We interview the creator and maintainer of the Rose Sinister Podcast about the history and future of this production, and how achieving great analytical depth of vampire media is a team effort.
The history of the podcast
The Rose Sinister name first appeared as a jewelry line that she wanted to start, but it returned as a podcast title by 2018. Rose remembers when she first used those words for a project, ten years prior. They originate even earlier than that.
“I visited a psychic on Bourbon Street in September 2008 to help me name a jewelry line I wanted to start. I was told by that psychic that the name would come to me within 30 minutes of us parting ways, but it would be 10 years before I saw success with the name. I walked out into the busy French Quarter evening, saw a street vendor selling roses, and immediately remembered a ‘rose, sinister’ project I had undertaken in high school while on a heraldry kick. ‘Sinister’ often refers to the left side of things, and I am left-handed.”
The future of the Rose Sinister podcast is hypothetically unlimited. While working as a full-time tour guide and living with fibromyalgia and severe ADHD understandably impact the frequency of episode releases, the creator envisions a decade worth of episodes.
“I hope to one day create podcasts full time and never stop.”
A unique level of depth
Listening to just a couple of episodes about Blade (1998) and The Historian (2005) as examples, the analytical depth of this podcast is refreshing. It’s already true in the internet age that one doesn’t need a degree to gain breadth and depth of knowledge on a subject, but it’s essential to find reliable sources. The Rose Sinister podcast was created to satisfy a personal need, but behind the scenes it is far from a one-person knowledge base, though working as a tour guide in New Orleans certainly helped.
“I wanted a podcast that explored vampire stories from all the fascinating historical, sociological, and psychological angles I try to approach stories on [during] my tours of the French Quarter. I think we learn better when things feel connected to us. So the biggest and most important experience that shaped the project was my years of work as a tour guide. When I realized the project I wanted didn’t exist, I made it for myself… with a little help from my friends. I’m a community college dropout. Academia was not for me. But I have a huge number of friends with PhDs and MDs and JDs in a wide variety of disciplines, so I frequently turn to them to get insight. Often they’ll provide resources or perspectives I hadn’t considered, so in some ways, I’ve continued to receive a very thorough and advanced education despite not succeeding in school the first time around. My friends who are Jewish rabbis and Christian ministers are often eager to help me arrive at the moral center of my episodes. I am very fortunate to be a dropout surrounded by very very smart people.”
Slaking eternal thirst, fulfilling a noble need
The Rose Sinister podcast is well received on the whole. Part of the reason is not just the academic-level analytical depth it goes into each vampire story, which garners great feedback on its own. It’s about which stories the podcast chooses not to omit.
“The most rewarding thing I’ve discovered since starting the podcast is the breadth and depth of nonwhite vampire narratives and storytellers, throughout the history of vampire fiction. From the very beginning, in fact. Sometimes I get BIPOC on my vampire tours who love vampire stories even though the only stories they really know are overwhelmingly white. Connecting people to vampire stories that represent them is a privilege and responsibility I take seriously. Vampire stories are for everybody.”
The present and immediate future
The Rose Sinister podcast is now sponsored by Endless Night/Vampire World productions, a promising development for a podcaster who has been an emissary for Endless Night vampire balls for over a year.
“I’m so proud and excited to expand my partnership with an organization that stands for and promotes so many of the values I hold sacred. Moving forward I’m tentatively getting into Youtube and hope to offer additions types of content as my health hopefully improves with the right medication and self-care. Fingers crossed.”