When You Need It to Be Creepy – Guest Post Carrie Vaccaro Nelkin

An Autumn Day

What you can learn from speaking about vampires

  • October 31, 2016
  • Blog

bats photo

Once upon a time, in the far-off land of the Bronx, a high school English teacher told her class that it was important to know how to speak in public. So, she created a spell—I mean, she told everyone to create a two-minute speech on any topic they liked, and each of us would speak in front of the class.

I chose vampires.

After hearing about numerous vacation trips and cake recipes (those speakers brought in samples of their work, which was hard to beat), I was pleased that my audience appeared to be riveted as I discussed ways of repelling a vampire and the proper way to kill and bury one (face down, so when they try to dig themselves out, they’ll dig in the wrong direction).

I can’t say that I was an especially good speaker that day, but I learned the importance of having good material.

The same applies to writing. Find a story that you really want to tell, even if it flies against the stories being told by others. Have fun with it. Surprise your audience.

Happy Halloween and may the bats in your belfry fly free.


  • Marie MacBryde • October 31, 2016 at 10:52 am

    Very good point.

    • J. M. Levinton • October 31, 2016 at 3:45 pm


  • Jan • October 31, 2016 at 1:20 pm

    I didn’t know to bury a vampire face down! I’m sure you’ve saved the lives of many of your former classmates from the return of a vampire!

    • J. M. Levinton • October 31, 2016 at 3:46 pm

      Then my job is done. 😀

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