Vampire Literature

I love Serbia and I love the lyrical language. Slowly I penetrate, lazily learning words, identifying enough so I can spy on conversations. I find the old city of Belgrade genteel as a dowager with its ancient streets and tiled, slouching village houses and balconies topped with potted red flowers.

I am proud to be a member of Serbia's illustrious warrior dynasty. What an honor. I feel magic for me in Serbia, deep in dormant royal vampire blood. I grew up believing there was a marble palace waiting for me, and turns out I was right. In central Serbia awaits a Byzantine church, the family crypt.

For me Serbia is an alternate universe where I walk the yellow brick road of quantum opportunities. Last year I was given a book contract. Since then the book has been published and presented at the Belgrade book fair. Another dreamy 'job' is I'm to proofread the English translation of one of Serbia's best living writers.

In this case Vuk Drašković. Homework before I meet him is to read his works of which there are many. I'm wallowing in his tangos with the big questions, like the meaning of life. Knife, Doctor Aron, Via Romana. Tangled works of historically accurate fiction garlanded with the ancient miseries of this region, the retaliations, the old wives tales. And the endless questioning.

I remember how often in my childhood I would hide in nooks with books and read for hours. Now as an adult I am paid to do exactly that, oh and I have to meet the author. Is this perfection?

Last year I visited Serbia for the first time and my life changed. Until I am tipped beneath my slab at the crypt I will divvy up the balance of my time, and study the past so as to go forward.