Jan 25, 2011

The Vampire Apocalypse series by Derek Gunn - Guest blog & Contest


I recently came across Derek Gunn's Vampire Apocalypse series. This trilogy describes a post apocalyptic world where humans have become dominated by vampires. Derek kindly agreed to write about his best-selling series in order to introduce his vampiric world to readers of PVN.

Derek is offering one lucky commenter a copy of each title in the series. See contest details at the end of the post.

VAMPIRE APOCALYPSE

The Vampire Apocalypse series are action horror stories set in an apocalyptic world. The drying up of the world's oil resources leads to the fabled End of Days. Cities hoard power from nuclear and fossil-based resources and sell their power to other areas at exorbitant prices. Technology stagnates and communities grow ever more insular.

The Vampires are masters of the darkness but maintain control by day through the use of Thralls--humans who have been bitten but have not yet crossed over, and whose inhuman lusts make daylight as terrifying as night. In the midst of chaos, a small band of rebels lead a terrified existence, but their survival is threatened by the Vampire's new scanning procedures.

With communication kept to a minimum and attention focused inward, the Vampires rise from the shadows, where they have survived for centuries, and sweep across the globe. By the time word spreads it is far too late and Vampires enslave humanity and keep them in walled cities to breed. The Vampires have discovered a serum which keeps the brain inhibited from acting with any free will and keeps the population docile and compliant. Protected during the day by Thralls, men and women who have fed on a vampire’s blood but who have not yet died, the Vampires live an easy and unchallenged existence. The Thralls are all impossibly strong and their new powers brought with them voracious appetites that they have free reign to sate on the helpless captives.

In the first novel, Vampire Apocalypse: A World Torn Asunder, a small band of survivors live serum-free. The group is kept small so as to remain beneath the Vampires’ radar, however, certain factions within the group continually push to achieve more. The story begins with an assault on a large country estate where these factions, led by Peter Harris, achieve a major victory. They kill one of the ruling Vampire Lords. This act gets the attention of the leader of the Vampires, Nero, an ancient who orders a public slaughter of innocents to draw the rebels out. The resulting battle sees the rebel forces saving over two hundred people and handing the Vampires a defeat that they swear to avenge.

Nero is the head vampire in the state in the first novel. He is an ancient vampire from Europe. He has fought with Alexander the Great and been part of most of the wars that have ravaged the earth throughout history. His is cunning, vicious and intolerant of failure. When the vampires began to rise from the shadows he left his homeland for the promise of slaughter, mayhem and power. His ruthlessness has seen him rise to the pinnacle of his kind in the new world. Tall and imposing his sunken features hint at his age but his eyes portray the cunning that has kept him powerful. The rebels have taken a major leap forward on his watch and the attention of his peers will soon sweep his way if he can not contain the outbreak.

Vampire Apocalypse: A World Torn Asunder  The main kernel of this story came from the proliferation of ‘nice’ vampires that are so popular in fiction today. I never saw the vampire as an aristocratic figure, noble to a fault and lonely for a good woman’s, or man’s love. I always saw them as creatures who had moved on from being human over the centuries. They do not consider themselves human, most have probably forgotten they ever were. They are creatures ruled by base hunger. For all their power they are slaves to a gnawing hunger that rules there very existence.

I have written some diary extracts recently as part of a back story to the VA series. Over the course of the centuries we can see the changes going on inside the head of a vampire, how his thoughts of humanity, religion and his place in the world change him. I have tied this into the ‘real’ history of the world, offering a different view of how some of history’s events actually happened and the impact this had on the mindset of the vampire. They are short vignettes that try to go some way to explain how these creatures can change so drastically. Even the most noble would change their attitudes over centuries and humans are food after all. How often do you have to eat meat to no longer consider the source as intelligent? These extracts are available for free on my website with the first installment up already.

Another factor that influenced me was that most stories end where mine begins. The world is almost lost to a great evil but the hero saves the day. While I enjoy seeing good triumph I wanted to see what the world would be like if that hero never succeeded. But, powerful as they are, I don’t see the vampires taking over that easily, they are too dependant on darkness.

I introduced the concept of thralls to balance the war during the day and to add an element of man’s worst side. The first paragraph of the first book, A World Torn Asunder, tries to portray the decision everyone had to make in order for this world to descend into chaos. As Edmond Burke stated, The only thing necessary for the triumph [of evil] is for good men to do nothing. There is no way the vampires can win if people remain true to themselves and to others. However, the world is a changed place, fossil fuels are gone, travel and communications are restricted to what communities can afford and everyone looks to their own. Into this bleak existence the vampires offer a way out, a guaranteed easy life instead of a slow, noble death.

The decisions made in communities all over America lead to the terrible world I imagined for Chapter One.
 
Vampire Apocalypse: Descent in Chaos continues the story from the first novel but is a stand alone story in itself. It mixes what is best about humanity with what is worst and spins a story of love, honour and betrayal against an apocalyptic background. Here I have tried to show that there is no black or white, good or evil. Shades of Grey predominate.

There are ‘new’ vampires and old vampires. The vampire hierarchy is based on centuries of carefully crafted rules that have been adhered to in order to maintain their secretive existence. Now that they rule the world the ‘new’ vampires see their place in it differently that their forebears. Some have risen high in the hierarchy, the world is a large place and the vampire numbers were restricted up until they rose up. For the war the vampires needed to increase their numbers far beyond anything that they can now handle.

Ancient rules and unspoken agreements no longer seem relevant in the world and there are resentments bubbling under the surface that threaten to pull the fragile peace apart.

The thralls, too, are looking to improve their position. Their masters are god-like in power but vulnerable in the daytime. They have seen what Harris and his group have managed to achieve and want to gain their secrets so they can improve their own position.

The problems of human nature raise their ugly heads within the small group of survivors also. There are new members to a community bursting at the seams and food is scarce. It is easier to blame someone rather than deal with the problems so certain members use these issues to raise their own position in the community.

Vampire Apocalypse: Fallout -  This book introduces more about the tenuous Vampire peace on a country-wide scale and delves into the fractious vampire hierarchy. We are introduced to a conspiracy within the vampire ranks that will have a huge impact during the series.

Harris and his team face more problems in their own community though as people scramble for power and survival. Rivalries are set to explode and their consequences could spell disaster for all the survivors. On top of all that there is a traitor in the human community and their timetable has suddenly been escalated.

The thralls grow more powerful. Alliances and bitter feuds are set aside in their quest for independence but theirs is a fragile command.

I also introduced another problem for a world without technology. What happens when the nuclear power plants are no longer manned with the correct people? How long would they continue to operate? What would happen if there was an accident?


CONTEST 

*Derek is offering a copy of each title in the Vampire Apocalypse trilogy to one lucky reader.

*Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win. 

*Contest is international. 

*Contest ends Feb. 8 2011 at 11:59pm EST

29 comments:

Dragonsally said...

The series sounds fantastic,I'd love to win a copy. I'm going to give the details of the series to my local library so they can order them in too.

buddyt said...

This sounds like a fresh and interesting take on the vampire legends.

As I like apocaliptic or dystopian novels, I imagine I would enjoy reading these.

Thanks for opening the giveaway to worldwide entries.

Please enter me in the contest.

Carol T

buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

wade2121 said...

I'd love to read this. I love vampires but not the pretty vampires.

debbie said...

I like that the world has changed in a apocaliptic way because of the vampires. I think vampires are more interesting when they are brutal, killing machines. I would love to read this series.
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

Daelith said...

This series definitely sounds like something I would enjoy. Like that it combining the vampires and apocalypse into an interesting plot.

Thank you for the contest.
cheleooc at yahoo dot com

tina werner said...

oh, pick me, pick me! i'd love to read this series!!!
it's nice to get away from all that romance once and a while ;)

thanks for the chance to win!

stampitchick at yahoo dot ca

Julie S said...

I like this interesting take on apocalyptic themes. This series sounds great. I'd love to read it.

juliecookies(at)gmail.com

SandyG265 said...

Thsi sounds like an interesting take on vampires.

sgiden at verizon.net

Tore said...

Thanks for the great giveaway. Please enter me in contest. I love reading about vampires. Tore923@aol.com

Kulsuma said...

I'd love to read this!
k_anon[at]hotmail[dot]co[dot]uk

tetewa said...

Vampires are my favorite reads. I'm always looking for new authors and series to read, sounds good!

Kalex said...

I would love to have a chance to read one of these books.

kaiodan@gmail.com

avalonne83 said...

Sounds really great! I'd love to be entered.

Please count me in. Thanks.

avalonne83 [at] yahoo [dot] it

julstew said...

This sounds like an awesome series. Thanks!

julstew at gmail dot com

Tami Jackson said...

I think this is the most frightening (exciting) description of a vampire book series I've read in a while. I'd be willing to read and publish a review ... might even push some of the TBR pile aside to get to it first.

Was this series anything like either "30 Days of Night" or "I Am Legend"? I get goosebumps just thinking of apocalyptic vampires! We won't BECOME vampires after reading the book. Right? LOL

~ Tami
http://VampireReview.blogspot.com

Dusky Literati said...

This series sounds really good combining vampires and an apocalypse. Right up my alley.

Aik said...

I would LOVE to read this series! I enjoy reading apocalyptic and dystopian novels!

aikychien at yahoo dot com

Diana said...

I would love to read this series!Thanks for opening the giveaway to worldwide entries.

artgiote@gmail.com

Danielle Gorman said...

This series looks really good. Seems very different from typical vampire books. Would love to read.

iqb99@yahoo.com

Meredith said...

This series sounds great. Thanks for the giveaway!

meredithfl at gmail dot com

mariska said...

it will be great to read this series back to back. Count me in please :)

uniquas at ymail dot com

hense1kk said...

I've been meaning to check out this series for a while now. The reviews are great and I just got super pumped for it lol. If I don't win, these books just jumped to the top of my TBR pile lol

hense1kk AT cmich DOT edu

Heidi V said...

Sounds like a out of the norm Vampire series I would love to read.

Thanks
heidivargas [at] live dot com

Mindy said...

Wow, I love the concept of humans trying to exist after an appolyptic episode like the end of fossil fuel. Where did you come up with the idea for a world overrun by vampires after such an event?

Mindy :)

Birdsooong@aol.com

booklover0226 said...

I look forward in reading Vampire Apocalypse series. It certainly is a different take from the other vampire books I normally read.

Thanks for posting this; I'm glad to have discovered another author.

Tracey D
booklover0226 at gmail dot com

Dawn M. said...

I like the idea of combining vampires with an apocalyptic story. Would love the chance to read the series.

Thanks! :0)
librarygrinch at gmail dot com

KMichelleC87 said...

please enter me in this contest

thank you

kmichellec87(at)yahoo(dot)com

mahominamino said...

I could never pass a chance to read more vampire books~! XD

Please get me in the contest~
Thanks!

Jaclyn said...

Sounds like a great series!

jmkunz@gmail.com