“Salem’s Lot meets 30 Days of Night”
I took a calculated in risk in writing Storberry, an old-school return to vampire horror novels. For the past several years, the prevailing trend has been to turn vampires into mysterious, romantic entities in print and on the big screen.
The incredible commercial success of authors such as Stephenie Meyer (Twilight) and Charlaine Harris (The Southern Vampire Mysteries) proves plenty of readers crave this newer, brooding, more lovable form of vampire.
I grew up reading Salem’s Lot by Stephen King and watching vampire horror movies – Nosferatu, the various incarnations of Dracula, Fright Night, Prince of Darkness, etc. Those are the books and movies which capture my imagination, and I couldn’t help but wonder if there weren’t more readers like me, wishing for a return of true vampire horror.
When I began writing Storberry, I wanted to capture the slow burn terror which pervaded vampire horror in the 1970s and 1980s. I wanted readers to lose themselves in a tiny southern town and fear for the real life characters once the evil materialized. In short, I aimed to put the horror back into vampire horror novels.
A Return to Classical Horror
With this goal in mind, “Storberry” sets itself apart by embracing the atmospheric dread and unsettling horror of traditional vampire lore. The narrative of the book unfolds in the small, seemingly ordinary southern town of Storberry, where an ancient evil begins to stir. The terror grows gradually, giving readers time to become acquainted with the characters and the setting before plunging them into a nightmare from which there is no escape.
“Storberry” pays homage to the vampire tales of old, focusing on the predatory nature of these creatures rather than their romantic allure. The vampires in “Storberry” are not misunderstood antiheroes; they are relentless, terrifying entities, driven by an insatiable hunger. The book taps into a primal fear, reminding readers of what vampires were originally meant to symbolize: an embodiment of our darkest fears and desires.
What sets “Storberry” apart from other vampire novels is its emphasis on character development. The residents of Storberry are not mere plot devices; they are fleshed-out individuals with their hopes, dreams, and fears. Their struggles and relationships are central to the story, allowing readers to become invested in their fates. When the terror unfolds, it’s not just a scare; it’s a personal tragedy.
Reaching a Niche Audience
The decision to return to a more classical approach to vampire horror was undoubtedly a risk. In a market saturated with romantic vampire narratives, “Storberry” dared to be different. But it found its audience—readers who longed for a return to the raw, unfiltered horror that once defined the genre. The book has resonated with fans of traditional horror and has opened a dialogue about what makes vampire stories truly terrifying.
Critics have praised “Storberry” for its evocative prose, atmospheric storytelling, and commitment to horror. The slow burn terror, reminiscent of the 1970s and 1980s vampire horror, has been recognized as a bold and successful move. Comparisons to works by horror giants like Stephen King have been flattering and affirming, marking “Storberry” as a standout in the modern horror landscape.
“Storberry” represents a calculated risk that paid off, proving that there is still a hunger for genuine vampire horror. It’s a testament to the enduring appeal of traditional horror storytelling, where the terror is real, the stakes are high, and the monsters are truly monstrous. By harkening back to a time when vampires were creatures to be feared rather than romanticized, “Storberry” has carved out its niche in the horror genre and rekindled an appreciation for the visceral thrills that only true horror can provide. Whether a longtime fan of vampire horror or a newcomer seeking a fresh perspective, readers will find “Storberry” a haunting and memorable experience.
The reviews are in, and I am so excited about what readers have to say about Storberry that I want to share some of my favorite snippets with you today. I was particularly excited when Horror Novel Reviews said of Storberry, “Salem’s Lot and 30 Days of Night had a baby, and here it is!” What an honor to have Storberry compared to two of my favorite vampire books and movies by one of the top horror review sites on the internet.
“The most terrifying vampire novel since Salem’s Lot”
Reviews for Storberry
The best Vampire fiction I’ve read in years! I’m a huge fan of vampires. I like them scary, thirsty and outrageously wicked. I hate vampires in love or heroic vamps. Just give me the meanest, scariest , sons of witches and I’m a happy, if slightly ,freaked out camper. I loved the characters in this book and I was sure dreading the end, because Mr. Padavona seems to have no trouble killing off his main characters. Which I like, but it still sucks. This is the second book of his I’ve read and I can honestly say that I’ll be reading more from this author. Yep, I’d recommend this story and author. – Lisa
“There was something in the way he stood back, like a wolf in sheepskin who didn’t want the flock to notice the zipper.” Just a taste of why I enjoyed Dan Padavona’s, Storberry. The prose is carefully crafted with time taken on each sentence making sure you, the reader, are there with him. Though Dan is not out to impress, he’s out to tell you a story; one you can really sink your teeth into and he’s very successful at it.
Much like Stephen King’s work, Storberry starts out getting your attention and then shifts gears into chapters of character introduction and development; however, thankfully these chapters were both brief and entertaining. The only reason I wanted to push through the character development quicker was to see if he was as good at scaring me as he was at character creation. And unlike a lot of King’s work, Storberry’s ending is very worthy of reading right up to the last grin-inducing sentence. – Horror Novel Reviews
Storberry, “Home of Southern Charm”, seems like a wonderful place to live…unfortunately, you may not live for long!
Fans of the horror genre, let me tell you, this one is the real deal. STORBERRY is reminiscent of those good old 80’s horror stories…the creeps build slowly and Dan Padavona’s rich details really draw the reader in. When the storm finally hits (literally), the town of Storberry truly comes to life, in all its hellish glory.
I had a blast with this well-crafted page turner. STORBERRY has all the elements of an instant classic and I highly recommend it. – Deacon D.
I discovered Dan Padavona quite by accident. A very fortunate one at that. Storberry was very enjoyable. Dan created characters who I could clearly imagine and a world I could believe. Storberry has been compared by other reviewers as reminiscent of Salem’s Lot, which is high praise, but well deserved. Dan Padavona shows great promise and I highly recommend this work. – Thomas Touhey
In the small town of Storberry, one loosened vampire accidentally set free wrecks bloody havoc on the town by causing an unholy epidemic of gargantuan proportions. The remaining township must gather together in strength to attempt to eradicate the evil. A good vampiric read, rated right up there with Stephen King’s, “Salem’s Lot.” Keeps you reading straight into the dead of night. – KTS
Thank you everyone for your support of independent horror and for proving plenty of interest remains for vampire horror.
So what do you think? Would you like to read a sequel to Storberry?