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.
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.
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