Before I get into anything else, I want to announce that the print edition of All You Can Eat is finally available. Our designer did a fantastic job and Andi and I couldn’t be more pleased with the result. Get your copy HERE.
At GCLS, I had a conversation with another writer who writes about vampires, and we discussed the attributes of a vampire. How do you characterize a vampire? What makes a vampire a vampire? Etcetera.
I’ve talked about this before—my belief that a vampire can be anything you want her to be for the simple reason that we don’t really know what vampires are about or how they function. The only requirement, as far as I’m concerned, is that vampires must consume blood. That’s what makes them vampires.
So, during this conversation with this other author, I realized that my vision about what vampires should be has evolved over the years. My first vampire, Fiona (from Twice Bitten), sticks more closely to a traditional vampire character (although, not entirely) in an Edwardian setting.
My second vampire made her appearance in a short story called “Love Bites” in Ylva Publishing’s anthology When The Clock Strikes Thirteen. This vampire is of the modern urban vampire ilk—still somewhat traditional in some ways, but updated for a modern tale.
The vampire character that I’m working on now breaks all the vampire rules. She goes out in daylight (but only when she has to), she eats and drinks (but not because she has to), is able to shed a few tears, and can feel physical symptoms of angst and desire (but not pain).
I find the concept of vampires both fascinating and befuddling. As “living” creatures, they have the qualities that many of us crave—physical power, heightened senses, lack of fear. Of course, many people would argue that those things are not the gifts they appear to be, and then there’s the whole living forever thing, which has its pros and cons.
But the most interesting thing for me is how readily people accepted the existence of vampires hundreds of years ago, “knowing” that the vampires were endowed with these qualities. The lack of scientific knowledge made that possible, as well as the prevailing belief that God controlled everything that happened in the world (or, as some people believed, Satan controlled any unholy beings such as vampires and zombies). But even today, when we know exactly how the human body functions, we are still willing to believe. We maintain that suspension of disbelief so that we can continue to read the stories that we have come to love for so many reasons, even though we know that it’s physically impossible. And within that suspension of disbelief, we can also suspend everything that we’ve come to know that makes a vampire a vampire, which allows us to welcome new breeds of creatures of the night into our lives. As writers, we own that privilege.
Writers live in a most excellent world.