May 17, 2010

Gail Martin - Guest Blog and Contest

A big welcome to Gail Z. Martin author of The Chronicles of the Necromancer . This is Gail's third visit to PVN and it's a delight to have her here. Today she will  discuss vampires - "old" vs "new".

Book 4 of The Chronicles, Dark Lady's Chosen, was published last December. One lucky reader will win a signed copy.
[See contest details at the end of the post.]

Not “Our” Kind of Vampire?

I attend a lot of conventions, and I love the panels, especially the late-night ones.  They’re fun not only because of the topics, but because of the passion the fans bring to the subject.  Yeah, you’ve got a roomful of adults hotly debating topics on par with “could Superman beat up Batman,” but it’s because everyone in that room loves the genre.

Lately, a lot of the panels have been about vampires, and several of the panels have taken up “new” vampires vs. “old” vamps.  “New” vampires have consciences, tend to be insanely good looking, have relationships with humans that go beyond diner and entrée, and may or may not sparkle.  “Old” vampires are B-movie monsters with long fingernails, extremely bad breath, no redeeming sense of mortality and view humans as slaves or lunch.

While I can’t say that I’m a fan of every new twist on vampires, the fondness for the Bela Lugosi style of vamp did surprise me.  I’ve encountered fans (usually men) who are adamant that vampires are creatures of evil and can never be anything but monsters.  These fans are usually stridently confronted by other fans (mostly women) who defend the right of vampires everywhere to look good, date mortals, and sparkle if they wanna.

What each camp is really saying is: We only accept “our” kind of vamps.

Now I think all the fuss is amusing, because I like both types of vampires.  I loved the old black and white horror movies, as well as all the Dracula remakes.  And I can cheer for Van Helsing or Buffy as loudly as anyone.  Maybe it’s my early entrancement with Dark Shadows, but I also have no problem with the longing of the Louies and Barnabases of the vampire world, the vamps who want to regain their humanity if not their mortality. 

Someone on a radio interview asked me how I could write about “good” vampires. And I told them, in the same way I can write about “good” mortals, knowing every time I pick up a newspaper how many real human beings have lost any shred of humanity.  In some ways, I believe in monsters without any problem; believing in goodness, I find a little more difficult.

In my The Chronicles of the Necromancer series, my vampires, the vayash moru, have a moral choice about how they use the Dark Gift.  They can use their new capabilities to amass power and dominate those who are weaker, taking what they want by force, indifferent to the suffering they cause, enjoying the pain they inflict on others.  Or, they can remain a part of the community, seeking to live at peace, avoiding harm to others.  In other words, they have the same choices every person on this plant has every morning.

Personally, I don’t need vampires to believe in monsters.  The six o’clock news makes it very clear to me that monsters are real.  Mortals have shed rivers of blood over the course of history, benefiting from the deaths even if they didn’t actually drink the blood.  And yet, I believe that people have the choice whether or not to be a monster.  And since vampires weren’t necessarily bad people before they were turned, I don’t see why being dead would suddenly make you a bad person.  Seems to me they’d retain that same moral choice, but instead of struggling against their dark side for 70 or 90 years, they fight their shadow side for centuries. 

We mortals often wish for immortality.  We want medical science to make us live forever, and we expect plastic surgeons to keep us looking eternally young.  People have done monstrous things to stay alive at all costs. So perhaps, we’re not so different from the vamps after all.  In vampires, I see a dark reflection of ourselves, and I remember that perhaps, we should be careful what we wish for.

Gail is offering a signed copy of Dark Lady's Chosen

Easy Contest Rules 

*Answer this question: Which kind of vampire do you prefer - "old" ,  "new" ,  "both", "neither"  One chance

*You may also make a comment on Gail's post.   One chance

That's it! Good luck!

*If your email is not associated with your ID, please put the address in your response.

*The contest is international

*Contest ends  May 31, 2010


EVA SB said...

I definitely prefer the new vampires. Not just becuase they are hot and sexy (though that is fine by me!) but also because I love moral dilemmas.

I belive everyone has a personal moral responsibility and I agree that we just stigmatize vampires as monsters there are plenty of the human kind of monster apppearing every day on the news.[@]gmail[.]com

Carmen R said...

I prefer both. If it was not for the older vampires we would not have the new ones. I just don't want my vampires to sparkle. I mean i wouldn't want my husband to take up wearing glitter so why would I want my vamp to sparkle? lol

I think humans can be more of a monster than a vampire. A lot of takes on Vampires are that they are soulless. I think some make them that way to explain how they can do the things that they do. On the other hand humans with souls intact can do so much worse with no explanation

Hannah S said...

I think I like both.
Why not have the best of both worlds?
And thanks for this giveaway!
Love, Hannah
xoxosweeet at yahoo dot com

SiNn said...

a little of both really the new for their sexiness and dilemas the old becaus ethey are the foundation of the new

I love the post

and i agree with eva totally we are all responile for our own actions and just as many "humans" are worse monsters then any vampire could ever be sadly

SiNn said...

im a subscriber

buddyt said...

I like both but to me they actually belong to two different genres.

The old vampires were of the "Horror" kind and as a youngster I delighted in being scared out of my wits and walking home from a theatre peering at every shadow and jumping at every sound.

The new vampires probably fall into the newer paranormal genre and are really different kinds of creatures altogether. There problems are more moral than anything else and I don't think the authors intend them to be scary at all.

But I can enjoy a well written story no matter which of the above they are.

Carol T

buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

Lisa R said...

Actually, I like my vamp to be a combination of the old and new.

alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com

Kimberly B. said...

What a great giveaway! I'll admit, I'm one of those people who likes both old and new vampires. If vampires really existed, I think they would really be the equivalent of an animal predator, because they live on blood to survive. When there are animals who have eaten human flesh, we avoid them, we don't assume they are evil. But it's complicated by the fact that vampires prey on humans though they were once human themselves. So there seems to be a lot of room for interpretation.
Thanks for the great giveaway!

Tore said...

I love both old and new vampires. I have to admit I really loved the Twilight series. I have to agree with the writer that humans are like the vampires. We all have choices to make especially the moral ones. Please enter me in contest.

Melissa said...

I prefer new, but any good storyteller can make either interesting.

Julie said...

I really enjoyed the post because that is in line with how I think about vampires too. Sure, humans can be evil monsters and it's a choice to be good. I like the old and new type of vampire stories. I like the lore that when a human is turned, their soul is gone and in place is a demon that uses their body, but I also like the idea that it's still them, just an (un)dead version of them.


SandyG265 said...

I prefer both. It really depends on the story.

I'm a subscriber

writtenwyrdd said...

I love the new vampire, except for the ones that sparkle.

Dot S. said...

I do like the "new" vampires. What's not to like? They have to have some dangerous-edginess also to make their moral dilemmas more meaningful.

I do believe that the human monsters are much more frightening then the fictional vampires. The vampires can be redeemed between the pages. The real human monsters are still "out there".

tetewa said...

I prefer both as vampires are my favorite reads! Enjoy reading about any kind!

Sandy Jay said...

I prefer the new vampires.

forwhlz at gmail dot com

Ina said...

Hi Gail!
thanks for being here - I really enjoyed reading your post...
I like both kinds of vampires - there are great stories out there about them :)
greetings, Ina

Andrea I said...

I like both types, but I prefer the old from the movies. Most new vampires are very appealing due to looks, etc.
I agree about monsters from the evening news. Sometimes I just don't understand how people can make the choices that they do.

Robin K said...

I love new vampires, especially ones who sparkle!

Great post Gail. I cannot agree more with your comments about mortal monsters. I am mortified by what happens in reality at times. Somewhere there is a cave with my name on it beckoning me to hide from human monstrosities.

mariska said...

- I prefer both. coz we need the original type, to see the new one :)

- great post Gail, it makes me think when you said that "we’re not so different from the vamps after all".
yeah, human wants to be live forever just like vamps do :)

cuniquas at gmail dot com

Aik said...

+1 I prefer new vampires.

+1 I agree with Gail - We mortals often wish for immortality. However, if we really get what we wished for, will we become so bored that we eventually choose suicide to end our never-ending lives?

aikychien at yahoo dot com

throuthehaze said...

I like both
throuthehaze at gmail dot com

Roby said...

I like both too.


Anonymous said...

i guess new ones, since they are so many differnt ways to become and stay one

heatwave16 said...

I have to say that I do like both because I love a good B horror movie. You have to appreciate the old school it. However I do like the newer ones a bit better, minus the sparkle.

I do have to agree with Gail 100%, we have monsters all around us, unfortunately. They don't have special powers, but are just as evil.


Vickie said...

I like the new vampires however they are portrayed. I think they are written as having the possibility of good or bad, just like humans.

VWinship at aol dot com

Giada M said...

I like sometimes old vampires and sometimes new. Thank you for this awesome giveaway!^O^
Giada M.

fabgiada @

Amy Lynn said...

Gail, I'm right there with you about the news & human monsters. The way you phrased it reminded me of one of my favorite quotes growing up. It was from one of the Anne of Green Gables books, and when she is asked what kind of man she would like to someday be with, she states she wants a man who COULD be bad, but chooses to be good.

Old or new, I think we are all drawn to that type of man...human, furry, fairy, or fangy.

I agree also that I'm a fan of both. IF I absolutely had to choose...I may say the "new" vampires, but that would probably depend on my mood. lol.

I am most entranced by the vampires if not actively seeking to regain their lost humanity (or struggling to keep it) still have a strong desire to protect humanity as a whole and respect it in others.

Somedays it seems that when you look around the real world, we're seeing it valued less and less by humanity as a whole. I think that through the eyes of paranormal fiction, we're able to lose the jadedness that clouds our vision and reclaim what makes humans special.

misskallie2000 said...

I prefer the new vampires. They don't have to be bad vamps and can live great lives and give to humans instead of taking away. Of course, just like humans need all kinds of humans, you have to add some bad in the bunch when you write about vampires. Vamps have to fight vamps to keep us humans from being turned into vamps and from dystroying good vamps. Bad vamps want to change our world causing our world to disappear as we know it today.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Mindy said...

Cool post Gail :)
I prefer both kinds of vamps because my imagination is too open to be cramped by a single style of anything.

Mindy :)

Cyndi said...

I like all kinds of vampires, although I must admit the whole "sparkly" thing is a bit much, even for me...

Cherry said...

Q: Which kind of vampire do you prefer?

A: New - because the new vampires now are so dynamic. A vampire can be a hero, villain and even both!

Commented on Gail's post.

Re-posted your contest at:

Cherry Mischievous
mischivus101-warrior [at] yahoo [dot] com

FrankSandy said...

I prefer the "new" vampire--they interact more with humans.

Anonymous said...

I prefer both types of vampires. You need the old to understand the new.