And your first question is: what is a nice girl like you doing with a theme like that?
And the answer, for those of you who know me — all together now! — is “this thing isn’t entirely under my control.”
Though you know, my first published short story was a vampire story and I wrote three others, over time. But did I ever intend to write a vampire novel?
Well, I read Anne Rice, like who didn’t in my generation, until we got to the whole men-bad theme and the pseudo mythological explanation of vampires, at which point Queen of the Damned hit the wall hard and I never bought anymore. Because, you know, I was young, but not that stupid. And when things annoy me they hit the wall and I stop buying.
I’ve read other vampire books now and then. I prefer the kind where vampires are unalloyed evil, and humans aren’t. Flawed, sure, but humans win. (Team human, yay!)
I also, obviously, like ones that set vampires on fire.
But part of what attracts me — and others to the theme — is the “sentient evil.” When do you cross the edge to where there can be no redemption. Yes, I know the christian myth of the vampire and that what’s in there is no longer a human being, but a demon. And demons are by nature unredeemable.
That’s fine, if what you’re doing is just setting up the vampires as a straight up “you shoot them” type of thing. But that’s not where the power of the vampire mythos lives.
No, even if you assume the dead body is taken over by a demon… It has all the memories, the thoughts, part of the human left behind. What if it was a very good human?
Also there are medieval myths of even demons (who are after all only alive through the volition of G-d, as is everything else) longing for redemption. Well, now this demon remembers being human. It’s all he remembers. And he longs for redemption. Which is against his very nature. If you don’t see the epic struggle in that, and the literary possibilities, well… I can’t help.
There is the other myth — which I chose to go with — which is that you only lose your soul when you choose to feed. So, what can you do if not feed? Yeah.
Anyway, that one attracts me, because how many times do we sell pieces of our souls “just to survive.” And because when I wrote the book, I was starting to see the time I couldn’t go on, or it would be irretrievable. There’s only so much you can say and do without it tainting who you are forever.
That’s sort of what vampire stories are about: you can get these powers, and eternal life, but it will cost you, and the cost is more or less always to allow evil in.
It will surprise no one who reads here that my answer to this is “not at that price.” Not even if the alternative is awful death. But then Rodin’s Fallen Caryatid is my spirit animal.
Other authors make other choices, which is called “not everyone is me.” But I sort of had to write mine and make it a bizarre story of triumph and laughing in the teeth of hell. (Over the entire trilogy, a very steep and thorough triumph. You’ll see.)
Of course, that’s not why I wrote it. I wrote it because I couldn’t not write it. I sat in my car, turned the key, on a hot August afternoon, and suddenly there was the whole trilogy in my head. I came home and typed random bits at Kate on messenger.
And that’s Vampire Musketeer, real title Sword and Blood and yes, only first book is done, though the second is almost done, and third is still in my head. Life and health interfered, and there are other things I’m writing…
But right now Sword and Blood is in a bundle with story bundle, and if it does well, I’ll have to finish the second one in the next couple of months.
Of course, if you’re not a vampire-story reader, buying a bundle for just my book is silly. (It’s also on Amazon.)
But if it’s your
poison blood, it’s a good buy. So… here’s the link, and I’ll go finish editing Deep Pink (Which has no vampires at all, though it has demons, which meet stainless steel baseball bats.) I’m late on it, because life has been really interesting, but I’ll be asking for betas for next week, so stand by. And then there’s the new improved Alien curse.
Anyway, I got to go work. Here’s the bundle.