My novel Darklands: A Vampire’s Tale has been referred to as “not your typical vampire story.” I like this description, but to many, it is a backhanded kind of compliment. Why? Fans of urban fantasy and paranormal romance expect something that is not classified as horror or even mildly frightening. My vampires are a pretty rotten sort, which was intentional, and as I was writing the story, I kept wondering when exactly things changed. When did vampires become hot, feisty heroines and knights in shining armor? I want to blame Anne Rice—remember how awesome Interview with a Vampire was? But by the end of the series, Lestat was not the same dastardly, yet intriguing creature of the night he once was. Maybe I was off reading zombie novels when this grand metamorphosis occurred.
I was raised on wicked vampires. How many younger people realize before Christopher Lee was an incredible Saruman, he was a bloody scary (no pun intended) Dracula. We live in the time of the do-gooder vamps and frankly, it makes me want to tear my hair out! I don’t want sparkly little vamps who can wander out in the daylight and cruise school cafeterias for a soul mate. Although I appreciate the fact the Twilight has brought new life to a genre that had been pushed to the back-burner, I have yet to read them or see the flicks. Still, I’m pretty sure I’ll take Eric Northman over Edward Cullen any day. Hell, I’ll take Russell Edgington over Edward Cullen because he is so gleefully evil, you just have to like him. I have seen the Vampire Diaries a few times and I can tell you very quickly Damon is way hotter than Stefan.
The best vamps embrace what they are—they are at the top of the food chain. They have power. They have magnetism and they know how to use it. Morality is not the most pressing issue at hand. Survival is. And how does a vampire survive other than drinking blood? Now, to offset the taking of living blood, the vampires who reside inside the minds of Charlaine Harris and many other talented authors, do tend to choose the dregs of society as their victims. You can’t tell me the Rattrays didn’t deserve what they got. And what about John Ajvide Lindqvist ‘s Eli, the child-vampire from Let the Right One In? She (or he, depending upon which version you read) ended up as little Oskar’s protector. By the time Jimmy-the-bully’s severed arm hit that public pool, I was more than ready to see him meet his demise. Even in my world of Darklands, Devin and Susan make a point of picking the worst we humans have to offer —pimps, child molesters. These are not exactly the kinds of people you’d want to spend an afternoon with. As my vampire Devin puts it “…all I’m doing is clearing the rubbish. Taking out the garbage.” Now, is that really so bad?
I’m not even going to go into the notion of the celibate vampire. It’s just plain silly ;-P
No matter if your taste runs to the do-gooder vampire or the naughty bad-boy vamp, I will happily say I am glad vamps are so popular. There are tons of great books just waiting to be read featuring our beloved undead in all shapes, sizes, professions, and attitudes. Just check out the rest of this wonderful blog and you’ll see exactly what I mean.
I want to thank Alan for having me on today. If you do prefer your vampires dark and conflicted, with a hearty dose of sex and blood thrown in, check out Darklands: A Vampire’s Tale at Amazon. Available in print and for Kindle. Be kind, feed your device!
Alan here. Much thanks to Donna Burgess for this peek into her vampiric world. We're big fans of “not your typical vampire story ”around here. Show Donna some love and check out Darklands: A Vampire's Tale. The kindle edition is currently only $0.99!