Before I start talking (it’s hard for me to stop once I get going!), I want to thank Terra for asking me to guest blog today. I thought I’d talk about my latest release Night After Night, which is the last book in my Brotherhood of the Blood series. Night After Night is all about Temple, the leader of my Victorian Vampires, and his relationship with Vivian, a woman who is so much more than she appears. Night After Night also reunites Temple with the rest of his brethren: Chapel, Bishop, Saint and Reign as they fight to take down the Order of the Silver Palm, an evil society bent on using the power of vampirism for their own personal gain.
So there, I’ve talked about my newest release, but like I said, I’m hard to shut up once I get started. One question I get asked a lot is: What is the appeal of vampires? Vampires seem to be one of those things that people either love or hate. Personally I love ‘em. I’ve loved vampires since I was a kid and my mother let me watch ‘Cliffhangers’ on T.V. even though it meant staying up late. I was totally enthralled by the Dracula storyline. Shortly after that I discovered Frank Langella as Dracula. I can remember turning off all the lights and shutting myself in our living room so I could sit on the floor in front of the screen and watch this dark, compelling man as he threw so many lives into turmoil. I was so very angry when the movie ended and he was destroyed. All he wanted was the girl. Why couldn’t they let him have the girl and be happy?
Thus began my tendency to feel for the monster, and given the success of paranormal romance these days, I don’t think I’m alone.
Vampires are the ultimate tortured heroes. They are loners, forced to live apart from the world. In my mythos they’ve been shunned from God’s sight, which is why they cannot venture out into daylight. My vampires are also demonic rather than undead, so they’re warm-blooded and able to change their appearance. I didn’t do this to make them more appealing. I did it because I think the most terrifying monsters are the ones that look just like us and can live amongst us without us ever knowing they’re there.
And yes, I find vampires terrifying. That’s part of their appeal as well. As heroes they are amazingly strong, capable of feats we can only imagine. And time after time these powerful men are brought low and made vulnerable because of their love for a woman. An ordinary (for the most part!) human woman. That’s some pretty potent fantasy right there.
The Brotherhood of the Blood starts with Chapel, who thinks he is simply on a reconnaissance mission for the church when he meets Prudence Ryland, a beautiful woman who is dying. She throws his entire world into turmoil and shatters his every belief in BE MINE TONIGHT. Next, comes Bishop whose memories of a former love bring him to Romania where he is taken hostage by Marika, a half-vampire woman bent on using him to gain her revenge on another of the Brotherhood in NIGHT OF THE HUNTRESS. In TAKEN BY THE NIGHT, Saint’s easy and comfortable existence is disrupted by Ivy, the daughter of an old friend who sees him as a hero and expects him to act like it. And in LET THE NIGHT BEGIN, Reign is brought to his knees by the woman he loved and lost 30 years ago when he turned her into a vampire. That brings us back to NIGHT AFTER NIGHT in which Temple risks everything when he trusts Vivian, the woman who could bring about the destruction of them all.
So what is the appeal of vampires? Aside from the possibility of truly have a happily EVER after with a man who cannot die, I think another aspect has to be in the taking of blood. They literally take part of the heroine into themselves. If you take that one step further, she is life to the vampire hero, which makes her very powerful as well. The heroine is ultimately the vampire’s salvation and his reason for going on. She is what makes eternity bearable. It’s the ultimate Beauty and the Beast story. Love can make a hero out of a man perceived to be a monster. In real life, we know this isn’t necessarily true, just as we know there is no such thing as vampires.