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Michael Bell
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Posted By Michael Bell

No, I haven’t been dead, so I am not a revenant. I am returning to this blog after a year’s hiatus, during which I moved from Rhode Island to Texas (for winters), wrote a new preface for a new edition of Food for the Dead: On the Trail of New England’s Vampires—which is being published by Wesleyan University Press (WUP) and will be available before Halloween—, and signed a contract with WUP to write a second book on America’s vampires. So, The Vampire’s Grasp: America’s Restless Dead, the focal point of this blog, is scheduled for release in late 2012.

Not blogging for those months gave me time to reflect on the purpose of this blog. I concluded that I was doing what people typically do when, enmeshed in an established medium, they find themselves in a new one: they continue doing what they always did in the old medium. The early days of television, for example, were simply a continuation of radio programs, with sight added to sound. It took some time for TV to be understood as more than an extension of radio; to realize that there had been a paradigm shift and that the old exemplars simply were unable to fill the space offered by the new medium. A blog is not a book: a book is a product; blogging is a process.

The bottom line is that I will not be posting excerpts from the book I am writing. I will be blogging about the process of writing the book, which entails doing research, organizing (and reorganizing) material, thinking out loud, asking questions, interpreting, making guesses, evaluating those guesses, trying to construct meaningful contexts.

I am inviting you to become part of this process.

If all of this seems too abstract, don’t worry. We will still be talking about vampires.

2 Comment(s):
Michael Bell said...
Thanks, William. And I wasn't kidding about the research addiction. I have a feeling you may know from firsthand experience what I'm talking about.
April 17, 2011 03:15:53
William D Romanski said...
Part of the appeal of Food for the Dead was the story of your research. I'm glad that you recognize the importance of this facet.
April 16, 2011 09:30:37
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