The Biological Reality of Contemporary Transgenic Predators: Vampires and Vampyres Do Exist!

ESCAPE AND BE ENTERTAINED by the mind of Michael Goldcraft.  Enter his fictional landscape where good faces evil and science replaces mythology. Goldcraft takes us into the contemporary world of today where folklore fiends are proven present-day realities.

Panama City, Florida was a quiet, content, coastal tourist community until that autumn day in 1997 when a 234-year-old man drifted into town.  It was just going to be another pause in his global peregrinations: moving from town to town, country to country, continent to continent. The man looked thirty-five, darkly handsome, tanned, well built, somewhat reclusive. He took up residence in an earthen chamber in a historic cemetery…and then he went to work! He commenced continuation of a life-style honed and perfected by over two hundred years of predatory practice.  He began to kill.

The man’s name is Harrison Van Gilter. And he is no myth. Endowed with a genetic make-up including a transfer of DNA between two other species via an unknown virus, Van Gilter was – and still is – a living, breathing, human vampyre.  He is intelligent, charming, some might say subtly seductive. With an aura described as “animal magnetism” he stalks his victims with a disarming smile and sweet words.

But Harrison Van Gilter is nothing more – and nothing less – than a predatory serial killer gifted with a superb intelligence, cunning, a calculated coldness, and a constant need to take into his own circulatory system the blood of other human beings.  Blood that provides a constant, critical supply of hemoglobin to sustain his vampyre existence. Because, in all genetic games of chance, there is a trade-off or even trade-offs.  For all his robust physical endowments, Harrison must have human blood…or die.

However, two years earlier, in August, 1995, something and someone tipped the cosmic scales.  An anthropologist, Dr. Steven Atticus, made a discovery.  In a cold Canadian lake he found a preserved corpse.  It was that of a 1000-year-old Viking priest: the progenitor of the vampyre race.  For two years, Steven studied his find, reported it at scientific meetings, and pondered whether this anomaly – this first human vampire – could have reproduced.  And, Atticus defined the difference between vampyres and vampires.  The former are progeny of vampyre/vampire parents.  They are born vampyres. They are “full bloods.” The latter are victims of brutal attacks.  Those who survive – and there are very few – often become infected with the “vampire virus” and transition into vampires.  These hapless predators are often filled with guilt, but must kill or die themselves.  They now need blood too!

And in the late fall of 1997, two worlds collided when Steven read of a purported vampire slaying victims in a most inhuman way.  That was when Dr. Atticus left his laboratory at Tenque University, Amsterdam, and traveled to Panama City, Florida.

Working as a member of a law enforcement task force, the hunt began: a hunt to stop a unique serial killer.  Led by FBI special agent Mark Pierce and PCPD Lt. John Willoughby, the task force raced to find clues in an  attempt to capture a biological reality.  The task force must incarcerate or kill a human vampyre!

Michael Goldcraft’s intriguing tale is: The Darke Lyfe Trilogy.  His three novels – two of which have won first place recognition at the Royal Palm Literary Awards, Florida Writers Association – include: Tome I, Ascent of Evil; Tome II, Inherited Evil, and the conclusion (which takes place in 2012) Tome III, Arcanum of Evil.

Enter the mind of Michael Goldcraft.  Escape, imagine, and be entertained!  You won’t be disappointed…you will be surprised!

The Darke Lyfe Trilogy

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Character Conversational Portraits

In April, I will begin interviewing characters from my Darke Lyfe Trilogy.  The inspiration for this approach came from a long-admired writer, Truman Capote.  In his wonderful little book, Music for Chameleons (Random House, 1975) he had a part entitled “Conversational Portraits.”  Among the portraits were chats with Pearl Bailey and Marilyn Monroe.  They were delightful conversations, full of surprises, irreverent comments, inner thoughts, and revealing insights. I want to do the same thing with the people who played roles in The Trilogy.

When I completed the dramatis personae after the first novel, Ascent of Evil, I was surprised at the number of rich and interesting (to me at least) characters.  I included the DP in the second novel, Inherited Evil, for the continuing reader’s benefit.  By the last novel, Arcanum of Evil, the DP had grown to a total of 91 major or minor characters.

So, in early April I hope to begin these conversations.  And today, I’m  asking one of my friends, Dr. Steven Atticus, how he views this fictional approach.  He’s on the phone now.

MG: Dr. Atticus, Steven, hi!  It’s a pleasure to talk with you from my “writers den.”

SA:  Thank you, Michael.  I’m happy to be in touch with you, too.

MG:  So, Dr. Atticus, what do you think about my approach?  Are you willing to be interviewed?

SA:  Well, as you mentioned during your introduction I was listening to, it’s not really your approach, since Mr. Capote gave you the idea.  However, it’s probably been done millions of times, albeit possibly not with fictional characters like me.  But I’m delighted to take part.

MG:  Wonderful.  And where will you be next week?  I can meet at your convenience.

SA:  We have an excavation currently ongoing in Arizona.  My wife, Barbara, is down there now.  Actually, we’re working with a couple of members of your publisher’s family.  Just a coincidence really.  We met them at a dig in England some years ago, and they offered to help lay out the plans for the Vulture Mountains project near Phoenix.  Mark and his wife have been a great help.

MG: Glad to hear that. Mark’s a hard worker and a hell of a fine photographer.

SA: So when will you be arriving?  Actually sooner would be better, as my schedule changes dynamically.

MG: Okay, I’ll catch the red-eye tonight and arrive tomorrow afternoon.  We can do the first interview around your campfire as the sun goes down.  I can stay for a couple of days.

SA: Good.  We’ll put you to work.  Nothing like sweating in the early April Arizona sun to get one in shape.  See you then.

MG:  See you then.

And to you, dear reader, Steven and I hope you will follow us here at and enjoy the first of many character conversational portraits.  See you in early April.

Your writing friend, Michael Goldcraft

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New Book Journal Review

I invite you to visit the New Book Journal for their review of The Darke Lyfe Trilogy.

The entire trilogy (Ascent of Evil, Inherited Evil and Arcanum of Evil) is now available in E-Book formats (Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Sony, Apple, Smashwords or Diesel) or as a quality trade paperback signed and dated edition (Brim Books).

A READER’S REVIEW:  “Michael Goldcraft’s Darke Lyfe Trilogy provides a new paradigm of vampires!  Goldcraft gives us the truth!  Like a seasoned reporter,he serves up the: what, when, where, why, who and how of vampire existence!

From the discovery of the first vampire to the contemporary threat of a global race of these predators, Goldcraft has the answers.  Through his reviting, intellectual and courageous character, Dr. Steven Atticus, the author leads us, step-by-step, down a pathway that  began a thousand years ago and ends in present day.  His gift to his readers: a clear understanding of the quintessential threat of modern day vampire predators!  The trilogy (Ascent of Evil, Inherited Evil and Arcanum of Evil) comprise the ultimate “who done it.  The first, really refreshing new read on the vampire story.  Only a veteran biologist could create this tale. And, this trilogy won’t keep you up all night.  It will keep you up night after night.  Take a couple weeks off for this one!”

Herb Kirch, Dayton, Maryland


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Interview with Michael Goldcraft: The creation of The Darke Lyfe Trilogy

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Harrison Van Gilter, rogue vampyre

Every story needs an antagonist.  Every horror novel needs a villain  who will burn his image into the minds of the reader.  Every vampire horror novel needs a handsome (or beautiful), sensual, charming, seductive, cold, calculating, egotistical, psychopathic, blood thirsty, sexually-insatiable, ruthless predator.  Did I miss anything?  Or yes.  It’s best if our bad guy is also the consummate con-artist and the quintessential liar.  Finally, this monster must having some deep, hidden motive driving him forward.  For example, Harrison Van Gilter wants to kill every living member of the Van Gilter family: mother, brothers, sisters, nephew, and in-laws!  Why?  I won’t tell you why, but this is Harrison Van Gilter.  Look at him and read behind his eyes.  What do you see?  What lurks there?

Harrison Van Gilter

This is the antagonist of The Darke Lyfe Trilogy, my little three-novel creation.  Even though myriad other characters – good and evil – move across the literary landscape, Harrison is always there.  He is the nemesis to be dealt with.  The thorn in FBI Special Agent Mark Pierce’s side.  The deadly threat to Mayor Larry Hayes and his peaceful coastal city.  He is the worst thing to ever drift into Panama City, Florida.  And through three novels (Ascent of Evil; Inherited Evil; Arcanum of Evil) he methodically moves toward his goal: to be known as the most heinous serial killer of all time…and he’s had 249 years to hone his predatory skills.  Human mortals are mere prey.  Vampyre family and vampyre enemies are a greater challenge.  And so the twisted mind of Harrison Van Gilter is center to all conflict within the Trilogy.  He’s proven to be a worthy adversary.  A diverse, if warped, personality.  A chilling unpredictable character to work with.  Put in any scene or circumstance, I’ve found that Harrison guides me.  He tells me exactly how he will respond.  And sometimes it’s shocking, even for the writer who created him.

Every good horror story needs a villain.  Mine is Harrison Van Gilter.  I invite you to read his tale, explore his mind, see though his evil eyes.

My Darke Lyfe Trilogy can be found at Amazon Or visit our webpage at

Thanks dear reader.  Without you, Harrison Van Gilter would be nothing.  Best wishes, Michael Goldcraft

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Goldcraft’s Tandem Tale – Write the best 100-word story link and win a signed copy of Ascent of Evil

FBI Special Agent Mark Pierce looked up as the boss walked in.

“Pierce, meet your new partner.  Dixie, meet Mark Pierce.”

Mark gazed into those intelligent eyes and admired the trim, toned body.

“Mark, she’s smart, strong, and loyal.  She’ll be with you 24/7.  I know the two of you will solve the Serial Swamp Murders.  This killer’s left bodies in Okefenokee, Tate’s Hell, the Everglades and now Panther Swamp.”

“Does she eat much?” Pierce asked.

“Who cares?  There’s a four-wheel drive in the car pool.  Florida Fish and Wildlife will meet you at the last crime scene.  Now go!”

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The Darke Lyfe Trilogy: The Prologue to Ascent of Evil, What started it all…

Sometimes it’s best to go back to the beginning.  So, for my friends who have not begun reading the trilogy, here is the prologue.  I hope it piques your interest.  MG


June 4, 1016   Latitude 49 N, the New World

IN THE SCINTILLATING bright light of a raging bonfire the Norsemen pushed the small replica of a Viking warship out onto the water.  Its sole occupant, their once-revered holy man, and his earthly possessions, glided off into the darkness, a fading image in the flickering light.  A gentle breeze pushed the ship-coffin eastward toward the center of the lake.  As the fire’s power to illuminate the watercraft diminished, the brilliant full moon reflected light through the clear cold air, and the warship seemed an eerie apparition.  Soon small waves found the holes near the water line and the coffin gradually began to sink.  Icy water caressed the corpse and the written record embraced by rigid arms.  The lake slowly covered the body in a wet, dark shroud and eventually flooded the sockets of the burnt-out eyes.

Halvdan, brother of Eigil the lost one, watched his priest entombed within the Viking replica as the vessel’s pale image shrank in profile.  He felt a strange loss, a confusing frustration. What form of change, what spirit of Loki, had invaded his priest and stolen his brother?  Anger grew like a fire in his breast.  Halvdan was a man accustomed to profane slaughter. A man who had raped and pillaged without thought of remorse.  But now, he could do nothing to avenge his priest or his brother.  Both were gone, their entrance into the realm of Valfather denied, for they had not died in glorious battle.  Instead, they were condemned to an unknown spirit world of endless torment.  Halvdan gripped the hilt of his sword, wanting to lash out at something, someone.  His jaw muscles tightened like cords of torture.

Finally, the floating apparition disappeared into the black water.  The surface of the lake became smooth again, except for small wind wavelets.  The little ship, and the priest within it, sank thirty feet below the surface to the soft mud bottom.  It would be days before the vessel would immerse completely in the lake’s deep sediment: organic-rich silts and clays slowly oozing in and forcing the water out.  And then a process of preservation would take place.  The temperature of the lake’s water would seldom rise above fifty degrees; most of the time it would be just above freezing.  And the biological blueprint of the man-beast would be preserved within the sediment, locked away within the nuclei of each body cell for a thousand years.  But the priest’s progeny, spawned among the wanton maidens of the North American Viking colony, would live almost forever.  This was his legacy to the world – and his curse.  A curse inadvertently cast upon his cherished brethren – and upon the entire human race.

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