I asked Russ if he would explain the mythology of his vampire world, and here what he had to say.
Wonderful topic, Patricia. Thanks for having me!
Okay, vampires. Not the most original of subjects, I admit. So first off, I wanted to make my vampires as realistic as possible – I looked at the whole vampire mythos from a fresh perspective and took the idea almost down to ground zero. I tried to envision what it would be like to live in such a way in the real world. Because of the need to avoid daylight and the lack of any kind of legal documentation whatsoever, it would be virtually impossible for a vampire to own property or have very many material possessions at all. They wouldn’t have social security numbers, wouldn’t be able to transact any kind of business, hold a bank account, etc. Unless they wanted to take a huge risk (because of daylight or discovery), like hiding somewhere on a plane, they would be limited in travel to the distance they would be able to run in one night, and with each move they’d have to find a new safe haven. Even with all their physical advantages, it would be hard to find any glamour in the condition – a vampire would basically be a super-powered homeless person who happens to need blood.
Another twist in my book is the connection of my vampires to the sun. Each vampire is surrounded by a kind of electromagnetic field which gives them their powers and provides them a means of communicating over great distances, as well as other abilities. The downside to this is that their “disease” is actually a kind of mutation or alteration of this field, and they survive by tapping into the “feld” (German word, not a typo) of human beings when they drink their blood.
The condition of vampirism in my book is reversible, however. Every few hundred years there is a titanic solar flare on the sun which blasts the earth with a flood of electromagnetic particles that act to “cleanse” a vampire’s feld, making them human again. There is one faction of vampires who kind of worship the sun (from a safe distance, of course!), believing someday they will be relieved of their curse (unless they happen to be deep within the earth when the solar storm occurs).
Emma is a different kind of vampire altogether. When she is attacked by the monster Wirtz, she suffers a massive grand mal seizure, a kind of electrical storm of the brain, which scrambles her personal feld with that of the vampire. So when she is transformed, her epilepsy has turned her into a kind of half-vampire, half-human. She is left with all the powers of a vampire (super strength, speed, senses), without the need to drink blood or avoid the sunlight. So she’s basically super human. There’s just one catch – the bad vampires want to kill her for it.
Wirtz is a Germanic vampire from the old school. Truly horrific and menacing, Wirtz is hundreds of years old and monstrously bitter after losing his son and being passed over during the last healing sonnenruption (he was hiding in a coal mine at the time). This merciless creature is in relentless pursuit of Emma for most of the book and will stop at nothing to destroy her – after learning her secrets first, of course. Emma’s only hope of surviving a second encounter with the vampire and keeping her family alive lies in…well, you’ll have to read the book to find that out!
Blog Tour stops for THROAT
Monday, April 25th Books with Bite
Tuesday, April 26th Patricia’s Vampire Notes
Wednesday, April 27th Bite Club
Thursday, April 28th Suvudu
Friday, April 29th Random Acts of Reading
Saturday, April 30th Dangers Untold and Hardships Unnumbered
The publisher will be tweeting about Russ’s blog tour on @RandomHouseKids!
(Follow the author: @RANelsonYA)
* The publisher is offering a copy of THROAT to two lucky readers.
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* Contest ends May 10, 2011 at 11:59pm EST