Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Why I write about vampires

My interest in vampires goes back to when I was in grade school and first saw Dracula with Bela Lugosi. Since I knew my grandmother had been born in Romania, I asked if there was any truth to the story. No, she said. "It's just foolish superstition."
I agreed then and I agree now. And yet...
When I was in my early twenties, I finally got around to reading the novel and fell more in love with the vampire myth. One of the things that struck me was the idea that it was perfectly okay for humans to kill vampires but not for vampires to kill humans.
Not until I first read Ann Rice's vampire stories did I get the idea of actually writing my own version.
I made several attempt before writing The Dancing Valkyrie but all previous attempts had one thing in common. My vampires would not be either the dead or the undead and I decided they would be related to humans but with a slightly different gene sequence that is activated when one who has the gene tastes the blood of a vampire. In other words, not anyone can become a vampire.
Another difference between my vampires and those in most modern day stories, my vampires would not agonize over being a vampire. They would regard being a vampire as having received a gift from God!
Those are some of the basic ideas I have tried to work with.
Over time I have come to see there are other ideas that were hidden from me when I first began to write.
My main character, Mary Hoffman, aka Erica, aka The Dancing Valkyrie, is a female who makes no apologies for being a sexual attractive female. I wanted her to be like this because I have never seen any reason why a woman should make any excuses or hide what she is. Neither should men but men seldom find themselves attacked for looking like a man.
Another thing I wanted to do was to be up front about, expose so to speak, was the erotic nature of Dracula and all good vampire stories.
With Mary, her sexual nature is magnified after she becomes the vampire she was meant to be from birth. Her lust for sex is as great if not greater than her lust for blood. She satisfies her need for sex more often than she satisfies her need for blood. Here too, she does not apologize.
For some, I am sure, my vampire stories are nothing but erotic trash. I do understand but disagree.
What I am trying to do is to explore the "what if" and the "why" vampires might actually exist as creatures created by God.
To me, nothing is created unless it is created by God - for whatever reason. It's not such a far fetched idea when you look at the natural world and see all God has created in the now and in the past.
And if you want a Biblical reference for what my vampires believe, they believe vampires were created when God gave a mark to Cain to protect him and his kind from being killed by humans.

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