How I Spent October 2019

DorisOct2019I spent the Halloween season surrounding myself with all things ghoulish and macabre. Well, okay, I do that all year around, but October is the one time of the year when I don’t stand out so much. Sometimes it feels good to fit in.

I’m happy to say that the month has been good for my publishing endeavours. The draft of my TV tie-in novel is nearly ready — just as well, as the deadline is at the start of December — and just yesterday I got word that my Devil’s Advocates book on The Mummy has been printed, with copies currently stored in the publisher’s warehouse, and soon to be en route to a shop (hopefully) near you.

Articles of mine posted elsewhere this month:

Article topics for November and beyond:


The Vampyre’s Legacy: Halloween Edition


Just in time for Halloween, WWAC has the latest instalment in my decade-by-decade history of vampire fiction. This time, I’m looking back at the sixties and seventies, where I find not only Interview with the Vampire but an earlier, rather less successful attempt to give vampires a makeover — courtesy of the TV tie-in market. Read on…

If you haven’t yet read the earlier posts in the series (which now have a combined wordcount of 28,500) here is where you can catch up:

Part 1: Two Centuries of Blood — John Polidori’s “The Vampyre” (1818); Cyprien Bérard’s Lord Ruthwen ou les Vampires (1820)

Part 2: The Feminine Touch — Théophile Gautier’s “La morte amoureuse” (1836); Elizabeth F. Ellet’s “The Vampyre” (1849)

Part 3: Deconstructing the Vampire — Charles Wilkins Webber’s Spiritual Vampirism (1853);  Paul Féval’s Le Chevalier Ténèbre (1860)

Part 4: Carmilla and Company — J. Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla (1871-2); Anne Crawford’s “A Mystery of the Campagna” (1886)

Part 5: Enter Count Dracula — Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897)

Part 6: An Occult Dawn — M. R. James’ “Count Magnus” (1904); Sax Rohmer’s Brood of the Witch-Queen (1918)

Part 7: Dion Fortune’s Demon Lover — Dion Fortune’s The Demon Lover (1927)

Part 8: In the Shadow of Hollywood — Henry Kuttner’s “I, the Vampire” (1937); Irina Karlova’s Dreadful Hollow (1942)

Part 9: Atom-Age Vampires — Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend (1954)

Clear History: Review Round-Up!


The New Adventures of Bernice Summerfield Volume 5: Buried Memories has been out for a little over a month now, and I decided to do some surfing to see how my story Clear History went down with the Whovian creew…

“Doris V Sutherland’s story deals with the implications of changing and editing history, and how its narrative can impact society, [with] a satisfying sci-fi explanation” says Ian McArdell at Cultbox!

“Sutherland has interesting things to say about memories and how they work” says Paul Simpson at Sci-Fi Bulletin!

“‘Clear History’ is made far more resonant by the fact that current world affairs also see the truth being stretched… [the story] allows Warner, Summerfield, and the supporting cast an opportunity to shine and again unfolds at a great pace” says Kyle at Doctor Who Reviews!

“[T]he central message is extremely timely” says Raissa Devereux at SciFi Pulse!

“Sutherland gives [the characters] strong backstories that make them incredible likable” says Daniel Mansfield at Who ReVIEW!

“[N]o one has done what this story does. It has not only a really cool sci-fi idea, but as with the best stories it has an amazing human drama at its centre” says Doctor Squee at Krypton Radio!

Phew — looks like I did okay with my debut as a Big Finish scriptwriter. If you want the boxset (which also features lovely stories by Alyson Leeds, April McCaffrey and Lani Woodward) then you can order it as a CD or digital download at the official Big Finish website.

Enter the Poltergeist Girls


My big blogging project for Halloween 2019 is a four-part series taking an in-depth look at a cinematic archetype familiar to all horror lovers: the poltergeist girl. The first part can be read at WWAC; in it, I examine The Exorcist and its troubled heroine Regan MacNeil, comparing her tale to accounts of poltergeists and possession throughout history in the hopes of understanding the cultural concept of the poltergeist girl.