A blood-y good read – new novel puts vampire in Sheffield

Paul Jackson, aka Stephen Harker
Paul Jackson, aka Stephen Harker
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He shares a pen name with a character in Dracula and has written a novel on vampires.

But new Sheffield author Stephen Harker claims he’s no Bram Stoker wannabe.

The 38-year-old, of Aldam Way, Totley, has released a short story featuring bloodsuckers, bodysnatchers and bats that bite the thighs of barmaids by night.

Unlike Stoker’s tale set in Transylvania, Whitby and London, though, this takes place here in South Yorkshire. Readers should prepare for headless bodies under the Wicker Arches, the undead haunting Wardsend Cemetery and an 800-year-old vampiress – who still looks good in an evening dress – setting up home at Castleton’s Devil’s Arse cavern.

“I’ve loved horror all my life,” says Stephen whose real name is Paul Jackson. “And I love this city. I wanted to create a story where people could walk round saying ‘Oh, that happened here’.”

He’s done just that. A Vampire In Sheffield charts the titular monster as she stalks the city from an age when the castle still stood to the 21st century when a Van Helsing-like character prepares for battle at Central Library.

“The only thing is,” says the 38-year-old who left a job in mental health to concentrate on writing. “I don’t promise a happy ending.”

Available at smashwords.com £1.99.