I love how a creature that doesn’t even exist can cause so much fear and discussion and enjoyment. I love the darkness. I love the fact that you can swap and change them to suit what you want and how those changes can be awesome (Daybreakers) or cause folk to gnash their teeth and swear vengence on you (Twilight).
My vampires, hopefully, do all of those things.
When I wrote Silk Over Razor Blades the first time, I was very young. Buffy was still at the forefront of my mind and my vampires had a very obvious Josh Whedon flavour. Now, years on, with Christopher Pike, Anne Rice, Laurell K Hamilton, Charlaine Harris, Stephen King, Shuan Hutson and various other authors behind me, I hope I’ve put a new spin on things. Comparatively recent reads from the likes of Johnny B Truant, Felicity Hunt and even writings from my critique group have all added spice to the old myths and given rise to something new. I hope.
One: My Vampires Walk By Day.
I know this flies in the face of one of the biggest ‘rules’ regarding vampires, but writing a story set wholly at night just wasn’t something I fancied. And it didn’t make sense because…
Two: My Vampires Are Rooted In Ancient Egypt
This isn’t new, but the period of history I chose to use is. At least as far as I know. Ptolemaic Egypt, but right at the end before the Romans came along and battered everything. So this is in the last days of Cleopatra VII, last pharoah of Egypt.
Three: My Vampires Have Abilities Based Not On Age But Generation
Again, this isn’t new, I’m sure the White Wolf RPG Vampire Masquerade does something similar, but quite specifically, my vampires take their abilities based on how many steps removed they are from the first vampire. And there are only five possible powers to choose from; those closest to the first get more than those further removed. One of those five powers has several facets, but, for the most part, it’s a simple ‘you have it, or you don’t.’ *shrugs* It just seemed to make sense to me.
Four: My Vampires Are Religious
The last set of religious vampires I came across were those in the Blue Bloods series by Melissa de la Cruz. I’ve only read the first of that series, but I really enjoyed the idea that vampires were fallen angels. Mine aren’t quite like that, but they do have an odd relationship with their Gods (yes, Gods, remember they’re Egyptian) and often have to stop and think about the ramifications of what they do before they act.
Five: My Vampires Aren’t Mindless or Evil For The Sake Of It
Bar a few, because every race has variety and diversity, most of the vampires you’ll come across in this trilogy are quite ‘normal.’ They drink blood, yes, but they aren’t palm-rubbing evil doers out to take over the world. Most of them anyway. The majority just want to get on with the lives they created as humans and it just so happens that they need to drink blood to survive. If you think about it… sucks to be them, right?
Six: My Vampires Are NOT Dead
There are strong feelings about this one. Vampires are dead, no breath, no pulse, no reflection, yadda, yadda. But in a book where they aren’t known to the public, do you really think they would get away with that? All the glass and metal and mirrored surfaces in the world; that at least would show them up.
No, my vampires aren’t dead. They live, they breath, they have a heart beat. They don’t eat because the ‘magic’ for want of a better word, that powers their bodies won’t allow them to do so. The blood is far less about sustainance for the vampire than it is about sacrifice to the power that made them. Blood, no matter what you believe, is a powerful substance. It gives life, the loss of it takes life. That, in of itself, is a great idea to play with.
I think that’s as much as I can tell you without giving away all my secrets (!!!) but I’d love to hear from you vampire fans out there. What are the strangest traits you’ve ever read attributed to a vampire? What annoyed you the most? Do any of my (vague) teasers sound like something that would send you running for the hills or have you salivating at my door for more?