THE KILKENNY relation of Bram Stoker, the writer who created Count Dracula in the late 1800s is continuing to follow in the footsteps of his famous extended family member.
Frank Salmon of Essaness Music, St Kieran’s Street, Kilkenny has just published his second children’s book, a brilliant follow-up to his very successful writing debut, The Chronicles of Hamalot.
His great, great grand uncle, Abraham ‘Bram’ Stoker was a dab hand with what was most likely a quill when he produced his 1897 Gothic horror novel Dracula.
Stoker’s writings that were to lead to a series of films that proved so popular world-wide had their central figure in one Count Dracula considered to be the prototypical and the archetypal vampire of works of fiction.
While the literary genius of yesteryear concentrated on vampires, our modern day scribe, a talented local musician, focuses on pigs in a planned series of fantastic colour and wit that have hit the spot with both parents and children.
The first offering, The Chronicles of Hamalot in which the main character is King Porker was warmly welcomed and proved a big hit thanks to the support of local libraries including Kilkenny, Waterford and Laois where children enjoyed support readings by the author.
“It is a pleasure to be working closely with the libraries, fantastic facilities for young and young at heart and I would love to extend my visits to Carlow and Tipperary Libraries,” Frank Salmon told The Kilkenny Observer.
“The second book, Legends of Hamalot is a worthy follow up to book one. It is now in 27 local shops in the region and I hope to boost that to 50 stores.”
Book one involves a king, queen, castle and workers and pigs are enlisted to protect the castle and country.
The young fellow in the second book, in keeping with the swine theme, is called I am Grunt.
The latter is a young gun who likes the idea of being a knight.
Ambling through a forest he hears moaning and spots a creature caught in a trap.
He cuts the creature down and discovers that it is a Hamasarus.
The latter thanks I am Grunt.
Then on the way into a castle, Grunt is arrested and put in chains. He sends out an SOS and Hamasarus responds.
Grunt hops on to his rescuer’s back and with knights out shaking their fists Hamasarus poos down on top of them.
Although this book is less than a month on sale it is already getting the thumbs up from enthusiastic children.
In the next book, Frank plans to introduce the daughter of the king and queen to avid readers.
He is also planning to write a song suitable for children to sing and play on tin whistles.
Illustrations in the new book are again by talented local man Billy Doran who does a superb job.
Printing by Perfecto Print, Dublin Road, Kilkenny is absolutely magnificent.
The local Salmon family relationship with Bram Stoker is through Frank’s mother who was Mary Stoker Dixon, a sister of Bram’s mother.
Frank’s dog, Sevi was called after professional Spanish golfer, Sevi Ballesteros.