While doing research on the film "Nosferatu: Symphony of Horror" for my book Vampires' Most Wanted, I came across a tidbit about one of the producers. Albin Grau, one of the co-founders of Prana Films, the company behind "Nosferatu," served in Serbia during the first world war. He'd heard tales of vampire lore from the farmers in the area and it inspired him to make a vampire film once he'd left the service.
|MAX SCHRECK AS COUNT ORLOCK IN "NOSFERATU"|
|TROOPS MARCH ACROSS NO MAN'S LAND (SOME NEVER MAKE IT)|
Of course I needed a reason for him to have joined the army in the first place. Narain was an unassuming man. Twenty-five when he left for Europe. Prior to that he was a well respected cook in a Bengal restaurant.
And there was his motivation! Possessing a passion for cooking, Narain wanted to further his culinary skills. He wanted to attend culinary schools in Europe. But he couldn't ask for money from his father, a teacher with three other children to raise (Aziz age 13, Zaheer age 10 and Ujaali age 5).
So, Narain enlists in the army with an eye toward fighting in Europe. Once the war is over (and many thought it wouldn't last the first year), should he survive, he could stay on, hoping to find work that would help put him through a European cooking school.
I enjoyed writing the scene between Narain and his father who is horrified by his son's decision. It gives the reader a taste of the loving family he was a part of before his time in Europe changed his life forever. It revealed just how much he had lost.
I also enjoyed writing the scene between Alphonse, the man who finds him during his conversion, who, once Narain comes to his sense, must find a way to break the news that his life will never be the same.
Suddenly things started falling into place. I had a history. Motivation. Even "discovered" a nemesis for Narain (Reginald Jameson, the sadistic army captain from the trenches) who would prove useful to the plot of the book. It also helped give me a reason why a vampire who had been dealing with his condition relatively well over the decades was confused and troubled at the opening of the novel.