It has been some little time now since we have been able to settle back down to the business of providing our readers with the proper flow of new material that we have always strived to maintain. Suffice to say that with the disruptions now, mostly, behind us we are able to, in the words of a many a television voice over, “resume our normal transmission“. We hope that our readers have not been too seriously inconvenienced by the necessary hiatus and we would like to welcome everyone back with a truly special “Chatting with Vampyres“
In this edition of Chatting with Vampyres we are extremely pleased and honoured to be able to chat with a founding member of the modern living vampyre movement. For many she will need no introduction for she has been a “House” owner, she was in the book “Something in the blood”  and she has been involved in television, radio and documentary works since 1994.
In the 1990’s She published the iconic modern sub-culture Ezine The DarkRose Journal which, arguably, was one of the first international Ezines dedicated to real living vampyres. It is this publication which has found a new lease of life and we are, again, fortunate enough to be able to celebrate and draw upon the unparalleled experience, knowledge and good graces of our guest tonight Julia DarkRose Ray.
J: Hello and right back at you! I hope you still feel that way when our chat is over *smiles*
RVL:If I may ask, what is your preferred manner of address by your members and guests?
J: DarkRose or Julia
RVL:May we begin with a little information about yourself, a little “autobiography” so to speak?
J: Well, I’ll tell you, I have lived many lifetimes in my 45 years that a “little” autobiography is no little undertaking. I’ll just stick to the bare minimum of basics. I am a mother of 3. My children range in age from 28, 24 and 9. I am recently married (September 16, 2012) to the only man I have ever loved. We, my husband and I, met almost 20 years ago when he became a DarkRose Journal subcriber. I am a published writer. I am owner and creator of my own magazine (hard copy and e-zine). My background up to the age of 27 has been well publicized. In a nutshell, I left home at the age of 12. Very bad things happened to me while living on the streets as a child and teenager, as well, up to the publishing of the book, ‘Something in the Blood‘ and well after. I have never looked back. I have been a part of the Vampyre Underground since the 1980’s. In 1993, I decided to find others like myself (besides those I already knew from the Underground). I wanted to reach as many corners of our world as possible. So, I created, wrote and published The DarkRose Journal, an underground zine created by a real living Vampyre to find and bring together (and possibly save those who are lost and confused) other real living Vampyres (Dark Angels, as I have always referred to myself and other living Vampyres). From the moment my creation of darkness and beauty and love, was in the hands of others like myself, a storm of treachery, publicity, deception, lost souls, new friends and family, adventure, and the most awesome and exciting life ever, began. I’m still here, no longer a part of the vampire Community that I help build, never the less, still here finding, helping, mentoring, entertaining, and evolving others and myself, in our beautiful world of living vampyres.
RVL:And, may I ask the nature of your self-identification? Are you vampyre, vampyre-hybrid or something unique and when did you know of this nature?
J: I am just me. I absolutely despise using labels. However, for ease of communication I obviously understand why it is necessary to label ourselves. I am a vampyre. I drink human blood because I choose to. I want to. I will not die or become ill or fade away slowly from not drinking human blood.The blood itself has no power for the human body. To reiterate, I want to drink human blood, preferably during hardcore, brutally dark and decadent sexual liasions. I am not a blood fetishist. I do become empowered and euphoric upon drinking human blood. However, there is far more to it than that. So, to sum up, I am a Vampyre with the spirit of a wolf. A sanguine wolf. But truly, I am just Julia DarkRose Ray, this is all I need to be. I do not need to make up labels, or pretend that I am greater than what nature has made me. I am exactly what nature needs me to be. I do what it is in my nature to do. I honor myself, others like me and our Mother Earth, by being true to myself. I knew about my nature (didn’t refer to myself as a vampyre until I created The DarkRose Journal) from about the age of six.
RVL:What is the name of your website/ group and where can our readers find it?
RVL:And, in general, what is the geographical base of the group/site and chief administrators?
J: The East Coast. (U.S.)
RVL:In the main, where are the group/site’s members from?
J: Our Dark Angels are mostly from the United States, Canada, Europe, and the Middle East…so far.
RVL:What was the main cause of your website/group being born and what is the group/site’s main philosophy?
J: I created the DarkRose Journal website as a gathering place for the DRJ subscribers/members. The DarkRose Journal has always been a group (for our subscribers are not merely readers, they are active members of the magazine. I incorporate them in fictional stories and features in the magazine, as well, they are encouraged to participate in the events and activies that the DRJ creates, online and offline) that provides a place where no judgements are made, free speech and thinking is the normal state of affairs ( I mean real free speech and thinking, contrary to what many other groups claim, real individuality is not tolerated). The DarkRose Journal doesn’t want you to follow her, to imitate her, to be a parrot…She wants you to walk with her, look within yourself, grow, learn, be entertained along the way, evolve into your truest self and create your own true path. If your path leads away from the DRJ family then so be it. Finding where you truly need to be is what matters. We are Dark Angels. We teach, we love, we hunt, we devour, we transform all that is ugly and negative and turn it into beauty, dark passion and wisdom.
RVL:Do you find that your philosophy, hence that of The DarkRose Journal, has changed or suffered over the years since you first came to the online world of vampyres?
J: My basic philosophy has not changed since coming back to the online world of Vampyres. I, however, have evolved and grown quite a lot since the early days of the DRJ, before there even was an Internet to have the OVC. When I evolve the DarkRose Journal evolves. My zine is not just an extension of myself, it is my spirit and flesh made into an accessible reading source for all those who need what I have to offer. Upon my return ( I took a 6 year sabbatical from the Internet in the mid 2000’s) to the OVC, I was met with hate, deception, treachery, down right rudeness and contempt. The thing is, I didn’t, and still don’t know why. So, I left the OVC and did my own thing, pretty much like I have always done. The DRJ has not suffered. All the negativity I have received from the OVC, I simply breathe it in, embrace it, transform it, and then breathe it back out as art, words, mentoring, entertainment, beauty in all its forms and new found wisdom. I cannot, ergo the DarkRose Journal cannot suffer unless I allow it to be so. Enjoy the Dark pleasures…
RVL:In your audience and membership, who does the group/site cater for?
J: Those seeking universal truths, especially those that affect living Vampyres. Also, those seeking dark arts, dark erotica, dark entertainment and beauty. Those already living within the darklight or those who want to be embraced by the darkness, the Darklight.
RVL:Would you outline for us the Group/site’s main purpose?
J: It is really quite simple. Our purpose is to seek out and bring to us those that resonate with and wish to embrace to darkness. It is not our practice to go into other houses/groups and push our Darklight onto them, we mind our own business and we are completely drama free. We do not “enlighten” we Endarken. The DarkRose Journal can show you the world in a different light…the Darklight.We are illuminated darkness. We are the Endarkened.When you need something new, when you are restless and tired of living your life the same old way, day after day, come yo us…we can show you, if you are a living Vampyre, to embrace your gift and become the most glorious Vampyre that you can be. By doing so, you will help those around you which will, eventually, help the world.
RVL:Do you find that this purpose, or purposes, has changed dramatically, or very little, from your early days in the sub-culture?
J: I find that our purpose has changed very little from my early days in the sub-culture. I, however, have evolved a whole hell of a lot. But my original purpose for creating the DRJ, remains basically the same.
RVL: …and along with any changes, do you feel that your own personal perception of, not only yourself but modern vampyrism in general has changed? and if so, to what extent?
J: I do not feel that my personal perception has changed. I knew way back then what a real living Vampyre consisted of and that has not changed. Living Vampyrism, as I know it to be, is not a made up state of mind and/or spirit and body. It is very real. It doesn’t make me more than those who are not living Vampyres, it just allows me to be what nature needs me to be. It allows me to be the best me possible. It allows me to have a deeper understanding of human nature. It allows me to be the sexiest, blood thirstiest, super hot succubus most people have ever seen or can imagine. It allows me to help make peoples dreams and fantasies come true. It allows me to be a Dark Angel and transform peoples lives and the world…one Dark Angel at a time.
RVL:What content or type of material is the main input for your group/website?
J: The main content of The DarkRose Journal zine and website is as follows: Universal truths. De-bunking the misconceptions promotedby many in the OVC/VC. Fictional vampire stories, usually erotic in nature. Dark poetry and prose (not gloomy or bad emo/goth poetry). Dark art and photography. Various feature articles ( a sample, one of my articles: Myth…The Human (Living Vampyre) Experience). Bringing human rights causes to the attention of the world, eventually, for now just our members. Member interaction and helping other Living Vampyres and Vampyre organizations to succeed and evolve into their best selves/entity.
RVL:What major events have occurred over the group lifetime, or recently?
J: I’ll tell you, it is mostly little events. Of course, it truly is all the little things that seem insignificant that are actually the building blocks for a life of purpose and happiness. I ( I say ‘I’ because previously I did all the work for and in creating the DRJ) have been the focus of 3 major documentaries. The latest one just finished filming this week and will be released to the various media )BBC, National Geographic, various news sources both in televison and print basically). From my perspective (really, what other perspective would I have? *laughs* all the Dark Angels (Living Vampyres) that I help “save”, teach, evolve and move forward, are to me, the major events that have occured over the DRJ’s lifetime. We have done various other things like fund raising for our chosen charities/organizations, performed living vampyre rituals at different nightclub venues, some major publicity educating the human masses about what real living vampyres actually are and do.
RVL:What would you like to see the group/website become from this point forward?
J: The DarkRose Journal, is to me, a living breathing entity…’She’ will always be becoming. Stagnation is not an option for me or Her co-owners, therefore it is not an option for Her. The DRJ has become a beacon of Darklight (Endarkenment) for many living Vampyres. She is not after quantity (getting the highest number of members), She is after real living vampyres, only. We do not have drama and vampolitical BS because She (the DRJ) only truly cares about finding, educating, mentoring and evolving herself and other Dark Angels. There is no ego involved in the DRJ family. The DarkRose Journal will become a better version of Herself, whatever that consists of, She will always be a welcoming Haven for Dark Angels (Living Vampyres).
RVL:And, can we ask what development work/ strategy is planned for the group/site’s evolution?
J: Well, publishing the DRJ in an eZine format is quite new to me. So, right now, probably the next few issues or so, I am becoming acclimated to this new medium. After my acclimation is complete, we will start publishing Her in hard copy again, still keeping the eZine format too. Eventually, we will have a more interactive website. I’m not use to running a website in conjunction with my magazine. I’m still learning. Thank all that is dark and unholy for Anat-Knight, she is our technical goddess! Without her I would be lost in the cyber sea of technology. We have a couple of books that we will be publishing about the VC/OVC and about The DRJ path of Endarkenment. We are in the process of planning real life events for the website/DRJ subscribers…not just regular gatherings like most all the other groups host. Oh no, this is the DRJ, we do everything according to what we know is real. No role-playing, no fake names, no fake fangs and contacts, no fake or made up BS! We don’t need any of those aesthetics to convey what we are. Our Vampyre essence oozes out of our pores for all the world to take notice. We are real living vampyres! We are predators, blood drinkers, erotic beings with a lust and passion for life that is unrivaled by most. We don’t just sit around gabbing about possibilities, imaginary powers/abilities, or just trying to hook up, because without a “vampire” persona the chance of getting laid is pretty much nil. Nope, we are true living vampyre, we live the hell out of life! Come to one of the DRJ events and your perception of life will be changed/evolved forever.
RVL: As you mentioned, you were somewhat distant from the VC/OVC for quite a time, how does it feel to be “back in action”, so to speak?
J: I was actually only distant from the OVC. I cannot stop being a living vampyre, this is who I am. Just as I need the air to breathe so that I may continue to live, I need to be who Mother Nature intended for me to be, a Dark Angel. I never distanced from the VC. I just kept a low profile. I didn’t do any publicity or attend any events. I never stopped mentoring other living Vampyres. And of course, I never stopped hunting and feeding off of human blood. It does feel good to be “back in action!” I love what I do. I love being me. Being back in the swing of things (well, in my swing anyway ) it is beautiful, endarkening, fulfiiling and what I am meant to do? I love being back, even with all the negativity constantly being directed at me. I just take all the misplaced passions and misunderstandings, consume it, transform it, and return it back as beauty, wisdom and darklight via the DRJ.
RVL:In an interview that you did last year with the Graveyard Press you indicated that you, “… published a Vampyre Magazine–‘The DarkRose Journal’ in the early to late 90’s. “  What do you find different about doing that now as opposed to then?
J: Back in the 90’s, I did all the work myself. I wrote all the stories, did all the formatting (No desk top publishing programs in the early 90’s, formatted in a word processing program on my MAC), physically bound each 80+ pages of every issue, did most of the artwork and did all of the marketing. In essence, I was not only spiritually the DRJ, I was also physically the DRJ, lol. Back in the early 90’s we did not have the OVC/VC. We were still very much underground. More real blood, sweat, and tears of dark-love went into creating, publishing and marketing a vampyre magazine. I didn’t have the luxury of just pressing a button to get what I needed or to reach who I needed. No, I had to actually go out into the world, talk with people, write letters and mail them using the Post office, Lol.
RVL: Would you like to say anything else about the group/website?
J: I want everyone to know that the new cyber version of the historical DarkRose Journal, is now, unlike the original hard copy version from the 90’s. very much a team effort. My husband, Devoted Blood, is an owner and staff writer and content editor. Anat-Knight is my sister, owner, writer and technical goddess. Eric is our website moderator and over all guardian of the site. Having a team to publish the DRJ is also very new to me. At first, I thought that I wouldn’t be able to let anyone else help publish my zine, especially since She is me, not just am entity to occupy peoples down time between the ticks of their clocks. I was wrong to have doubt in my heart. The key is having the right team. I certainly have the perfect team for The DarkRose Journal. She is going to be better than ever. Each issue will be better, more endarkening and beautiful than the one before it.
RVL:We would like to thank you very much, for taking the time to introduce us to your vampyre resource and for sharing with us a little something about it.
J: You are beyond any measure of a mere welcome. I truly appreciate you even wanting to learn more about me and The DarkRose Journal. If I can ever be of any kind of help to you, please never hesitate to ask me for said help. To a great mind, nothing is little. This is what the DRJ truly believes, as well to enjoy the dark pleasure…I know I will.
The living vampyre community is replete with resources of great value, places that give us the opportunity to learn and to teach so much to the newcomers and even to those who have been involved for a number of years but one of the greatest strengths in our sub-culture comes from the people who held the keys at the very beginning, those who worked toward something greater from a position of being “underground”, so to speak. Voices such as those of our guest, Julia DarkRose Ray, remind us that there is a much richer history to draw upon than many realise and perhaps, in these voices, we can find something of benefit to the entire “community” if not the entire modern sub-culture.
© RVL & Julia DarkRose Ray 2013
NB: The views and opinions presented in this article are the opinions of the author and/or contributors and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of The Owner/s of RVL, their officers, assigns or agents. RVL and its officers do not personally, individually, or jointly necessarily recommend or condone any of the activities or practices represented, and accept no liability, nor responsibility, for the use or misuse thereof. Anything that the reader takes from this article is taken at their own discretion.
This information is freely available to all FOR PERSONAL USE only, it may be reproduced , or linked to, on personal web sites WITH FULL CREDIT but it may not be used for commercial purposes nor for general distribution without PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT from the copyright owners.
For further details please see our Website Disclaimer
 Something in the blood. Jeff Guinn & Andy Grieser,1996. Summit Publishing Group
 Graveyard Press interview, Jones, N.A., August 2012