stories we love. But it’s also such a riot to read this with the ironic distance we have. Like, the people in this story don’t know what a vampire is! It takes them a long time to put the clues together! The characters can seem super naive at times, but of course they are living in a world before Dracula was written.

And while I do love Dracula, I also love thinking about the way new media can breathe life into older written works. For example, a long time ago I ‘reblogged’ the essays of Samuel Johnson, on the dates they were written.  

What’s your favorite scene in Dracula? Like, what’s a date you’re excited to reach?

One of my favorite bits (spoiler warning!) is when Lucy becomes undead, and a local newspaper reports that a spectral lady in white has been kidnapping unattended children. I think the sudden threat to children feels like a really dark turn, and it’s a minor plot point that often gets overlooked.

Do you see this format as a possible future for classic novels — as e-mails?

I think it’s got a lot of potential. A bunch of the classic novels of the 19th century were published as newspaper serials, with installments coming out weekly or monthly. But those are often pretty long sections, I don’t know if they work for email or not!

Slow readers and thralls can sign up for Dracula Daily via its website.

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